Gary Goms, Author at Brake & Front End - Page 2 of 20
Diagnostic Dilemmas: Changes In Our Diagnostic Outlook

Everybody likes to read about a Diagnostic Dilemma that has been solved to everybody’s satisfaction. But this month I have an unsolved Diagnostic Dilemma that is more about customers than cars. This particular dilemma involves a 2005 Ford Crown Victoria with headlamps that randomly lose power during night driving.

Diagnostic Solutions: Extended Oil Change Intervals

Extended oil change intervals are a mixed blessing. On the upside, extended oil change intervals are conserving precious oil and reducing carbon emissions. On the downside, many vehicle owners are forgetting to check their engine’s oil level between oil changes. The most common result is an engine ruined by excess accumulations of varnish and sludge due to using motor oils that are not approved by the engine manufacturer.

Preventive Maintenance: When Should Fluids Be Replaced?

Unfortunately, many shops have been accused of over-selling fluid maintenance services. For example, I had a customer who, for whatever reason, preferred to have his vehicle serviced at an out-of-town fast lube shop. Although his vehicle recently had the automatic transmission replaced, the fast-lube shop insisted on selling him a transmission fluid flush. Not only did they sell him the first transmission flush, they attempted to sell him a second flush on a later visit.

Diagnosing Rough Idle On Chrysler 2003 Town & Country

According to the owner, the 3.8L Town & Country had been driven for quite awhile with an illuminated Check Engine light and a rough idle condition. As the vehicle was driven, the idle condition worsened until the engine wouldn’t idle in gear unless the driver applied the throttle. Of course, the vehicle owner had assumed that the rough idle complaint was caused by only one component failure and would therefore be relatively simple to repair.

Determining When An Oxygen Sensor Needs Replaced

When diagnosing any oxygen sensor, remember that outside air entering the exhaust system from an exhaust leak will obviously reduce an oxygen sensor’s indicated voltage output. It’s also important to know that oxygen sensors can become rich or lean biased due to problems like sensor contamination and faulty sensor grounds. Remember that, regardless of how well it tests, a biased sensor will not produce a stoichiometric air/fuel ratio. So, if the sensor is questionable, it should be replaced.

Diagnostic Solutions: Contaminated Fuel Can Wreck Havoc On Fuel Delivery Systems

Import Specialist Contributor Gary Goms discusses how contaminated fuel can mimic the symptoms produced by defective fuel pumps, fuel injectors and fuel control components like mass air flow (MAF) sensors. Although cases involving contaminated gasoline are relatively rare nowadays, they still occur. In many cases, the technician has replaced the fuel pump or MAF sensor to address a P0171/P0174 “lean-condition” DTC with no result.

Diagnosing Engine Noise Under The Hood Of A Ford F-150

This article is about diagnosing a mysterious engine noise in a 1989 Ford F-150 pickup equipped with the venerable 5.0L or 302 cubic-inch V8 engine. It’s not often that I’m called upon to diagnose internal engine problems and, in this case, I wasn’t called as much as I volunteered. I taught heavy-duty line mechanics during the early 1970s and worked heavy line during my time as a dealership auto mechanic. When I opened my shop in 1977, I did internal engine repairs for more than 10 years. So diagnosing odd engine noises is a process that I’ve generally mastered on most applications.

Diagnostic Solutions: Hubs/Bearings, CV Shafts & U-Joints

Thanks to advanced technology, modern vehicles operate with fewer noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) complaints than ever before. Consequently, when a noise, vibration or harshness issue arises, it’s most likely to be caused by worn drivetrain components like universal joints, constant velocity (CV) joints or wheel bearing hub assemblies. In any case, NVH complaints can often be the most challenging to diagnose when a tech or service writer can’t duplicate the exact driving conditions under which they occur.

Diagnostic Dilemmas: Approaching No-Code Diagnostics

Thanks to the increasing reliability of modern vehicles, most diagnostic technicians are seeing fewer pattern-failure driveability complaints. For that reason, many techs won’t gamble expensive shop time chasing an illusive no-code driveability complaint. Instead, many will write “no problem found” on the repair order and move on to the next vehicle. Unfortunately, at some point in time, the intermittent, no-code driveability will either be solved or the vehicle will be traded or sold for scrap.

Diagnostic Solutions: Ride Control System Protocol – Matching The Components To The Application

Import Specialist Contributor Gary Goms recalls his days of working as a technician for an off-road desert racing team and notes this lesson learned that holds true to this day: matching a shock absorber to its application.

Diagnostic Solutions: Starter & Battery Diagnostics

Import Specialist Contributor Gary Goms says that early 1900s inventor Charles F. Kettering’s electric self-starter transformed the automobile from a temperamental novelty item into a practical means of transportation.

Liquid Tools: Automotive Chemicals Are Essential Tools For Keeping Vehicles In Top-Notch Condition

Babcox Media Technical Contributor Gary Goms recommends that for maximum productivity, every shop should have at least a small working inventory of these diverse kinds of automotive chemicals.