Jan 062018

2007 Honda Odessy

First of all, the battery light on. Just replaced alternator and battery. Checked with voltmeter at battery, fuse box and directly at alternator says 11.2 even with blower on high. Is this enough? I’m in Michigan and at 1 degree right now is that normal? Or is the alternator still bad?

Battery light on

The battery light being on indicates the battery is not being charged. Therefore this can be from a bad or faulty alternator. It can also be from a bad or faulty battery. And may also be from a bad connection between the two. You should see more than 12.5 volts.

First of all, I would start by checking the fuses in the circuit. The most likely fuse to be blown would be the Main Mult-Fuse #22 (120 AMP). Seems like this is the  first to blow when the battery is jumped or cables touch when changing the battery. There are two other fuses, fuse#18 and #21. Consequently I would almost put money on FUSE #22 which is located in the UNDER-HOOD FUSE/RELAY BOX.  Other than that, you would want to make certain all cables are connected correctly and free of corrosion.

Charging system wiring diagram – 2007 Honda Odyssey

Jan 062018

1999 Toyota Hilux

Will not go into 1st or 2nd gear. Other 3 gears working but gear stick seems very loose when 4th

Is this a manual shift or Automatic? Also how is reverse functioning?I am going to assume it is a manual shift transmission.  There are a couple of possibilities that come to mind. One, the shift lever bushing may be worn. Removal of the shift lever and inspection would be necessary to confirm this.

Shift Lever Removal

shift lever removal 1999 toyota hilux

My 2nd thought would be the clutch master/slave cylinders are worn out and not functioning properly. A quick test would be to see if you can shift into these gears when the engine is OFF. If you can shift into these gears with the engine is off but not with it running, then you have confirmed the clutch master and or slave(release) cylinders are faulty.

Clutch Release Cylinder

clutch slave cylinder

Clutch Master Cylinder

clutch master cylinder

Jan 062018

2012 Dodge Avenger

Heater blows hot air from drivers side and cold air from passenger side of car on my 2012 Dodge Avenger. I’ve read that this could be an blend door actuator that needs to be replaced? Spoke with dealer and they thought it could be the heater core. How can the heater core be defective if it blows hot air out of the drivers side? The blend door makes more sense to me. What do you think? Can I replace this myself without having to remove the dashboard? Please advise. My car has 100000 miles. My car has an automatic transmission.

Heater blows hot air from drivers side only

You are correct in your thinking because there is only one heater core. So if one side is hot, then the heater core is fine. And the most common reason for the heater only blowing hot air from one side is a faulty actuator. Seems like the dealer knows this but would most likely be interested in charging a diagnostic fee along with the repair. Therefore if you are mechanically inclined I do not see any reason you couldn’t replace the actuator yourself. In conclusion, I’ll provide the auto repair manual procedure below.

Blend Door Description

The blend door actuator (1) for the heating-A/C system is a reversible, 12-volt Direct Current (DC) servo motor, which is mechanically connected to the blend-air door. Drivers side blend door actuator is located on the left side of the HVAC air distribution housing.

Blend Door Actuator 2012 Dodge Avenger

Consequently the blend door actuator is interchangeable with the actuator for the mode-air doors and the recirculation-air door. In addition each actuator is contained within an identical black molded plastic housing with an integral wire connector receptacle (2). Hence each actuator also has an identical output shaft (3) with splines that connect it to its respective door linkage and integral mounting tabs (4) that allow the actuator to be secured to the HVAC housing. Furthermore the blend door actuator does not require mechanical indexing to the blend-air door, as it is electronically calibrated by the A/C-heater control.

Blend Door Actuator Replacement

Shop Automotive

First of all, disable the airbag system before attempting any steering wheel, steering column or instrument panel component diagnosis or service. Disconnect and isolate the negative battery (ground) cable, then wait two minutes for the airbag system capacitor to discharge before performing further diagnosis or service. Most of all, this is the only sure way to disable the airbag system. Finally, failure to follow these instructions may result in accidental airbag deployment and possible serious or fatal injury.

