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A Difficult Diagnosis: When Multiple Conditions Create Similar Symptoms

A Difficult Diagnosis: When Multiple Conditions Create Similar Symptoms

July 21, 2022

Customer complaints of rough idle, misfires, crank but no start or long crank time symptoms can be a challenge with today’s technology. Random or multiple misfire codes may be stored in memory. Symptoms that seem like an ignition related issue may actually be fuel related, carbon induced, or in some cases a normal characteristic. Fuel […]

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FLUID LEVELS AND SERVICE INTERVALS: LOW FLUID LEVEL CAUSES POWER TRANSFER UNIT FAILURE

FLUID LEVELS AND SERVICE INTERVALS: LOW FLUID LEVEL CAUSES POWER TRANSFER UNIT FAILURE

May 20, 2022

LOW FLUID LEVEL CAUSES POWER TRANSFER UNIT FAILURE Are you accurately checking those fluid levels and recommending fluid flushes or exchanges, where applicable? Unfortunately, many service technicians fall into a pattern of just performing lubrication services requested by the customer, which is usually triggered by a service reminder light indicating that it is time for […]

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Injector Pump Failure: Fuel System Flooded with Metal Particles

Injector Pump Failure: Fuel System Flooded with Metal Particles

February 24, 2022

The shop had performed a service on the customer’s 2015 Silverado equipped with a 6.6L Duramax Turbo Diesel, which included a fuel filter replacement. Weeks later the customer contacts the shop owner requesting re- imbursement in the amount of $14,000 to cover the repair cost of the fuel injection system due to an alleged defective […]

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Silencing Engine Sounds: It May Be Impossible with Today’s Technology

Silencing Engine Sounds: It May Be Impossible with Today’s Technology

January 4, 2022

It is not uncommon to receive customer complaints involving noises that may resemble noisy valve lifters or bearing clearance related noises. Other sounds may include piston slap during cold starts lasting for a couple of minutes in cold temperatures. Some of these noises are a normal characteristic for the engine with no means of silencing […]

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Low Oil Pressure Warning: A System Clean-Up May Be the Cure

Low Oil Pressure Warning: A System Clean-Up May Be the Cure

October 20, 2021

His quiet morning drive to work in his 2013 Silverado was interrupted by chimes and a Stop Engine Low Oil Pressure Warning. That can be a scary event, as major engine damage can result due to lack of lubrication. These symptoms have become a common occurrence for GM vehicles equipped with Active Fuel Management. When […]

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GM’s Active Fuel Management: Diagnosing Low Oil Pressure Symptoms

GM’s Active Fuel Management: Diagnosing Low Oil Pressure Symptoms

August 13, 2021

Symptoms of a low oil pressure condition have become a common complaint on GM vehicles equipped with active fuel management, sometimes referred to as displacement on demand. The symptoms may be the result of one of two malfunctioning pressure regulating valves or from a restriction in a filter screen positioned beneath the oil pressure sensor. […]

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Ford Trucks and SUVs: Diagnosing Noisy Front Hubs on 4×4 Applications

Ford Trucks and SUVs: Diagnosing Noisy Front Hubs on 4×4 Applications

May 3, 2021

Customer complaints of clicking, ticking, grinding or ratcheting noises from the front hubs during 2WD mode may be due to a mechanical or a vacuum related issue. The front hubs on the following applications are equipped with actuators referred to as Integrated Wheel Ends (IWE). These actuators function via engine vacuum and spring tension. Vehicles […]

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Low Speed Pre-Ignition (LSPI): Can Produce a Catastrophic Engine Failure

Low Speed Pre-Ignition (LSPI): Can Produce a Catastrophic Engine Failure

January 21, 2021

New technology poses new challenges as smaller displacement turbocharged engines create some major challenges for the vehicle manufacturers and the technicians servicing the vehicles. When cruising, the turbocharged gasoline direct injected engines (TGDI) consume only a fraction of the fuel the larger displacement engines equipped with port fuel injection require. When called upon for performance, […]

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Turbocharged Engines And the Importance of Timely Service Interval

