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The "Ask a Mechanic" Thread


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8 hours ago, twa said:

traction control button is the usual, they won't go anywhere on ice w/o it

 

make/model?

14 sienna Toyota van XLE. 

 

As as far as we could tell the traction control stays in by default-pushing the button actually turns it off.

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Thanks all. I really don't know if it actually is AWD—he claimed it was. Makes me think that it wasn't because rear wheels did not engage.

 

We were looking for that lock button (after we looked online) couldn't find it. Makes me think it isn't AWD. 

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Got a weird issue with my old 2001 Ford Ranger. I love this little truck. 6 cylinder engine, with a really long bed on it. Perfect for pickup truck-doing things. Two Fridays ago, it wouldn't start after driving it about 5 miles and sitting for about an hour, while I was away from it. It didn't seem like a normal weak battery or bad starter kind of thing. It's like it wasn't getting gas, and just wouldn't turn over, to get going. Waited about 5 minutes, it turned over and started right up. Monday AM- wouldn't start after a couple of attempts over a period of about two hours. Got it towed to my mechanic (who's normally really good and honest with this truck). He had trouble figuring it out. He said it started every time he tried. He hooked up gauges/equipment to monitor fuel pressure and whatever he thought needed measuring. All he came up with was he said seemed like it was flooded when he first got it due to some gas in the oil. I got him to put a new oil filter and change the oil, because it needed it anyway. I decided to let him keep it another day to see if it would not start for him the next morning. Sure enough, it didn't.

 

After that, it did start, like every time, so he wanted to wait for it to repeat the whole not starting thing again, while he had whatever equipment hooked up to see what was going on. It repeated the issue again eventually, and he said the fuel pump was testing fine, pulled some other parts, and I guess there's some rust in the fuel regulator and the fuel pressure-damper, whatever that is. He replaced those, and the fuel filter. I drove it yesterday with no issues. Today, it won't start. Let it sit an hour, it starts right up. He didn't want to replace the fuel pump first, as it was the most expensive option, but I'm wondering if maybe there's just rust inside of the gas tank or somewhere else along the line. I guess the fuel pump might be next, but I kind of feel like I'm heading towards a new gas tank, and maybe everything else in the fuel system. Anyone ever had a similar thing, or have any ideas? Is it hard to figure out where rust is coming from in a case like this?

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Is the engine turning over w/o starting? 

Those also have a fuel cutoff switch on the passenger side post by your foot that can have a bad connection ect.

If it isnotturning over it is a different problem than the fuel system.

Corrosion on the battery terminals can cause intermittent problems

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16 minutes ago, twa said:

Is the engine turning over w/o starting? 

Those also have a fuel cutoff switch on the passenger side post by your foot that can have a bad connection ect.

If it isnotturning over it is a different problem than the fuel system.

Corrosion on the battery terminals can cause intermittent problems

 

Yeah, it's turning over. The battery's fairly new and no corrosion. I may have him look at the battery cables themselves though, now that you mention that. I've had to replace those before, because for whatever reason, that truck has had corrosion issues. Not just on the battery/terminals, but like it ate it's way deep up into the cables. Still think it's fuel related. I was also thinking maybe I just got a bad tank of gas wherever I last fueled up.

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Also push/wiggle the fuses and relays

 

On those  trucks you should hear a short buzz  from the tank when you turn on the ignition (just short of cranking) which is the pump cycling

 

Listen for that if it doesn't start

Edited by twa
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@twa @Springfield

My Engine Light diagnostics revealed the following diagnostic code

 

P0706 Transmission Range Sensor A.

 

I was told that this issue could also be the cause for "false readings" of 2  more error codes, on the Coolant Thermostat, and the Camshaft Position Sensor A.

Is that true ?

 

Also told that replacing the Transmission Range Sensor should only cost a few hundred. Is that also accurate ?

 

Edited by Malapropismic Depository
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19 hours ago, Malapropismic Depository said:

@twa @Springfield

My Engine Light diagnostics revealed the following diagnostic code

 

P0706 Transmission Range Sensor A.

 

I was told that this issue could also be the cause for "false readings" of 2  more error codes, on the Coolant Thermostat, and the Camshaft Position Sensor A.

Is that true ?

 

Also told that replacing the Transmission Range Sensor should only cost a few hundred. Is that also accurate ?

 

 

What kind of car again?  Year make model

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So it looks like, by and large, the transmission switch is the most likely cause.  I don’t think those are very hard to replace.

 

EDIT:  If you have multiple trouble codes for multiple different systems, clear them all.  Drive the vehicle and see which code returns first, fix that and then proceed.

 

Generally speaking a “coolant thermostat” code always means that the thermostat is sticking open and needs replacement.

Edited by Springfield
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Apart from oil changes at the correct interval: what maintenance tips do you have to keep a vehicle running and looking nice as long as possible?

 

As far as keeping the interior looking nice: don’t eat in your car. Here in snow country, vehicle specific deep-well floormats  are key.

