Monday, June 27, 2011

"Bumblebee" Edition Chevrolet Camaro Revealed -

Fanboys and girls in the U.S. have to wait another day or two to get their first look at “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” in theaters, but they can start salivating over Chevrolet’s latest Bumblebee-look Camaro today.
The appearance package includes black rally stripes that run the length of the car, a unique rear spoiler, black 20-inch wheels with Autobot logos and Autobot shields on the front fenders. The interior features yellow-stitched leather upholstery with logos on the front headrests and center console

Bumblebee Camaro

Chevrolet’s relationship with the Transformers franchise began with the release of the first film in the series in 2007, which featured a concept version of the Camaro in the role of Bumblebee, two years before the car entered production. The automaker first offered a Transformers edition Camaro in 2009 in concert with the release of “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” the same year that the fifth-generation of the model went on sale after a seven-year hiatus.

"Bumblebee" Edition Chevrolet Camaro Revealed -

Ceramic is better than metallic brake pads, In my honest opnion

Ceramic brake pads are popular with car owners that  want that like-new brake performance, they are quiet, long lasting, low dusting and provide safe sure stops. They handle heat much better than most nonasbestos organic (NAO) friction materials, and are quieter and kinder to rotors than most semi-metallic friction materials.

Ceramic brake pads first appeared in the early 90s. Some vehicle manufacturers began using ceramic-based disc brake pads in place of conventional semi-metallic pads to address customer complaints about brake noise, dust and wear. Many of these ceramic pads were supplied by Akebono Automotive Disc Brake Pads)
. Following the OEM lead, Raybestos Brakes, and other major aftermarket brake suppliers introduced their own ceramic-based friction materials. The aftermarket ceramic pads are designed to replace OEM ceramic disc brake pads and to upgrade brake performance on vehicles that were not originally equipped with ceramic-based pads.





Ceramic pads can be installed on any vehicle that is originally-equipped with OEM ceramic pads, or on vehicles that are equipped with Nonasbestos Organic (NAO) linings. Ceramic pads are NOT recommended to replace semi-metallic pads, especially on larger, heavier vehicles. On trucks and large SUVs, semi-metallic linings are typically needed to handle higher loads and braking temperatures.

It seems that almost every major aftermarket and original equipment brake supplier these days has some type of ceramic-based friction material in one of their product lines. Raybestos, one of the first aftermarket suppliers to offer a ceramic product, uses ceramics in their "Quiet Stop" line of premium disc brake pads. Akebono, a pioneer in the development of ceramic friction materials and leading OEM supplier of ceramic pads also sells an aftermarket version of their ceramic pads under various product lines. Bendix, who is best known for their "TitaniuMetallic" pads (which do not contain ceramics), also introduced a new line of ceramic pads a couple of years ago called "CF3." So is Bosch. Bosch Premium Pads have become Bosch Ceramic Pads. NAPA also sells ceramic pads under various names, including "Ceramix". ProMaster "Certanium" linings use a blend of ceramic and titanium fibers.

Why so much emphasis on ceramics? Because the aftermarket follows the original equipment market, and the domestic and Japanese OEMs have been using ceramic linings for years on many vehicles. One supplier estimated that some type of ceramic pad is now used on 50 to 60% of all late model vehicles. If you count only those applications that use "real" ceramic pads (those where ceramics are a primary ingredient), the figure drops to about 40%, but is still a significant portion of the new vehicle fleet.

