Aug 082017
 

Ford Focus

My steering wheel is knocking

My steering wheel is knocking. It feel’s like a finger on a clock stuck on the same number when a battery is low. And I hear a slight knocking. Also it steers to the right if I let go of the wheel.


Sounds like a tire issue. Possibly a busted belt in one of the tires. A cheap way to test for this would be to rotate the front tires to the back. Then test drive and see if the steering wheel straightens out. You should also feel the problem move toward the back and may feel the back end wiggle. The fix would be to replace the faulty tire.

How could this happen?

Normal everyday driving with the streets riddled with potholes can become the cause quickly. Older more worn tires are more prone to see issues as compared to new tires.

Aug 062017
 

2003 Ford Tarus

A/C stopped working

My Taurus’ A/C stopped working, and there is a grinding noise under the hood whether the A/C is on or off. If it were a damaged A/C compressor, wouldn’t the noise only be there when the A/C is turned on? What else could it be?


This sounds like a classic description of a failed air conditioning compressor clutch. Your engine has one Serpentine Drive Belt that runs all the accessories including the air conditioning.

What does that mean?

The belt wraps around and spins all the components on the front of the engine including the air conditioning compressor. Even when the compressor is not engaged(turned on) the outer portion of the clutch is still being rotated. When the clutch bearing goes out it causes a noise when rotating.

Air Conditioning Compressor

How can I check the air conditioning compressor myself?

Since we know the belt has to be spinning we can remove it. Remove the belt and start the engine. Only allow the engine to run long enough to confirm the noise is no longer heard.

Serpentine Belt Removal and Installation

    • Using a commercially available serpentine belt tool such as OTC 7644 or equivalent, rotate the accessory drive belt tensioner clockwise and remove the accessory drive belt.

serpentine belt 2003 Ford Taurus image

  • To install, reverse the removal procedure.

Serpentine Belt Tool Kit

 

  • Serpentine Belt Tool Kit Designed to assist with the removal and installation of serpentine belts
  • Applications include, but not limited to Ford, GM, Chrysler, SAAB, VW and Volvo
  • Includes long rubberized handle and seven shallow 18mm, 16mm, 15mm, 14mm, 13mm, 1/2″ 3/8″ sockets

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Jul 202017
 

2003 Ford Escape

No spark

No spark. My camshaft position sensor and crankshaft position sensor are good. I test no power at coil packs. I checked fuses and  not sure how to proceed from here.


According to the chart it would appear the next step would be to look at the ignition system wiring, voltage regulator.

The PCM controls sends the voltage to the ignition coils. Maybe the signal wires from the sensors or the wires coming from the PCM or the PCM itself.

Ignition Coil Wiring Diagram 2003 Ford Escape

2003-ford-escape-engine-controls-1-of-4
Jul 142017
 

2000 Ford F150

Starting problems

I’m having starting problems. It cranks over just fine but will not fire. This has happened 4 times in the last 3 years. After letting it sit over night, it will fire right up as if nothing had been wrong.
I’ve tried doing the following with no positive results;

1. Sprayed starting fluid in the intake while cranking the engine.
2. Tried locking/unlocking the door to see if it was a security/anti-theft issue.
3. Installed a new battery.
4. Installed a new fuel filter.
5. The ignition key is the chip type, so I tried using my spare key.
6. Disconnected the battery then reconnected it after a couple minutes.
Please help me resolve the problem.


Is the check engine light on?

First if there is a check engine light on it would be the best place to start. Pull any codes and post them below in the comments. For now we will assume the check engine light is not illuminated. Next we need to determine what the engine is not getting when it will not start.

Once we know what the engine isn’t getting we can concentrate on the “Why” of your starting problems. Since you tried spraying starting fluid in the engine and got nothing there is a good chance you do not have spark. This would be a common cause for starting problems. We can check for spark and confirm this with a spark tester.

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Engine Ignition

The ignition system consists of the following:
The ignition system is:
  • an electronic distributorless ignition system (EDIS) controlled by an electronic engine control (EEC) integrated into the powertrain control module (PCM).
  • set at 10 degrees before top dead center (BTDC) for base timing and it is not adjustable.
The ignition coil :
  • changes low voltage pulses from the powertrain control module to high voltage pulses.
  • sends high voltage pulses to the spark plugs through the spark plug wires.
  • has three transformers.
  • has six spark plug wires, one to each end of each transformer.
  • is mounted on top of the intake manifold.

