Dec 122019

1999 Toyota 4Runner

The beginning of November my 4runner broke down. We changed the alternator. Well ever since my . Extremely fast almost to the point, you can’t even drive around in it for 10 minutes without it blowing again.

The end of Nov. it went dead on me. So we got a new battery. Once the new battery was in we noticed how the lights inside and out would go real dim when I wasn’t on the gas pedal but as soon as I would push the gas it would brighten back up. Also the same with the air(it’s cold so it’s heat atm). Also, when my alternator went out the first time the gauges and the air cut off, the fuse blew but I didn’t know that at the time.

I’m at a loss on what to do anymore with it. I’ve read everything from a short to the ac compressor but I don’t know what could be wrong. My husband has been trying to fix on it and look things up but he also isn’t a mechanic. But he can normally figure out what’s wrong but we are stuck. Please help. I don’t want to get rid of it but if I have to I will.

Gauge fuse keeps blowing

Looking at the wiring diagram in reference to the alternator and gauges I see a DIODE between the IGN fuse and the alternator. If anyone of the wires in the wiring harness are shorted or the diode has failed it may cause this issue. Checking the wiring in the wiring harness would be a good first step.

Unplug the connectors and check for continuity from the blown 10 amp Gauge fuse to ground. Then Isolate the connections and test the wires to each other to find the short.

How to Use a Multimeter

It may be internal in the alternator. I will just say that if you have replaced it with a REMANUFACTURED(REMAN) alternator there is a good chance the alternator is bad again.

2001 Toyota $ Runner Charging System Wiring Diagram
Dec 112019


My truck anti theft deterrent system activated and would not allow car to start. After tinkering with the system 3 days and inspecting parts and wires I had it towed to dealer for diagnostics. The mechanic says I need the theft deterrent module replaced. I asked if the module is the one located around the ignition switch (i have been researching online all weekend and even took panels off to see the part beforehand). He says no it is the entire module that is under the dash. When my fiance asked if it is located behind the radio compartment he said yes.

Well I have researched a lot and only see that there is a theft control module which is by the ignition which ties into I believe the BCM which is located under the drivers dash panel where my parking break release and steering column is.

So what is located behind the radio? Is there some other module I am not seeing? I have a 2007 Chevy Tahoe LTZ 5.3L v8 flex. I feel like I am being lied to and just told any and everything. His responses are very vague and I am someone who wants to know exactly what my money goes to.

The part number he gave me for what he said has to be replaced is in fact the theft control module that attaches to the ignition cylinder. Can someone give me a diagram of the entire Passkey 3 system in a Chevy Tahoe? Is it tied directly to the BCM as I thought? And if that is replaced does it require relearning the key with a scan tool or can the key be relearned by the 10 minute increments relearn method repeating 3 times?

Under replacing Body Control Module (BCM) the Repair Manual states:

This procedure must be performed if the BCM, Passlock sensor or PCM is replaced. If BCM is not properly programmed, it will not control all the features properly.

  1. Ensure battery is fully charged and ignition switch is in the ON position.
  2. Connect a suitably programmed Tech II, or equivalent, scan tool to Data Link Connector (DLC).
  3. Access scan tool “Special Functions” menu and follow scan tool instructions to program BCM.
  4. If BCM fails to accept the program, inspect all BCM connections and ensure scan tool is equipped with latest software.

The PCM, BCM and Passlock sensor all communicate with each other but are separate modules. Theft deterrent programming(see below) must be performed anytime the BCM, PCM or Passlock sensor is replaced.

As for feeling like the dealer is giving you the run around. In most cases the dealership hires a sales rep for their Service Writer position. They are good at selling and usually not skilled mechanics. They rely on what the mechanics diagnosis is for each repair and build an estimate based on what parts are looked up by the mechanic. They then, to the best of their ability, try to explain this to the customer. In most cases they have no idea what is going on with your car or even know what color it is. They are more of a middleman between the customer and the mechanic. I wouldn’t hold there lack of knowledge against them.

Theft Deterrent Control Module Location

Right side of the steering column near the ignition key cylinder


Anti-Theft System Diagnostic Service, Test

A visual inspection must always be performed to confirm the presence of aftermarket components, potential collision damage, or areas of concern.

Most systems use a key with transponder, transponder receiver, transponder module and PCM, BCM or stand alone anti-theft module to control system.