The only domestic vehicle manufacturer who has not used much ceramics is Chrysler. They have not used ceramic pads on their domestic-made cars and trucks, but have been using ceramics on their Mitsubishi-made vehicles. However, starting in 2004, Chrysler switched to ceramic pads on certain models.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Honda P0420

Basic Diagnostics for A DTC P0420 On a Honda, is a trouble code on OBD-II equipped vehicles. All vehicles from 1996-newer sold in North America support this generic powertrain code. This code is a pretty common one and this site is here to help the average do-it-yourself (DIY) car owner (like you) troubleshoot, diagnose, and fix their vehicle themselves when presented with a P0420 code, saving money.
If your car has multiple trouble codes (DTC's), it's always a good idea to fix them in the order they come up on the code reader. For example, if you have these codes - P0300, P0420, P0171, then you're going to want to tackle the P0300 Random Misfire code first (resolve it), and then tackle the P0420 code, etc. The reason for that is that the first code could be causing further DTCs to be set.

If you've come to this site you most likely already know that you have a P0420 code. To start, we strongly recommend you seek the services of a professional mechanic/technician if you have any doubts as to whether you can perform the repair! Also, be sure to follow proper diagnostic procedures to determine whether a part has failed. If you simply change parts hoping it will solve the problem, you're really just guessing and wasting money. This site is here for information purposes only and is meant to help you learn more about the dtc and decide if you can tackle the repair yourself. It is not intended as car repair advice.

OK, so what does a P0420 code mean anyway?
As mentioned above, the code's description is Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1). OK, now tell me that again in plain English please.... let's break it down: the catalyst system being referred to is your three-way catalytic converter; so the catalytic converter is not working properly (i.e. it's not efficient). Bank 1 refers to the side of the engine which contains cylinder #1. On inline engines such as 4 & 5 cylinder engines, there is only one bank. So, to really simply things let's just say that the efficiency of the catalytic converter and/or exhaust pipe and/or O2 sensor is not so great.

There are no symptoms so why should I fix it?

So what is causing my P0420 code?

There are a number of things that could be causing this p0420 catalyst efficiency code. The most common thing is the catalytic converter itself is no longer functioning properly. The other likely thing is the rear O2 (oxygen) sensor is no longer working properly. Other things could include exhaust leaks, damaged exhaust pipes, damaged O2 sensor wiring/connectors, plugged catalytic converter, etc.

OK, so I want to diagnose things, what do I do next?

The easiest thing to do first is a visual check of things. Visually inspect the exhaust system for leaks, check the catalytic converter for dents, holes, severe discoloration, and check for a rattle inside. If any of those syptoms are there, the converter likely needs replacement. Then, visually inspect the downstream O2 sensor (behind the converter). Check for broken wires, obvious faults, etc. If all that checks out, you'll want to check the operation of the O2 sensor. To do that, you'll need access to a scan tool or oscilliscope. Check that the waveform is pretty steady. If the reading fluctuates then the sensor is likely bad and will need to be replaced.
On some vehicles such as some Subaru models an ECM reflash will fix the problem. As you can see a P0420 can be caused by many things, so if you have any doubts as to whether you can fix the problem yourself, please seek the advice of a professional technician. Good luck with your honda.

 A P0420 code will cause no symptoms aside from the MIL (malfunction indicator light) will illuminate. The reality is there is still something wrong and your Honda needs attention in order to be in excellent running condition. A poorly maintained Honda will run less efficiently, burn more gas, and cost you more money in the long run. Plus, if your check engine light is on for a P0420 code and you decide not to fix it, another more serious code could be triggered and you'd never know. The MIL lights up whether you have one code or ten! While I have your attention, don't forget to do oil changes as the owner's manual schedules and keep those tires on your Honda inflated to the proper PSI.

Ford F-150 Lariat, P0300, P0304, P0305, P0308

Basic diagnostic procedured for Trouble code P0300, P0304, P0305, P0308

VEHICLE: 2005 Ford F-150 Lariat 5.4L, V8, MFI, SOHC, VIN 5, Eng Desg -, Eng Version Triton
MILEAGE: 101000

Concern: After the engine reaches operating temperature it loses power and misfires and backfires through the intake on hard acceleration.
The Powertrain Control Module (PCM) set Keep Alive Memory (KAM) codes P0300, P0304, P0305, P0308, and P0420.
Fuel pressure is staying between 35-55 psi all the time.