Spark plug wires carry high voltage pulses from the ignition coil to the spark plugs.

The spark plugs:
  • change high voltage pulses to spark at gap which ignites fuel and air mixture.
  • have a platinum-enhanced active electrode for long life. The active electrode is different for LH and RH sides.

Original spark plugs on the RH side (cylinders 1, 2 and 3) spark plugs are AGSF-34EG.

Original spark plugs on the LH side (cylinders 4, 5 and 6) are AGSF-34E.

Replacement spark plugs are AGSF-34EE; the electrodes are platinum-enhanced and can replace either a RH or LH spark plug.

The crankshaft position (CKP) sensor:
  • is a variable-reluctance sensor.
  • senses a missing tooth on crankshaft damper pulse ring.
  • generates a crankshaft position signal which is sent to the powertrain control module. The powertrain control module counts this signal for engine rpm and spark advance.
Jul 052017
 

 Ford Focus

How to release air pressure from my air conditioner?

I’m wondering how to release air pressure from my air conditioner? I was told that I have too much which is making my air blow out hot air.  It is a 2011 Ford Focus. Thank you…


You will need to have this done with an air conditioning recovery machine. Just about any local auto repair shop will have one of these.

Overfilling the air conditioning system is more common than you might think. This happens even more often on newer vehicles. The newer air conditioning systems only require a small amount of Freon making it easier to overfill. Older vehicles used to requires as much as 4 to 5 lbs. Nowadays you will see 1 to 1/5 lbs.

Freon Fill Capacity – 2011 Ford Focus

R-134a Refrigerant 0.51 kg(18 oz)(1.12 lb)

Air Conditioning (A/C) System Recovery, Evacuation and Charging

  1. Prior to recovering, the purity of the refrigerant must be verified.
  2. Connect a R-134a Refrigerant Management Machine to the low- and high-pressure service gauge port valves following the operating instructions provided by the equipment manufacturer.
  3. Recover the refrigerant from the system following the operating instructions provided by the equipment manufacturer. Note the amount of oil removed during the refrigerant recovery (if any). Add that same amount back into the system once repairs are complete.
  4. Once the R-134a Refrigerant Management Machine has recovered the refrigerant, switch OFF the power supply.
  5. Allow the system to set for about 2 minutes, and observe the system vacuum reading. If the vacuum is not lost, disconnect the recovery equipment.
  6. If the system does lose vacuum, repeat Steps 3 through 5 until the vacuum level remains stable for 2 minutes.
  7. Carry out the required repairs.

Refrigerant System Evacuation Using a R-134a Refrigerant Management Machine

  1. Connect a R-134a Refrigerant Management Machine to the low- and high-pressure service gauge port valves following the operating instructions provided by the equipment manufacturer.
  2. Evacuate the system until the low-pressure gauge reads at least 99.4 kPa (29.5 in-Hg) of vacuum and as close to 101.1 kPa (30 in-Hg) as possible. Continue to operate the Vacuum Pump for a minimum of 45 minutes.
  3. Turn OFF the Vacuum Pump. Observe the low-pressure gauge for 5 minutes to make sure that the system vacuum is held.

Refrigerant System Evacuation Using a R-134a Manifold Gauge Set and Vacuum Pump

NOTE: Leaks in refrigerant system service equipment, hoses or gauges can cause a leak in vacuum that may be misinterpreted as a problem with the vehicle’s refrigerant system. It is necessary to leak-test all refrigerant system service equipment, hoses and gauges on a weekly basis to verify that no leaks are present.

  1. Connect the R-134a Manifold Gauge Set to the low-side and high-side service gauge port valves.
  2. Connect the center (yellow) hose from the R-134a Manifold Gauge Set to the suction port on the Vacuum Pump.
  3. Open all valves on the R-134a Manifold Gauge Set and both service gauge port valves.
  4. Turn on the Vacuum Pump and evacuate the system until the low-pressure gauge reads at least 99.4 kPa (29.5 in-Hg) of vacuum and as close to 101.1 kPa (30 in-Hg) as possible. Continue to operate the Vacuum Pump for a minimum of 45 minutes.
  5. Close the high-side and low-side valves on the R-134a Manifold Gauge Set (not the service gauge port valves) and turn OFF the Vacuum Pump.
  6. Observe the low-pressure gauge for 5 minutes to make sure that the system vacuum is held. If vacuum is not held for 5 minutes, leak test the system, repair the leak and evacuate the system again.

