Oct 242017

2005 Ford Explorer

Engine will just die

This vehicle runs well and has plenty of power, but occasionally the engine will just die. It can happen at 10 mph or 60 mph. It will crank back up and run. Appears to be an intermittent problem. Pulled two codes from the computer:
P1633 KAM (Keep Alive Memory) Voltage Too Low
P0462 Fuel Level Sensor Low Input

I don’t know that these codes have anything to do with the problem we’re having with the vehicle. I’ve checked some of the simple stuff like making sure there is plenty of fuel in the tank, and I checked the battery voltage (a good 12.6 volts).

What do you think?

I wouldn’t think that these codes have anything to do with the engine intermittently dying on you. Unfortunately this is one of the most difficult problems to diagnose. If the engine wouldn’t restart it would be as simple as just figuring out if it isn’t getting fuel or spark. But since it starts right back up it make it that much more difficult. I would guess a loose connection or a failing sensor. As for which one, difficult to tell. Unfortunately in this case it would be more cost effective to let the problem get worse in order to know exactly what to repair/replace. No need to through parts at it if you don’t have to.

What does code P1633 mean?

P1633 means that the powertrain control module (PCM) has detected low voltage on the keep alive memory circuit. This is the circuit that supplies constant battery voltage to the keep alive memory portion of the PCM so it can retain information regarding fuel control, idle control and transmission control adaptive strategies to name a few. If the battery is disconnected or voltage drops below 10.5 volts this code will be set. If the battery has not been disconnected then the circuit will need to be checked for opens or high resistance in the wire, shorts, blown fuse, high voltage r/f interference from ignition or charging system components, or the PCM being being faulty itself.

Ford Code P1633

KAM Volt Low

Code P1633 Probable Causes

  1. Sensor or solenoid faulty
  2. Connector terminal contact is damaged or corroded
  3. Wire harness – Check harness for correct voltage, open, short to ground or short to voltage
  4. Update control unit software – Check for the latest control unit update
  5. Powertrain or Engine Control Module faulty
  6. Battery voltage low

Ford Code P0462

Fuel level sensor A circuit low input

Code P0462 Probable Causes

  1. Sensor or solenoid faulty
  2. Connector terminal contact is damaged or corroded
  3. Wire harness – Check harness for correct voltage, open, short to ground or short to voltage
  4. Update control unit software – Check for the latest control unit update
  5. Powertrain or Engine Control Module faulty
  6. Battery voltage low

Sources: Justanswer, Chilton

Oct 242017

Pontiac Torrent

Loud whining sound

Loud whining sound seems to coming from the back of my car. Start hearing it at about 30mph up to about 60mph. It may be at higher speeds too, not sure if it’s road noise covering it or that it’s not as loud. Best description is like when Honda civics are retrofitted with a muffler that makes a really annoying high pitch sound. Only mine is heard in the car. Not sure if it’s heard outside car. Thank you

Oct 242017

2002 Dodge Ram 1500

Oil pressure gauge drops to zero then back to half normal pressure after engine warms up. Has good pressure when first cranked ? Is oil sending unit on exterior or interior of motor ?

Most common cause for this would be a faulty oil pressure sending unit. It is a fairly in expensive part and would be the first place to look. Check the connections and if any sign of oil is around, replace it.

Oil Pressure Sensor Description

The 3–wire, solid-state engine oil pressure sensor (sending unit) is located in an engine oil pressure gallery.


The oil pressure sensor uses three circuits. They are:

  • A 5–volt power supply from the Powertrain Control Module (PCM)
  • A sensor ground through the PCM’s sensor return
  • A signal to the PCM relating to engine oil pressure

The oil pressure sensor has a 3–wire electrical function very much like the Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) sensor. Meaning different pressures relate to different output voltages.

A 5–volt supply is sent to the sensor from the PCM to power up the sensor. The sensor returns a voltage signal back to the PCM relating to engine oil pressure. This signal is then transferred (bussed) to the instrument panel on either a CCD or PCI bus circuit (depending on vehicle line) to operate the oil pressure gauge and the check gauges lamp. Ground for the sensor is provided by the PCM through a low-noise sensor return.

Oct 242017

Dodge Grand Caravan

I can’t fix my spongy brakes. I have replaced all brake pads, master cylinder, a rear caliper and have bled it several times to no success. Someone tells me to change the brake booster but that doesn’t seem correct. How do I fix this?

