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Tech Tip 0119

Cooling System Problems: Troubleshoot the System Instead of Throwing Parts at the Symptom

Tech Tip #119

When cooling system or belt driven components encounter problems, don’t get so anxious to fix the problem that you miss the diagnosis. Nothing is worse than a customer having to return multiple times for the same repair, when a little detective work by the technician could have prevented the condition...

Tech Tip 0118

Sticking Throttle Valve: Eliminating a Hard Accelerator Pedal Effort on GM Trucks

Tech Tip #118

The sensation is that of a sticking throttle linkage, as a higher than expected throttle effort is required to accelerate from the idle position. The condition can promote a lunging symptom or a loss of traction when the throttle valve resistance is eventually overcome. It makes for a frustrating and dangerous to drive vehicle, especially in heavy traffic...

Tech Tip 0117

Brake Roughness And Pedal Pulsation: A Factory Solution for the Grand Cherokee's Pedal Pulsation

Tech Tip #117

Getting the pulse out of a brake pedal is one issue; keeping it out is another. In the case of a 1999– 2002 Grand Cherokee, it will take a factory solution to alleviate the problem. Some problems are not fixable, at least without some factory modifications. Identifying these early on can save you and the customer much frustration. The pressure is...

Tech Tip 0116

Servicing Four-Wheel Drives: Preventative Maintenance Can Minimize Costly Repairs

Tech Tip #116

Travel any city in the USA and you will observe a market saturated with four-wheel drive trucks and SUV’s. With this fleet comes some required but neglected maintenance, which is imperative in preventing costly repairs. The majority of these 4x4 owners are not familiar with the operating procedures or characteristics that can result in major component damage. Most assume that no special maintenance is necessary, especially...

Tech Tip 0115

Solving Elusive Problems: When Solving One Problem Creates Another

Tech Tip #115

While the automotive service business can be a rewarding venture, it can also be a challenging experience. Sometimes, the harder we work to achieve a level of expertise in our field, the more difficult the process can be. Imagine performing an inspection on a customer’s vehicle and identifying a needed service. The customer is receptive to the recommendation and you perform the service... 

Tech Tip 0114

Filtering Ford's Turbo Diesel: Keeping the Air Filter Intact and Sealed Can Be a Challenge!

Tech Tip #114

Ford’s Power Stroke Turbo Diesel has a healthy appetite for air, and with the assist of the turbocharger, it has the lung capacity to ingest more than just air. With a filter restriction, the turbo may pull the air filter from the air box, consume parts of the filter, or cause damage to the filter housing. Ford has had its share of challenges with the turbo-charged engine and its ability to properly clean the incoming air while keeping... 

Tech Tip 0113

Power Brake Boosters: When the Hydro-Boost Emits Unfamiliar Hissing Sounds

Tech Tip #113

Hissing, squeaking, and squawking sounds can be frustrating symptoms to diagnose, especially when they relate to the braking system. The word squeak, when associated with a braking system, usually means that the friction is the first suspect. And the last component to be evaluated may well be the power brake booster. Be prepared...

Tech Tip 0112

Surging and Stalling: Hidden Filters Can Promote Power Loss, Surging and Stalling

Tech Tip #112

Driveability technicians love the challenge of that impossible-to-diagnose performance problem. While the result of their efforts can be rewarding, it can also be a very frustrating experience and damaging to one’s ego. Imagine investing many hours of diagnostic time searching for an electrical or a sensor related problem and then later determining the condition was due to a problem with a hidden component... 

Tech Tip 0111

That's The Brakes: Inherent By Design or Installer Error?

Tech Tip #111

If your specialty is brake repair, you are in a position to quickly document a pattern failure vehicle. The symptoms may include brake noise, excessive pedal effort, spongy pedal feel, long pedal stroke, pedal pulsation, or premature friction wear. With numerous vehicles of the same body type encountering the same customer complaints...

Tech Tip 0110

Ford's Power Stroke: Some Basic Maintenance Will Reduce Costly Repairs

Tech Tip #110

Neglecting routine maintenance on a gas burner may result in poor performance, loss of fuel economy and high emission output. Let the same service go on a turbo-charged diesel engine and you are in store for some expensive repairs, maybe even a turbocharger or engine replacement. While most shops leave the routine maintenance request up to the vehicle owner, a little awareness from you could save the customer some big bucks in needless repairs and save face for the shop, too. A major mistake that results in unnecessary repairs...