Left Sift Blend Door Actuator 2012 Dodge Avenger
LHD model shown. RHD model similar.

  1. Disconnect and isolate the negative battery cable.
  2. On RHD models, remove the glove box bin.
  3. Disconnect the wire harness connector (1) from the blend door actuator (2) located on the left side of the HVAC air distribution housing (3).
  4. Remove the two screws (4) that secure the blend door actuator to the air distribution housing and remove the actuator.
  1. Position the blend door actuator (2) onto the left side of the HVAC air distribution housing (3). If necessary, rotate the actuator slightly to align the splines on the actuator output shaft with those in the blend air door linkage.
  2. Install the two screws (4) that secure the blend door actuator to the air distribution housing. Tighten the screws to 2 N·m (17 in. lbs.).
  3. Connect the wire harness connector (1) to the blend door actuator.
  4. On RHD models, install the glove box bin.
  5. Reconnect the negative battery cable.
  6. If required, Initiate the Actuator Calibration function using a scan tool.
Jan 052018

2000 Buick Lesabre

My right turn signal does not work. Nothing comes on for the right. Dash turn signal light or right cornering light do not work. But, the emergency flashers do work. Please advise. The car has a multi function unit on the steering wheel. So, I assume the turn signal switch is contained in that unit. It is a 2000 Buick Lesabre Limited 3.8.

You are correct in your thinking. The turn signal switch and multi-function switch are one in the same. So you know the wiring and bulbs are good because the hazards work. The most common cause for this issue is a faulty multi-function switch. Therefore I recommend replacing the switch.

Multi-function turn signal switch replacement

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Jan 032018

Did I not seat the cross piece (Interlock) that goes through the shift tube sideways  into the shifting cradle correctly?

It is a 1997 Ford eE50 Econolin Club Wagon. I replaced my auto shift tube that was broke. The shifter is not moving since I put it back together. I believe I did not seat the cross piece (interlock) that is sideways through the new shift tube that seats into the shifting cradle correctly. Currently the shifter does not move.

It never hurts to recheck your work if you think you may have missed a step. However with the Ford Shift Interlock you may want to check for battery voltage at the shift interlock actuator. A weak or dead battery may be at fault. This could be from leaving the door open while working on it for a long period or simply age of the battery. Be sure to check the fuses as well. I have added the wiring diagram below for reference.

Shift Interlock System

The shift interlock system prevents movement of the transmission range selector lever from the PARK position with the ignition switch (11572) placed in the RUN position until the service brake pedal (2455) is actuated or until vehicle power is interrupted. The shift lock actuator is mounted at the base of the steering column and engages the transmission shift selector position insert to lock the transmission column shift selector tube (7212) and transmission range selector lever.

Shift Interlock Wiring Diagram – 1997 Ford E350

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Shift Selector Tube

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Dec 292017

2001 Chevy Monte Carlo

My car surges while driving down the road. There is no check engine light. Have replaced plugs, wires, all coils, fuel filter and had smoke test for vacuum leaks done. Nothing helped. Please help. it is a 2001 Monte Carlo 3.4.

Car surges while driving down the road

Could be a failing ignition control module as this is one of the most common failure components. But may also be something else. A failing sensor. A clogged EGR or catalytic converter. Loose or damaged wiring harness. May also be a transmission issue occurring. Hard to tell without experiencing it for myself if it is engine or transmission related. Makes it even more difficult without any stored codes. Even though there is no check engine light on, there may be codes stored. So make sure you at least have them checked. Take note to see if this only occurs after the engine has warmed up or happens even when cold.

Check your wiring harness

Look at the wiring harness for damaged or brittle wires. Pay close attention tot he wiring and connections at both crankshaft position sensors, camshaft position sensor and Interrupter ring mounted on the back of the balancer.