Brake pedal feels spongy or has excessive travel

  1. Check the brake fluid level and condition. If the fluid is contaminated or has not been flushed every two years, clean the master cylinder reservoir, and bleed and flush the brakes using fresh brake fluid that meets the manufacturer’s recommended standards.
  2. Check for a weak or damaged flexible brake hydraulic hose. Replace the hose and flush the brake system.
  3. If the brake system uses drum brakes front or rear, check the brake adjustment. Inspect for seized adjusters and clean or replace, then properly adjust.


Oct 232017

2008 Toyota Yaris

What does it take to repair a right turn signal that won’t self-cancel?

Turn Signal Switch Removal

Replacing the combination switch assembly will be required. This will require the removal of the steering wheel pad and wheel. Then removing the upper and lower column covers.

steering wheel removal 2008 Toyota Yaris

  • Disengage the clamp indicated by the arrow in the illustration.
  • Remove the turn signal switch assembly with spiral cable from the steering column assembly.

turn signal removal diagram 2008 Toyota Yaris

Oct 232017

2006 Ford Taurus

I have been throwing parts at this car trying to fix it. It started with multiple check engine codes P0300 and a few more P03XX ones I cannot remember. But they all had to do with misfire. I replaced the plugs and the coil pack. While replacing the plugs, #5 cylinders plug was missing the tip of the plug so I know it was not firing. After replacing the parts it ran great but code P0300 came back. Checked for vacuum leaks, tested all the injectors and found one that may have been weak. Then I replaced the upper intake manifold and all the injectors along with the EGR Valve, Mass Air Flow, EGR Vacuum Solenoid, and the Cam Sensor. I figured I would have got it with all that but nope.

I now get P0402 and still P0300 so now I am thinking I will go ahead and replace the Camshaft Synchronizer and the crank sensor. Not sure what else I could be missing but I am willing to try anything at this point. If anyone has any other ideas, I am going to pull the plugs and recheck them along with the plug wires. I have rechecked the wiring positions and they are in the correct order.

In my experience with code P0402 you will need to replace 3 components. The EGR, EGR Regulator and DPF (Differential Pressure Feedback) EGR valves. You will also want to remove the valve tubes and make sure all are clean and clear of obstruction. Do the same for the ports they connect to. As for the Po300 misfire code should clear up once you take care of the EGR issues.

Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) System Components — Exploded View

EGR compnent location diagram 2006 Ford Taurus

Item Part Number Description
1 14A464 Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) vacuum regulator valve electrical connector
2 N620479 EGR vacuum regulator valve nuts (2 required)
3 9J489C EGR vacuum regulator valve
4 Vacuum tube connector-to-EGR vacuum regulator valve (part of 9E498)
5 9E498 EGR vacuum tube
6 Vacuum tube connector-to-EGR valve (part of 9E498)
7 9E444A Differential pressure feedback EGR sensor
8 14A464 Differential pressure feedback EGR sensor electrical connector
9 9D476B EGR valve gasket
10 9E444A EGR valve
11 Exhaust manifold-to-EGR valve tube fitting (part of 9D477E)
12 Exhaust manifold-to-EGR valve tube nut (part of 9D477E)
13 9D477E Exhaust manifold-to-EGR valve tube
14 W500224 EGR valve bolts (2 required)
15 9P761A Differential pressure feedback EGR sensor vacuum hoses (2 required)

Ford Code P0402

Code P0402 Description: Exhaust Gas Recirculation Flow Excessive Detected

Code P0402 Possible Causes

  1. Sensor or solenoid faulty
  2. Connector terminal contact is damaged or corroded
  3. Wire harness – Check harness for correct voltage, open, short to ground or short to voltage
  4. Update control unit software – Check for the latest control unit update
  5. Powertrain or Engine Control Module faulty
  6. Exhaust leaks or restrictions
  7. EGR components clogged, dirty or leaky
  8. EGR valve damaged/defective


Oct 222017

Chevy Equinox

My catalytic converter has melted so says the garage.

Was there a question in there? The converter typically melts internally if there is un-burnt fuel exposed to it during operation. For example, if one of the cylinders of the engine was not firing and allows the fuel to simply pass through. When this happens there is usually a rotten egg smell that accompanies the situation.

Catalytic Converter Replacement (FWD)

catalytic converter 2012 Chevy Equinox

1 Exhaust Manifold Nut (Qty: 3)

Caution: Refer to Fastener Caution.

