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At-home mechanic who likes to keep his own vehicles running
Recent Activity

Question Asked: all instrument lights stay on, no cruise, turn signals not working
December 20, 2010, 09:39 AM
On my 2000 Alero, all the instrument lights (check engine, brake and all the others) stay on. And my turn signal will sporadically not work either. I've tried leaving the battery diconnected for awhile and that still won't help. Need a new computer? Any other thoughts?
Question Asked: Transmission compatibility
November 10, 2010, 09:41 AM
The fluid in my taurus is now dark and smells burnt. So, I guess I will be replacing the tranny. Someone locally has an AX4S available from a 2000 Windstar. Would this one work for me? Wikipedia shows the various vehicles that supposedly uses this transmission. Can anyone else verify this is accurate, or guide to a better resource?
Question Asked: Transmission slipping between gears 2-3, no codes thrown
October 18, 2010, 11:19 AM
I have an 01 Taurus with tranny AX4S that sporadically has issues going from gears 2-3. Usually, the engine RPM's increase, but the speed only slowly increases until it gets to 3rd gear. I had a guy from my local transmission shop test drive it and he said a valve body overhaul would probably fix the issue ($400-500). I'd like to tackle it myself if it's only a matter of the valve body coming out. Does anyone else agree that the valve body job will probably fix the issue? If so, what kind of kit am I going to look for? Any special tools needed?
Question Asked: Taurus overheating
July 09, 2010, 09:54 AM
I recently replaced the thermostat and the heater core in the 98 Taurus. However, it overheats to the point that water starts boiling out of the reservoir. What are your thoughts on what might be going on? The heat gauge shows the coolant temp to be normal.
Question Asked: Rear A/C cool, but front blows ambient temp
July 07, 2010, 05:31 PM
I put a new a/c compressor on but now the rear a/c gets cool but the front does not. What is the most likely cause? Is it a blocked orifice? If so, how can I be certain?
Question Asked: What is the easiest way to know if my engine is toast after a timing belt break?
November 30, 2009, 05:24 PM
I was told that my Mercury Villager has an interference engine. One day I went to start it and it ran for just a couple of seconds before it quit. I was told by my mechanic that the timing belt broke. He said that there is a very slim chance that the engine may be OK just by replacing the belt, but it would cost several hundred dollars just to find that out. And in more likelyhood it will need a new motor anyway. What is the easiest way for me to tell whether or not the valves were bent or the piston is broken or anything else that is common with this sort of issue? I'd love to know that I can just buy the belt and put it on myself to get it up and going again, depending on whatever else one needs to look for. And are there any good resources to find the details of changing the timing belt, perhaps Chilton? Thanks in advance!
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