226 points
I am an automotive technician with 10 years experience. I am an A.S.E. Certified Master Automotive Technician along with the L1 Advanced Engine Diagnostics certification.
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Question Answered: Whats harder changing timing belt and water pump in 03 Protoge or 02 Tacoma
May 25, 2012, 08:18 PM
Off the top of my head I would say the Protege, that being said, I'm not sure "whats harder" is the way I would phrase it. Different setup, different tools, different technique. The tensioner on the Protege is mechanical / spring loaded whereas the Tacoma ( I'm assuming it was a V6 3.4L engine ) is a hydraulic setup. Also, you have a dual overhead cam setup on the Mazda and only a single on the Toyota. All in all, if you handled the Tacoma without too much difficulty, I don't see why you couldn't pull off the Protege, although I don't recommend any DIY'ers performing any such task. Get the proper service information and read over it before making the attempt, let me know if you have any particular, slightly more specific questions about the job.
Question Answered: i changed my sparkplugs and wires and put a new filter in it also and still
March 17, 2012, 08:20 AM
I would firstly like to know what your fuel mileage is at this point? Was this a sudden decrease in fuel mileage, or have you noticed it getting progressively worse over time? Is you check engine lamp on? Make sure to check your tire pressures, also check your fuel filter and air filter. You mention you installed a new filter but not sure which one you are referring to.
Question Answered: What does code P1294 refer to specifically? The pump, filter, lines, etc.
February 04, 2012, 08:14 PM
Have you actually had this diagnosed, or have simply asked for suggestions? There are numerous items that can cause this code to set, and you may sift through many ideas before actually finding the culprit. A quick check of the definition and criteria of setting this code tells me, basically, it's a code that tells you what you already know. To paraphrase the code description reveals the the ECM detects that the idle speed is not within it's expected range, and since you mention that the idle is fairly terrible, the code is almost worthless. I say almost worthless because along with the code being stored there should be information stored as to the conditions the vehicle was under during the problem event, or freeze frame data as we call it. It sounds to me like you need to find a competent automotive repair facility and have them diagnose the problem, thus ruling out all of the thoughts and ideas.
Question Answered: The belt broke on my AC Compressor. What is the cost for repairs?
January 31, 2012, 09:51 PM
It sounds from your description as if the air conditioning compressor failed internally and seized up, causing the serpentine belt to melt due to being dragged across a pulley that wasn't moving. The end result would have been that the belt broke, but the cause may very well be a problem with your air conditioning compressor. The compressor may be covered under your warranty, and due to the high costs that will most likely come with the appropriate repair, I would recommend you look into whether or not this item is covered. All of that being said, it would be best to have a competent technician thoroughly inspect why the belt failed, and what components will be needed to rectify the situation. It is likely that if the compressor failed internally, debris has traveled to other parts of the system, requiring further parts replacement in order to guarantee the new components will last an expected lifetime.
Question Answered: I have a 2005 toyota solara,just bought it,how often should I changetranny fld?
January 23, 2012, 08:06 PM
My information system tells me that the fluid in your automatic transmission should be flushed every 60,000 miles. Typically I personally remain slightly old fashioned when it comes to transmission servicing, and recommend the service be done every 30,000 miles. I have two main reasons for more frequent fluid exchanger services. 1) It doesn't hurt to perform the service more often, the only negative is spending some extra cash. That being said, automatic transmissions are very complex units unto themselves, which is why there are so many transmission shops, almost as many as general repair shops. These units are very costly to repair and/or replace, so a little extra piece of mind is worth it, just my opinion. 2) More frequent services allow for possibly catching any upcoming problems that are just starting out. When a vehicle comes in for the servicing of the transmission, a more precise test drive devoted to putting the transmission through its paces usually takes place. Simply put, more attention is paid specifically to the automatic transmission unit above the standard fluid level and condition checking performed at your normal engine oil service interval. Hope that helps.
