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|Maintenance Tips On Cars. by GAZZUZZ(m): 2:10pm On Jun 27, 2014|
This thread is dedicated to solving car related problems, it will cover all issues feel free to post problems here, Car gurus your posts are welcome and highly appreciated.
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|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by GAZZUZZ(m): 3:33pm On Jun 28, 2014|
What is OBD-II?
On-Board Diagnostic systems are in most cars and light trucks on the road today. During the '70s and early 1980's manufacturers started using electronic means to control engine functions and diagnose engine problems. This was primarily to meet EPA emission standards. Through the years on-board diagnostic systems have become more sophisticated. OBD-II, a new standard introduced in the mid-'90s, provides almost complete engine control and also monitors parts of the chassis, body and accessory devices, as well as the diagnostic control network of the car.
Where'd it come from?
To combat its smog problem in the LA basin, the State of California started requiring emission control systems on 1966 model cars. The federal government extended these controls nationwide in 1968.
Congress passed the Clean Air Act in 1970 and established the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This started a series of graduated emission standards and requirements for maintenance of vehicles for extended periods of time. To meet these standards, manufacturers turned to electronically controlled fuel feed and ignition systems. Sensors measured engine performance and adjusted the systems to provide minimum pollution. These sensors were also accessed to provide early diagnostic assistance.
At first there were few standards and each manufacturer had their own systems and signals. In 1988, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) set a standard connector plug and set of diagnostic test signals. The EPA adapted most of their standards from the SAE on-board diagnostic programs and recommendations. OBD-II is an expanded set of standards and practices developed by SAE and adopted by the EPA and CARB (California Air Resources Board) for implementation by January 1, 1996.
Why do we need it?
The Environmental Protection Agency has been charged with reducing "mobile emissions" from cars and trucks and given the power to require manufacturers to build cars which meet increasingly stiff emissions standards. The manufacturers must further maintain the emission standards of the cars for the useful life of the vehicle. OBD-II provides a universal inspection and diagnosis method to be sure the car is performing to OEM standards. While there is argument as to the exact standards and methodology employed, the fact is there is a need to reduce vehicle emitted pollution levels in our cities, and we have to live with these requirements.
Does my car have OBD-II?
All cars built since January 1, 1996 have OBD-II systems. Manufacturers started incorporating OBD-II in various models as early as 1994. Some early OBD-II cars were not 100% compliant.
There are five basic OBD-II protocols in use, each with minor variations on the communication pattern between the on-board diagnostic computer and the scanner console or tool. While there have been some manufacturer changes between protocols in the past few years, as a rule of thumb, Chrysler products and all European and most Asian imports use ISO 9141 circuitry or KWP2000. GM cars and light trucks use SAE J1850 VPW (Variable Pulse Width Modulation), and Fords use SAE J1850 PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) communication patterns. CAN is the newest protocol added to the OBD-II specification, and it is mandated for all 2008 and newer model years.
You may also tell which protocol is used on a specific automobile by examining the connector socket carefully. If the dash connector has a pin in the #7 position and no pin at #2 or #10, then the car has the ISO 9141 protocol or KWP2000. If no pin is present in the #7 position, the car uses an SAE protocol. If there are pins in positions #7 and #2 and/or #10, the car may use the ISO protocol. The CAN protocol uses pins #6 and #14.
While there are OBD-II electrical connection protocols, the command set is fixed according to the SAE J1979 standard.
How do we measure OBD-II output?
Pre-OBD-II cars had connectors in various positions under the dashboard and under the hood. All OBD-II cars have a connector located in the passenger compartment easily accessible from the driver's seat. Check under the dash or behind or near the ashtray. A cable is plugged into the OBD-II J1962 connector and connected to AutoTap or another scan tool. AutoTap is available in PC/laptop. Other scantools on the market range from simple hand-held meters that display trouble codes, up to a large console computer-based unit costing thousands of dollars.
What good does it do to measure OBD-II output?
OBD-II signals are most often sought in response to a "Check Engine Light" appearing on the dashboard or driveability problems experienced with the vehicle. The data provided by OBD-II can often pinpoint the specific component that has malfunctioned, saving substantial time and cost compared to guess-and-replace repairs. Scanning OBD-II signals can also provide valuable information on the condition of a used car purchase.
Tell me about that "Check Engine Light".
The service industry calls the Check Engine light on your dash an "MIL" or Malfunction Indicator Light. It shows three different types of signals. Occasional flashes show momentary malfunctions. It stays on if the problem is of a more serious nature, affecting the emissions output or safety of the vehicle. A constantly flashing MIL is a sign of a major problem which can cause serious damage if the engine is not stopped immediately. In all cases a "freeze frame" of all sensor readings at the time is recorded in the central computer of the vehicle.
Hard failure signals caused by serious problems will cause the MIL to stay on any time the car is running until the problem is repaired and the MIL reset. Intermittent failures cause the MIL to light momentarily and they often go out before the problem is located. The freeze frame of the car's condition captured in the computer at the time of the malfunction can be very valuable in diagnosing these intermittent problems. However, in some cases if the car completes three driving cycles without a re-occurrence of the problem, the freeze frame will be erased.
OBD-II and your car's health
Because of their investment in the equipment required, most repair shops charge a fee, some-times substantial, to attach the scanning equipment and diagnose problems using the OBD-II system signals. Home mechanics and small shop technicians have been restricted from working with these signals by the cost and technical complexity of the equipment. With the introduction of more economical and user friendly scanning devices, it is now practical for almost anyone to access OBD-II signals and use them for their own testing and repairs.
Scanners vary greatly in their complexity. The best connect easily and use software to quickly and automatically call up the OBD-II information. A system connecting to a laptop or desktop computer provides expanded memory for data and a graphing utility.