1. Remove and inspect the condition of several spark plugs. If the spark plugs are worn from excessive usage, replace the entire set of spark plugs and plug boots. Use the guidance of TSB 08-07-06 to remove the spark plugs with the greatest success of plug removal without breakage.
2. Check the output of the Coil-On-Plug (COP) units on the cylinders denoted by misfire codes by installing a spark tester between the COP unit and ground with a 3/4-1" air gap to verify that the COPs will produce a strong and consistent spark with a bright bluish color. Replace any suspect COP unit.
3. If replacement of the spark plugs and any suspect COP unit results in the continued recurrence of engine misfire and backfire, check the exhaust backpressure for an indication of a restricted catalytic converter. Replace the converter(s) as needed.

Potential Causes:
Worn Spark Plug(s)
Spark Plug Boot(s)
Defective Coil On Plug(s) (COP)
Restricted Catalytic Converter

Confirmed Fix:
Replaced Spark Plug(s)
Replaced Coil On Plug(s) (COP): A couple of COP units were failing.
Replaced Catalytic Converter(s): The driver's side converter was restricting flow.

Ford F-150 Lariat, P0300, P0304, P0305, P0308

Isuzu Trooper Limited 3.5L, Trouble code P0401

Basic Diagnostic procedures for, Isuzu Trooper Limited 3.5L, Trouble code P0401

1. Command the Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) valve open at idle and see that it kills the engine. If it doesn't, the EGR valve may be sticking or the EGR passages in the intake manifold may be plugged up.
2. Unbolt the throttle body to be able to access the EGR tube, use a coat hanger to clean out the tube.

Potential Causes:
Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Valve
Plugged Passages
Confirmed Fix:

Cleaned Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Passages

Tech Tips:
These engines also suffer from oil consumption. This adds to the problem of the Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system plugging up.

Isuzu Trooper Limited 3.5L, Trouble code P0401

Dodge Ram 1500 Trouble code P2317, insufficient ionization.

Basic diagnostic procedures for Trouble Code P2317:

VEHICLE: 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 Truck ST 4.7L, V8, MFI, SOHC, VIN N, Eng Desg -, Eng Version Power-Tech, 287 CID

MILEAGE: 108818

Trouble code P2317 for #6 coil, insufficient ionization.

1. Inspect the spark plugs for correct application, there should be platinum spark plugs installed. Inspect the spark plugs for any signs of misfiring, such as carbon tracking on the spark plug insulator or the coil boot. Inspect for cracked spark plugs or incorrect gap. Inspect for any kind of fouling on the spark plugs. Replace the spark plugs or the coils as needed.
2. Verify the wiring is not shorted to ground from the coils to the Powertrain Control Module (PCM). If the wiring is OK then the problem is a bad PCM. Be aware that this PCM comes blank and needs to be flashed for it to run after replacement.

Potential Causes:
Powertrain Control Module (PCM)

Confirmed Fix: Replaced Powertrain Control Module (PCM)

Dodge Ram 1500 Trouble code P2317, insufficient ionization.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Chevrolet Cobalt Photos, Prices, Reviews, Specs - The Car Connection

"The Chevrolet Cobalt is a compact car introduced by General Motors back in 2004 for the 2005 model year. It replaced the previous Cavalier and Prizm models in Chevrolet’s lineup and comes in both coupe and sedan bodystyles. The Cobalt shares its front-wheel drive Delta platform with several vehicles in the GM fleet, including the Chevrolet HHR and the former Pontiac G5 and Saturn Astra."

2011 Mazda3 Reviews, Pictures and Prices - U.S. News Rankings and Reviews

"Mazda3 - What the Auto Press Says

The 2011 Mazda3 ranks 8 out of 33 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 41 published reviews and test drives of the Mazda3, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

Reviewers give the 2011 Mazda3 a thumbs up for its high performance and nice interior, but many grimace at its smiling front grill. If you’re willing to ignore the Mazda3’s toothless grin, it’s a great option that provides a touch of sass at an affordable price.

