Springfield

The "Ask a Mechanic" Thread

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Anyone got any ideas?

Make and model?

Ya might check the wiring around the battery itself for a loose ground to the body(blk wire),usually one on the l+r in the front.

I would guess a problem at the instrument cluster wiring connection w/o more info,or the computer module connection if your headlights ect are working fine

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I was driving on the highway one day and my dash lights were randomly coming on and going off and my tachometer and temperature gauge needles were dropping and coming back on. I thought it was the alternator, so I took it to a alternator place who tested the battery and alternator. The alternator was good, but the battery had a couple bad cells, so I replaced it. The guy also suggested that I replace the battery ground cable, which I did. Now my dash warning lights, etc just stay on when the car is on. From what I've read online, this seems to be related to a loose or improper ground. The car seems to start and run fine. Anyone got any ideas?

Definitely sounds like a ground problem.

On that note, "Good luck with that."

(translation: huge pain in the ass.)

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I was driving on the highway one day and my dash lights were randomly coming on and going off and my tachometer and temperature gauge needles were dropping and coming back on. I thought it was the alternator, so I took it to a alternator place who tested the battery and alternator. The alternator was good, but the battery had a couple bad cells, so I replaced it. The guy also suggested that I replace the battery ground cable, which I did. Now my dash warning lights, etc just stay on when the car is on. From what I've read online, this seems to be related to a loose or improper ground. The car seems to start and run fine. Anyone got any ideas?

Something is up between that alter. Batt. and ground cable. Who installed the Batt. and Cable?.....Also yr, make, model, eng size would help trying to narrow it down. I also want to say it could be the dash but since you replaced the Batt. cable and half the prob. went away your dash just might be fine. The list could go on and on. Now it's really just a series of steps and process of elimination.

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The list could go on and on. Now it's really just a series of steps and process of elimination.

(translation: huge pain in the ass.):ols:

Word:silly:

Getting lucky helps

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(translation: huge pain in the ass.):ols:

Word:silly:

Getting lucky helps

lol......yes yes and if it's a Euro 4get bout it!!!... Wiring nightmares electrical disasters! I'm still going to a therapist over a VW that haunts me in my sleep!! :mad:

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Sounds like they need air bled out or adjusted

Or of course the master cylinder going out

Do they feel spongy when pressure is applied

I wouldn't describe it as a bleed.... The brakes do slow the car with the very light pressure. Just they don't really seem to hammer down unless I go to the floor. TH eold brakes were almost done so... i'm assuming its because they've not worn in yet.

Edited by Veretax

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I wouldn't describe it as a bleed.... The brakes do slow the car with the very light pressure. Just they don't really seem to hammer down unless I go to the floor. TH eold brakes were almost done so... i'm assuming its because they've not worn in yet.

The bleed is to get air bubbles from the lines,which is usually evident by more brake pressure need to stop and more pedal travel

I'm assuming you have checked the fluid level in the reservoir?

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The bleed is to get air bubbles from the lines,which is usually evident by more brake pressure need to stop and more pedal travel

I'm assuming you have checked the fluid level in the reservoir?

Actually no I haven't checked the reservoir. I'd need to figure out where it is to check it.

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Actually no I haven't checked the reservoir. I'd need to figure out where it is to check it.

Open the hood,on the drivers side below the windshield,usually a white plastic container,which will say brake fluid generally you can see the level through the container...probably not low if the brake light is not on though

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got my spark plugs replaced... they were messing up because of "carbon tracking"

I'm glad it wasn't a more expensive problem

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Did it have a ground lead to the body plus engine?

http://autoforum.classifieds1000.com/Pontiac-Sunfire/troubleshoot_lights_on_cluster

Reply #9 Bryan (174.102.131.215) - Wed Apr 28 21:20:55 2010

Problem: Instrument Cluster warning lights and needles "dancing" around.

My solution: make certain you have sufficient grounds: one to the transmission (on a 96) and one to the body.

Original cable is a dual purpose: one lead to tranny, one to battery. In the middle, there is a bracket that mounts to the battery tray. Replaced this with a cable that had a "pig tail" lead at the battery end ($10 replacement as opposed to $50 OEM).

Connected one end to tranny and one to battery. BUT, left the pig tail connect to nothing. At my wits end, I reconnected the original cable along with the bracket to the battery tray.....NO MORE DANCING!!!!