Proprietary Sensor Readings
Though not part of the EPA's OBD II standard, the diagnostic read-outs used by dealership technicians are also read through the OBD II connector. These service codes show you such things as knock sensor operation, FI pulse width, ignition voltage, individual cylinder misfires, transmission shift points and ABS brake condition. There can be over 300 readings available, depending on the vehicle manufacturer and model. Vehicles vary in the readings they will support. Scanners vary widely in the number of these signals that they can read. Some show just the basic OBD or OBD II signals, others show the full range of service codes.
OBD-II and performance tuning
While the vast number of drivers want nothing more than dependable, economical transportation, many of us are looking to OBD-II for extra performance. Earlier on-board computer systems had chips that could be replaced to adjust engine parameters for extra speed and power. While the OBD-II systems are sealed and do not allow chip replacement, they do provide a real time data acquisition system that is useful to tuners.
Power loaders can actually reprogram the performance parameters of the OBD-II system to accommodate performance options. At the current time the number of models they can service is limited, but the range is being extended. Be sure the person doing your reprogramming keeps the car in compliance with EPA emission standards. As aftermarket manufacturers develop additional solutions, we will add their information to our links.
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|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by GAZZUZZ(m): 3:41pm On Jun 28, 2014|
Making Sense of Engine Sensors
Computers can only do what they are programmed to do. If they get garbage in, they put garbage out. In an automotive engine control computer (called a Powertrain Control Module or PCM), the input data is not from a keyboard but electronic signals from various sensors. They act the like the engines eyes and ears helping it make the most of its driving conditions. Consequently, the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) can't do this if the inputs it receives are faulty or missing.
For example, the engine control system will not go into "closed loop," if the PCM does not receive a good signal from the coolant sensor or oxygen sensor. Nor can it balance the fuel mixture correctly if it does not receive good inputs from the throttle position sensor, MAP sensor or airflow sensor. The engine may not even start if the PCM does not get a signal from the crankshaft position sensor.
Sensors monitor all the key functions necessary to manage ignition timing, fuel delivery, emission controls, transmission shifting, cruise control, engine torque reduction (if the vehicle has antilock brakes with traction control) and charging output of the alternator. On many late model vehicles (Toyota, Nissan, etc.), the PCM even controls the throttle because there is no direct cable or linkage connection to the throttle. Reliable sensor inputs are an absolute must if the whole system is to operate smoothly.
Usually located on the cylinder head or intake manifold, the coolant sensor is used to monitor the temperature of the engine coolant. Its resistance changes in proportion to coolant temperature. Input from the coolant sensor tells the computer when the engine is warm so the PCM can go into closed loop feedback fuel control and handle other emission functions (EGR, canister purge, etc.) that may be temperature dependent.
Coolant Sensor Strategies: The coolant sensor is a pretty reliable sensor, but if it fails it can prevent the engine control system from going into closed loop. This will result in a rich fuel mixture, excessive fuel consumption and elevated carbon monoxide (CO) emissions - which may cause the vehicle to fail an emissions test.
A bad sensor can be diagnosed by measuring its resistance and watching for a change as the engine warms up. No change, or an open or closed reading would indicate a bad sensor.
OXYGEN (O2) SENSOR
Used on both carbureted and fuel injected engines since 1981, the oxygen (O2) sensor is the key sensor in the fuel mixture feedback control loop.
Mounted in the exhaust manifold, the O2 sensor monitors the amount of unburned oxygen in the exhaust. On many V6 and V8 engines, there are two such sensors (one for each bank of cylinders).
The O2 sensor generates a voltage signal that is proportional to the amount of unburned oxygen in the exhaust. When the fuel mixture is rich, most of the oxygen is consumed during combustion so there is little unburned oxygen in the exhaust. The difference in oxygen levels between the exhaust inside the manifold and the air outside creates an electrical potential across the sensors platinum and zirconium tip. This causes the sensor to generate a voltage signal. The sensor's output is high (up to 0.9v) when the fuel mixture is rich (low oxygen), and low (down to 0.1v) when the mixture is lean (high oxygen).
Sensor output is monitored by the computer and is used to rebalance the fuel mixture for lowest emissions. When the sensor reads "lean" the PCM increases the on-time of the injectors to make the fuel mixture go rich. Conversely, when the sensor reads "rich" the PCM shortens the on-time of the injectors to make the fuel mixture go lean. This causes a rapid back-and-forth switching from rich to lean and back again as the engine is running. These even waves result in an "average" mixture that is almost perfectly balanced for clean combustion. The switching rate is slowest in older feedback carburetors, faster is throttle body injection systems and fastest in multiport sequential fuel injection.
If the O2 sensor's output is monitored on an oscilloscope, it will produce a zigzagging line that dances back and forth from rich to lean. Think of it as a kind of heart monitor for the engine's air/fuel mixture.
O2 Sensor Strategies: Unheated one- or two-wire O2 sensors on 1976 through early 1990s applications should be replaced every 30,000 to 50,000 miles to assure reliable performance. Heated 3 and 4-wire O2 sensors on mid-1980s through mid-1990s applications should be changed every 60,000 miles. On OBD II equipped vehicles, the recommended replacement interval is 100,000 miles. The O2 sensor's responsiveness and voltage output can diminish with age and exposure to certain contaminants in the exhaust such as lead, sulfur, silicone (coolant leaks) and phosphorus (oil burning). If the sensor becomes contaminated, it may not respond very quickly to changes in the air/fuel mixture causing a lag in the PCMs ability to control the air/fuel mixture.
The sensor's voltage output may decline giving a lower than normal reading. This may cause the PCM to react as if the fuel mixture were leaner than it really is resulting in an overly rich fuel mixture.
How common is this problem? One EPA study found that 70 percent of the vehicles that failed an I/M 240 emissions test needed a new O2 sensor.
MANIFOLD ABSOLUTE PRESSURE (MAP) SENSOR
The MAP sensor is mounted on or connected to the intake manifold to monitor intake vacuum. It changes voltage or frequency as manifold pressure changes. The computer uses this information to measure engine load so ignition timing can be advanced and retarded as needed. It performs essentially the same job as the vacuum advance diaphragm on an old fashioned mechanical distributor.
