Technical aspects of automobiles

Archive for June, 2011

Scanner or Code Reader?


What is the difference between a scanner and a code reader?

I am in the market for an OBD I & II reader. I have found Autoxray and

The scanners seem to be more expensive.

Any recommendations?


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my back lights wont go on 1988 jep cherokee , fuse box? first?

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Idling Car

I started my 86 Toyota Corolla SR5 up to charge up the battery.  I forgot
about it, and left it idling in the driveway for a couple of hours.

Did I do any damage to it?  I have plenty of oil in it.  I am concerned
about oil pressure.


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98 Mazda B4000 (4.0L) Upper Radiator Hose HOT Lower COLD ??

Upper (left) big hose is HOT and the lower (bottom Right) hose and
radiator is COLD after driving for 1/2 hour. Temp gauge always on COLD.
My water pump ?

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'04 Sable LS CD Player

One of the options listed for the ’04 Mercury Sable LS (and its Ford
Taurus sibling) is a six disc trunk mounted CD player.

Question:  Was the wiring harness for this option installed in all LS
trim level Sables, and if so, where are they hiding the damn thing.



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Low Sulfur Diesel Prohibited?

I don’t have a diesel vehicle, so I’m not up to speed on all of the
related issues. But I always thought that low sulfur diesel was a good
thing (problems with shortened engine life due to decreased lubricity

So I was filling my car up at one of those combo petrol/diesel pumps the
other day and I noticed a sticker that said something to the effect that
this is "low sulfur diesel fuel" and its use in "highway vehicles" was
prohibited by federal law.

What’s up with that?

Paul Hovnanian     mailto:P…
Reject nihilism!

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What a Drag

’93 Grand Prix 3.1 automatic. 110,000 miles.

This car hasn’t been driven much since I got a job 37 miles from home and I
got a Grand Am because of better gas mileage. I do drive it a little each
month to keep it working. It is always stored under cover.

This last weekend when I was driving it I noticed something wrong. When
sitting on level ground, the engine hot, I shifted from park to reverse. I
expected to start rolling before I gave it gas but it did not move. Thinking
that I must have set the parking brake, I pulled the lever, but that was not
it. I gave it some gas and it started moving with a groan. After letting off
the gas, I could feel a drag.

My first thought was the brakes were not releasing all the way. But with the
car in park and grabbing a tire I can roll the car back and forth easily.
Also when I stop after 37 miles of freeway driving, the brakes are cool.

The problem is not noticeable when the engine is cold but that is probably
due to the fast idle.

I’ve changed the tranny fluid and filter two or three times last time about
15,000 miles ago. The brake fluid has been changed several times too.

I’ve driven about 200 miles since I first noticed it and it has not gotten
better or worse.

Any Ideas?


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2000 Pontiac initial acceleration

I drive a 2000 Pontiac Grand Am.  It’s got approx 110,000 miles on it and up
until this point has given me very little trouble.  Over the last few weeks,
the car has gradually gotten worse with regards to the initial acceleration
when the car is at a complete stop.  The car starts fine, and once it gets
going, there doesn’t seem to be any other problems.  If i come to a stop
light and try to accelerate, the engine revs and the needle goes to 4-5 rpms
but the car doesn’t actually go anywhere.  It takes about 5-10 seconcs before
it seems to "catch" and i can accelerate.  Anyone have any ideas what the
problem might be?

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Fuzion XTi

Does anyone have any experience, good or bad, with the Fuzion XTi tire?
I am looking for a good all-season tire for an 02 Merc Mountaineer, and
I found this tire at a local tire shop. It has a lower price than some
of the other tires I am looking at, but I can’t find much info about
it. Seems like it is fairly new to the market. Made by Bridgestone I

The majority of the driving is highway and around town. Located in the
Pacific NW, so I’m interested in good wet and snow traction…


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Airbag light on 2000 Pont Montana

In the 6 years I’ve owned this van, the airbag light has come on a few
times, stayed on for several days, and then stayed out for
months/years.  Now that I want to sell it, the pesky light is back, and
is on more than it is off (bumps in the road set it on/off
occasionally).  Looking at the service manual, I see that the connector
on the airbag computer (located under the front passenger seat
carpeting) has a built in jumper which grounds the low side of the
airbag lamp, illuminating it,  when you pull the connector off of the
computer.  When the connector is seated properly, the jumper is
supposed to open, and let the computer control the airbag lamp.
Apparently the jumper is an anti-tampering device.  I suspect that the
jumper is not fully retracted and is making intermittent contact and
falsely lighting the airbag lamp.  I want to pull off the connector to
inspect/repair the jumper, but the manual repeatedly warns that you
should go thru a lengthy procedure to disarm the airbag circuitry
before attempting ANY repairs, and another lengthy procedure to re-arm
the system afterwards.  They warn that if you don’t, you risk
unintentional airbag deployment.  Do I really need to go thru these
procedures before unplugging the connector from the airbag computer?
Wouldn’t it be enough to pull the SIR fuse and wait an hour or so?  It
will be hard to sell a car with the airbag lamp on, but harder to sell
if I accidentally deploy one or more airbags.  The disarm procedure
involves ripping out a bunch of trim panels, and I don’t want to mess
with that unless absolutely necessary.


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