I confirmed this is correct by finding another blog with a picture. The owner had the same issue.

I will be replacing the original with the new cable. I will cut off the plastic end on the pig tail and install a simple eyelet connector from Sears. Then, I will clean a spot to the metal on the body and drive this in with a self-tapping bolt.

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How much should a radiator flush cost?

Also, are there any national mechanic sites that rate reputable mechanics? You know, like rate your doctor, but rate your mechanic? I'm trying to find an honest mechanic in Colorado Springs because the people at the Ford Dealership here are ****ing bull**** monkey ass ****es.

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Okay ran my car about 40 miles or so while out yesterday, I think the brakes are fine now. I think maybe i was treating them with such a delicate touch before because I wanted the last bit to last longer or something LOL

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Also, are there any national mechanic sites that rate reputable mechanics? You know, like rate your doctor, but rate your mechanic? I'm trying to find an honest mechanic in Colorado Springs because the people at the Ford Dealership here are ****ing bull**** monkey ass ****es.

Find a mechanic who uses his name as the business name - like Bill Smith Automotive, Ray Jones Mechanical Repairs, etc, (but preferably not Billy Bob's Truck Fixer Upperer) as not only do they have their business to consider, their own name is on the line.

Edited by SkinnedAussie

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How much should a radiator flush cost?

Also, are there any national mechanic sites that rate reputable mechanics? You know, like rate your doctor, but rate your mechanic? I'm trying to find an honest mechanic in Colorado Springs because the people at the Ford Dealership here are ****ing bull**** monkey ass ****es.

It all depends on what type of coolant goes in your ford and the capacity of witch your coolant system holds. If it's the standard coolant any from $69 to $79. Most new fords have a new type of coolant thats is called VC-4A or Motorcraft Premium Engine Coolant(It looks yellow) then is should be around $89 to $100. What is the reason that you are needing or wanting to flush your coolant system?..

Edit: Oh most of the time those prices only include up to about 2 gallons of coolant then they will charge additionally per quart or however they have it set up after the 2 gallons.

Edited by JustAfan47

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does anyone who lives in md know of a good place that fixes rims, i rode my rim against a curb and it messed up!

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Did it have a ground lead to the body plus engine?

http://autoforum.classifieds1000.com/Pontiac-Sunfire/troubleshoot_lights_on_cluster

Reply #9 Bryan (174.102.131.215) - Wed Apr 28 21:20:55 2010

Problem: Instrument Cluster warning lights and needles "dancing" around.

My solution: make certain you have sufficient grounds: one to the transmission (on a 96) and one to the body.

Original cable is a dual purpose: one lead to tranny, one to battery. In the middle, there is a bracket that mounts to the battery tray. Replaced this with a cable that had a "pig tail" lead at the battery end ($10 replacement as opposed to $50 OEM).

Connected one end to tranny and one to battery. BUT, left the pig tail connect to nothing. At my wits end, I reconnected the original cable along with the bracket to the battery tray.....NO MORE DANCING!!!!

I confirmed this is correct by finding another blog with a picture. The owner had the same issue.

I will be replacing the original with the new cable. I will cut off the plastic end on the pig tail and install a simple eyelet connector from Sears. Then, I will clean a spot to the metal on the body and drive this in with a self-tapping bolt.

The replacement cable was not the same as the original, which had a crimped on bracket on the cable for bolting to the battery tray. The new cable had a smaller gauge lead coming off of it at the battery terminal end. I spliced the bracket from the old cable onto this lead and connected it to the battery tray. I suspected that maybe this smaller gauge wire would produce too much resistance to ground, and perhaps my suspicions were correct.

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It all depends on what type of coolant goes in your ford and the capacity of witch your coolant system holds. If it's the standard coolant any from $69 to $79. Most new fords have a new type of coolant thats is called VC-4A or Motorcraft Premium Engine Coolant(It looks yellow) then is should be around $89 to $100. What is the reason that you are needing or wanting to flush your coolant system?..

Edit: Oh most of the time those prices only include up to about 2 gallons of coolant then they will charge additionally per quart or however they have it set up after the 2 gallons.

Oh, I really have no idea, I know nothing about cars besides the basics of putting gas in, putting oil in, and changing a tire :dunce:

I have a 1995 Ford Mustang with a 5.0L V8 engine. 96,000 miles on the car. It's been having issues for a good 6 months now.