On engines with a "speed density" type of fuel injection, the MAP sensor also helps the PCM estimate airflow. Problems here may cause an intermittent check engine light (light comes on when accelerating or when the engine is under load), hesitation when accelerating, elevated emissions and poor engine performance. The engine will run with a bad MAP sensor, but it will run poorly. Some PCMs can substitute "estimated data" for a missing or out of range MAP signal, but engine performance will be drastically reduced.
MAP Sensor Strategies: Some MAP sensor problems are not the fault of the sensor itself. If the vacuum hose that connects the MAP sensor to the intake manifold is loose, leaking or plugged, the sensor cannot produce an accurate signal. Also, if there is a problem within the engine itself that causes intake vacuum to be lower than normal (such as a vacuum leak, EGR valve that is stuck open or leaky PCV hose), the MAP sensor's readings may be lower than normal.
THROTTLE POSITION SENSOR
Mounted on the throttle shaft of the carburetor or throttle body, the throttle position Sensor (TPS) changes resistance as the throttle opens and closes. The computer uses this information to monitor engine load, acceleration, deceleration and when the engine is at idle or wide open throttle. The sensor's signal is used by the PCM to enrich the fuel mixture during acceleration, and to retard and advance ignition timing.
Throttle Position Sensor Strategies: Many TPS sensors require an initial voltage adjustment when installed. This adjustment is critical for accurate operation. On some engines, a separate idle switch and/or wide open throttle (WOT) switch may also be used. Driveability symptoms due to a bad TPS can be similar to those caused by a bad MAP sensor: The engine will run without this input, but it will run poorly.
MASS AIRFLOW SENSOR (MAF)
Mounted ahead of the throttle body on multiport fuel injected engines, the MAF sensor monitors the volume of air entering the engine. The sensor uses either a hot wire or heated filament to measure both airflow and air density.
MAF Sensor Strategies: The sensing element in MAF sensors can be easily contaminated causing hard starting, rough idle, hesitation and stalling problems. Cleaning a dirty MAF sensor with electronics cleaner can often restore normal sensor operation and save the cost of having to replace the sensor (which is very expensive!).
VANE AIRFLOW SENSOR (VAF)
The VAF sensor has a mechanical flap-style sensor that is used on Bosch and other import multiport fuel injected engines. The function is the same as a mass airflow sensor, but air pushing against a spring-loaded flap moves a rheostat to generate an electronic signal.
VAF Sensor Strategies: The drivability symptoms for the VAF are the same as those of a mass airflow sensor if the sensor fails.
MANIFOLD AIR TEMPERATURE (MAT) SENSOR
Mounted on the intake manifold, this sensor changes resistance to monitor incoming air temperature. The sensor's input is used to adjust the fuel mixture for changes in air density.
MAT Sensor Strategies: Problems with the manifold air temp sensor can affect the air/fuel mixture, causing the engine to run rich or lean.
CRANKSHAFT POSITION SENSOR
Used on engines with distributorless ignition systems, the crankshaft position (CKP) sensor serves essentially the same purpose as the ignition pickup and trigger wheel in an electronic distributor. It generates a signal that the PCM needs to determine the position of the crankshaft and the number one cylinder. This information is necessary to control ignition timing and the operation of the fuel injectors. The signal from the crank sensor also tells the PCM how fast the engine is running (engine rpm) so ignition timing can be advanced or retarded as needed. On some engines, a separate camshaft position sensor is also used to help the PCM determine the correct firing order. The engine will not run without this sensor's input.
There are two basic types of crankshaft position sensors: magnetic and Hall effect. The magnetic type uses a magnet to sense notches in the crankshaft or harmonic balancer. As the notch passes underneath, it causes a change in the magnetic field that produces an alternating current signal.
The frequency of the signal gives the PCM the information it needs to control timing. The Hall effect type of crank sensor uses notches or shutter blades on the crank, cam gear or balancer to disrupt a magnetic field in the Hall effect sensor window. This causes the sensor to switch on and off, producing a digital signal that the PCM reads to determine crank position and speed.
Crank Position Sensor Strategies: If a crank position sensor fails, the engine will die. The engine may, however, still crank but it will not start. Most problems can be traced to faults in the sensor wiring harness. A disruption of the sensor supply voltage (Hall effect types), ground or return circuits can cause a loss of the all-important timing signal.
The knock sensor detects engine vibrations that indicate detonation is occurring so the computer can momentarily retard timing. Some engines have two knock sensors.
Knock Sensor Strategies: A failure with the knock sensor can cause spark knock and engine damaging detonation because the PCM will not know to retard ignition timing if knock is occurring.
BAROMETRIC PRESSURE (BARO) SENSOR
The baro sensor measures barometric pressure so the computer can compensate for changes in altitude and/or barometric pressure that would affect the fuel mixture or timing. Some MAP sensors also perform this function.
VEHICLE SPEED SENSOR (VSS)
The vehicle speed sensor, or VSS, monitors vehicle speed so the computer can regulate torque converter clutch lockup, shifting, etc. The sensor may be located on the transmission, differential, transaxle or speedometer head.
Vehicle Speed Sensor Strategies: A problem with the vehicle speed sensor can disable the cruise-control system as well as affect transmission shifting and converter engagement.
MAKING SENSE OF IT ALL
If you have not done your diagnostic homework and are replacing a sensor because you think it might be bad, you may be wasting money. Replacing a sensor won't solve a drivability or emissions problem if the problem is not the sensor. Common conditions such as fouled spark plugs, bad plug wires, a weak ignition coil, a leaky EGR valve, vacuum leaks, low compression, dirty injectors, low fuel pressure or even low charging voltage can all cause driveability symptoms that may be blamed on a bad sensor. If there are no sensor-specific fault codes, these kinds of possibilities should be ruled out before much time is spent on electronic diagnosis.