50 Y (37 lb ft)

2 Exhaust Muffler Nut (Qty: 2)

40 Y (30 lb ft)

3 Catalytic Converter Bracket Clamp Nut

50 Y (37 lb ft)

4 Exhaust Insulator Hanger
5 Seal
6 Gasket
7 Catalytic Converter

Tip: Replace with NEW gasket and seal.

Oct 212017

Ford Crown Victoria

The headlights do not always come on when operating the high/low switch. Sometimes they come on, however they don’t come on every time. I’d like to know if there is some part, other than the h/l switch that will cause this intermittent situation? Thank You for your knowledgeable response.

When looking at the diagram it appears the only options would be the wiring, the switch or the Lighting Control Module. If equipped with DRL (Daytime Running Lights) there is the addition of the DRL Module.


Headlights without DRL wiring diagram

(best viewed in Chrome or Firefox)

Headlights with DRL wiring diagram

Oct 212017

2001 Chrysler Town and Country

Just had transmission rebuilt and the speedometer bounces when in gear. Or with foot on brake. It bounces more with lights and a/c heat blower on.

You may want to have the place that rebuilt your transmission take a second look. It would also be a good idea to have the TCM codes scanned.


The transmission output speed signal supplies distance pulses to the powertrain control module (PCM), which are used to calculate speed and mileage. A pinion factor is stored in the transmission control module (TCM) in order to provide the appropriate distance pulses for the vehicle. The pinion factor is programmed into the TCM at the assembly plant.

Using the following steps, the pinion factor can be checked and/or reset using the DRBIII®:

  • Select Transmission system, then Miscellaneous functions, then Pinion Factor. The DRBIII® will display the current tire size.
  • If the tire size is incorrect, depress the Enter key and then select the correct size.
  • Depress the Page Back key to exit the reset procedure.

Notes About Electronic Pinion Factor Features The nature of the electronic pinion factor requires that certain features must be taken into consideration.

  • If no pinion factor is stored in an installed TCM, the vehicle speedometer will not operate, engine speed will be limited to 2300 RPM, and catalyst damage may occur.
  • Selecting a wrong FDR or tire size will cause the speedometer to be inaccurate and will also cause any speed related features to operate improperly. Note: After replacing the TCM, you must reprogram pinion factor
Oct 212017

2003 Pontiac Grand Prix

Water doesn’t appear to be running through hoses from heater core to radiator.

If the coolant system is low or has been recently worked on there may be an air pocket in the system. The cooling system requires a special bleeding procedure to remove all air from the system. If the system is full and bled properly then the water pump may be faulty if the heater core is not clogged.

Checking to see if the heater core is clogged would require disconnecting the hoses. Using a water hose fixed to one side and see if water flows out the other side.

There is one bleed valve on the 3800 engine. It is located on the thermostat housing.

Bleed valve coolant 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix

Cooling Cycle

Coolant flows from the radiator outlet and into the water pump inlet. Some coolant flows from the water pump, to the heater core, then back to the water pump. This provides the passenger compartment with heat and defrost capability as the coolant warms up.

Coolant also flows from the water pump outlet and into the engine block. In the engine block, the coolant circulates through the water jackets surrounding the cylinders where it absorbs heat.

The coolant then flows through the cylinder head gasket openings and into the cylinder heads. In the cylinder heads, the coolant flows through the water jackets surrounding the combustion chambers and valve seats, where it absorbs additional heat.

Coolant is also directed to the throttle body. There it circulates through passages in the casting. During initial start up, the coolant assists in warming the throttle body.

From the cylinder heads, the coolant flows to the thermostat. The flow of coolant will either be stopped at the thermostat until the engine reaches normal operating temperature, or it will flow through the thermostat and into the radiator where it is cooled. At this point, the coolant flow cycle is completed.

Efficient operation of the cooling system requires proper functioning of all cooling system components. The cooling system consists of the following components.

Water Pump

The water pump is a centrifugal vane impeller type pump. The pump consists of a housing with coolant inlet and outlet passages and an impeller. The impeller is mounted on the pump shaft and consists of a series of flat or curved blades or vanes on a flat plate. When the impeller rotates, the coolant between the vanes is thrown outward by centrifugal force.

The impeller shaft is supported by one or more sealed bearings. The sealed bearings never need to be lubricated. Grease cannot leak out, dirt and water cannot get in as long as the seal is not damaged or worn.

The purpose of the water pump is to circulate coolant throughout the cooling system. The water pump is driven by the crankshaft via the drive belt.