Turbocharged Engines And the Importance of Timely Service Interval

January 14, 2021

Turbocharged engines are becoming common, as vehicle manufacturers utilize smaller displacement engines. Turbochargers and direct injection can make a small displacement engine behave like a larger displacement engine, plus achieve better fuel economy, and that is the reason for their popularity. Engines that operate at higher altitudes benefit greatly from the turbocharged arrangement. Many fail […]

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Practicing Shop Safety: A Technician’s Life May Depend on It

Practicing Shop Safety: A Technician’s Life May Depend on It

November 24, 2020

Having been involved in the automotive field for the past 54 years, I have experienced firsthand how minor negligence can lead to a catastrophic event. Many technicians fall into a pattern that results in the technician taking some steps that could result in personal injury or damage to the customer’s vehicle. It is human nature […]

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Radio Frequency Signal Interference Leaves Muranos with No-Start Symptoms

Radio Frequency Signal Interference Leaves Muranos with No-Start Symptoms

August 20, 2020

Two ladies in like Nissan Muranos were chatting in a shopping center parking lot. After loading their groceries, both encountered a no-start condition. What are the chances of this occurring with two like vehicles parked next to each other? It is all about the strength of the signal and it is not uncommon to encounter […]

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Brake Pedal Effort Panic! When There’s No Power Assist

Brake Pedal Effort Panic! When There’s No Power Assist

June 30, 2020

The location was at a hydroelectric dam that was popular for fishing and water sports. Turbulent doesn’t describe the water conditions created by six generators producing electric power and seventeen flood gates opening and spilling excess water from the lakeside of the dam. The currents were treacherous and would concern the most experienced boater. However, […]

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Throttle Related Symptoms When the Engine Lacks Throttle Response

Throttle Related Symptoms When the Engine Lacks Throttle Response

March 30, 2020

When the customer complaint is poor or no acceleration or the engine has lost power, where would you start with the diagnosis? Most would assume something major and expensive to repair. Following are some basic checks to consider before getting too deep into the diagnostics. MAXIMA LOSES POWER A complete service had been performed and […]

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Cabin Air Filters: Are You Recommending a Filter Replacement?

Cabin Air Filters: Are You Recommending a Filter Replacement?

December 20, 2019

Two lungs filled to capacity with air contaminated with rotting bugs, molded leaves, dust, pollens, mold spores, mildew and other pollutants doesn’t sound healthy. With a contaminated cabin air filter that is exactly what the customer is breathing. WHAT’S A CABIN AIR FILTER? Often, when approaching a customer with a cabin air filter replacement recommendation […]

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From Key to Keyless Ignition

From Key to Keyless Ignition

December 17, 2019

The transition from a key to an electronic code (Keyless Push Button Start) comes with a new set of challenges and safety measures that must be considered to prevent injury to the vehicle operator or the technician. Most view the fob as a key and that is not the case. It allows keyless entry to […]

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Gasoline Direct Injection – New Service Opportunities

Gasoline Direct Injection – New Service Opportunities

October 7, 2019

Gasoline Direct Injection comes with a new set of challenges and service opportunities that the technician must be familiar with. Many of today’s vehicles are fitted with a relatively new fuel system technology for the automobile, referred to as Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI). While this technology has been around for 100 years, it has just […]

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Electronic Parking Brakes: Practicing Safety When Servicing the System

Electronic Parking Brakes: Practicing Safety When Servicing the System

September 5, 2019

When servicing the rear brakes on a vehicle equipped with an electronic parking brake, are you taking the required safety steps to prevent personal injury? Failure to take the precautionary safety measures may result in severe damage to the hands and fingers. FLASHBACK OF YEARS PAST The year was 1968, and I was a student […]

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Air Filter and Housing Inspection: Damaged Housing or Filter Seal Prompts Low Efficiency Catalyst Codes

Air Filter and Housing Inspection: Damaged Housing or Filter Seal Prompts Low Efficiency Catalyst Codes

June 15, 2019

When low-efficiency catalyst codes PO420 and PO430 appear, the last place that most technicians would consider would be a defective air filter seal or damaged/distorted airbox, allowing air filter by-pass. Often, the mentioned codes result in oxygen sensors and the catalytic converter getting replaced, which may be a short-term expensive fix, especially when the condition […]