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|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by GAZZUZZ(m): 3:55pm On Jun 28, 2014|
How to Tell if Your Car's Thermostat Is Stuck Closed(will cause overheating)
The thermostat in your car is responsible for controlling the amount of coolant released into your engine. When your car first heats up, the thermostat closes and does not allow coolant into the engine until it is warmed up. The thermostat should open and allow coolant in once the engine is adequately heated. Sometimes the thermostat fails and remains closed.
How to test a thermostat DIY
Step 1. Check your temperature gauge in the car. A stuck thermostat might be to blame if your gauge marker nears the red danger zone within 5 to 15 minutes.
Step 2. Allow engine to cool(never open the preasure cap of a radiator when its hot)
Step 3. Unfasten the radiator drain cock located near the bottom of the radiator and allow some of the coolant to drain out into a container with a lid until the level is below the upper radiator hose.
You might not need to drain the radiator, depending on the amount your reservoir holds. The amount drained is roughly 1 to 2 qt. (4 to 8 cups). You can reuse this coolant if it is brand new. Otherwise, replace it with new coolant.
Step 4. Locate your thermostat. The thermostat housing is usually under the upper radiator hose. Unbolt the housing and remove the thermostat, using a screwdriver and pliers. Take the thermostat inside.
Step 5. Fill a pan with water and place the thermostat into the water until it's completely submerged. Ensure that the part does not touch the bottom of the pan.
Step 6. Start heating the water and place a cooking thermometer into the water. Check the temperature frequently while monitoring the thermostat.
The thermostat should remain closed until about 190 ºF (88 ºC). At this temperature, you should see the thermostat begin to open.
The part should be completely open when the water reaches 195 ºF (90.6 ºC). If the thermostat is still closed at this point, it needs to replaced.
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|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by GAZZUZZ(m): 4:00pm On Jun 28, 2014|
How to Tell if Your Car's Thermostat Is Stuck Closed(will cause overheating) ...................Continued.....................
Step 1. Start your car and let it sit idling for a while. Or, take it for a sort drive to warm up the fluid in the radiator.
Step 2. Open the hood, with the engine still running. (You may want to put on a pair of gloves for this.) Find the top radiator hose (the one that connects to the thermostat housing).
Step 3. Put on an oven mitt or a heat-resistant glove. Near the middle of the hose, squeeze the hose, as if you were trying to squeeze it shut.
Step 4.Release it, and you should feel a surge as the water comes through. If it is too firm to squeeze the thermostat is stuck closed.
|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by ogoplus: 7:00pm On Jun 28, 2014|
@GAZZUZZ great job.
|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by GAZZUZZ(m): 7:24pm On Jun 28, 2014|
Thank you ogoplus.
|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by GAZZUZZ(m): 7:29pm On Jun 28, 2014|
Every new car, and most cars produced after 1980, have an oxygen sensor. The sensor is part of the emissions control system and feeds data to the engine management computer. The goal of the sensor is to help the engine run as efficiently as possible and also to produce as few emissions as possible.
A gasoline engine burns gasoline in the presence of oxygen. It turns out that there is a particular ratio of air and gasoline that is "perfect," and that ratio is 14.7:1 (different fuels have different perfect ratios -- the ratio depends on the amount of hydrogen and carbon found in a given amount of fuel). If there is less air than this perfect ratio, then there will be fuel left over after combustion. This is called a rich mixture. Rich mixtures are bad because the unburned fuel creates pollution. If there is more air than this perfect ratio, then there is excess oxygen. This is called a lean mixture. A lean mixture tends to produce more nitrogen-oxide pollutants, and, in some cases, it can cause poor performance and even engine damage.
The oxygen sensor is positioned in the exhaust pipe and can detect rich and lean mixtures. The mechanism in most sensors involves a chemical reaction that generates a voltage . The engine's computer looks at the voltage to determine if the mixture is rich or lean, and adjusts the amount of fuel entering the engine accordingly.
The reason why the engine needs the oxygen sensor is because the amount of oxygen that the engine can pull in depends on all sorts of things, such as the altitude, the temperature of the air, the temperature of the engine, the barometric pressure, the load on the engine, etc.
When the oxygen sensor fails, the computer can no longer sense the air/fuel ratio, so it ends up guessing. Your car performs poorly and uses more fuel than it needs to.
How stuff works.
|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by Ikenna351(m): 7:59pm On Jun 28, 2014|
GAZZUZZ: How to Tell if Your Car's Thermostat Is Stuck Closed(will cause overheating)
For Peugeot cars, thermostat can actually be tested without waiting for high coolant temperature to drop or removing the thermostat to test in a pot.
For example, you are on a long distance drive. Suddenly, your engine starts overheating (needle on red zone). You don't have to wait for the temp to drop before you remove the thermostat to test if it was the culprit. Also, you won't have a pot and stove to test if its stuck closed, in the middle of nowhere. What you need to do us stop the car, switch it off and open the bonnet. Immediately, touch both upper and lower radiator hoses. The upper hose should feel very very hot. In fact, it would likely expend or increase in size, because of the overheating. Then, the lower hose would feel very cold, if the thermostat is stuck closed and causing the overheating. But if the both the lower and upper hoses were hot when you touched them, immediately when you stopped the car, then the thermostat is not the culprit or could be stuck open, which will not cause overheating anyway, rather, underheating. Lol! So, in this case, look elsewhere for the cause of the overheating, not the thermostat, to save yourself time.
If you found the lower radiator hose closed, simply remove the thermostat, put back the upper hose, bleed the system and continue your journey. You can buy and replace the thermostat when you get to your final destination. Even if you don't know how to replace the thermostat, find a mechanic around and specifically instruct him what to do, to avoid messing around with the system in the middle of no where with their trial and error diagnosis.
