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Car Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common car problems based on complaints from 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 oxygen (air fuel ratio) sensor element may develop a crack, causing the Check Engine Light to illuminate. Subaru has recalled certain models to replace sensors that may fail. The Subaru service program number is WXW-80, this is not a government mandated recall.

There are several common complaints regarding Volvo V70 transmission shifting issues. Long shift times between gear shifts, hard shifting, hard downshifting and a loss of transmission operation to name a few.

If the issue is minor, a transmission software update may address this. If available, the software should be updated before any repairs are made. After a software update or repair, the shift adaptation needs to be reset. A good quality Volvo repair shop will know how to perform this task.

There are several technical service bulletins (TSB's) available from Volvo that address these shifting issues and they should be consulted by the repair shop during the automatic transmission diagnostic process.

Regular servicing of the transmission fluid can help with preventing transmission failure, but not in all cases. Follow the suggested fluid replacement interval recommended by Volvo. You will find this in your owners manual, or find it here>>

The Electronic Throttle Module (ETM) has a higher than normal failure rate. Volvo has extended the warranty on some of the ETMs to 10 years/200,000 miles

There have been problems with the climate control system not working at times. Volvo has made a Software upgrade for the AC control module is available that can correct certain climate control system faults.

The electronic throttle module (ETM) has a higher than normal failure rate. There is a possible extended warranty and/or a software upgrade offered by Volvo for this problem.

A condition may develop where the shift feel of the automatic transmission becomes to firm or too soft. Revised software for the EGS (Transmission control module) is available which can correct this issue.

The low coolant light may illuminate and/or the engine may overheat as a result of a coolant leak from the water pump. The leaking pump will require replacement and the entire cooling system should be inspected for leaks as it is not uncommon to find multiple leaks on higher mileage vehicles.

Overheating can cause severe engine damage. If the engine begins to overheat it is recommended to stop at the first available location and have your vehicle towed to a repair shop.

The check transmission light may illuminate with a stored code 37. This is commonly caused by electrical interference on the data communication circuit between the transmission control module (TCM) and the engine control module (ECM). Our technicians recommend that all related connection and ground locations should be inspected and repaired as necessary. In some cases electromagnetic interference may be the cause, shielding of the affected wiring may be of help it this case.

If the automatic transmission does not shift properly and the Check Engine Light illuminates, the speed sensors in the transmission may have failed. The sensors are simple and inexpensive to replace.

A sticking windshield wiper switch can cause a delay in wiper operation, especially in cold weather.

If you experience excessive engine noise on startup (after the engine has been turned off for several hours) that lasts for more than five or six seconds, turn off the engine and check that the engine oil level is correct. If the oil level is correct, the noise may be caused by the timing chain tensioner. Hyundai has an improved tensioner to correct this problem.

Check Engine Light illumination—combined with a lack of power or a stumble on acceleration—may be caused by the throttle position switch (TPS). Kia released an improved part which should correct this concern.

Some models may have a problem with stalling under light acceleration. Updated software for the powertrain control module (PCM) is available which may help with this concern.

The "Bypass Air Control Valve" can fail causing a low engine idle and possibly stalling.

The lug nuts on the Ford Fusion are known to swell to greater than their original size. When these lug nuts swell, the lug nut wrench will no longer fit, so they must be drilled or extracted. 

The lug nuts swell when they have been tightened too tight. To prevent this condition, only tighten the lug nuts with a torque wrench. If changing a flat on the road, the lugs should be loosened and tightened to specification at the earliest opportunity. 

The anti-lock brake system (ABS) front wheel speed sensors are prone to failure. When a sensor fails, the ABS warning light may illuminate and/or the ABS system may activate erratically.

There have been numerous complaints of early transmission failure, even with with normal servicing. Issues start with a whining noise, overheat warnings, and an inability to accelerate. The most common solution is replacement of the transmission. Late 2014 model year Patriots changed to a non-CVT transmission.

Water can leak near the A-pillar, at the front edge of the driver and passenger side doors. An improved seal is available.

The convertible top may have problems with the micro-switches and potentiometers that help control the raising and lowering of the top.

At higher mileages, (125,000-150,000) the automatic transmission may not shift correctly. This can be caused by the throttle position sensor being out of adjustment or a shift solenoid needing to be replaced. Typically the transmission does not need to be completely overhauled.

The automatic transmission may develop shifting concerns. On lower mileage vehicles, upgrading the software in the powertrain control module (PCM) and the transmission control module (TCM) may correct the problem. As the mileage increases, internal transmission damage can occur. Repairs could involve replacement of the valve body or a complete transmission rebuild. Whenever major transmission repairs are made, it is important to be sure the PCM and the TCM have the latest software updates to help prevent these issues from reoccurring.

The automatic transmission can develop problems like erratic shifting, rough shifting, or delayed gear engagement. Repairs for many of these problems are outlined in service bulletins.

The rear window defogger may stop working due to a wire terminal broken off of the rear glass. Our technicians tell us that terminal can be reattached using a special glue or silver solder.

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.

At 125,000-150,000 miles, the Master Cylinder may need replacing. It is critical to adjust the brake pedal to Master Cylinder pushrod clearance or the brakes will drag and over heat.

The fuel gauge may read incorrectly due to a faulty sender in the tank. A failed fuel level sender will require replacement to restore correct fuel gauge operation.

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 to fix the problem.

It is not uncommon for oil leaks to develop from the valve cover gaskets. Replacement of the leaking gaskets will repair this issue.

The accelerator position switch may fail intermittently resulting in sluggish acceleration or lack of power.