The transponder equipped key is inserted into the ignition cylinder and the ignition switch is turned on. The transponder module wakes up and comunicates with the transponder receiver to determine if the appropriate key was used. If the key matches, the transponder module sends a signal to the PCM authorizing vehicle start. If the key does not match, the vehicle will not start and the security lamp will flash.

If vehicle has had a module replacement, a perimeter reset/module pairing, may be required before anti-theft system will operate correctly.

If vehicle is equipped with tow-away protection, antitheft can be sounded when vehicle is being transported.

Some models may have a anti-theft code recorded in radio, retrieve radio code prior to servicing.

Some models may be equipped with a manufacture assisted satellite anti-theft system. Review vehicle owners guide for more information.

1. Duplicate customer concern.

2. If vehicle is equipped with tow-away protection verify that it is disabled.

3. If vehicle is equipped with a interior motion sensor, verify there is nothing hanging from rear view mirror or coat hangers as this can trigger an anti-theft event.

4. If vehicle is equipped with a interior motion sensor and auxiliary heating system, one system should be deactivated as auxiliary heating system can trigger a anti-theft event.

5. Inspect for aftermarket components, such as a remote start or alarm.

6. Verify that hood, luggage compartment, and all doors are fully closed.

7. Verify battery is at full state of charge. Inspect battery condition and charge batteries, as required. An overcharge condition may also affect anti-theft system operation.

8. Ensure transponder key does not required battery replacement.

9. Inspect related fuses and fusible links.

10. Inspect condition of anti-theft lamp. If lamp is flashing perform following:

a. Remove any signaling devices or magnetic cards from key-chain and attempt to start.

b. Verify concern is present with each vehicle key. If concern related to one key, reprogram key and reevaluate system operation. If concern is still present with only one key, a replacement key is required.

c. Connect a suitably programmed scan tool to vehicle.

d. Perform network test and verify communications.

e. Inspect state of hood, luggage compartment, and all doors to verify showing closed on scan tool.

f. Verify programming of all keys. A system reset and reprogramming of all keys at one time may be required.

g. Retrieve any anti-theft related diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) and follow appropriate DTC code diagnostics.

Theft Deterrent System Programming

The following procedure must be performed anytime the BCM, PCM or Passlock sensor is replaced.

1. Ensure battery is fully charged and there are no Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) present.

2. Turn ignition switch from the OFF position to the CRANK position attempting to start the vehicle. Vehicle should start and then stall.

3. After vehicle stalls, leave ignition in the ON position and observe security indicator on instrument cluster.

4. When security indicator turns off, turn ignition switch off and wait 10 seconds.

5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 two more times (3 times total).

6. BCM and PCM will learn the new code on the next start attempt.

Dec 112019

2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee

I have a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Special Edition 4.0L Straight 6 4WD loaded. I have a parasitic draw and I need help to find it. I’d like help with the non intrusive method which is to check voltage drop across each fuse without having to worry about vehicle waking up.

I was told a few things and I replaced the alternator, battery and computer but issue still remains. I have to disconnect the negative battery terminal every night so it won’t drain the battery but this resets everything when I reconnect it. Hard to pass NYS inspection when none of your monitors are ready. 200 miles later only the EVAP monitor wasn’t ready and I passed.

There is nothing ON that I can see in the interior or exterior. So basically I just need to know how to set up my multimeter. Where and how to test fuses to narrow down which circuit and fuse or relay is causing the draw. Also is there a way to check relays in the junction box under the hood without pulling them out and causing the computer to throw a code? What about the maxi fuses? They are a bit bigger with a clear cover on them can you test these as well?

It’s beginning to be a hassle to disconnect the cable every time. I thought about installing a kill switch but that doesn’t really solve my problem so short of buying a smart battery charger or maintainer to keep the battery charged overnight I don’t know what else to do. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

A few things I have found over the years that cause this.

  1. Glove box light staying on, examine the vehicle at night as it is easier to see if a light is still on somewhere
  2. Chewing gum wrapper lodged in cigar lighter/12V supply port
  3. Penny or dime also found inside cigar lighter/12V supply port
  4. Accessory left plugged in cigar lighter/12V supply port

Testing the MAXI Fuses will require removal. It is best to remove any fuse or relays to test it when considering there may be a short somewhere in the system. This will isolate the component being tested and keep from causing false test results. Set the Multimeter to continuity for checking the fuses.

Dec 102019

2002 Honda Accord

I had a bolt missing from my head cover and when I replaced it with the wrong bolt it caused a gap in the gasket and caused an oil leak. Is the head cover gasket the only thing I need to replace once I get the correct bolts?