Question Answered: I bought the vehicle used with the abs light on all the time. It seems to stop o
January 21, 2012, 09:04 AM
Chunks of metal found in the differential aren't really ever a good thing, but it may not be the end of the world either, depends on how big the chunks are and from what component they came from. If the ABS lamp is illuminated, it basically means that the control module has detected a fault and disabled the ABS braking, it will have no affect on you base brake system. On a 90 Bronco, and off the top of my head, I'm guessing this is only and RWAL ( Rear wheel anti-lock ) system. If this is the case, the most likely culprit is the differential speed sensor mounted on top of the rear differential. It should be a 2 wire sensor. These commonly fail electrically, but they can also fail due to physical damage ( like chunks of metal smacking into it ). Did you by any chance rotate the differential while you had the cover off and take not of the condition of the ABS speed sensors tone ring? If your metal chunks were coming from there, then you have most likely found the root cause of your ABS issue. Of course there are other possibilities, but I have found that the speed sensor in the rear differential is the issue most of the time. If you have any other questions just ask.
Question Answered: I have a 2003 sport trac,Its bogging/stalling out when I pass 3000 rpms.
January 21, 2012, 08:59 AM
Is the check engine lamp on? I would like to think it would be, but I have seen some serious engine problems that did not illuminate the MIL ( malfunction indiactor lamp ) in the past. Checking fuel pressure is always a good idea, I personally like the clogged exhaust theory off the top of my head. From your short description, what stands out to me is that you specify 3000 rpms. Clogged, or should I say restricted exhaust systems tend to make the efficiency of the engine much worse at higher RPM's due the the amount of air trying to flow through it. I would be even more suspicious of a restricted catalytic converter if you have had any repairs made in the past or recent past for cylinder misfires. Some more details about the vehicles current state of affairs and recent repair work would help out. How many miles, typical driving conditions for the vehicle, anything helps. Also, the mass airflow ( MAF ) sensors on Ford vehicles have a very large influence on fuel control, and when they get excessively dirty can cause symptoms similar to your description, but I can't say that I have ever had one stall or get close to stalling because of a faulty or dirty MAF. The typical main concern with a MAF problem is lack of power. Good luck to you, ask more questions if you need.
Question Answered: what does code po420 mean
January 19, 2012, 02:22 PM
Basically a P0420 stands for "catalytic converter efficiency below threshold bank 1". The engine control module, or ECM, on your vehicle tests the efficiency of the "cat" periodically, and will set this code when it fails the test. If I remember correctly, the test has to fail twice in succession before actually turning on the check engine light or CEL / MIL. The ECM is comparing the signals from the oxygen sensors in order to determine the health of the catalytic converter. I have found over many years that if this codes has been stored by the ECM, 98% of the time the catalytic converter actually has degraded. What happens next is crucial, you must determine the root cause of the catalytic converter failure. If it's simply old and worn out then fine, but you better make sure that there aren't any misfires, internal oil or coolant leaks, and things of that nature. Also, these year Subaru engines are fairly notorious for having misfires in cylinder #4 due to coolant and/or oil leaking into that cylinder by way of failed head gaskets. So it would be wise to make sure everything is sealed and in proper operating condition before replacing those expensive cats. Let me know if you have any questions.
Question Answered: I got at napa 2-26873 switch/commutateur interruptor for my 98 camry where is it
January 04, 2012, 02:24 PM
Is that part number referring to an E.G.R. ( Exhaust gas recirculation )control solenoid?
Question Answered: car wouldn't start, and after a jump and driving it home, would not start again.
December 10, 2011, 04:09 PM
Definitely check the cable connections at the battery. If the battery is only 1 month old, odds are it should have been charged sufficiently from the drive home to restart the vehicle, although allowing the vehicles battery to be charged by the alternator is never a good idea (this will overwork the alternator and possibly cause overheating resulting in reduced operational life of the alternator). Initially there may have been a load left on or parasitic drain somewhere else causing the initial no start, but again, after getting the vehicle up and running, the alternator should have been in good enough shape to operate the vehicles electronics normally, not under reduced power like you are describing. Please keep us informed as to your findings.