Because the Mazda3 was just redesigned for 2010, the 2011 Mazda3 is almost identical to the 2010. Los Angeles Times explains, “That means you shouldn't expect any significant changes until 2013, when Mazda should freshen the front and rear styling to regenerate interest in the Mazda3 for the last two or three years of the current model's life cycle.” Reviewers agree that the Mazda3 maintains its reputation as a zippy, fun car with a high-quality feel that appeals to buyers who want a touch of sass in their commute but also want to stick to a budget."

Antiques Rev Up Truck Lovers at Annual Show -

The 32nd annual Antique Truck Club of America show is under way in Macungie, Pa., with more than 10,000 truck enthusiasts from all over the world expected to marvel at the magnificent antique commercial vehicles on display throughout the weekend.
"This is the greatest antique truck show in the world," club director Doug Maney boasted. "We have everything that a truck enthusiast would want, variations of models and years of trucks. We also have a big swap meet where truck lovers can find anything they want for their restoration projects, but what it all comes down to is the people."
Antiques Rev Up Truck Lovers at Annual Show -

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Brawls break out at michigan car dealerships

Two Wayland Chevrolet employees fight outside the car dealership after finding out they were losing their jobs.

Three alcohol-fueled fights erupted at a Michigan auto dealership last week on the day employees were told the business was closing, another sign of a community on edge as it tries to deal with the flailing economy.

The first brawl took place outside Wayland Chevrolet at about 1 p.m. on Friday after several employees visited a bar. Police were alerted to the dispute, but it was broken up before they got there, Wayland Police Chief Dan Miller told

"Had they been sober, this probably wouldn’t have happened," Miller said.

Local news station WWMT-TV captured the second altercation at about 2 p.m. The video shows a scuffle, with employee Jason Stanton knocking another worker to the ground outside the dealership.

Click here to watch the video of the fight.

Later, Stanton explained what set him off.

"Does it matter how hard you work, because there is somebody a little bit above you that has the right to control every decision and every effort you put forward, don't you have a right to be a little bit mad when somebody says hey we're all done?" Stanton asked WWMT-TV. "It's terrible, horrible."

The third fight followed an incident between two salesmen at a pizza restaurant next door.

Wayland Chevrolet blames the shutdown on the downturn in the auto industry and the scheduled closing of General Motors Corp.'s metal stamping factory this year in the Grand Rapids suburb of Wyoming.

"I think people are just on edge," Miller said. It’s unfortunate, but it just adds insult to injury when they go out and get intoxicated."

Miller said disorderly conduct and assault charges are possible while they try to identify the employees involved.

The dealership employed about 30 people

Friday, June 17, 2011

Lincoln Town car air suspension and why it fails

The Lincoln Town Car's air suspension uses a small, separate air compressor under the driver’s side left fenderwell, and air lines run to the air bags. On top of each air bag is a electrical valve that serves as a relief valve that allows air to be exhausted when activated. The valve senses the amount of air pressure within the air bag to keep both sides equal. These valves are operated via a leveling sensor that is attached to the body of the car and to the rear axle by a movable arm. When the rear of the car drops because of an increased load, the arm is pushed up, turning on the air compressor and filling the air bags to level the car. When the load is removed and the arm moves down, indicating that the back of the car has risen, the sensor opens the valve on the air bags and allows air to escape, lowering the car.

Air-Suspension Switch

If the back of the Lincoln Towncar is low, indicating that the air suspension is not working, and the air suspension light is on, check the fuse. If the fuse is all right, make sure the air-suspension switch in the trunk is on. This switch is used when the car is in for service. Always turn off the switch before lifting the car, because the sensor will think the car is rising and keep the air bag valves open, ruining the rear air suspension.