Tech Tip 0109

Shimming For Rotor Runout: New Technique Spurs Confusion and Controversy

Tech Tip #109

The information and procedures outlined in this technical service bulletin are to familiarize you with a new procedure for correcting excessive rotor runout. The technique is getting support from some of the vehicle manufacturers and is being reflected in their service bulletins. When servicing a braking system that requires rotor machining or replacement, and the system is fitted with a corrective shim positioned between the hub and rotor, you will have to make a decision on what to do about the shim...

Tech Tip 0108

Troubleshooting Gas Caps: How Technical Can a Gas Cap Be?

Tech Tip #108

Actually, there is a lot more to gas caps than just a closure on the fuel tank to keep the elements out. The cap is fitted with valving that is an integral part of the evaporative control system. When the cap is improperly installed on an OBDII equipped system, an illuminated Check Engine light is guaranteed, and the evaporative system will fail the emissions test. With the majority of the fuel being pumped at self-serve pumps...

Tech Tip 0107

Servicing Transmissions: Should the Filter Be Changed?

Tech Tip #107

Ask a transmission specialist for their opinion concerning a transmission fluid flush and not replacing the filter. Their opinion will differ from the shops promoting fast service. I have never conversed with a transmission specialist who recommended a fluid flush that didn’t include the installation of a new filter. The flush device provides a means of extracting the old fluid from the transmission, whereby the conventional means of draining is not sufficient. Dropping the transmission...

Tech Tip 0106

Belt Noise: How to Deal with the Squel

Tech Tip #106

With the exception of brake squeal, nothing gets the customer more irritated than belt squeal. And getting the belt noise out can be a real challenge. Rather than diagnose the condition, many just throw a belt or two at the symptom in a futile effort to eliminate the noise. While you are certain the third belt was the solution, chances are the frustrated customer took his vehicle to another facility where the condition was diagnosed and corrected. A new belt may...

Tech Tip 0105

Platinum Spark Plugs: Justifying Their Cost

Tech Tip #105

When performing routine maintenance such as a tune-up, you may be faced with a customer complaining about the cost of the spark plugs. They may claim they can buy the same plugs at a discount store for a fourth of what you are charging them. They are not making a fair comparison. Most are not familiar with the newer design plugs and may even question their necessity. In fact, I have heard controversy from many technicians and observed conventional spark plugs...

Tech Tip 0104

Trucks Are Tough: But Their Brake Problems Can Be Tougher

Tech Tip #104

While trucks are tough, dealing with a customer’s brake complaint, especially when it’s factory induced, can be tougher. And this is especially true for the technician who just performed a brake job and is now faced with a customer complaining that his truck has a spongy pedal feel, a long pedal travel, or maybe a brake pull condition. And considering that you just performed a brake job or disc pad change, they are certain it must have been something that you did incorrectly...

Tech Tip 0102

Canceling Noises: Elusive Brake and Suspension Noises

Tech Tip #102

Take a poll of the brake shops for the most frustrating brake complaint. Brake noise will win the survey, hands down. A brake specialist can perform a brake service by the book, perform everything the vehicle manufacturer or brake parts supplier recommends and still be faced with the noise condition. Trust me, the vehicle manufacturers are faced with the same complaints from their dealers. And some of the vehicle manufacturers acknowledge that under certain conditions, brake noises are inevitable...

Tech Tip 0101

Ford Escort Brakes: Getting the Noises Out Can Be a Challenge!

Tech Tip #101

Some vehicles have more than their fair share of brake noise problems. And fixing one problem may result in another unwanted symptom. For example: Changing a friction formulation to minimize a squeal complaint may result in a creeping, moaning, or droning noise just as the vehicle comes to a full stop, or it may drastically shorten the pad life. Our job would be simple if a formula change could satisfy all concerns. In the real world, the many components...

Tech Tip 0100

Minor Brake Concerns And Some Wheel Related Problems

Tech Tip #100

Ford’s Crown Victorias have kept the service departments and hotlines busy with repeated parking brake shoe failures on 1992 and newer vehicles. The numerous complaints have prompted us to examine some of the vehicles. In our investigation, we often found that the friction had been totally ripped from the shoe...

Tech Tip 0098

Servicing Air Filters

Tech Tip #098

How many vehicles pass through your service bays per week and fail to get at least one filter replaced? Did someone at least inspect the filters? Failing to take a few moments to perform an inspection is not good business for the shop’s integrity or profitability. Most important of all, failure to recognize a contaminated filter can result in some unnecessary repairs for the vehicle owner...

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