Technical aspects of automobiles

Archive for November, 2010

Help, car shutdown while driving

My town and country 2003 started to have problem lately.  It starts out
as the windshield wiper stop working.  I changed the relay and it
works.  Then right afterward, while driving, the car jerks heavily.  I
asked a mechanic and he said it probably is the input output trans axel
sensors  I turn the key from off to on (but not start the engine) and
it shows the engine light blinking.  So, I replaced both.  The light
stops blinking.  But at the same days that the car jerking problem
started, it starts to shut down while driving.  I have to wait several
seconds to start it up again.  Then I recall that the car lately takes
longer to start when I turn the key on.

Yesterday, I turned on the key, and the car seems to start, so I turn
it back a little.  This shuts down the car.  Then I cannot turn on the
car.  There is no cranking noise.  Just couple relay click.  I measure
the voltage and it shows something like 12.3 volt.  I use an ODB II to
read out any error code, and it says "Pass".  I waited for about 5-10
minutes and open and close some doors (I don’t know if it helps), then
it starts again.  While backing up, it stops again.  It again takes
several minutes before it starts again.  There’s no cranking or
anything like that when it does not start.

I then drive around a block to see if it runs.  It runs fine, but I put
it back in my driveway and don’t dare to drive it.

What could be the problem?  How do I troubleshoot this problem?



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ac cycling on/off at weird intervals

I’m having problem with the ac on my 1998 ford explorer cycling on/off
at weird intervals.  My first thought was that it had leaked and was
low, but after buying a gauge it was found to be in the middle range of
"full".  Sometimes it will cut on when I first get in the car and may
run for an hour or more.  Other times the compressor may not engage
until I’ve been on the road for an hour or more.  After that it seems
to come and go as it pleases.  A friend suggested it may be the
pressure sensor on the low side, so I tried to by pass it.  Jumpering
the two wires did not cut the compressor on as I had expected.  This
lead me to think maybe there was a short in the clutch circuit or
possibley a loose wire.  However inspecting it found no problems.  Are
there any other sensors which I should check?  Is there any reason why
jumpering the low side sensor did not engage the clutch?  As a side
note… when the ac is on it cools normally.  This confirmed my gauge
findings that the coolant was at the right level.


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Oil Light / Bearing Clearance Q.

The oil light on my ’89 Daihatsu Charade (1.0L w/ 250K miles) has been
coming on at idle for the last month or so, but only after about 20 minutes
of freeway driving. My first thought was worn main bearings. (Rod bearings
were changed 100K ago, so I don’t suspect a problem there.)

But after pulling the pan and inspecting one lower main bearing, I don’t see
much sign of wear. Calipers measure the same thickness to within .001" at
various points across the bearing, and they are smooth to the fingernail. I
know that calipers are a backward way of measuring bearings. I’m off to the
auto parts store this morning to get some plastiguage.

But I have a question that an experianced mechanic might be able to help
with. Various books call out .002" as "normal" clearance for main bearings.
But how much clearance would it take to cause my symptoms? To pick some
hypothetical numbers, is .005" enough to cause the problem, or might they
open up to .020" before causing problems? If my bearings are a bit worn, but
something else is causing my problem, I want to get on to the scent now
rather than after reassembly.

Your comments are appreciated.

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gas draining from carburetor drain hose

yes, I know that’s what it’s for). Started running very rough,
 missing, won’t idle. When stopped, gas drains from carb drain hose.
 doesn’t drain while engine running. shut gas off and stops draining.
 with gas off, will drain if drain screw opened (so gas in bowl). will
 drain with drain screw closed if gas is on. starts easily. what the
 heck is going on??

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1984 AMC Eagle won't start

Okay here’s the problem.  Initially the starter would not stop cranking
after the ignition off after trying to start.  Replaced the ignition
switch, still did it anyway.  Replaced wires: ground cables, starter
cable from solenoid, and the solenoid itself.  Fixed the starter
problem, we thought.  Charged the battery, and it still would not
start.  Tried jumping it and all it would do was fry the positive
jumper cable.  Removed starter and had it checked which it didn’t work
so we replaced the starter.  Made sure the battery was charged, tried
starting only to find it was frying the positive battery cable and it
sounded like the water was boiling in the battery.  Tried a couple of
things from this forum like bypassing the solenoid.  Last attempt, we
charged the battery, turned the key, two or three cranks then nothing.
Checked the battery completely dead.  Can you help us, any is
appreciated.  Thanks.