Switch Terminals

Turn the ignition key with the engine off, and listen for the compressor to come on while pushing down on the rear bumper. If it does not come on, test the switch terminals for power with a circuit tester. If one terminal has power and the other does not, replace the switch.

If there is power, turn the switch to the "Off" position, raise the vehicle and place it on jack stands in the rear. Inspect the leveling switch on the axle, making sure it is not bent and is connected. Use an ohmmeter for this test. Pull the electrical connector off the switch. Loosen the arm of the switch from the axle. Test the switch with the ohmmeter by checking across both terminals while slowly moving the arm. There should be no continuity with the arm down. As the arm is raised, there should be continuity. If not, replace the switch. If there was continuity, connect the arm and the electrical connector.

Check for Power

Put a floor jack under the axle and raise the axle so it is just beginning to lift the car off the jack stand. Turn on the ignition. Turn the air suspension switch to the "On" position. Use the circuit tester to check for power at the leveling switch. If there is power, turn the air-suspension switch to "Off" and lower the car.

Access the air compressor in the front, under the hood, and check the electrical connector for power. If there is power, check for a good ground. If both are good, replace the compressor. If the compressor works and the car does not rise in the back, replace the air bags

Thursday, June 16, 2011

GMC Envoy Denali

GMC Envoy will not start/ crank over. Trouble codes P0121, P1516, P2101, P2135 and P2176 are present.
Already tested voltage at the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) C1 Blue connector terminal 51 Orange/Black wire from the park/neutral switch, battery voltage Key On, Engine Off (KOEO) and cranking. Tested voltage backprobed at the PCM C1 terminal 52 Purple wire, battery voltage in the crank position.

Further Tests:

1. Test voltage backprobed at the PCM C1 terminal 13 Yellow/Black wire starter relay control. Should be battery voltage KOEO, ground when cranking.

2. If the voltage stays high during crank, test the PCM powers/grounds.

3. Check the Transmission Range (TR) switch status with a scan tool. It must indicate Park or Neutral for the engine to start.

4. Check the Vehicle Theft Deterrent (VTD) Fuel Disable status with a scan tool. If it displays “active” during crank, check for theft deterrent system trouble codes.

5. Unplug the throttle body. If the engine now cranks, troubleshoot the throttle body DTC's.

Potential Causes:

Powertrain Control Module (PCM)

Park Neutral Position (PNP) Switch

Throttle Body

Confirmed Fix:

Replaced Throttle Body

Tech Tips:

G108 is located on the lower left side of the engine block, near the front of the engine.
I hope this helps get your GMC Envoy back on the road

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Reset the Tire Pressure Monitoring Sensor on a Cadillac.

After rotating the tires the dash display no longer indicates when a tire is low. The owner's manual says the computer must be reset, but doesn't tell how.

Here’s how, straight from the shop manual:
Tire Pressure Monitoring Sensor Programming

    * Tool Required
    * J 41760 Tire Pressure Monitor (TPM) Programming Tool.

The Tire Pressure Monitor (TPM) system interfaces with the Instrument Panel Cluster (IPC) , Dash Integration Module (DIM) , and the Remoter Control Door Lock Receiver (RCDLR) via a class 2 serial data circuit to perform the sensor programming procedure. Once the program mode is accessed through the RCDLR, each sensor's unique identification code can be programmed into the RCDLR's memory. Each sensor must transmit it's ID code in the proper sequence in order for the TPM system to know the sensors location. A magnet must be held close to the sensor in order to force the sensor to transmit it's ID code. Once the RCDLR has received a sensors ID code a message is sent out on a class 2 serial data line to the DIM to sound a horn chirp, indicating that the sensor transmitted and the RCDLC received the ID code. If the programming sequence is cancelled before any sensor is programmed, the RCDLR will remember all current ID codes. As soon as the RCDLR learns the first sensor's ID code, all previously stored ID codes are erased from the RCDLR's memory. Loss of, or low vehicle battery voltage will cause the sensor ID codes to be erased from the RCDLR's memory. Before proceeding with the steps below, ensure the TPM option is enabled in the RCDLR and IPC.


