Car Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

The front or rear differential may develop an abnormal noise due to worn bearings or another internal fault. Our technicians tell us that a complete overhaul of the affected differential is commonly necessary to correct this condition.

The fuel pump may fail causing the engine to stall and not restart. Our technicians recommend replacing the fuel filter every 30,000 miles to help prevent undue strain on the fuel pump.

The service 4WD system light may illuminate with no fault codes stored in the final drive control module (FDCM). Our technicians tell us a software update for the FDCM is available to correct this concern.

The transfer case in the Chrysler Aspen has multiple gear ratios, which can be selected by moving the switch in the cabin to 2Hi, 4Hi, or 4Lo. It has been known to shift to 4Lo without warning, at any speed, and whether the vehicle is on or off. If this occurs at highway speeds, the result can be catastrophic failure of the transfer case.

This is caused by a faulty four wheel drive shift motor, selector switch (in the cab) or the wiring between the two. The most common cause is the transfer case switch, which is an electric motor mounted on the transfer case. 

To correct the issue, inspect the wiring to the transfer case switch motor for damage, and replace the shift motor if needed. Disconnecting power to the shift motor will lock the transfer case in its current setting.  

The Check Engine Light may illuminate due to an evaporative emission (EVAP) system fault. Our technicians tell us these EVAP system faults can be difficult to diagnose but it is not uncommon to find a failed charcoal canister or a loose or worn gas cap.

Difficulty starting the vehicle may be caused by a defective vehicle immobilizer (anti-theft) control module.

On Vehicles with a 4.7L or 5.7L V8 engine, the Check Engine Light may illuminate with code P2181 for a cooling system performance fault. Or technicians tell us that updated software for the powertrain control module (PCM) is available to correct this concern.

It is common for the fuel level sensor in the fuel tank read the fuel level incorrectly. The sensor must be replaced to correct the condition. Our technicians recommend having the complete fuel pump module replaced on high mileage vehicles.

The electrical contacts in the ignition switch may fail and result in erratic instrument panel gauge operation or illumination of the Check Engine Light. A failed ignition switch will require replacement.

A whining or buzzing type noise may develop from the timing chain area caused by excess slack in the secondary timing chains. Nissan has issued a service bulletin (NTB09-128) regarding this issue. Replacement of both secondary timing chains and their tensioner shoes will be necessary to repair this concern. As part of this repair, the engine oil and filter should also be replaced.

Nissan issued a recall on the fuel pump for premature failure. There was an owner notification program and labels were placed on the fuel pump access panel and next to the AC charge label in the engine compartment.

The intake manifold gasket may develop and external engine oil or coolant leak. In some cases, an internal coolant leak may occur causing coolant to mix with the engine oil. Our technicians tell us that operating the engine  with a coolant/oil mix can result in internal engine damage. Replacing the intake manifold gasket should correct these leaks.

Prior to jacking or lifting a vehicle with air suspension, you must turn off the suspension switch. The switch is generally located in the trunk or on the right side of the passenger foot well.

A Loose or worn gas cap may cause Check Engine Light to illuminate. At this time, RepairPal cannot confirm a recall for this gas cap issue.

4.0L 6 Cylinder
Due to misfires, you may experience a loss of power when accelerating between 50 and 70 MPH (most noticeable below 32° F). This is commonly caused by carbon buildup on the valve stems, as a result the exhaust valves may close too late. All of the exhaust valves should be inspected and if necessary the engine should be decarbonized.

The Check Engine Light may illuminate with throttle position switch fault codes stored. Our technicians tell us a revised throttle position switch is available to correct this concern.

There are reports of premature clutch wear on cars equipped with manual transmissions.  Clutch replacement on these vehicles can be quite costly.

After the vehicle has been operated with electrical loads (lights, air conditioning), a weak alternator can cause starting difficulties. In some cases, the original alternator could not sufficiently charge the battery; Kia released a new alternator which can correct this concern.

One or both head light bulbs may burn out prematurely requiring replacement. There have also been reports of other bulbs burning out often as well.

In order to correct a problem that results in difficulty starting, engine vibration, or a rattling sound from the engine compartment, Kia released an updated crankshaft pulley bolt.

A loud ticking noise (hydraulic valve lifter noise) may be heard from the top of the engine, particularly when the engine is still cold. The noise may occur more frequently on higher mileage vehicles; Hydraulic valve lash adjusters may need to be replaced to correct this issue. Following the maintenance schedule for oil changes will also help prevent a recurrence of the noise.

Sludge can build up in the engine because Lexus did not recommend frequent enough oil changes. Lexus will sometimes offer a discount on cleaning the engine if necessary. Owners who changed their oil every 3,000 miles did not experience these problems. This sludge build up can lead to excessive oil consumption.

The anti-lock brake system (ABS) control module may fail causing the ABS light to illuminate. Failed modules should be replaced to restore ABS operation.

The automatic transmission may fail prematurely. Transmission overhaul or replacement may be necessary to correct this concern.

Welds on the catalytic converter heat shield can corrode causing a rattle during acceleration and possibly causing Check Engine Light illumination. The common repair for this issue is replacement of the damaged catalytic converter.

Failure of the ignition power transistor can cause a "crank-no start" condition.

Nissan issued a recall on the fuel pump for premature failure. There was an owner notification program and labels were placed on the fuel pump access panel and next to the AC charge label in the engine compartment.

The camshaft adjuster solenoid (which is related to the variable valve timing system) may fail or timing chain/balance shaft components may wear, resulting in illumination of the Check Engine Light and various drivability issues. Mercedes-Benz has released a service bulletin outlining specific repair instructions depending on fault codes stored.