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1 hour ago, skinsmarydu said:

. . .rotate tires & keep them properly inflated . . .

good ones. I have to remember to rotate more regularly as the oil change intervals for my Pilot and Sienna are just too far apart (we go by the oil sensor). On my Mazda, I religiously changed oil every 3K miles because of the turbo engine, so I knew to do it every other oil change. 

 

The cold temps and temp swings here reduce tire pressure dramatically (deflategate anyone?).

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  • 2 weeks later...

My patient's wheelchair-lift-equipped van.  (She really needs the van so she can take her quadraplegic son to doctor visits.  but has no income whatsoever.  I'm trying to fix her van for her.)  

 

03 Ram 1500 van.  

 

Has a tilt-wheel steering wheel, that just won't lock in place.  Moves up and down if you move it.  I'm pretty sure I can drive it like that, but . . . . 

 

Can't shift the transmission out of park.  

 

I found a youTube video about an 02 van, where an interlock won't disengage.  (It's supposed to disengage when you turn the key, but he gives instructions for how to move it manually.)  But this one doesn't seem to even have that mechanism.  (The part that he says to move, isn't there.)  

 

I know there's also an interlock for when you step on the brake.  The brake lights work, so it's not the brake pedal switch.  

 

(I mention the tilt wheel problem because I suppose it's possible that the two problems are related.  Like, is there an interlock that won't let you shift out of park if the tilt wheel isn't locked in place?)  

 

Edited by Larry
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10 hours ago, Larry said:

My patient's wheelchair-lift-equipped van.  (She really needs the van so she can take her quadraplegic son to doctor visits.  but has no income whatsoever.  I'm trying to fix her van for her.)  

 

03 Ram 1500 van.  

 

Has a tilt-wheel steering wheel, that just won't lock in place.  Moves up and down if you move it.  I'm pretty sure I can drive it like that, but . . . . 

 

Can't shift the transmission out of park.  

 

I found a youTube video about an 02 van, where an interlock won't disengage.  (It's supposed to disengage when you turn the key, but he gives instructions for how to move it manually.)  But this one doesn't seem to even have that mechanism.  (The part that he says to move, isn't there.)  

 

I know there's also an interlock for when you step on the brake.  The brake lights work, so it's not the brake pedal switch.  

 

(I mention the tilt wheel problem because I suppose it's possible that the two problems are related.  Like, is there an interlock that won't let you shift out of park if the tilt wheel isn't locked in place?)  

 

 

The tilt not locking shouldn't matter other than a pain to drive

 

does yours look like this?

https://dodgeforum.com/forum/3rd-gen-ram-tech/167753-shifter-stuck-in-park.html#&gid=1&pid=2

 

take the cover off and spray it with wd 40 then slam it up and down with key on and holding brake  usually works

 

other than that unplugging the wire to it on the shift cable

 

added

 

this is a full size van ,not a mini van right???

 

 

Edited by twa
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Transmission fluid changes...

 

Why do certain makes/models recommending a flush, others recommend fill and drain only? I even know some car seemingly well informed car guy say that unless you change trans. fluid every 30K miles, don't change it. Something about the sludge keeping your transmission together. Any truth to that?

 

What is the truth?

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Just now, Warhead36 said:

The rear view camera is completely black. Is it broken or is there something blocking the view? It was at one point foggy, then kinda faint, but now its completely black.

Once you go black, you never go back(wards)

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12 minutes ago, Warhead36 said:

The rear view camera is completely black. Is it broken or is there something blocking the view? It was at one point foggy, then kinda faint, but now its completely black.

 

probably moisture got into it and needs a new camera

 

you can usually get one online much cheaper, but some require programing after replacement

 

add

 some the capacitor goes out

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01782EHRO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

yr, make /model help

Edited by twa
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4 hours ago, Elessar78 said:

Transmission fluid changes...

 

Why do certain makes/models recommending a flush, others recommend fill and drain only? I even know some car seemingly well informed car guy say that unless you change trans. fluid every 30K miles, don't change it. Something about the sludge keeping your transmission together. Any truth to that?

 

What is the truth?

 

Its my opinion that the “best” method of servicing a transmission is to flush it with a machine.  It’s the only way to guarantee a complete exchange of the fluid.  Otherwise, you’re left with a large amount of fluid which doesn’t get removed from the transmission on and drain and fill.

 

Some cars don’t make a flush possible because of their design in which case a drain and fill is acceptable.

 

As far as changing the fluid every 30k, I’m not religious about it.  The whole, “sludge keeping your transmission together” is nonsense.  If a transmission fails soon after a flush, it was was already bad and was going to fail eventually.

 

Transmission fluid changes don’t fix something that’s already broken, that would be like asking an oil change to fix a broken engine.

 

 

4 hours ago, Warhead36 said:

The rear view camera is completely black. Is it broken or is there something blocking the view? It was at one point foggy, then kinda faint, but now its completely black.

 

Yeah, year make and model would be helpful...

Edited by Springfield
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