   1. Turn ON the ignition, with the engine OFF. Important: If the sensor programming mode cannot be activated, ensure the TPM option is enabled in the RCDLR and the IPC as mentioned in the above supporting text.
   2. Press the key fob lock and unlock buttons simultaneously for several seconds. A horn chirp will sound indicating the sensor programming mode is activated. Important: If the horn chirp does not sound after 15 seconds, remove then replace the sensor programming tool over the valve stem.
   3. Starting with the left front tire, place the J 41760 over the left front valve stem, a horn chirp will sound indicating the sensor's ID code has been programmed.
   4. When the horn chirp sounds, proceed to program the next sensors in the following order:

          o Right front
          o Right rear
          o Left rear

   5. After the left rear sensor is programmed, the horn chirp will sound twice to indicate programming is complete.

Programming Cancellation
The programming mode will be cancelled if any of the following conditions are met:

    * The ignition is turned OFF.
    * All four sensors have been programmed.
    * The TPM system has been in the program mode for longer than 5 minutes and no sensors have been programmed.
    * If more then one minute has passed before the next sensor is programmed, all previously stored codes are erased from the receiver's memory.
    * Vehicle battery voltage is below 8 volts.
And that special tool isn’t that special—it’s just a big magnet. You can probably get one powerful enough at Radio Shack.

Should use nitrogen or air in my car tires?

If I use nitrogen in my car tires instead of air, will my tires last longer? Will I get better gas mileage? Will I get a smoother ride?

There are several compelling reasons to use pure nitrogen in tires.

First is that nitrogen is less likely to migrate through tire rubber than is oxygen, which means that your tire pressures will remain more stable over the long term. Racers figured out pretty quickly that tires filled with nitrogen rather than air also exhibit less pressure change with temperature swings. That means more consistent inflation pressures during a race as the tires heat up. And when you're tweaking a race car's handling with half-psi changes, that's important.

Passenger cars can also benefit from the more stable pressures. But there's more: Humidity (water) is a Bad Thing to have inside a tire. Water, present as a vapor or even as a liquid in a tire, causes more of a pressure change with temperature swings than dry air does. It also promotes corrosion of the steel or aluminum rim.

If I ever need to top off a tire when I'm out on the road, I'll always briefly depress the tire chuck's valve with my thumbnail and vent some air. If my thumb gets wet, there's water in the line. Some gas stations don't do a very good job of keeping the humidity out of their air system. I don't even like to use a water-based tire-mounting lubricant unless I can let the tire bake in the sun for a couple of hours before I air it up and seat the bead. I've dismounted tires (not mine) that had several quarts of water inside—probably from a compressed-air hose that collected water and was never purged properly.

How is water relevant to a nitrogen discussion? Any system that delivers pure nitrogen is also going to deliver dry nitrogen. Filling tires with nitrogen involves filling and purging several times in succession, serially diluting the concentration of oxygen in the tire. This will also remove any water.

It's certainly simple, although time-consuming, for a tire technician to fill and bleed tires. But most shops use a machine that not only generates almost pure nitrogen by straining the oxygen out of shop-compressed air, but will also automatically go through several purge cycles unattended. Some shops have been charging as much as $30 per tire for this service. I think that's too much. If you're buying a new tire, it should be far less. Still, the nitrogen generator, filling system and technician's time aren't free—the dealer is entitled to some return for that.

So, to answer your specific questions: With nitrogen, your tire pressures will remain more constant, saving you a small amount in fuel and tire-maintenance costs. There will be less moisture inside your tires, meaning less corrosion on your wheels. You will not be able to feel any difference in the ride or handling or braking, unless your tire pressures were seriously out of spec and changing to nitrogen brought them back to the proper numbers.