1. In November, the engine started cutting out on me when I was stopped at a light or something. It would take me like 3-4 tries to turn the ignition and get the engine to turn over and fire, about 5 minutes total. This always happened when the car was already warmed up. So, the mechanic said it probably was the fuel pump. Got that replaced.

2. About 3 weeks after getting the car back...engine cuts out again on multiple occasions, but not the severity it was prior to getting the fuel pump replaced. I take it back in, they hook it up to the diagnostic computer thingy and it says nothing's wrong with it. So I let the dudes test drive it for a few days, of course, engine never cuts out on them so they think I'm crazy...pretty sure about that. And yes, I'm a chick, but I also know the difference between stalling my car because of my own manual shifting fault and the engine just cutting out when I'm idling at a light. I just want to put that out there because I'm pretty sure the morons at the shop don't think I understand the difference and think I'm crazy.

Anyway, they give the car back to me and tell me it's fine.

Pissed, I know something's wrong but I don't know what. Of course it starts cutting out on me again at lights and stop signs when I'm idling so I start keeping a log. Everytime it happens, I write down what the fuel level is, how long I ran it before it cut out (usually about 10 minutes, it would usually start acting up on my 3rd or 4th errand stop), etc. It cut out 5 times, but then I was getting ready to head overseas for a few months running around like a crazy person and didn't have time to let those morons take my car again. I figured I could put up with it cutting out on me occasionally...sad that I actually got used to the engine dying at stop lights, me putting my hazards on and waving people around me, writing in my little log, and doing a friggin sudoku puzzle until I can get the engine to turn over again (usually 5-10 min.).

3. I leave soon after this overseas for 3 months and my husband uses the car probably once a week, just to make sure it gets use, and he doesn't have problems, but I don't even know if he really drove it anywhere, maybe around the block.

4. I get back 3 and a half weeks ago and car seems to be fine, besides a little squeaking noise when the engine is running. However, it's not cutting out on me so I don't really care and don't have the money to just take it in when all the systems seem fine.

5. Last week, the stupid thing cut out on me again while I was idling at a stoplight. It took me approx. 8-10 minutes to get it started again. I made an appointment but their only opening was next week. Fine.

6. Today, I go to do a bunch of errands and start smelling something, like hot metal or rubber or something, near the end of my errand run. About 0.5 miles from home, the "check engine" light comes on. I make it home, and call the shop, they say they can move me up to Friday. Pissed off again, I go outside and see green liquid shizz coming out from under my car, antifreeze. Luckily my husband was home and he came out to look at it. He had me back up and took off the cap to the reserve antifreeze tank thing and all this steam and antifreeze came out. Then, he took off the cap to the radiator and more steam. We filled it up with a ton of water, but in the antifreeze reserve tank, one of these cable two-pronged sensor things my husband kind of pulled up and it had some "goo" on it. He said that didn't look "normal," but other than the car maintenance basics like changing the oil, he doesn't know what the hell is going on either. He was wondering out loud if possibly the radiator had a crack, there was a water pump issue, or the radiator needs to be flushed....but like I said, neither of us have an idea.

7. I called the dealership and told them that i wasn't waiting any longer and that I was bringing the car in. It was only a couple miles, but when I got there, there was steam coming out of the hood (yeah, I know I should probably have had it towed there, but I was frustrated and just wanted it to be there, immediately).

So, that's the LONG story of my damn car. I'm really frustrated because I am not living near my dad where he can either fix the problem, or know a mechanic who doesn't suck tuna water and won't screw us over. I'm in a new town and seriously feel like I'm getting hosed by these people, either purposefully, or they are just seriously ignorant. I know that this latest problem may not have anything to do with my engine stalling, but I'm still bitter that the engine stalling issue was never completely fixed in the first place.

Any suggestions?

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Any suggestions?