Problem Reported: Check Engine Light and Misfire Due to Stuck Fuel Injectors
September 15, 2010, 10:07 PM
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>One or more <a id="ce_75" class="ct_glossary tooltip" href="/fuel-injector">fuel injectors</a> may become stuck closed causing an <span class="ct_how_to tooltip"><a id="ce_9141" class="ct_how_to tooltip" href="/misfires-and-their-causes">engine misfire</a>  </span>and the <a id="ce_5700" class="ct_how_to tooltip" href="/understanding-the-check-engine-light">Check Engine Light</a> to illuminate. Our technicians tell us that this problem can be caused by some fuel additives. There are special procedures which may be able to restore the affected injector. If this fails the affected injector must be replaced.</p>
Problem Reported: Car Won't Start Because of Anti-Theft System That Uses Raised-Chip Key
September 15, 2010, 10:06 PM
<p>Problems with the anti-theft systems using the raised-chip key can prevent the car from starting. The wires in the steering column to the <a id="ce_87" class="ct_glossary tooltip" href="/ignition-lock-assembly">ignition lock cylinder</a> tend to break. The the key and ignition lock cylinder must be replaced to correct this condition.</p>
Problem Reported: T-Top Models Are Prone to Water Leaks
September 15, 2010, 10:06 PM
<p>The t-top models are prone to water leaks from the t-tops weather strip seals. Our technicians tell us that replacing the all of the t-top related weather strips will commonly correct most leaks. Care should be taken when removing and installing the t-tops in order to avoid damage to the weather strips.</p>
Problem Reported: Hood and Rear Hatch Supports May Fail
September 15, 2010, 10:06 PM
<p>The hood and rear hatch supports may fail causing the hood or hatch fall back down after being raised to the open position. Replacement of failed supports is recommended.</p>
Problem Reported: Inside/Outside Door Handles May Break
September 15, 2010, 10:06 PM
<p>The inside and outside door handles are prone to breaking.</p>
Problem Reported: Intake Manifold Gaskets May Leak Coolant or Engine Oil
September 15, 2010, 10:06 PM
<p><span class="ct_glossary tooltip">The <a id="ce_5616" class="ct_selected tooltip" href="/intake-manifold-gasket">intake manifold gasket</a> may develop and external </span>engine <a id="ce_59" class="ct_glossary tooltip" href="/engine-oil">oil</a> or <a id="ce_80" class="ct_glossary tooltip" href="/coolant">coolant</a> leak. In some cases, an internal coolant leak may occur causing coolant to mix with the engine oil. Running the engine with a coolant/oil mix may result in engine damage. Replacing the intake manifold gasket should correct this issue.</p>
Problem Reported: Replace Fuel Filter Every 30,000 to Prevent Fuel Pump Failure
September 15, 2010, 10:06 PM
<p>The <a id="ce_77" class="ct_glossary tooltip" href="/fuel-pump">fuel pump</a> may fail causing the engine to stall and not restart. Our technicians recommend replacing the <a id="ce_74" class="ct_glossary tooltip" href="/fuel-filter">fuel filter</a> every 30,000 miles to help prevent undue strain on the fuel pump.</p>
Car Review: 2003 Volvo S60
November 13, 2010, 09:52 AM
Apparently these vehicles have issues with the turn signals and the radio, but at 100k, things are going to begin to not operate correctly. Don't neglect you spark plugs, allowing them to remain in the vehicle for excessive mileage can end up leading to ignition coil failures, and ignition coils are not exactly cheap.
Car Review: 1998 GMC 1500 Pickup
November 13, 2010, 09:39 AM
I love my truck! These trucks really are pretty rock solid, but it IS necessary to service these vehicles on time and with quality fluids and parts. The biggest problem areas with these trucks that I have found are the fuel pump, intake manifold gaskets, A/C compressor, inner and outer door handles, and maybe I'll throw in the distributor but that's not really a big deal as long as you are getting your tune up done around 100,000 miles. The fuel pumps seem to like to fail around 100,000 mile, so if you have a truck of this vintage, from a few years back to a few years newer, with the original pump with over 100k on the clock, start saving up. The fuel pump alone, (for a quality pump), is generally around $500 - $700.
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