In my personal opinionI run nitrogen in my tires, but only because it is free for me to do. As far as I can see in comparison between air and nitrogen the temperature fluctuation is nearly the same. It has been this way on many of my vehicles. It is also inconvenient to find a place to fill your tires that isn't going to charge you. I do believe that the tire used depends on how well it works. My truck tires would stay at the same pressure during a 3 month period. My car tires will drop pressure as normal with no leaks. If you take care of you car on a regular basis nitrogen won't be of much benefit due to the cost. Plus there is already 78% nitrogen in air.

Corvette at LeMans?

Le Mans 2011: The Chevy Corvette Faces Its Toughest Challenge Yet

Located 90 minutes outside of Paris via high-speed rail, Circuit de la Sarthe is home to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, firing up this weekend. In this day-long torture test of incredible machines, we're watching the sole American entry: the Chevy Corvette that's trying to beat the big boys of Europe.

24 Hours of Le Mans

The 24 Hours of Le Mans holds a special place in the world of motorsports. The Circuit de la Sarthe is so huge that it easily accommodates up 300,000 spectators from across Europe. The atmosphere is carnival-like, but the bread, cheese and wine is superior (akin to eating bratwurst at Road America). The rivalries and history are what make the action so special at Le Mans. In the 1920s, it was Bentley versus Bugatti versus Alfa Romeo. Jumping to the 1960s, it was Ford versus Ferrari. Porsche dominated the 1970s, fending off challenges from Renault and Matra-Simca. Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and Mazda duked it out through the '80s and early '90s, with McClaren and Panoz shaking things up after that.

Read more: Le Mans 2011 - The Chevy Corvette Faces Its Toughest Challenge Yet - Popular Mechanics

Are SUV's safer than a regular car?

If you drive an SUV, you know that part of their allure is the feeling of safety they provide. Even compact SUVs can seem studier than their shorter, svelter car cousins. But studies haven't supported that impression of safety with facts -- until now. 
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has compiled data from auto accidents occurring on U.S. roads between 2006 and 2009. The major finding? Fatality rates for SUV drivers were significantly lower than for drivers of other models. How significantly? About 50% SUV's are safer than regular cars. 

Read more:

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Kia Sedona oil light will not go out

VEHICLE: 2006 Kia Sedona LX 3.8L, V6, MFI, DOHC, VIN -, Eng Desg -

MILEAGE: 140000

Customer Concern: Performed an oil change and now the oil light is on when the vehicle is running.


1. Verify that there is a strainer tube that snaps into the filter cap and goes down through the oil filter cartridge into the engine. The port in the bottom of the strainer tube has a small o-ring where it fits into the engine. It is common for this tube to get stuck in the oil filter when the filter cap is removed and it is commonly thrown away with the old filter.

Potential Causes: Oil Filter Cap

Confirmed Fix: Replaced Oil Filter Cap: The inner piece that attaches to the bottom of the cap was missing.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Jeep Cherokee Limited Will not start, cant read codes

VEHICLE: 1999 Jeep Cherokee Limited 4.0L, L6, MFI, OHV, VIN S, Eng Desg -

MILEAGE: 100000

Customer Concern: No start, no communication with the scan tool.


1. Test powers and grounds at the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) on the C1 connector. Pins 2 and 22 are power, then check pins 31 and 32 for ground.

2. Then test the 5 volt power supplies at pin 17 of the C140 connector and pin 31 of the C141 connector, for shorts to ground. Sensors on the circuit are the Cam Angle Sensor (CMP), Crank Angle Sensor (CKP), Throttle Position Sensor (TPS), Manifold Absolute Pressure Sensor (MAP) and Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS).

3. Unplug the sensors on the 5 volt power supply, one at a time, while monitoring the 5 volt supply.

4. When the shorted sensor is unplugged, the PCM will wake up and scan tool communication will return after the key is cycled.

