The Online Mechanic » Question and Answers

Automotive help for amateurs
Feb
08

I have replaced all 8 coils and spark plugs 1 by 1 in a day, #4 piston continues to mis-fire, i replaced that 1 coil and plug again, still got the same mis-fire, now the truck starts and only stays running if i hold down the gas pedal to about .5 – 1.5 rpm, if i let go the engine stalls out. I’m out of ideas, any suggestions?

It is a 1999 ford expedition  5.4  V8  automatic trans. 2 wheel drive.

Ford has at least two problems with the coils on these engines.  First check to see if there is any anti freeze dripping on the coil.  The heater hose runs right above #4 coil and if the clamp is loose or there is a hole in the hose it will drip on the coil and make it mis-fire.  Next check to see if the coil wire might be broken.  If you don’t find anything, have the vehicle scaned for any codes.  I think Auto Zone or a like auto parts store will do it for free.



Dec
03

I have a 1992 Chev. k1500 silverado. Frequently when I go to start it up the starter just spins a time or two before finally catching. I had the starter tested & it checked out ok @ the parts store. What should I check next?

Sounds like the bendix drive is not kicking in.  You can change just the bendix dtive or it is easier to just replace the starter. The temperature has a lot to do with it not engaging and that is probably why it worked ok at the parts store.



Nov
21

All you need to do to change the rear trans seal in a rear wheel drive car is to remove the drive shaft and get something to pry the seal out.  A large screw driver will do.



Sep
05

k 92 camery v6, car overheated cranks does not start. buddy said timming belt slipped replaced belt still does same thing. cylinder 1,4,6 has no psi # 2 has 60 psi can not reach 3,or 5. invested $500 in parts already. other freind said pore mavel oil in sparkplug thill it looses up and keep starting. SOS or SOL

 George:

I’m  afraid it is SOL.  From what you described you have a blown head gasket.  To be sure it would help if you could get psi readings on the other two cylinders.



Sep
04

 

 My rear transmission seal is leaking. How can I fix this myself?

All you need to do to change the rear trans seal in a rear wheel drive car is to remove the drive shaft and get something to pry the seal out.  A large screw driver will do.  On front wheel drive vechiles it is some what more complicated.  It would help to know what kind of vehicle you are driving.



Aug
26

I had a writer ask about the problem with oil slugg building up in Toyota’s V-6s.  My son is a Toyota Master Mechanic and he said that the problem is from lack of service and not a problem with the engine.  He said that if you service a Toyota V-6 as recommended you will not have any problems.



Aug
13

I got a neat e-mail from a blogger who had a clogged radiator.  He said that he blocked off the hose connections to the radiator and put a bottle of “The Works” bathroom toilet bowel cleaner in it and let it stand overnight.  Said it contains hydrocloric acid.  Said it cured his overheating problems.



Aug
06

Now, I have a question: I just bought a 1989 Mercury Tracer Sta. Wgn. It is overheating. On the open highway, it does not so much. But in town it slowly reaches boiling point.

A new water pump was put it just two years ago, so I doubt that this is the problem. The fans are all functioning properly. I just put a brand new thermostat in it–still kept overheating. It has a brand new, correct radiator cap. Coolant is at the right mixture. A shop just installed a new timing belt last year, so I don’t think it is jump timing.) I just got through retiming it, placing the timing at the manufacturers recommended mark, degree. (Seems the engine idles faster at this correct mark though.) I read the work order for the timing belt and the mechanic who replaced the timing belt suggested that the radiator may need rodded out. But it was left undone, I suppose because the previous owner did not want to sink more money into it. I did flush it out well, but still over heats. (The way I self tested to see if perhaps the radiator fins were clogged was this: 1. I drained the radiator 2. then I left the bottom drain valve wide open 3. I placed our garden hose in the radiator cap snout and turned it on full blast. A good pressurised stream of water issued from the wide open drain cock below, so I assume that the radiator fins are open and clear. But, perhaps not all of them are? If there are some open, then the pressurized hose water could possibly be diverted into the open rather than the shut ones? Does it sound like the radiator may be clogged? I would sure appreciate mutual help as diagnosing a car is the hardest part, the repairs being the easiest part.

 When the car has warmed up touch the radiator at different spots. If it is not uniformally warm and some areas are cooler than others then you could have a cloged radiator.

 



Mar
25

Comment:
i have a 1979 Jeep Cherokee .i just recently changed my alternator due to falty bearings, i checked the voltage before i changed the alternator and it was reading 14.35,i replaced the belts before i went out to buy one. and it still was squealling so i replaced the alternator  with a rebuilt one. and it only charged at 12.25 and it squealls very loudly. the battery was charged over night on a trickel charge and tested good, i adjusted the belts, but the tightest was the 12.25 reading. i took the ground wire off the battery and the squealling stoped but the reading from the alternator was 16.45. this is the second time i replaced it in two days with the same problem. my old alternator charged good but squealled, my two new alternators squeall and charged bad. could it just be two bad alternators? or a grounded wire?
    If this happens to you, check to see if you have an external voltage regulator. The new alternator could have over loaded the old one and caused it to malfunction. I have run into a situation where I replaced a rebuilt electrical part twice and both were bad but that would be rare. Also check to see if the wires were connected correctly and that you don’t have any bare wires touching.



Mar
18

Name: Ahmed | E-mail: ahmedas617@yahoo.com | IP: 193.133.99.236

I have a 2002 V6 30V Passat. It developed gear transmission problem.
Initially, the gear shifting was not smooth. Changing to second gear was abrupt and same when shifting to other gears. When vehicle is stopped and restarted, the shifting will be smooth, but as soon as car speed reaces about 40mph the same thing will come back.
However,it has worsen that when car is started it comes with a squeeky noise and when shifted into drive gear does not engage into drive gears, but will engage into reverse gear.

Ahmed: I would first check the transmission fluid level. If it gets low your trans will slip or not work at all. Start with that and if it is full it sounds like you have some problems inside your trans. The newer cars are using electrical cylinoids to shift the transmissions now and it sounds like you have one malfunctioning. I would suggest taking it to a trans shop (make sure you go to one where the mechanics are ASE certified) and have them scan your car for any transmission codes that have been set. Your car has a computer that keeps up with any problems that are going on including the trans. Any good shop will have a scan tool to check it for you. There is usually a small diagnostic fee but it would be better to check it first before letting someone sell you a new trans.