But note that failed water pump could also give similar symptom (cold lower hose at hot temperature). To test if water pump is the culprit, when you pull out the upper hose and the thermostat, leave the upper hose detached and start the engine and let it run for 3-5 seconds. If the water pump is good, coolant will gush out from the hole the upper hose is meant to go in. And you can then quickly switch off the engine, to avoid running the engine dry of coolant. But if nothing comes out or the flow is very slow, then the water pump is gone.
I don't know about other car brands, but what I explained above is the simplest way of testing the thermostat and water pump while still in hot engine.
@ GAZZUZZ, nice thread. Keep it up.
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|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by GAZZUZZ(m): 8:14pm On Jun 28, 2014|
Thanks for the contribution ikenna
|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by GAZZUZZ(m): 8:23pm On Jun 28, 2014|
There's a trick I learnt a long time ago when my cooling fans failed as I was travelling, I just turned on my cars heater put it on full blast brought down the windows and faced the vents out the window, the trip was uncomfortable but temp stayed withing drivable limits. I also had to drop speed to 80km/hr
|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by GAZZUZZ(m): 8:48pm On Jun 28, 2014|
This is the process of setting the angle relative to piston position and crankshaft angular velocity that a spark will occur in the combustion chamber near the end of the compression stroke.
The need for advancing the timing of the spark is because fuel does not completely burn the instant the spark fires, the combustion gasses take a period of time to expand, and the angular or rotational speed of the engine can lengthen or shorten the time frame in which the burning and expansion should occur. In a vast majority of cases, the angle will be described as a certain angle advanced before top dead center (BTDC). Advancing the spark BTDC means that the spark is energized prior to the point where the combustion chamber reaches its minimum size, since the purpose of the power stroke in the engine is to force the combustion chamber to expand. Sparks occurring after top dead center (ATDC) are usually counter-productive (producing wasted spark, back-fire, engine knock etc.) unless there is need for a supplemental or continuing spark prior to the exhaust stroke.
Setting the correct ignition timing is crucial in the performance of an engine. Sparks occurring too soon or too late in the engine cycle are often responsible for excessive vibrations and even engine damage. The ignition timing affects many variables including engine longevity, fuel economy, and engine power. Modern engines that are controlled in real time by an engine control unit use a computer to control the timing throughout the engine's RPM and load range. Older engines that use mechanical spark distributors rely on inertia (by using rotating weights and springs) and manifold vacuum in order to set the ignition timing throughout the engine's RPM and load range.
Early cars required the driver to adjust timing via controls according to driving conditions, but this is now automated.
There are many factors that influence proper ignition timing for a given engine. These include the timing of the intake valve(s) or fuel injector(s), the type of ignition system used, the type and condition of the spark plugs, the contents and impurities of the fuel, fuel temperature and pressure, engine speed and load, air and engine temperature, turbo boost pressure or intake air pressure, the components used in the ignition system, and the settings of the ignition system components. Usually, any major engine changes or upgrades will require a change to the ignition timing settings of the engine.
|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by GAZZUZZ(m): 7:12am On Jun 30, 2014|
Operation of the cooling Fan(s)
Like the thermostat, the cooling fan has to be controlled so that it allows the engine to maintain a constant temperature in most cars like my peugeot 406 the fan starts up around 87-88 degrees Celsius and stays on until the temp drops to 79degress.
Front-wheel drive cars have electric fans because the engine is usually mounted transversely, meaning the output of the engine points toward the side of the car. The fans are controlled either with a thermostatic switch or by the engine computer, and they turn on when the temperature of the coolant goes above a set point. They turn back off when the temperature drops below that point.
Rear-wheel drive cars with longitudinal engines usually have engine-driven cooling fans. These fans have a thermostatically controlled viscous clutch. This clutch is positioned at the hub of the fan, in the airflow coming through the radiator. This special viscous clutch is much like the viscous coupling sometimes found in all-wheel drive cars.
Connecting the fans to work all the time when the engine is running is bad for the engine and will reduce engine life and cause engine to burn more fuel.
|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by GAZZUZZ(m): 7:22am On Jun 30, 2014|
Engine coolant temprature sensor
The coolant temperature sensor is used to measure the temperature of the engine coolant of an internal combustion engine. The readings from this sensor are then fed back to the Engine control unit (ECU). This data from the sensor is then used to adjust the fuel injection and ignition timing. On some vehicles the sensor may be used to switch on the electronic cooling fan. The data may also be used to provide readings for a coolant temperature gauge on the dash. The coolant temperature sensor works using resistance. As temperature subjected to the sensor increases the internal resistance changes. Depending on the type of sensor the resistance will either increase or decrease.
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|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by GAZZUZZ(m): 7:58am On Jun 30, 2014|
All About Fuel Pumps
The fuel pump is an essential component of any vehicle with an internal combustion engine, principally, cars and trucks. With the job of forcing fuel from the gas tank towards the engine, a malfunctioning fuel pump will create a situation where the engine either gets too much or too little fuel due to too much or too little pressure in the line travelling from the tank to the engine. This will lead to performance issues with the car or truck itself.
In the most basic sense, in order for an engine to run properly, fuel in the form of liquid gasoline needs to travel from the tank where it is stored to the engine where it is burned to create power and propel the vehicle. Some smaller, more concisely constructed vehicles, such as certain models of motorcycles,, do not require a fuel pump because gravity takes care of this job. However, this is not the case for most internal combustion engined vehicles. Instead, they utilise either a mechanical or electronic fuel pump.
The Mechanical Fuel Pump
Traditionally, all fuel pumps were always mechanical. This means that they operate through a system that runs off of the rotation of the engine itself. A mechanical fuel pump resembles a diaphragm. It uses the pumping action of that diaphragm shape to create low pressure (10 to 15 psi) and transport fuel from the gas tank to the carburettor.. This action resembled that of a piston.