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locked up

my 1991 honda accord was doin fine; last night my ignition locked in
run position and my steering wheel will not lock      i had to let
clutch out to stop running

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1999 Silverado Stumbles

I have a 1999 Chevy Silverado 4×4 with 64k miles, 5.3 L engine and
automatic tranny.  The truck "stumbles" at different times.  The
problem generally occurs when I first start the engine and put in gear.
  Once I begin to give it more throttle, the problem starts to
dissipate.  During acceleration at low rpm and slight throttle it also
stumbles/bucks. The truck seems low on power in overdrive but when it
kicks down, it seems to be ok.   I have changes plugs and fuel filter.
No trouble codes or check engine light.  The dealer was unable to find
anything wrong…it was working well when I took it in.  Any Ideas?  I
can recreate the problem by holding the brake and throttle, loading the
engine.  Mostly this is noticed under 1500 rpm.

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getting a ford 302 started

I recently rebult my 68 ford 302, and i cant get it started. the best i
can get is a backfire out of the carb. ( i have a demon, no power
valves to blow, phew). when i asembled the engine, i turned it so the
#1 piston was at TDC at the compression stroke, then i turned it
another 8 degrees, and put the distributor so it was at the number 1
pole. (8 degrees static timing, i think?) thats what the manual
suggested. then i tried turning the distributor 180 degrees, thinking i
wasnt actually on the compression stroke. nothing happened. I went back
to the original and had more backfires out of the intake, and i tried
advancing the distributor, and then retarding it, nothing. I know fuel
is getting to the car, because i can see it spray into the veturi when
i pump the accelerator, and spark is there because i pulled a plug and
saw it spark. im sure all the wires are going to the correct cylinders.
the plug wires worked on the engine before it was rebuilt, and they are
not that old. completely new spark plugs. One think i have noticed is
that the rocker arms are coming off the valve stems, and resting on the
spring retainers. I have 68 heads, and they were rebuilt, with original
style rockers, (i think they are called stud mounted). when i installed
the rockers, i turned the engine so that that lifter was at its low
point, then tightend the nut untill the rocker was firmly seated on the
valve stem. I thought that this was the method described in the chilton
AND hanes repair manual. Now the rockers are falling off. Are these
rockers causing my starting problem? Did i install them wrong? What is
the right way? Is there something else that is causing the engine to
not start? ANY help would be greatly appriciated. thanks.

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Rich exhaust/mix in 93 lumina

I have a 93 Lumina Euro 3.1 with rich smelling exahust created by
runnig way too rich.
Exahust is black in color and has an almost in between gas/vinegar
odor. Low power seems like it is runing on two cylinders. Some more
background engine has been locked up. However, compression is still
seemingly fine acording to haynes manual 115-120 PSI on first comp
stroke. After unseizing engine it ran fine for a few months delivering
mail on a rural route (yikes!). Catalytic converter has been suspect
and eliminated.
Trouble Codes:
                       15: Colant Sensor low (Replaced)
                       23: IAT Sensor in this model (Replaced)
                       35: Idle Speed error replace IAC (Replaced)
                       43: Electronic Spark Control/Knock
                       53: EGR Valve (Not Replaced but cleaned and new
                             gaskets no longer

                      Also new plugs, wires and coils.

Also two weeks ago i was cheking the ignition system control module
with test in haynes manual and all cheks out. After doing that I
cleaned up the spark pulgs again (they foul in about ten minuteswith
carbon) I hooked everything up and started it and it ran fine for two
hours thourgh various performance ranges. Next morning pull #2 Plug and
it looked cleaner than when I put it in the night before, put it back
and try to start and same problem starts again running rough and rich
exhaust. Talked to some one who works at
ford as a mechaninc and he said try the O2 sensor. I did and no change.
I have tried to eliminate as many possibilites as I can but this seems
to be and intermitant problem (our favorite kind) and like that friday
evening if the stars are all alinged (which has nothing to do with it )
she runs. Any more suggestions.

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Gumout Engine Flush…Good or Paint Thinner?

I saw the Jugs at my Pep Boys. I’m using Auto-Rx on my Corolla now,
though I think it isn’t strong enough. Has anyone used Gumout Engine
Flush? Can it completely screw up my engine or is it a magic bullet for
sludged engines? Any other suggestions for flushing: Schaeffers Neutra

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