Technical aspects of automobiles

Archive for January, 2012

2001 Cadillac DeVille with Multiple Misfires

    This engine was running flawlessly. On a fairly long
highway trip, it started to misfire. By the end of the
trip I am pretty sure that there were two or more
cylinders misfiring. Please note that I had never
experienced *any* misfires before this event. I
want to make this clear because I think this
diminishes the likelihood that plugs are involved,
although the plugs have not been changed in
some time.
     Plugs are very expensive to change in this
car and only the dealer will change them. As
the car has 150K miles on it and has other
non-engine problems, I am trying to avoid
spending money needlessly. If possible, I
would like to examine all the less expensive
possibilities first, ruling out everything but the
plugs before I "bite the bullet." (Around $400.)
     Could someone list all the other possibilities
that might be making this engine misfire on
multiple cylinders, and that could cause this
to occur suddenly?
     Many thanks for your help!

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Certified Mechanics/ Technicians

I am with a staffing agency that runs a technical service hotline to
help dealership techs solve difficult issues. We need to locate
interested techs with certifications to work on the hotline, do any of
you have suggestions of nontraditional ways to find expereinced techs?
Any input would be greatly appreciated or if you know someone that
would be interested in this type of opportunity feel free to contact

Rob Fleischhauer
800-359-2466  Ext:4512

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Lost my key for S10 chev pick up 2000 help?

I ordered a key from my dealership, it would open the door but won’t
start the ignition also won’t let me change the gear. I’m thinking of
dissabling the security device  that they say has a magnet that would
identify only my original key. I parked in a alternate parking and I
already receive two
ticket for not moving it. Need help ASAP
Any advice?

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Driving with the parking brake ON

I made a mistake and I drove my 2007 Toyota Corolla LE with parking
brake applied for approx  3-4 miles. ( with speed of 45 max)
I didnt feel anything other than the hold back, but when i was about
to park i could  feel a smell around the car.
I am not  sure, if i have done some damage?

thanks, Any inputs are appreciated.

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Frozen starter

My mazda protege went through a lot of water last week during a warm
spell. and i believe water got into the starter.
THe temperature has been bone chilling ever since.
My car won’t turn over in the morning, because it’s too cold.
But in the afternoon when the sun hits the engine for an hour or so,
it starts.
Any tips on how to dry out the starter?
I don’t have access to a heated garage.

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PCV valve question

I replace my PCV valve once a year whether it needs it or not. The last
changeout was around 6 months ago. Today I pulled the PCV valve out of the
hole that it plugs into in the valve cover and the engine did not rev up
like usual when the PCV valve is pulled out. I put my finger over the hole
on the bottom of the PCV valve and it was sucking air into the PCV valve.
However, when I pulled the PCV valve off of the rubber angle-shaped boot
that connects it to the hose that goes to the engine, the engine revved up
very much. I then wiped the PCV valve off, placed it into my mouth, and blew
into both ends. I was able to blow air through the PCV valve in both
directions, but I always thought that the PCV valve would not pass air both
directions. Am I correct about this? I shook the valve back and forth and I
could hear the plunger inside the PCV valve going back and forth as I was
shaking it. Although this is a fairly new valve, is it likely that it is
bad? This is on a 94 Corsica with a 6 cylinder engine.

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Changing antifreeze when changing water pump

I am going to change timing belt, tensioner pulley, water pump and
thermostat on my Nissan Quest 2001 following my mechanic’s
recommendations. He also recommends changing antifreeze when changing
water pump. Since i am supplying him all parts what kind of antifreeze
do i need and how much of it is needed?

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1999 Jetta spongy brakes after replacement

Hi all,
  This story might be a little involved, but basically it comes down
to me having spongy brakes.

I just had the front brake pads & rotors replaced, and since then,
I’ve had to apply more force than I’m used to to get the same response
from my brakes. I called the mechanic and said I thought it was air in
the line, but he said they didn’t open the brake line at all. Now, my
first question is: Could there still be any air in the brake line that
got introduced somehow?

Also, when I dropped the car off, it was a wet day, and it got really
cold that night. The mechanic said the next day when he drove the car
into the shop, he felt some resistance, so he checked the rear brakes
and had to "unstick the calipers".

So now the mechanic thinks the calipers are shot and stuck "open". Is
this possible? Is it likely that the calipers would need to be
replaced? I’m a little frustrated that the car came out of the shop
needing more repairs than when it went in. Could the mechanic have
damaged the calipers when he ‘unstuck’ them?

One other thing, the brake fluid is about due for flushing anyway.
Could dirty brake fluid be causing this?

Anyway, any additional diagnosis would be helpful. I’ll try to list
all the other things I’ve tried:

-Brakes spongy
-Parking brake still stops the car.
-Pumping brakes while car is on doesn’t seem to have much effect (but
I’m not 100% sure)
-Pedal depresses far – but not all the way to the floor.
-No weird smells or noises.
-Still need to check brake fluid levels.

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96 grand am 3.1 auto

Help, my grand am is not allowing me to have my keys back. it will let
you turn the engine off but not far enough to turn the daytime runnig
lights and instrument panel,fan and radio.
i tried shifting the car from park to drive a couple of times but it
doesnt always work.
any ideas?  i thought i heard a click when i was in park and my keys
come out ?
maybe i’m hearing tings..thanks,,paul

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Timing Effect on Oxygen Content

  Got a quick query.  How much effect does timing have on oxygen content?
I’m trying to dial in an engine and am using an O2 sensor.  It’s a small
block Chevy V8 and the sensor reads rich, which is very much what I’d
expected re: rich smell, fouled plugs, atrocious mileage.  The engine’s new
and the carb’s used but in excellent (visual) condition.
  The carb’s a 650cfm double pump Holley that’s in very new condition (used
but still in original box) but got it from my machinist who drag races.  The
jets indicate stock but who knows if somebody drilled them.  The
distributor’s a Mallory Comp 9000 and at this point who knows what the spark
curve’s set to.
  So, as I try to dial in the spark curve and fuel, I’m wondering, "Can the
timing curve significantly change O2?  Am I trying to dial in the wrong
system first?"
  Best Regards,

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