Mechanical fuel pumps are located on a mount outside of the fuel tank itself and, in general, are less likely to malfunction than electronic fuel pumps. The most common malfunction of mechanical fuel pumps comes when the diaphragm inside the pump splits, disturbing the pressure balance of the pump. The other cause for mechanical fuel pump malfunction is high heat created from both the engine and the air outside turning the fuel to vapour. This prevents the pump from operating since it is designed to handle liquid only.
The Electronic Fuel Pump
Though the mechanical fuel pumping system was always sufficient for carburetor-based fuel systems, eventually vehicle manufacturers moved past the use of carburettors in favour of a more advanced fuel injection system.. Though the fuel pump itself is still necessary, the mechanical pump can not generate the level of pressure needed to work with fuel injection engines. Therefore, a new system which delivers fuel under high pressure (40 to 60 psi) was created. This system is what is known as an electronic fuel pump.
Nowadays, most vehicles use an electronic fuel pump,, which is located within the gas tank itself, to deliver fuel to the engine. However, there are far more inherent issues with electronic fuel pumps. The electronic system works by spraying a fine mist of fuel inside the engine’s chambers and is operated through a computer control system rather than a mechanical one. As a result, both issues with the pump itself as well as the computer used to operate it can lead to vehicle and fuel pump malfunction.
After understanding the function of a fuel pump itself as well as the important differences between mechanical and electronic fuel pumps, understanding the common symptoms of problems with this component will make more sense. Remember, the purpose of a fuel pump is twofold:
It pushes (or pumps) fuel from the gas tank to the fuel injector or carburettor.
It creates the proper amount of pressure (low or high) to ensure that the right amount of fuel will be delivered to the engine, regardless of external conditions.
Therefore, malfunctions in the fuel pump can result from an issue in either one of these processes. Let’s take a look at the common signs of these problems.
1. The Engine Sputters at High Speed
The most common early sign of a problem with a fuel pump comes when driving a vehicle at a consistent high speed. While travelling down the road, the car will run well for about 10 miles and then begin to jerk around, or sputter, for a mile or two before returning to normal.
What This Means
Many people will mistakenly diagnose a sputtering vehicle as one with "dirty" gas or some other fuel-related issue. And while that can be the case, it is not uncommon for a fatigued fuel pump to create this same symptom as it struggles to supply a constant stream of fuel to the engine at the proper pressure. The loss of pressure causes the engine to sputter.
2. Vehicle Loses Power While Accelerating
The feelings generated by this second symptom are very similar to the first. However, rather than experience a sputtering sensation while driving, vehicles will experience it upon acceleration from a stop. Generally, the vehicle will initially move before making noises and jerking around as if it will stall. Then, it will continue on its acceleration path smoothly.
What This Means
The process of acceleration creates an increased demand for fuel by the engine. A malfunctioning fuel pump, again, cannot maintain the required pressure to deliver this fuel in a steady manner, thereby causing the engine to improperly mix fuel and air and lose power. Once pressure is restored, the engine is able to run smoothly and the car takes off.
3. Sudden Loss of Power When the Vehicle Is Under Stress
A car or truck is put under stress when the work needed to complete an ordinary task, such as forward movement, is somehow hindered by external forces. Generally, this occurs when climbing a hill or when hauling a load. If, when completing these tasks, the vehicle loses power, cannot accelerate, or begins to sputter, the fuel pump is a possible culprit.
What This Means
Generally, a fuel pump, even an ageing one, can maintain a steady stream of fuel and pressure when operating under normal conditions. However, once put under stress, the weakening elements of the pump will begin to take control and the fuel delivery will not be able to keep up with its demands, leading to power loss.
The opposite effect of the above symptoms, surging, can also be a sign of a malfunctioning fuel pump. A car that surges will be moving along normally at a consistent speed. Then, with no driver intervention, will pick up and "surge" forward, as if the gas pedal had been depressed.
What This Means
This is something that many people will mistakenly blame on the fuel filter since it is not "like" any of the other fuel pump malfunction signs. However, this surge is created because, as a result of age and normal wear and tear, the fuel pump now has irregular resistance within its motor. This creates a situation where the pump cannot draw enough electricity to maintain the pressure needed for steady speeds and may "surge" with a sudden ratcheting up in pressure.
5. The Engine Will Not Start
The final symptom of a malfunctioning fuel pump is also the most severe. Drivers who ignore the signs listed above will all eventually end up here. When a car or truck’s engine will not start as a result of a fuel pump malfunction. Basically, the engine will rev, but it will not catch.
What This Means
When a fuel pump has malfunctioned to the point that the car will no longer start, this means that there is no fuel reaching the engine upon ignition. For that reason, drivers will hear the sparks try to ignite, but there will be no fuel to burn. To diagnose a fuel pump malfunction, check for a blown fuse and pressure in the fuel line (it will be 0).
As an essential element of any internal combustion engine system, the fuel pump is one of those automotive issues all drivers need to keep in mind. Like any aspect of vehicle operation, understanding what a fuel pump does and the different ways that it can fail can help drivers avoid bad situations with a failing car or truck. With the important tasks of delivering fuel to the engine as well as maintaining a consistent stream of pressure while doing so, a malfunctioning fuel pump will present in several ways.
The 5 most common symptoms of a malfunctioning fuel pump include sputtering at high speeds, loss of power during acceleration, loss of power to the vehicle while under stress, surging, and, finally, an engine that will not start. Understanding these symptoms and correctly identifying them early is the only way that drivers can avoid getting to the point where their vehicle will not start, stranding them and costing a lot of money in repairs.
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|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by GAZZUZZ(m): 8:43am On Jun 30, 2014|
------------fuel pumps continued-----------
During the 1990s, most manufacturers began integrating their fuel filters into a fuel pump module that also contained the fuel level gauge and fuel pressure regulator. Consequently, it’s easy to forget the many vehicles on the road that are still equipped with frame or engine-mounted fuel filters. The problem with replaceable fuel filters is that they can clog with sediment and cause many intermittent low-power engine performance complaints. Not only that, a partially clogged fuel filter can cause a premature fuel pump failure because the pump must work much harder to force fuel through a clogged fuel filter. So, when selling a non-modular fuel pump, avoid warranty returns and add to your bottom line by suggesting a fuel filter replacement.