Refrigerant System Charging Using a R-134a Refrigerant Management Machine

  1. Lubricate the refrigerant system with the correct amount of clean PAG oil.
  2. Connect a R-134a Refrigerant Management Machine to the low-side and high-side service gauge port valves following the operating instructions provided by the equipment manufacturer.
  3. Set the refrigerant charge amount, and charge the refrigerant system following the instructions provided by the equipment manufacturer.

Refrigerant System Charging Using a R-134a Manifold Gauge Set and Automatic Refrigerant Charging Meter

NOTE: Ford Motor Company recommends use of a R-134a Refrigerant Management Machine to carry out charging of the refrigerant system. If a R-134a Refrigerant Management Machine is not available, refrigerant system charging may be accomplished using a separate Automatic Refrigerant Charging Meter and R-134a Manifold Gauge Set.

  1. Lubricate the refrigerant system with the correct amount of clean PAG oil.
  2. Assemble the R-134a Manifold Gauge Set, Automatic Refrigerant Charging Meter and R-134a supply tank following the Automatic Refrigerant Charging Meter operating instructions.
  3. Charge the refrigerant system following the Automatic Refrigerant Charging Meter operating instructions.
  4. If the refrigerant flow stops before the refrigerant charge is complete, start the engine, select MAX A/C operation and allow the refrigerant charge to complete.

 

Jul 032017
 

Ford Escort

Engine dies when hot

Good Day -Please I need help on a 1984 Ford Escort 1.6 GLE
Car will switch off when hot and struggles to start. After a few minutes will start.  I have redone Weber carburetor, changed HT Leads, redone distributor, put on new timing belt, Timing is right, new plugs, new petrol pump, new coil, new fuel filter …. What can be the issue?


When the engine will not start is the best time to perform diagnostics. You will want to determine what you are not getting. An engine needs four things in order to run so once you figure that out you can concentrate on that area.

4 things required to make a car engine run

  1. Spark
  2. Fuel
  3. Compression – Perform a compression test
  4. Timing

Your engine runs once it starts so that rules out compression or timing as the problem. So we are left with fuel and spark to look at.  The next time it won’t start, spray some starting fluid in the air filter and see if it tries to start. If not you are most likely looking at an electrical issue related to not getting spark.

If you find it wants to run on the starting fluid you will need to concentrate on the fuel system. Check for adequate fuel pressure and carburetor float level.

Jun 262017
 

 Ford FocusStarter will not turn

While driving, car shut itself down, slowing to a stop, as if out of gas, which was not the case. Have not been able to restart vehicle since. The starter will not turn the engine over, even though battery is very strong (power flowing to all other systems) and there is a loud, obvious solenoid connection.

No previous indication of problem at all with the starter. Not sure if it means anything, but vehicle did strike a deer two days earlier and airbag deployed. However, car drove without issue for the entire two days between the collision and the sudden shutdown.

Any ideas?


 

Jun 252017
 

2004 Ford Explorer

Shakes the whole vehicle violently

2004 explorer 4×4, new brakes and rotors all the way around. After a short time (after replacement) when brake pedal is slightly applied, a noise comes from the rear, and literally shakes the whole vehicle violently. The noise sounds like it’s coming from RR. I took the tire off, and found a broken stabilizer link and thought maybe that was the problem. Repaired that, but it’s still doing it. Any ideas?


Sounds like a caliper is hanging up or sticking. But Since you just had new rotors put on one other thought comes to mind. If the rotors were not carefully cleaned before installation it might be the cause.

Clean brake rotor

As shown in Step 11 in our step by step brake pad installation guide, the rotors need to be cleaned before installation. There is a coating placed on the outside of the rotors to prevent rust while setting around on the shelf. If this coating is not removed it tends to gum up the brake pads and will create havoc. Noise and pulsation being the number one cause of not getting the rotors properly cleaned.

Jun 232017
 

Ford Escape

Blows hot air then back to cold

Turn on air conditioning blows hard cold air and after a few minutes blows hot air then back to cold after awhile.


This may be from the air conditioning system being low on Freon. You can listen for the compressor to cycle on and off. When the Freon gets lower than normal the compressor tends to cycle on and off more frequent. If this is the case, a top off may be in order.