Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Chrysler compressor problems

Avoid Chrysler A/C compressor problems Chrysler compressor problems are showing up on Chrysler 2001-02 Caravans, Town & Country, and Voyager vans.. Now Chrysler has issued two TSB’s on the A/C compressors. The first is a software update. #21-002-02 Chrysler claims that the software update will increase the durability of the compressor. From the factory the PCM has an “anti-slugging” feature that removes liquid refrigerant from the compressor during cranking. That feature is activated every time the vehicle is started and the compressor has not run during the previous drive cycle. … Read More

P0401 P1408 — Ford

Fix trouble codes P0401  P1408 on a Ford vehicle Fords with P0401,  P1408 trouble code are known for problems with their DPFE sensors. These sensors detect the change in manifold vacuum pressure when the EGR is commanded on and off and display P0401,  P1408 trouble codes. If you get an EGR code, DO NOT automatically assume that it’s a bad EGR valve! Get a hand held vacuum pump and apply vacuum to the EGR. Check the operation of the valve. It if moves properly and the passages are clean, move on … Read More

Engine Vibration at idle Ford Focus

Fix Engine Vibration at idle on a Ford Focus If have a engine vibration at idle Ford Focus, this may be the fix. Some engineers should be designing weapons to defeat the enemy, rather than our cars. Here’s a case where the engineers designed a “roll restrictor” (motor mount) that’s open to the elements. Well, elements is a kind word for things like gravel, rocks, ice, or snow. If any of that gets into the “roll restrictor,” the engine gets locked into an unstable position and that creates the feeling … Read More

Hard start, no start, GM Minivans

Fix a hard start or no start condition on GM Minivans GM is reporting hard start and no start starting problems and weird electrical symptoms on some 2005-06 GM minivans. You may encounter a no-start or a very difficult time starting, along with stalling. Also, you might see inoperative or erratic operation of the following warning lights: Check Engine, ABS and traction control (TCS) light, service traction system (STS), and all-wheel drive (AWD). To make matters worse, the traction control system may activate on its own and store several trouble … Read More

Intermittent no crank no start – Ford

Fix a problem with an intermittent no crank no start on a Ford Ford has discovered a problem in its starting circuit that affects a wide range of cars and trucks. The problem results in an intermittent no-crank no start condition. The problem is an intermittent open circuit between the starter relay and the starter motor. To correct the problem, Ford has issued a new starter terminal pigtail kit (Part #6U2Z-14S411-NA). The installation instructions are included with the kit. 1997-2004 F-150 Heritage trucks 1997-2006 Ford Expeditions 1997-2007 Ford Crown Victoria … Read More

AC smells bad

AC smells bad vents when blower is running If your AC smells bad, you have mold/mildew growing in the evaporator coil. Some people hang a car freshener, but that won’t get to the root of the problem. Others spray Lysol into the recycle air intake, but that doesn’t get to the problem either. You need to hit the evaporator coil and coat it with special anti-mold treatment. What causes mold/mildew on the evaporator coil R-134a isn’t as efficient as the older R-12 refrigerant. So car makers were forced to pack … Read More

Water pump leaks — wrong antifreeze

Water pump leaks because you used the wrong antifreeze Stop water pump leaks by using only the factory antifreeze For decades we all used the green coolant. It worked well as long as we changed it at least once every 2 years or 24,000 miles. The ethylene glycol helped dissipate heat better than water alone, and it prevented freezing in the winter. It also had some really important additives. First, it contained a water pump lubricant to keep the two rotating carbon seals inside the water running smoothly. The coolant … Read More

Rusted strut tower Dodge Caravan

Fix rusted strut tower Dodge Caravans Rusted strut tower is dangerous and must be fixed The engineer that came up with this design, well, let’s just hope he’s not designing cars anymore. Chrysler took two stamped strut towers and put one inside the other—apparently for strength. What happens, however, is that water and road salt get in-between the two layers and rust both of them. That wouldn’t normally be such a big deal, but in this case, it’s the metal that supporting the whole weight of the vehicle. This is … Read More

Starter clicks but wont start the engine

Starter clicks but wont crank the engine If you turn the key to start your engine and your starter clicks but wont start the engine, this may be the article for you. Possible causes of starter clicks but wont crank • Dead battery • Corroded battery terminals • Bad starter relay • Bad starter Step 1 Does your vehicle have a blinking anti-theft light? Some cars and trucks will not allow engine cranking if the anti-theft (immobilizer system) is showing a fault. In most cases, the SECURITY light will flash … Read More

Backprobe an electrical connector

How to backprobe an electrical connector and test an electrical circuit When you’re checking live voltage readings on sensors, the challenge is How to backprobe an electrical connector. Some pros stick a pin through the wire. But these piercing claws from Ferret make the job much easier. Isolate the wire carrying the signal you want to monitor. Then position the wire in the cradle of the “claw.” Screw the piercing probe into the wire and then attach the lead from your digital multi-meter into the end of the Ferret Claw. … Read More

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