Well have you every noticed the car over heating at all?...also where was the coolant leaking from? To add to that it almost sounds like you maybe having your oil and coolant mixing together any time you find brown sludge in your coolant system 9 times out of 10 you have fluids mixing together. You could have a bad head gasket or intake manifold gasket. Have you ever noticed any smoke coming out the tail pipe?....Something that should be done is removing the spark plugs and checking the condition of them. Also check the oil if it looks muddy in color you most deff. have coolant and oil mixing together. As far as it stalling out on you it could be a number of things. Coolant and oil going into the combustion camber will foul out spark plugs causing it to stall. Distributor cap if old will make a car stall, a bad crank sensor will do the same. I can make a list that will go on on on.... Really you have multiple things going on it will take time to narrow it down for just about anyone who works on it. My advice is get your dad involved if he know about car repairs and to have the shop where it's at just start with the basics of testing that really take no labor hours at all like doing a compression check of the cylinders and a pressure check of the radiator system. Good luck let me know how it goes.

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I like Skinned Aussies suggestion,but then I prefer to know who is working on my ****

Keast it is likely gonna need a water pump(though it could be just a stuck thermostat...have you noticed it leaking before this?(usually parked after a drive)

as far as the stalling ,not much help with a number of things

Only way I could see them related is if the timing belt was bad(but any mechanic should be able to tell that) and I doubt it

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does anyone who lives in md know of a good place that fixes rims, i rode my rim against a curb and it messed up!

I ran into the same problem. There is only one place in the area, so I was told, and it was up near Baltimore somewhere. Sorry I wish I could remember the name. Being the only guy around they had a ton of jobs in. I had to pay a rush fee to avoid driving on a space saver for a month.

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Being the only guy around they had a ton of jobs in. I had to pay a rush fee to avoid driving on a space saver for a month.

Never heard of a "rush fee" before... :ols: Hope it wasn't anything outrageous.

Man I guess if your the only person around you kind of get to make up your own rules and fee.....:(

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SkinnedAussie: I forgot to tell you thank-you for your advice. I am going to do that and look on Google ratings to see if I can find someone who I trust.

Well have you every noticed the car over heating at all?...also where was the coolant leaking from? To add to that it almost sounds like you maybe having your oil and coolant mixing together any time you find brown sludge in your coolant system 9 times out of 10 you have fluids mixing together. You could have a bad head gasket or intake manifold gasket. Have you ever noticed any smoke coming out the tail pipe?....Something that should be done is removing the spark plugs and checking the condition of them. Also check the oil if it looks muddy in color you most deff. have coolant and oil mixing together. As far as it stalling out on you it could be a number of things. Coolant and oil going into the combustion camber will foul out spark plugs causing it to stall. Distributor cap if old will make a car stall, a bad crank sensor will do the same. I can make a list that will go on on on.... Really you have multiple things going on it will take time to narrow it down for just about anyone who works on it. My advice is get your dad involved if he know about car repairs and to have the shop where it's at just start with the basics of testing that really take no labor hours at all like doing a compression check of the cylinders and a pressure check of the radiator system. Good luck let me know how it goes.

Thank-you very much for your help. I am writing all this down and am going to ask whether they did any of these things when I go in today.

As far as the overheating, no, I have never personally witnessed the car overheating. Last summer I had to leave the car at my sister's place in southern California for a couple months and apparently it started overheating with her, so she took it in and got the water pump replaced and it was fine after that. Until yesterday. Other than that, I have never noticed steam or smoke coming out of the tailpipe and I'm pretty observant of my car and if the engine is running roughly or something sounds off, I've always called my dad and/or taken it into a mechanic.

As far as where the antifreeze and misc. liquid was leaking from, neither my husband nor I could tell where the leak was coming from....so it'll be interesting to hear what these guys have to say today... :(

I like Skinned Aussies suggestion,but then I prefer to know who is working on my ****

Keast it is likely gonna need a water pump(though it could be just a stuck thermostat...have you noticed it leaking before this?(usually parked after a drive)

as far as the stalling ,not much help with a number of things

Only way I could see them related is if the timing belt was bad(but any mechanic should be able to tell that) and I doubt it

Yeah, my dad mentioned the stuck thermostat too... The water pump was replaced this past summer, so unless it is defective, I don't know if it would need to be replaced already. And if it was defective, I would imagine I would have had problems prior to now.

And yes, the car stalling out while idling or not starting right away in the parking lot seems to be the big mystery. JustAfan had some good suggestions that I am going to check with the guys at the shop today to see if they've done those things and if not, to get on that ****!

I'll let ya'll know what they say today! Thanks so much for all your help guys, your suggestions have given me some hope :D

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