There are some seals or grommets around the head where the spark plugs go. These should be replaced. They should come with the valve cover gasket kit.

Valve Cover Replacement

Except 2.4L Engine

  1. Remove the spark plug wires by twisting side to side and gently pulling. Note or label their location and place aside.
  2. Starting from the outside and working inward, using a 10mm wrench or socket with an extension and ratchet, remove the fasteners securing the valve cover to the cylinder head.
  3. If equipped, remove all hoses and brackets.
  4. Carefully lift the cover off the cylinder head. Use care to not loose the sealing grommets when lifting the cover. Place the cover upright in a clean, protected area. If the cover is stuck onto the cylinder head, using a suitable prytool carefully pry the cover upward at the corners. Move each corner no more than a 1/16 inch at a time.

    Use a pick tool to carefully remove the valve cover-to-spark plug tube grommets


    Carefully remove and inspect the valve cover gasket and replace it if it is damaged


    Install the valve cover properly in the cylinder head groove-1996 Accord shown


    Non-VTEC engine valve cover torque sequence-non-VTEC 2.2L engines


    Rocker arm (valve) cover torque sequence-non-VTEC 2.2L engines


    Tighten the rocker arm (valve) cover bolts in the sequence shown-3.0L engine

To install:

  1. Thoroughly clean and inspect the gasket surface of the cover and cylinder head. Rubbing alcohol or a suitable brake cleaner works well for this application.

    Protect the eyes and exposed skin from contact with cleaning agents. Do not use near an open flame.

  2. Inspect the rubber valve cover gasket, the sealing grommets, and the seal around the spark plug holes. If the gasket or seals are brittle, cracked or damaged, replace them. If the old gasket and seals are not worn or damaged they can be reused once cleaned.

To clean the valve cover gasket:

  • Place the gasket in a suitable, clear plastic bag.
  • Spray a small amount of brake cleaner, or pour about 2 ounces of rubbing alcohol into the bag.
  • Close the end of the bag and swish the cleaning fluid around, making certain the entire gasket has been thoroughly saturated. Do not leave the gasket in the bag for more than 5 minutes.
  • Remove the gasket, and wipe clean with a paper towel or clean soft cloth.
  1. Apply a liquid, non-hardening gasket sealant, such as Honda sealant part No. 08718-0001 or 08718-0003 to the valve cover side of the spark plug opening seals and press them into the valve cover.
  2. Install the valve cover gasket securely into the groove in the valve cover.
  3. Apply a 1/2 inch bead of sealant to the corners of the gasket, where the gasket meets the cylinder head and the camshaft journal cap.
  4. Install the grommets if removed, and tighten the valve cover fasteners from the inside out evenly in three steps. For the 2.2L and 3.0L engines, tighten the retainers in the sequence shown in the accompanying figures. Tighten the valve cover fastener, as follows:
    • 4-cylinder engines: to 86 inch lbs. (9.8 Nm).
    • 3.0L engine: 108 inch lbs. (12 Nm)
  5. The remainder of the assembly procedure is the reverse of the removal sequence.
Dec 102019

Toyota Camry

I have 2007 Camry, it is making knocking sound when I go over 80Kmph(50mph) from the right front side. No sound while turning, only when driving straight at high speed. What could be possible problem?

I would guess an air damn/splash shield or piece of trim has come loose. Damage can occur easily if driven over a parking block, etc. Make sure to check the Right Front Fender Splash Shield and Wheel Opening Extension Pad.


How to check your Splash Shield

Dec 092019


hi i have 1.6 tdi passat oil light flashing can some one help me

First of all, with the oil light flashing it should not be driven. Internal engine damage may occur if the engine is operated with the oil light flashing. Secondly, check engine oil level and top of if low. Then Test. Look for leaks if it was really low on oil. Next, if the oil level is full it may be a faulty oil pressure switch of failing oil pump.

Lastly, make sure to use VW Standard oil. VW 505 01 or 507 00. ( 1997 – 2016 )

Locating the Oil Pressure Sending Unit

Dec 072019

 Ford Taurus

I have a 1997 Ford Taurus GL. Recently, Car dies randomly….so far when just at low speeds & when turning steering wheel to left just a little bit. In panic, even with the car in drive, I turn the key and it starts again. What could that be?

I took it to the mechanic & no OBD codes were found.

Alternator is good & Battery is brand new with clean tight connections. All ground cables going from engine to battery have been cleaned.

