The Ford Escape is one of the longest running Ford platforms with models that remained unchanged mechanically from 2000 to 2010. While it is not the most complicated alignment, it does have some quirks that have emerged during its past 10 years of service.
What do some ball joints, tie rods and suspension components have in common with engines? The answer is Torque-to-Yield (TTY) fasteners. These bolts and studs that stretch are becoming more common on vehicles not just under the hood, but under the car.
Brake hoses are the most government-regulated components on a vehicle. Anyone making brake assemblies must be registered with the Department of Transportation (DOT). All aftermarket hose, fittings and complete hoses must conform to FMVSS 106 and SAE J1401. These tests are demanding and often exceed what a vehicle will see in the real world.
The first step in any diagnostic strategy is to figure out whether or not your customer’s vehicle actually has a TPMS problem. Any number of things can cause the TPMS warning light to come on or flash. The light should illuminate when a tire is low, and should eventually go out after the low tire has been inflated to its recommended pressure. If the light remains on after checking/inflating the tires, or if it flashes and remains illuminated, it may signal a TPMS problem that will require further diagnosis.
The BMW N54 fuel pump recall a few years ago brought to light the importance of the integrity of the fuel system and how it can contribute to the overall reliability of a vehicle. These fuel quality issues apply to all BMW vehicles with either port or direct injection. The underlying message here is that if the cleanliness and overall integrity of the fuel tank is ignored, it will damage any fuel pump. This is why addressing the fuel tank is essential during any pump replacement to prevent costly comebacks that can also hurt your reputation.
Fully variable valve timing can be achieved only by using computer-operated solenoids to precisely control the intake and exhaust valve opening and closing events. Although the various combinations of valve timing events are theoretically infinite on an electronically controlled system, their applications are limited due to issues of cost and, in some cases, reliability.
Troubleshooting an automatic transmission can be one of the most intimidating diagnostic procedures at a shop. The first reaction is typically, “We don’t do that type of work.” But there is profit in performing drivetrain diagnostics and “in-the-car” repairs.
The modern transmission is one of the most connected components on a vehicle. When using a scan tool to diagnosis a drivetrain problem, it’s often what is not displayed on the scan tool that will lead you to your final diagnosis. Read on for three of the common causes of transmission complaints.
The modern engine measures two things extremely well, the amount of air going into the combustion chamber with the mass airflow sensor (MAF), and the byproducts that are generated by the combustion event with the oxygen sensor. These measurements allow the engine’s computer to put the right amount of fuel and spark into the cylinder to give the most efficient and cleanest combustion event.
For every 10 percent reduction in vehicle weight, there is a 5 to 7 percent fuel savings. Since 1990, there has been a steady increase in the weight of vehicles due to airbags, structural components and convenience features like heated seats. This fattening in some areas forced suspension components to go on a diet.
Leave it to the manufacturers to take a simple thing like heat and air conditioning and turn it into an electronic jungle of wiring, sensors and computer components. HVAC units have come a long way from when I started in the business. Not that I want to dwell on the past, but it might be a good idea to make sure we understand the basics before diving into the problem of today’s systems. I always feel that if I understand a system fully before doing any repair work, I’m more likely to get it right the first time.
The 2004-2013 Mazda3 shares the Ford C1 platform. This is almost the same vehicle as the Ford Focus and Volvo S40 when it comes to the suspension. While the exterior and interior changed in nine years, the suspension did not. The only major alteration occurred in 2009 when the suspension was updated and lost the built-in adjustments for front caster and camber.