Dec 202018
 

Winter Driving

Is it advisable to warm up a vehicle prior to driving it in very cold winter conditions? I would like to know the pros and cons of this including whether driving a vehicle in the cold without warming it up first is hard on it mechanically or could cause potential damage. Please apply to all vehicles made within the last 15-20 years.


Warm up a vehicle prior to driving it in very cold winter conditions?

Yes. I would advise allowing the vehicle to warm under VERY cold conditions. That being said, the vehicle manufacturers have put in place many sensors on the vehicle that allow for not warming it prior to driving. These sensors calculate the temperature and fluctuate the demand influenced on the vehicle. This allows for uninterrupted performance in hot or cold weather. 1995 – 2000 are not quite as good as the newer vehicle operating systems but are adequate none the less.

Metal expands, aluminum expands at a different rate than cast iron. But as long as there is enough lubrication at the friction points of the engine, little to no harm is done. It takes a long time for a properly lubricated engine to show signs of damage. On the other hand, the transmission will render more damage under different climate conditions than the engine. However the later model cars are manufactured using synthetic lubrication in the transmissions now that help. So the weakest point in the car is the transmission under any weather condition.

Mechanical parts will perform their best in the engine and transmission once warmed to normal operating temperatures. The damage that will occur is almost immeasurable in short term.

Pros and Cons of warming your vehicle in cold temperatures

Pros:

  • The engine oil will lubricate at its best once warmed
  • The vehicle will be nice and comfy warm
  • Windshield will be defrosted if applicable
  • Windshield wipers will perform better

Cons:

  • The windshield will most likely have frost on it making it difficult to see
  • Not optimal for engine lubrication
  • Fuel consumption
  • Exhaust fumes, especially when vehicle is parked in a garage

What others have to say about warming the vehicle in cold weather

“The oil is the lifeblood of the engine,” Joseph Henmueller, president and COO of Automotive Maintenance and Repair Association, said.

Henmueller suggested that cars should idle one to two minutes before driving in cold weather. When temperatures drop to freezing, or when it’s cold enough that windshields will frost over, the oil needs to warm up before it can move smoothly throughout the car.

“Fluids get thicker when it is cold, so to lubricate properly they need 60 to 120 seconds of the engine running,” he said.

Without properly letting the engine run, Henmueller said, you may be cutting your engine’s life short.

Experts at Penzoil have a different theory.


Technical Advisor Shanna Simmons said it is a myth that engines need to idle on a cold winter day.

“While it does take longer for motor oil to pump in extreme cold temperatures, we are talking milliseconds, not minutes,” she said. “Your engine will warm up the oil much faster when driving at full speed — not to mention idling wastes gas.”

The Environmental Protection Agency lines up with those who say warming up your car is not only not helpful but is wasteful.

Both the EPA and Energy.gov say a car should not idle for more than 30 seconds at a time. Not only is it more environmentally friendly, but also cost-effective. Idling for 30 seconds actually uses more fuel than restarting the car.

Dec 092018
 

2010 Chevy Suburban

Driver side seat will not heat. Is there a quick way to find out what the root of the problem is whether it be in the switch, a fuse/relay, or the heating element itself? I had a local mechanic tell me once I’d be better off finding a new seat in a junk yard than to try to buy parts to fix it. Thought I’d get a second opinion.

When you press the button on the door to activate the heater, the red light does come on but does not heat. The AC part of the seat cooler does work, but the heater part does not. Thanks for your help.



Generally there is a Body Code that will be stored. A Dealership or well equipped mechanic shop should have a scan tool that can pull the codes that will help guide you to the root of the problem without guessing.  No easier way than that.

Example Codes for heated seat malfunction:

Diagnostic Trouble Codes   B2345-4B  Seat Heater Elements Current Sensing Calibration Out of Range
Diagnostic Trouble Codes   B2425-04  Left Seat Heater Cushion Circuit Open
Diagnostic Trouble Codes   B2425-0A  Left Seat Heater Cushion Circuit Rate of Change Below Threshold
Diagnostic Trouble Codes   B2425-0B  Left Seat Heater Cushion Circuit Current Above Threshold
Diagnostic Trouble Codes   B2425-0C  Left Seat Heater Cushion Circuit Current Below Threshold
Diagnostic Trouble Codes   B2425-0D  Left Seat Heater Cushion Circuit Resistance Above Threshold
Diagnostic Trouble Codes   B2425-0E  Left Seat Heater Cushion Circuit Resistance Below Threshold
Diagnostic Trouble Codes   B2425-1F  Left Seat Heater Cushion Circuit Intermittent
Diagnostic Trouble Codes   B2430-04  Right Seat Heater Cushion Circuit Open
Diagnostic Trouble Codes   B2430-0A  Right Seat Heater Cushion Circuit Rate of Change Below Threshold
Diagnostic Trouble Codes   B2430-0B  Right Seat Heater Cushion Circuit Current Above Threshold
Diagnostic Trouble Codes   B2430-0C  Right Seat Heater Cushion Circuit Current Below Threshold
Diagnostic Trouble Codes   B2430-0D  Right Seat Heater Cushion Circuit Resistance Above Threshold
Diagnostic Trouble Codes   B2430-0E  Right Seat Heater Cushion Circuit Resistance Below Threshold
Diagnostic Trouble Codes   B2430-1F  Right Seat Heater Cushion Circuit Intermittent
Dec 092018
 

Chevy Suburban

 

I have a front left axle to replace. Do I really need to remove the coil over strut and sway bar end link to do this?


Not according to the manual.