Mass-air flow sensor contacts have been cleaned.

To check next,
fuel pressure (at idle it should be around 30-35PSI. On a light to moderate throttle, it will dip slightly to 25-30 PSI.)

Check Cam shaft resistance sensor.

check fuel pump

bad fuel filter?

bad distributor cap?

dirty air filter?

dirty catalytic converter?

Fuel pressure should increase on moderate throttle. Wouldn’t hurt to replace fuel filter and recheck fuel pressure readings. The Auto Repair Manual shows the fuel pressure should be 35 – 45 PSI. So I’m thinking the fuel pressure regulator is at fault.

Fuel Pressure Specifications – Chilton Manual

Description Specification
Engine Running

180-310 kPa

26-45 psi

Key On Engine Off

255-297 kPa

37-43 psi

Check the vacuum hose leading connected to the fuel pressure regulator first. Replace if cracked or brittle and test. If the hose is good, replace the fuel pressure regulator and test. Still not enough pressure, replace the fuel pump.

Fuel Pressure Regulator


  1. If removing fuel pressure regulator (9C968) with fuel injection supply manifold (9D280) installed in vehicle, perform Fuel Charging System Pre-Service Procedure and Fuel Pressure Relief procedure as described.
  2. Disconnect vacuum hose at fuel pressure regulator.
  3. Remove the power steering hose bracket.
  4. Remove fuel pressure regulator from fuel injection supply manifold and discard used sealing O-rings and face seal.


  1. Install fuel pressure regulator into fuel injection supply manifold using new sealing gaskets, O-rings and face seals. Tighten fuel pressure regulator to 25-34 Nm (19-25 lb-ft).
  2. Install the power steering hose bracket.
  3. Connect vacuum hose to fuel pressure regulator.


Dec 072019


This issue im going to describe is VERY dileberate when it happens….at speeds over 30mph the car will almost seem to glide right with a feel of floating almost like the ass end is riding high and all the suspension has been released its almost is like a hinge feeling i feel like it has to be something with the gyroscope or stability control or something the action is way to dramatic than that of bad busings or falied sway bar, is it not? 110,000k original suspension parts the rest of the vehical has been taken care of at every turn by BMW Seattle and just went out of full warrenty

Without looking at it my thoughts would be alignment or tire issue. A busted belt may not be clearly visible but would cause this issue. A quick affordable test would be to rotate both front tires to the back and move the back tires to the front. Then test drive and see if any difference can be noticed.

Dynamic Stability Control

The Brakes Electronic Stability Control uses two steering wheel angle sensors and wheel speed sensors to control braking. I do not think that would cause the issue you are having.

On slippery surfaces or during aggressive maneuvers, if the vehicle understeers severely, the computer will actuate the brakes on the inside rear wheel, just hard enough and just long enough to correct the steering behavior. When the vehicle oversteers severely, the system will brake the outside front wheel instead.

NOTE* When Servicing this system, OEM may require the angle sensors be calibrated to the vehicle thrustline.

Dec 062019

2005 Dodge Stratus

My 2005 Dodge Stratus SXT with a 2.4L engine died on the highway running 65 70 miles an hour over just over a week ago. And after I pulled spark plugs, the spark plug threads had a lot of oil on them. 3 weeks prior to that I had what I thought was overheating radiator. I blow back in the reserve tank about a quart of water resolve that issue and it sounds like it is sucking through a sponge. Now my battery is dead.

Follow the steps in the no start diagnostics chart that is available for free right here on this site.

Oil on spark plugs

Finding oil on the spark plug threads would just be an indication of a leaking gasket. Most likely the valve cover gasket is at fault. This would not cause the engine to die unless you ran it completely out of oil.

The battery being dead could be from age or it not being charged from a faulty alternator. You may charge it fully and then test it with a battery load tester. In most cases a battery will not last longer than 4 years. Jump starting the battery will shorten its life cycle as well.

2006 GMC Envoy Stabilitrac warning message

 Auto Repair Questions, GMC  Comments Off on 2006 GMC Envoy Stabilitrac warning message
Dec 042019

2006 GMC Envoy

Have warning light Readout says service stabilatrac ?

First of all,  you will find this issue has been addressed in the below articles. Secondly, the most common failure part that would cause this issue is the Steering Position Sensor. The video below shows how to replace it. Lastly, I have found additional information in the form of a TSB and added it below.



How to fix the StabiliTrak Service Light on by replacing the Steering Position Senor