Fuel Pressure Regulators
The fuel pressure regulator is usually mounted at the end of the fuel injector mounting rail on conventional dual-line fuel injection systems. As mentioned above, the fuel pressure regulator is contained internally on most single-line, modular fuel pump assemblies. The difference between dual and single line systems is that the dual-line system is made up of a high-pressure fuel supply line and a low-pressure fuel return line from the pressure regulator to the fuel tank. The single-line system returns pressure from the regulator directly to the fuel tank.
Fuel pressure regulators can affect fuel pump performance if they fail. In some rare cases, the internal pressure regulation spring can break, which will reduce fuel pressure. In most cases, the pressure regulator will stick closed or the return line will become restricted, which will cause the fuel pump to operate at maximum fuel pressure. High fuel pressure will cause the engine to run very rich on fuel and also might cause the new fuel pump to fail.
Before throwing out a suspected failing fuel pump, I would advice you check the amount of pressure the pump gives directly and through the pressure regulator, directly a fuel pump will provide over 70psi but dependent on the type of pressure regulator the pump should provide between 30-50psi, it is essential to know the amount of pressure required in your vehicle to rule out failure from the fuel pump or pressure regulator. Below are pictures of presure regulators and clogged filters.
|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by GAZZUZZ(m): 9:00am On Jun 30, 2014|
Re-occuring fuel pump issues
All too often, vehicles are refueled from a badly rusted or dirt-contaminated fuel tank and in some case water contaminated also, finely granulated dirt will be filtered out in the fuel filter but, in most cases, larger granulations of dirt will clog the filter screen attached to the fuel pump inlet and starve the pump for fuel.
Whenever a fuel pump is replaced, the tank should be inspected for dirt contamination, for loose fuel pump baffling, and for dents or distortions that can restrict fuel entry into the fuel pump or fuel exit from the pressure regulator return line. In some cases, a fuel tank can be cleaned with a hot solution of water and detergent, but in other cases, it’s more cost-effective to replace the fuel tank. If the plastic anti-sloshing baffles have become dislodged from the fuel tank itself, the tank should be replaced with one of the many available from OE or aftermarket sources.
Low Fuel Level Effects (reserve/empty)
If you are one who appears to have more than his share of fuel pump failures, it’s a good bet that you are running your fuel tank nearly dry before refueling your vehicle. Even with adequate baffling in the fuel tank, low fuel levels tend to cause the fuel pump to ingest air during acceleration, cornering, and braking. Since modern high-speed fuel pumps require gasoline to lubricate the pump bearings and cool the pump itself, it’s cheaper in the long run to run on the top half of the fuel tank.
One of the most important tips for diagnosing a fuel delivery problem is to check the PCM for trouble codes indicating a faulty fuel level sensor or sending unit. Another tip is to compare the fuel gauge reading with the relative level observed in the fuel tank after the pump assembly has been removed. If the fuel gauge proves to be inaccurate, it’s entirely possible that the driver is running his vehicle too low on fuel.
Relays And Resistors
When replacing a fuel pump on a vehicle with more than 100,000 miles on the odometer, the reliability of the repair can usually be increased by replacing the fuel pump relay as well. A relay wears out because it’s an electrically operated switch with two tungsten contacts that connect the fuel pump to battery voltage. In many cases, the relay contacts oxidize and fail to close properly, which can create an intermittent cranking, no-start complaint. In other cases, the contacts can stick together, which allows the fuel pump to drain the battery with the ignition turned off.
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|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by GAZZUZZ(m): 6:21am On Jul 01, 2014|
Camry 2004 sepentine belt lay out
dinyelutochukwu the noise you mentioned could be coming from
Automatic belt tensioner pulley
Ac compressor pulley
Remove belt to confirm.
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|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by dinyelutochukwu: 4:55pm On Jul 01, 2014|
GAZZUZ You're simply a genius...
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|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by GAZZUZZ(m): 5:26pm On Jul 01, 2014|
dinyelutochukwu: GAZZUZ You're simply a genius...
Thank you sir i do my best.
Have you fixed the problem on your camry?
|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by GAZZUZZ(m): 6:50pm On Jul 01, 2014|
How Power Steering Works
Hydraulic power steering is very dependable, but complex in operation. When problems occur a basic understanding prevents many expensive mistakes.
Virtually all vehicles built today employ power steering. Electric steering is becoming increasingly popular, but for the foreseeable future, hydraulic steering is likely to remain prevalent. Hydraulic steering uses a pump, normally driven by a belt. The pump supplies pressure, and driver control is supplied by either the rack and pinion or a steering gear box.
Much of the system is similar, whether a rack and pinion or a steering box is used. Rack and pinion offers lighter weight and more precise control. Steering gears are more durable and tolerate rough treatment far better. This is why many SUV and truck applications use steering gear boxes.
With either system, fluid pressure from the pump is used to push against a piston. When the wheel is turned, pressure flows to one side and the piston moves. The piston is attached to the steering gears. Hydraulic pressure does the work, and the driver controls the direction by turning the steering wheel.
|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by GAZZUZZ(m): 7:56pm On Jul 01, 2014|
How Catalytic Converters work
In the catalytic converter, there are two different types of catalyst at work, a reduction catalyst and an oxidation catalyst. Both types consist of a ceramic structure coated with a metal catalyst, usually platinum, rhodium and/or palladium. The idea is to create a structure that exposes the maximum surface area of catalyst to the exhaust stream, while also minimizing the amount of catalyst required, as the materials are extremely expensive. Some of the newest converters have even started to use gold mixed with the more traditional catalysts. Gold is cheaper than the other materials and could increase oxidation, the chemical reaction that reduces pollutants, by up to 40 percent.