CV AXLE SHAFT, Replace

1. Raise and support vehicle.
2. Remove wheel and tire assembly.
3. Remove drive axle center cap, if equipped.
4. Insert a drift or large screwdriver through brake caliper into one of the brake rotor vanes in order to prevent drive axle wheel drive shaft from turning.
5. Remove nut and washer from hub. Do not reuse nut. A new nut must be used when installing wheel drive shaft.
6. Using axle remover tool No. J 45859 or equivalent, press wheel drive shaft from hub.
7. Remove bolts securing wheel drive shaft inboard flange to output shaft flange.
8. Remove drift from rotor.
9. Remove stabilizer shaft link from lower control arm.
10. Wrap shop towels around both inner and outer wheel drive shaft boots in order to avoid damage to boots during removal.
11. Pull wheel drive shaft through lower control arm opening.
12. Reverse procedure to install, noting the following:
a. Torque inboard flange bolts to 58 ft. lbs.
b. Torque hub nut to 177 ft. lbs.
c. Torque wheel lug nuts to 140 ft. lbs.
d. Torque stabilizer shaft link nuts to 17 ft. lbs.
Dec 092018
 

J2000 eep Grand Cherokee

I was given a jeep without an ignition or key. I bought a new Dorman ignition with key. How do I code it without original key and ignition?


You can use any dodge key and code it to match or take your VIN# to the dealership to get an original cut key.

Model Year Model Year Skill Code Factory Time Labor Time
IGNITION LOCK CYLINDER, R&R
 Grand Cherokee ……………………. 1999-04 B 0.4 0.5
Additional Labor
Model Year Factory Time Labor Time
 To Recode Lock Cylinder,
  Add …………………………….. 1999-04 0.3
Dec 092018
 

2006 GMC Envoy

Did the 2006 GMC Envoy XL-SLT ever come with Tow Hooks either front or rear? I cant get a positive answer from the local GMC Dealer. My almost former Chevy Trailblazer LT model had them. The Envoy has the Towing pkg but no towing hooks of which I’m surprised>
PeterK


Envoy did not come with factory tow hooks….

Envoy is the “Luxury* edition

Trailblazer is the more “sport” edition

That’s the reason behind Envoy’s not getting factory tow hooks, even the Denali did not have them.

I know, as I asked every place I went when shopping around for my Envoy, they never had that option available. I was told that if I wanted tow hooks, I’d have to buy the Trailblazer.

Source: Voymom@gmtnation.com

Starter just clicks once, 1992 Chevy C-1500 w/t pickup truck

 Auto Repair Questions, Chevy  Comments Off on Starter just clicks once, 1992 Chevy C-1500 w/t pickup truck
Dec 032018
 

Chevy truck

Starter just clicks once

Ok, I’ve had this starting problem for a long time. When I turn the key it just clicks once and nothing. I have changed the starter, the alternator. the ignition, because it would turn with out a key (which lead to it being stolen about 6 months ago, the ignition switch the dimmer switch(high beam, low beam switch) because it was not working any more, the turn signal switch, tried running a wire (purple wire) with the correct gauge straight from the battery to the solenoid and that worked, once. When I changed the starter, that worked once as well. I also got a new battery. What else could it be? Oh, I changed all the fuses too. I also replaced the battery cables. added 2 grounds as there was only 1 going to the frame, so I added 1 to the engine and 1 to the body.

This just started one day I was driving turned it off and then the click thing, what’s weird is a guy jumped me with good cables and it started, that’s when I figured the battery was bad and replaced it. Started once then back to click, replaced starter worked once, back to click. Had the old starter tested, it was fine. Also when I turned the key to on, the speedometer would jump to 50-90MPH before turning it to start. I even tried not hooking up the small wire going to the starter and jumped straight from the battery, click. Do I need a starter shim? It didn’t have one before. What is the other terminal for on the starter? One says S and the other B, I think.


One hard click is a starter(solenoid) or connection problem. Several clicks(click, click, click…) is a battery problem. If you are installing a remanufactured starter from like a1 cardone, toss it. Get a NEW starter.  the starter may test OK, but it obviously isn’t.  The “S” terminal is how the ignition switch activates the starter solenoid. It is working or you wouldn’t hear the click.  As this is a Chevy, one thing to look at would be the cables and cable connections at the starter to make sure they are not touching anything it shouldn’t or rubbed through at the block.

The most common reason for 1 click with all good connections, is the STARTER.

Dec 022018
 

 Dodge Grand Caravan

OK, so I’m away deployed and my wife took her 2010 caravan in to replace all shocks and coils. After that was complete she noticed that there was a banging noise while she is driving coming from the rear driver side. She took it back to the shop and was told they couldn’t find anything. As she told this to me I advised her to take it back. So they looked again and found a broken bolt on the plate that bolts to the frame. They tried to get it out but couldn’t so they welded it. As soon as she got it back she noticed the noise is still there. I’m thinking it’s the shock is defective from factory but the shop says it can’t be. What are your thoughts. Thanks


First, Thank you for Serving!

If the noise was not there before you took the car in and now there is a noise. Keep taking it back until they correct the issue. If they are unable to hear the noise, have them ride along so they are addressing the noise that is heard by the driver. It can be frustrating to keep going back to the same shop but that is the only way to keep the cost from going up.

Taking the vehicle to another shop is an option but the original shop is the one that warranties the work they did. This means you would be on the hook for paying the second shop to fix the issue. And once another shop works on it, the warranty may be void.

It would be easy enough for the shop to remove the shock in question and test drive it to see if the noise goes away. Talking the shop into it may be tough, but would be worth a try.

My advice would be to keep taking it back until you are satisfied.