Potential Causes:

Powertrain Control Module (PCM)

Camshaft Position Sensor (CMP)

Crankshaft Position Sensor (CKP)

Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) Sensor

Throttle Position Sensor (TPS)

Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS)


Confirmed Fix: Replaced Crankshaft Position (CKP) Sensor

Tech Tips: The wiring harness could also be shorted to ground on one of the 5 volt power supply wires. Cut the wires at the PCM on pins C140-17 and C141-31, then check for the 5 volts on the PCM of the connector or check for any continuity to ground with the sensors unplugged at the PCM connector on C140-17 and C141-31 to check the wiring harness.
Jeep Cherokee Limited 4.0L will not start

Volvo s40 check engine light, P0013

Volvo s40 check engine light is on and after scanning for codes, we found a P0013 engine code. Read on to learn of some potential fixes.

VEHICLE: 2000 Volvo S40 Base 1.9L, L4, MFI, DOHC, VIN 25, Eng Desg B4204T

MILEAGE: 104000

Customer Concern: Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) is on with code P0013.


1. Remove the spark plug cover and inspect the wiring underneath the cover. Ensure there are no pinched wires.

2. Check for power at the camshaft reset valve with the engine running.

3. Check resistance of the valve. There should be about 7 ohms of resistance.

Potential Causes: Cam Reset Valve


Confirmed Fix: Repaired Camshaft Reset Valve Wiring: The wiring was broken under the spark plug cover.

Tech Tips: The code definition is signal missing, indicating a electrical malfunction of the valve or circuit.

Chevy Colorado Blower motor does not work

A customer came in with a Chevy Colorado and the blower motor does not work. Now, electrical problems can be really tricky, so I put our best tech on this one.

Chevy Colorado Blower motor does not work.

VEHICLE: 2008 Chevrolet Colorado LT 3.7L, L5, MFI, DOHC, VIN E, Eng Desg -

MILEAGE: 66457

Customer Concern: Blower motor is inoperative. There is power to the motor.


1. At the blower motor, ground the Orange wire and see if the blower motor will come on.

2. If the blower motor works, check ground G106 located right side inner fender behind air cleaner.

3. If the ground is good, check for poor connections at the blower control switch on the climate control panel.

Potential Causes: Blower Motor

Blower Switch Circuit

Ground G106

Confirmed Fix: Repaired Ground G106

Monday, June 6, 2011

Ford Ranger, P0304 injector code

When 1 of our techs pulled a code P0304 on a ’99 Ford Ranger, he had the right idea by replacing a bad #4 Fuel Injector  with a new one. But when that didn’t fix it, he was able to uncovere a small detail that was overlooked and put this Ranger back into active duty.

After learning that the vehicle had a 3.0L flexible fuel engine, we saw that the new injector was for a 3.0L gasoline engine which caused the lean condition on cylinder #4. With the correct injector installed, our tech was able to make the necessary steps to correct the problem.

VEHICLE: 1999 Ford Ranger XLT 3.0L, V6, MFI, OHV, VIN V, Eng Desg -

MILEAGE: 169000

Customer Concern: The Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) keeps coming on with a trouble code P0304 in memory. It has a new #4 Fuel Injector , a new spark plug, spark plug wire, and also tried a new coil pack. Swapped the spark plug and spark plug wire with other cylinders and the trouble code stayed the same. Cranking compression is 150 PSI, the same as the other cylinders.


1. Since this is a flexible fuel engine, verify that the Fuel Injector  that was installed is the correct injector for a flexible fuel engine. An injector for a regular 3.0L engine will not deliver as much fuel as the correct injector, and will cause a lean condition on cylinder #4. If in doubt, swap the injector to another cylinder, and see if the miss follows.

Potential Causes: Incorrect Fuel Injector

Confirmed Fix: Installed Fuel Injector(s)