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Automotive Pet Peeves 2: Reader Feedback Is Overwhelming

How many auto repair pet peeves are out there? Well, enough of them that one article wouldn’t hold them all. I’ve received so many emails, texts and phone calls about my article in the February issue that I thought: why not put everyone’s pet peeve...

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Air Filter Show & Tell: Seeing Is Believing

Air filters are normal wear items that ­require regular checks and ­replacement. Their role is to trap dirt particles that can cause damage to engine cylinders, walls, pistons and piston rings. In fuel-injected vehicles, the air filter also plays...

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Searching For 'Black Holes': Job Totals Reveal Missed Selling Opportunities

The concept for Maintenance Chronicle is simple: We ask one shop to record their maintenance sales for a two-week period, and then we see what we learn from the results. This edition of Maintenance Chronicle also proved to be valuable for the shop we...

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Saab: Fuel Sending Unit Replacement

The 2006 Saab 9-3 Sport sedan came in on the hook and the tow truck driver said, “I think it needs a fuel pump.” The gas gauge was reading less than a quarter of a tank and the low fuel warning light wasn’t on, so a quick fuel pressure check was...

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KIA: Brake Light On, Tachometer And Speedometer Inoperative

Applicable Models: 2001 Kia Optima LX, 2.4L Complaint The customer states the red brake light is illuminated on the instrument cluster. The ­customer also states the tachometer and speedometer intermittently stop working. Cause Confirmed the customer’s...

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Mazda: Fuel System Servicing Precaution

Applicable Models: 2004-’07 Mazda3 2005-’07 Mazda6 2006-’07 MX-5 vehicles During service/removal of fuel system parts on the above vehicles, the memory of the malfunctions and the long-term fuel trim need to be cleared by either removing the...

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Top 5 Tools: Daniel Sjobeck, Roseville Auto Repair

Daniel Sjobeck, tech Roseville Auto Repair Roseville, MN A good toolbox. You can have the best of everything, but it’s no use if you cannot find it. Power Probe – One of the greatest ­inventions EVER. Snap-on Digital Torque Wrenches Snap-on...

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Mitchell 1 ProDemand Consolidates Vintage Repair and Estimating Information

Mitchell 1 has updated its ProDemand repair, diagnostic and maintenance software by consolidating vintage repair and estimating information into the application to deliver full year, make and model coverage from 1974 to the present year. This latest enhancement...

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Pulling Codes: Multiple Misfire Personalities

A Story of Codes P0302, 04, 06, 08 & 03   This month’s diagnostic journey begins with a 2008 Land Rover Discovery that is taken in to a local testing facility for an emission test and fails due to a series of misfire codes. Misfire...

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Diagnostic Dilemma: The Case of the Missing Code

When doing mobile diagnostic work, no-code stalling complaints are a major part of your agenda. In most cases, the client shop is simply too busy to duplicate the failure or, in some cases, a long test drive will yield nothing in the way of useful...

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Secondary Ignition: The Art of Spark

What is a coil? From the beginning of the internal combustion engine, several different ignition systems have been used to create a high-energy spark. The most popular system, and the one that’s in use today, is a step-up coil. A coil is nothing...

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Diagnosing Catalytic Converter Failure Symptoms

Although construction can vary according to engine application, the common three-way catalytic converter contains a reduction and oxidation stage. To create maximum surface area, each stage is generally a ­ceramic or stainless steel honeycomb substrate...

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Home Brakes Bearings Symptoms of a Worn Wheel Hub Bearing – Timken Offers Warning Signs

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Signs of a worn wheel hub bearing vary in severity. Some may be difficult to detect, leading to damage before corrective action can be taken. The timeframe in which damage occurs is linked to driving conditions and/or the mechanical practices that were ­followed at installation. Noise is a classic sign of a bad wheel bearing or wheel hub bearing. Here are some indicators of a worn wheel hub bearing or other wheel-end damage:

• Snapping, clicking or popping.
This can indicate a worn or damaged outer CV-joint. However, it also can be related to excessive bearing endplay, usually associated with inadequate clamping. This noise is typically heard when cornering or making sharp turns.

• Grinding when the vehicle is in motion.
Typically, this means there is mechanical damage in a wheel-end system. Related to a bearing, it means a loss of integrity such as roller or raceway damage. The noise is normally heard when turning or when there is a shift in load.

• Knocking or clunking.
This can signal excessive play in the CV joints or U-joints. It also can be caused by excessive backlash in the differential gears. This is not generally associated with bearings and is normally heard either when shifting from changing directions, such as from forward to reverse, or transitioning from ­accelerating to coasting.

• Humming, rumbling or growling. These noises are normally associated with tire, electrical or drivetrain components. If they’re bearing-­related, the noise or vibration is present when driving in a straight line, but intensifies when turning the steering wheel slightly to the left or right. Typically, the side opposite the rumbling is the defective side.

• Wheel vibration and/or wobble.
This is generally associated with a damaged or worn tire, wheel or suspension component or severe chassis misalignment. When related to the hub or bearing, this normally indicates the loss of clamp or a bearing with extreme mechanical damage. It also can occur when lug nuts are not properly torqued.

• Shudder, shimmy or vibration at a constant speed.
This is normally associated with worn or damaged suspension components or tires that are out-of-balance or out-of-round. It’s not normally indicative of hub or bearing damage.

• Abnormal side pull when brakes are applied.
This is normally indicative of a defective caliper or equalizer, but it also can be a sign of worn brakes or rotors. However, severe looseness related to a bearing can also cause excessive runout, which may cause the brakes to pulsate or pull. The most common cause is a warped rotor due to the caliper not retracting.

• Uneven rotor or brake pad wear.
This is normally indicative of a bad caliper and/or a bad equalizer, which is not bearing-related.
Severe looseness related to a worn or damaged bearing can cause excessive runout, which can cause uneven wear on the brake pads and/or rotor. The most common cause is a warped rotor due to the caliper not retracting.

• Abnormal or uneven tire wear.
There are many causes of abnormal tire wear. The most common are worn or damaged suspension components, misalignment, improper inflation or tire selection. While extreme bearing wear or looseness can cause abnormal tire wear, it’s typically related to other failure modes.

• ABS failure, which could be internal or external to the bearing or hub bearing assembly.
In extreme cases, internal and external sensors can be damaged from excessive movement caused by too much end-play. This indicates a lack or loss of bearing clamp. This normally results from severe ­mechanical break up or damage. Additionally, in ­designs where the sensor is mounted externally, ­sensor damage can result from corrosion, stones and other hazards.

Courtesy of Timken.

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