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

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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.

Nov 302018

I changed my calibers and now I have a grinding noise in the brakes. I tightened the wheel bearing but it came back.

Most likely the brake dust shield got accidentally bumped and it is rubbing against the brake rotors. A close inspection of all moving parts will be needed. If this only occurs when the brakes are applied, you may need to remove the calipers and inspect there. If the noise was there before you installed the calipers and it went away when you tightened the bearings, there may be an issue with the bearings.

Nov 292018

Buick Century

Drivers side blowing cold air

1998 Buick Century Limited: It’s winter and I would like hot air to come out of both the driver side and passenger side middle-level vents. The problem seems to be that temperature is working for the passenger side but not the right side. Here are some clues:

– No amount of fiddling with the HVAC buttons in Auto or Manual mode seemed to fix the problem. Most of my tests were in manual mode because Auto seemed to behave the same. Also DUAL mode was OFF during these tests.
– Changing the temperature changed the temperature of the air on the passenger side but the driver side remained cold and unchanged. When temperature was set lower, both side would push cold air. At max high-temp, still cold air on driver side and then passenger side back to hot.
– I performed a ‘reset’ by disconnecting the battery for an hour
– Upon re-connection, the first thing I noticed was that the yellow Auto button light on the HVAC head was working. This wasn’t working before.
– The second thing I noticed that the fan wouldn’t come on. By fiddling with the buttons for 5 minutes, the fan came on.
– However, as soon as the fan came on, lo and behold, I got hot air coming from both driver and passenger side vents!
– To verify that this was not just a one-time thing, I turned the car off and then on.
– Immediately the original problem returned: cold air on driver side, hot air passenger side.
– The fan was also hard to start but I noticed that if I removed and put back the blower fuse, the fan would almost always start working again. (The fan is more of a red-herring….the temperature problem is the main thing I need to solve.)
– Btw, somewhere along the way the Auto button yellow light stopped working again.
– I noticed something weird: When HVAC was off, whenever a pushed a button to turn the unit on, I could hear the engine strain. It acted like, no matter what, the A/C compressor was turning on (even though the temperature was set to max-high and it was cold outside).
– Sure enough, I noticed the A/C clutch would engage whenever a button was pushed on the HVAC. I removed the fuse for the A/C clutch.
– From this point on, the compressor did not engage, however the driver side vent continued to blow “cool” (but not cold) air. Passenger side still hot.
– During testing, somehow, magically, after the HVAC was on for about 10 minutes, the driver side started blowing hot air.
– I turned car off and then on, and the problem returned immediately. The driver side blowing cold air, passenger side hot
– This morning on way to work, I waited to see if the driver side would magically start blowing hot. It didn’t.
– Then, after about 10 minutes, just on a hunch, I lowered the temperature as low as it could go, and then raised it again to max
– Voila, both sides start blowing hot air.
– My question: Is there a driver side thermostat separate from the passenger side? If so, it seems like the driver side thermostat always thinks that the temperature is “too hot” and thus turns the A/C on and then channels the A/C cold air into the driver side vents because it thinks it should be cooling the driver off even though it should be heating things up. Also, apparently, even when the A/C clutch is disconnected, it puts some flap in position to channel air from the A/C to the driver side vent, rather than channel air from the heater.
– At first thought, one might think that the driver side actuator that controls a flap may be at fault. However, if this were true, why would the HVAC be initiating the A/C clutch when it shouldn’t? If it was just a flap actuator problem and the thermostat was working properly, the A/C clutch would not be engaged, but the driver side would blow “cool” (outside) air.

Thoughts and suggestions much appreciated.

Thank you for such a detailed description of your problem. 99% of the time when this issue occurs, the problem is in fact the Drivers Side Actuator.  They tend to stick and chew up the gears yet occasionally allowing it to work. The other 1 % of the time the door or linkage is damaged. This is quite common with all vehicles manufactured with electronic actuators.

Labor Time to Replace the Actuator is 1.0 Hours.

Actuator Replacement Procedure – Drivers Side

  • Disconnect the negative battery cable
  • Remove the instrument panel and instrument panel carrier
  • Unplug the temperature valve actuator harness connector
  • Remove the mounting screws, then temperature valve actuator.
  • Install in reverse order

Actuator Location Chart

Actuator location chart


Nov 272018

Ford Escape

Just had #4 fuel injector and spark plugs replaced. Added Gumout fuel injector cleaner to the next tank of gas as per directions. Time for a new tank of gas. Can I add another Gumout?

Yes, Shouldn’t need to add another but won’t hurt anything either. If you are using the Expert Series Gumout Fuel System Cleaner it is even advertised:

  • Best for maximized performance and fuel economy in one fill-up
  • Cleans direct and indirect fuel injectors, intake valves and ports, piston tops, cylinder heads, combustion chamber
  • Improves performance and maximizes gas mileage
  • Prevents future carbon buildup

Nov 142018

 Toyota Corolla

My car was hit on the left rear side while parked. The other car was parked behind me and was pulling out and hit my car. The damage to the body was repaired. After getting my car back I notice the steering wheel is turned slightly to the right even if the tires are straight. I don’t hear any grinding noises or any other kind of noises when I turn left or right. The brakes and engine work fine. The engine light is not on or any other warning light. I have driven it on the freeway and on the street. I don’t notice any problems. Is is safe to drive the car? What needs to be done to repair it? Thanks.

A front wheel or four wheel alignment would be the repair needed. During the alignment the discovery of a damaged part may come to light.