Jan 132018

2012 Ford F250

I have a severe shimmy / shake that starts once I hit 60 MPH and continues till around 70 MPH. I bought this truck used with 65,000 miles on it and what appeared to be new tires. The dealership changed the tracing bar and the dual stabilizer bar and re-balanced the tires and rotated the tires also trying to fix/find the issue. The issue only seemed different before these above fixes but now appears more different , severe and worse?

The issues at first were noticed at 35 or 40 MPH crossing a rough R/R Track that near about shook me off the side of the road and then settled down but really didn’t shimmy or shake to much at a high rate of speed , this was referenced as ‘ A DEATH WOBBLE ‘. Since the above fixes , the truck don’t shimmy or shake crossing the rough R/R track at 35 or 40 anymore but now shimmy’s and shakes severely once speeds of 60 to 70 MPH are reached. Any advise would be greatly appreciated!

Vibration at 60 MPH

Generally if a vibration comes on at a certain speed and then calms down at a higher rate of speed it is caused by a tire issue. Usually the tire issue is due to balancing. Sometimes what is called a flat spot will also cause this issue.

A good way to narrow this down is to first test drive and note any vibration. Is it more dominate in the front or steering wheel than it is in the rear or seat. Once noted, rotate both front tires to the back and test drive again. Note if the vibration has followed the tires. If it is now worse feeling in the steering wheel then you can start by re-balancing. Or in most cases replacing the front tires.

More than likely all the problems that were present caused extensive damage to the tires. Now that the repairs are made the only thing left to do would be to replace the tires.

Jan 112018

Chevy Suburban

My Suburbans right rear door will not lock manually or with power. I had to replace the inside handle/lock assembly because the lever had fallen inside the door. I can lock by vice grips on the lock rod. I can unlock manually with inside lever but it feels like it’s in a bind when locking with vice grips, it’s easy unlocking but stiff locking.

Door Lock Binding

If it feels like something is binding then it most likely is. You will need to take it back apart and determine the cause.  Disconnect the rod and see if the lock mechanism can now be moved easily in both directions. If you find the lock can now lock and unlock without the rod connected, work from there until you determine the cause. May be rust or an improper installation or even something dropped inside.

door lock diagram 1996 Chevy Suburban

Jan 112018

2005 Nissan Micra

I have just bought a Nissan Micra 2005 and have noticed that it’s really hard to shift gear and the engine makes a struggling noise when I press the clutch down while in neutral or gear. Luckily, I have 3 months warranty and will be taking it back to be fixed. I’d like to know what’s most likely to be the cause of this problem please, and if the fix job could easily be masked to make the car run longer?

Hard to shift gear

  • Hard to shift gears – Most likely failing clutch master cylinder and clutch slave cylinder
  • Noise when clutch pedal is pressed – Clutch release bearing failing

The most common fix would be to replace the clutch master and slave cylinders. Also replacing the clutch, clutch pressure plate and release bearing.


Jan 112018

Nissan Altima

I have a 2006 Nissan Altima 2.5 4 – I replaced the pre-cat with a header because I heard that they would break apart and ruin the engine. However, now the engine light keeps coming on. Will an O2 sensor simulator fix the issue. I have tried to put a spacer on the header, but that did not help. I am told there are 2 o2 sensors, but only find 1. Thanks for any help!!

Removing Catalytic Converter

Replacing the exhaust manifold with a header is generally done for performance reasons (note* the exhaust manifold and catalytic converter are one assembly). There is nothing that would break apart and enter the engine as far as the catalytic converter is concerned. This is because it is mounted out the output side of the engine cylinder head.

catalytic converter with O2 sensor location diagram - 2006 Nissan Altima

Using O2 Sensor Simulator

The original setup includes two oxygen sensors. One before the catalytic converter and one after. The Oxygen sensor that is mounted before the (upstream)converter is used to determine air/fuel mixture. The O2 sensor mounted after the converter(downstream) is used to determine the efficiency of the converter. So if the simulator you are proposing to use is to fake out the downstream sensor, then yes it should take care of the check engine light issue.

Hub Bearing Testing 2002 Toyota Prius

 Auto Repair Questions, Toyota  Comments Off on Hub Bearing Testing 2002 Toyota Prius
Jan 092018

2002 Toyota Prius

Had a vibration in left front wheel. It was loose lug nuts. Fixed that. Vibration/knocking has returned. Only happens when I let off accelerator, but goes away if I brake. Also after turning left the steering wheel slightly catches when turning back to the right. Going to try to fix at home as funds are tight. Just not sure where to start.

Hub Bearing Testing

First of all it might be good to note what might have caused the front lug nuts to come loose. Second, what might have been under stress while driving it around with the vibration. From what you have stated and knowing the common causes for this issue I would start by looking at the front hub bearings. If it turns out there is play in the bearing it will need to be replaced. This requires removal of the entire steering knuckle and having the hub  and bearings removed and installed with a press.

Hub Bearing Testing

Front Hub Removal – 2002 Toyota Prius

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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