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Accessory and Suspension Modifications: These Can Present Diagnostic Challenges

Accessory and Suspension Modifications: These Can Present Diagnostic Challenges

May 29, 2019

Accessory components and suspension modifications that enhance the cosmetics or performance of a vehicle are readily available for most vehicle makes and models. Technicians must consider these components and modifications when performing their diagnostics. When modifications are made to steering, suspension, or tire and wheel assemblies, they can have an effect on the handling characteristics […]

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Engine Coolant Leaks: Corrosion…Electrolysis…or Excessive Thermocycles?

Engine Coolant Leaks: Corrosion…Electrolysis…or Excessive Thermocycles?

March 23, 2019

When most think of engine coolant (antifreeze) it is in relation to its freeze-point protection with little consideration of its ability to provide lubrication and protection from system corrosion. Unfortunately, engine coolant normally does not receive any attention until one of the following scenarios occurs: 1) The engine overheats. 2) Freezepoint protection for winter is […]

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Active Fuel Management: It Can Pose Some Challenging Diagnostics

Active Fuel Management: It Can Pose Some Challenging Diagnostics

December 20, 2018

Customer complaints of chirping, ticking, squealing, or squeaking sounds accompanied with misfire codes stored may be the result of valve lifter or camshaft failures on vehicles equipped with Active Fuel Management (AFM), sometimes referred to as Displacement on Demand (DOD). Pinpointing the source of the noise can be a challenge for the technician and the […]

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Oil Pressure…Filtration…and Viscosity: Vehicle Manufacturer Specifications Really Matter

Oil Pressure…Filtration…and Viscosity: Vehicle Manufacturer Specifications Really Matter

November 20, 2018

With an oil pressure reading of 5 PSI at idle, the customer was certain that some major engine repairs would be necessary. Fortunately, some research prevented a lot of unnecessary repairs, as that was normal oil pressure for the vehicle at idle. Today’s engines have different lubrication and filtration requirements and adhering to those specifications […]

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Distorted and Damaged Air Filters: The Condition May Be Water Induced

Distorted and Damaged Air Filters: The Condition May Be Water Induced

August 20, 2018

While performing a routine lube service on a 2015 Ford Transit, the lube service technician identified a severely damaged air filter. The filter was distorted and damaged to the point that foreign debris could be drawn into the engine, in addition to fragments of the filter media, which could result in major damage. The technician […]

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Battery Testing

Battery Testing

June 20, 2018

Make It a Part of Your Vehicle Inspection If testing the battery is not a part of your vehicle inspection…it should be. A heads-up notice on a failing battery can save your customer a lot of grief. During a recent oil and filter change, the technician performed a vehicle inspection that included a complimentary battery […]

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Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon

Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon

April 25, 2018

They Can Be a Lube Service Nightmare! The 2018 Chevrolet Colorado with a 3.6L engine had received a routine oil and filter change. Days later a low oil pressure indicator and some serious engine noises plagued the vehicle. Warranty repair at the dealership was denied.

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Servicing Fuel Filters

Servicing Fuel Filters

March 20, 2018

Neglecting a Filter Replacement Can Be Costly While much emphasis is placed on servicing filters during routine vehicle maintenance, little attention is given to the fuel filter until an engine performance issue occurs. Neglecting the fuel filter can result in damage to some expensive components such as an electric fuel pump or some costly fuel […]

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For Your Share of the Repair Business

For Your Share of the Repair Business

December 1, 2017

Focus on Customer Relations and Retention With an aging fleet that is currently approaching 12 years, this translates into a lot of needed repairs to keep these vehicles operational. The independents are not the only service providers that have an interest in this market. New car dealers are taking steps to secure their fair share […]

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Gum and Carbon Deposits

Gum and Carbon Deposits

November 1, 2017

Create Engine Performance Challenges It was a busy morning with multiple vehicles arriving on roll-backs with no-start symptoms. The vehicles ran perfectly the previous day, only to encounter a no-start condition the following morning. The symptoms were that of loss of compression. Each vehicle…

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