Most modern cars are equipped with three-way catalytic converters. This refers to the three regulated emissions it helps to reduce.
The reduction catalyst is the first stage of the catalytic converter. It uses platinum and rhodium to help reduce the NOx emissions. When an NO or NO2 molecule contacts the catalyst, the catalyst rips the nitrogen atom out of the molecule and holds on to it, freeing the oxygen in the form of O2. The nitrogen atoms bond with other nitrogen atoms that are also stuck to the catalyst, forming N2. For example:
2NO => N2 + O2 or 2NO2 => N2 + 2O2
2NO => N2 + O2 or 2NO2 => N2 + 2O2
Ceramic honeycomb catalyst structure.
The oxidation catalyst is the second stage of the catalytic converter. It reduces the unburned hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide by burning (oxidizing) them over a platinum and palladium catalyst. This catalyst aids the reaction of the CO and hydrocarbons with the remaining oxygen in the exhaust gas. For example:
2CO + O2 => 2CO2
There are two main types of structures used in catalytic converters -- honeycomb and ceramic beads. Most cars today use a honeycomb structure.
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|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by Sylverbox(m): 7:15pm On Jul 02, 2014|
GAZZUZZ: There's a trick I learnt a long time ago when my cooling fans failed as I was travelling, I just turned on my cars heater put it on full blast brought down the windows and faced the vents out the window, the trip was uncomfortable but temp stayed withing drivable limits. I also had to drop speed to 80km/hrsame thing happened to nm. On my way from. Uyo. To lokoja, I did exactly same and it kept the temp within normal for hhalf d journey. Nice work here GAZZUZZ, am now addicted.
|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by Nobody: 7:39pm On Jul 02, 2014|
GAZZUZZ: There's a trick I learnt a long time ago when my cooling fans failed as I was travelling, I just turned on my cars heater put it on full blast brought down the windows and faced the vents out the window, the trip was uncomfortable but temp stayed withing drivable limits. I also had to drop speed to 80km/hr
Gazzuzz, for how long did you drive after then? I am just curious. U have some good experience oh!
|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by dinyelutochukwu: 8:47pm On Jul 02, 2014|
GAZZUZZ: Thanx once more for the good job you are doing.
The serpentine belt was removed today, the entire pulleys were inspected, and we couldn't find any faulty...
The mechanic went ahead to change the serpentine belt and the bearing on the tensioner pulley. But the noise still persisted.. The mechanic now suggested that we put a new Water pump and a new Alternator to see if the sound will stop, But I asked him to give me time to think about it.
What's your opinion on this?
|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by GAZZUZZ(m): 9:11pm On Jul 02, 2014|
9th mile to jos. 600km in a toyota corrola 2004 (bank type) 2nz-fe engine.
|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by GAZZUZZ(m): 9:26pm On Jul 02, 2014|
dinyelutochukwu: GAZZUZZ: Thanx once more for the good job you are doing.
Mileage of the car? I'm sorry I forgot to tell you to start the car "without" the serpentine belt that way you are sure the noise is from the area we suspect.
Start car and listen if noise is still there.
Avoid throwing parts at a problem.
Feel free to call me when ur with ur mechanic.
|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by billtommy(m): 4:17pm On Jul 03, 2014|
Good afternoon sir, I took my camry 99 for a scan today, its fuel efficiency has been bad lately, the two error codes that popped out are.
I was shown the air filter which is actually bad. What do I do to fix this issues? Would the fuel efficiency be better after fixing them?
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|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by GAZZUZZ(m): 5:06pm On Jul 03, 2014|
billtommy: Good afternoon sir, I took my camry 99 for a scan today, its fuel efficiency has been bad lately, the two error codes that popped out are.
P0505 idle control system malfunction.
With this error ild expect your car to rough idle and probably stall with the ac turned on
Ild suggest you have the IAC valve brought out and cleaned with a carburettor cleaner (pics of the iac attached)
If problem still persists replace it. A tokumbor one would cost about 1k.
P0325 refers to knock sensor fault or failure
How a knock sensor works: It detects the slightest noise in the engine and picks up on the "knock" of pre-ignition and sends the information to the ECM (Electronic Control Module). This 'ping' or 'knock' is caused when the mixture of air and gas does not burn smoothly or when it burns too soon. When the timing is off, this can also cause the knocking of the engine. The knock sensor is put in place to regulate these issues. This sensor is usually mounted on the block by a threaded edge that is screwed directly into the block of the engine and is connected to the ECM by wires. When the knocking or pinging is detected, the sensor sends a signal to the ECM, and this in turn retards the engine spark timing at two degree intervals until it has corrected the issue. The sensor's microphone is so sensitive it picks up the knocking when the human ear cannot detect it. It will hear the slightest ping even when the engine is at its top speed
First check if the harness is in order (wiring)
If all is in order replace the knock sensor. A tokumbor knock sensor will cause about 1k
How I test knock sensors for toyota I un screw the knock sensor attach get a multi meter set it to a/c voltage (20) connect 1 end to the body of the sensor (ground) and the other end to the only pin in the socket then tap the base of the knock sensor continuously if its working well I get over 1v if its faulty its less. (This method has always worked for me) ill attach pictures of the location of the knock sensor and location.
*note in toyota highlanders if there is knock sensor failure it causes the transmission to get stuck in 3rd gear.
Air filter brand new filter costs 2k.
Let's know how it goes.
|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by billtommy(m): 7:39pm On Jul 03, 2014|
ok thanks sir, is any of these causing the bad fuel efficiency? and i await the location of the knock sensor. God bless you.
|Re: Maintenance Tips On Cars. by GAZZUZZ(m): 8:26pm On Jul 03, 2014|
Already updated. Its located at back of engine near fire wall, yes faulty knock sensor can cause poor gas mileage, but not seriously.
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