Crankshaft Position Sensor 2001 Chevy Monte Carlo

Ignition System Modes of Operation

Anytime the PCM does not apply 5 volts to the Ignition Control timing signal circuit, the Ignition Control Module controls ignition by triggering each coil in the proper sequence at a pre-determined dwell. This is called Bypass Mode ignition used during cranking and running below a certain rpm, or during a default mode due to a system failure.

When the PCM begins receiving 24x reference and 3X reference pulses, the PCM applies 5 volts to the IC timing signal circuit. This signals the IC module to allow the PCM to control the dwell and spark timing. This is IC Mode ignition. During IC Mode, the PCM compensates for all driving conditions. If the IC mode changes due to a system fault, the IC mode will stay in default until the ignition is cycled OFF to ON, or the fault is no longer present.

Powertrain Control Module – PCM

The PCM is responsible for maintaining proper spark and fuel injection timing for all driving conditions. Ignition control (IC) spark timing is the method the PCM uses to control spark advance and ignition dwell. To provide optimum driveability and emissions, the PCM monitors input signals from the following components in calculating ignition control (IC) spark timing:

  • Ignition control (IC) module
  • Engine coolant temperature (ECT) sensor
  • Intake air temperature (IAT) sensor
  • Mass air flow (MAF) sensor
  • Internal Mode or PNP inputs from Internal Mode switch or Park/Neutral position switch
  • Throttle position (TP) sensor
  • Vehicle speed (VSS), or transmission output speed (TOSS) sensor
Dec 272017

Pontiac Grand Prix

I put windshield washer fluid in my coolant tank. Is it safe to drive and is it a big deal? I put a gallon in.

Washer Fluid in Coolant

No. It is not safe to drive the vehicle this way. The engine is capable of overheating. Internal engine damage may occur.

You may be able to drain or suck out the the contaminated coolant. This is if you haven’t started the engine and only filled the reservoir. Disconnect the tank, drain it and put fresh coolant in it. No worries. Washer fluid is basically 95% water, 4% alcohol, .5% soap, and a .5% surfactant. The alcohol will evaporate. The surfactant and soap does not amount to much and there is water in your fluid already.

Coolant Flushing


When the cooling system becomes contaminated, the cooling system should be flushed thoroughly to remove the contaminants before the engine is seriously damaged.

  • Drain the cooling system.
  • Remove the coolant recovery reservoir
  • Clean and flush the coolant recovery reservoir with clean, drinkable water.
  • Install the coolant recovery reservoir.
  • Follow the drain and fill procedure using only clean, drinkable water.
  • Run the engine for 20 minutes.
  • Stop the engine.
  • Drain the cooling system.
  • Repeat the procedure if necessary, until the fluid is nearly colorless.
  • Fill the cooling system.


Dec 272017

Infiniti G35

I have a power steering issue where the fluid level drops dramatically once car has been driven for 40-45 minutes (to the point the reservoir is almost empty). The strange part is the fluid returns to the reservoir over a short period of time after shutting engine down. No visible leaks on the system. Possible air being sucked in? I’ve checked and don’t see a lot of bubbling or froth in the system when this happens. I’ve bled the systems several times.

Power Steering Fluid Level

The power steering system holds 1.15 quarts of Nissan Power Steering fluid or equivalent.

The fluid level should be checked with the engine off. Check for generation of air bubbles and cloud in fluid. When none are found, you are good. If bubbles or cloud are noticed then the system needs to be bled.

If air bubbles and cloud don’t fade, stop engine, hold air bleeding until air bubbles and cloud fade. Then bleed again until no air bubbles return. Each time holding until the bubbles fade.

Air Bleeding Power Steering System

  1. Stop engine, and then turn steering wheel fully to the right and left several times.
  2. Run engine at idle speed. Turn steering wheel fully to the right and then fully to the left, and keep for about three seconds. Then check whether any fluid leakage occurred.
  3. Repeat several times at about three second intervals.
  4. Check for bubble generation or cloud in fluid.
  5. If air bubbles and the cloud don’t fade, stop engine, hold off on air bleeding until air bubbles fade. Perform the 2nd and 3rd procedures again.
  6. Stop engine, check fluid level.