In recent years, BMW® has improved their vehicles’ brake and steering functions to such a highly technical level, that those systems have become a benchmark in the automotive industry. Their Dynamic Stability Control System (DSC) has virtually eliminated most of the common reasons why we mere mortals wad-up our vehicles by sliding out of control into snow banks, ditches, trees and, unfortunately, each other.
In 2001, Cadillac® introduced a Tire Pressure Monitoring (TPM) system in their DeVille® and Seville® models. This system allows the driver to view each tire’s air pressure individually on the Driver Information Center (DIC) and automatically warns the driver of an under-inflated or over-inflated tire by illuminating a “Check Tire Pressure” message. At the core of the system are four uniquely coded air pressure sensors mounted on the inside of the wheels at the valve stems.
Owners of 1996 – 2001 Chrysler® Town & Country®, Dodge® Caravan® and Plymouth® Voyager® vehicles may experience a creaks, groans, clunks, or squeaks coming from front end when turning the front wheels while stopped, during slow speed parking lot maneuvers or while driving over rough/bumpy roads. Noises may also manifest upon acceleration or deceleration.
I’ll tell you guys up front – according to the factory, you’ll need a certified welding tech with a MIG welder to accomplish step 11 of this procedure. The bulk of the repairs, though, can be easily accomplished in the shop with satisfactory results.
It seems that 2001-2003 Chevrolet® Suburban® and Tahoe®, 2001-2003 GMC® Yukon® and Yukon® XL, 2002-2003 Cadillac® Escalade® and 2003 Escalade ESV® models equipped with a Rear Air Conditioning System and a Real Time Damping Chassis Package are all prone to this problem. Thankfully, the repair is the same for all models.
If a customer brings a 2003 or 2004 Honda® Pilot® to the shop with a noise and judder from the rear when turning, the cause and repair of the problem can be simple. The differential fluid may be contaminated by clutch particles, condensation, or both. Contamination will cause the differential clutches to make noise and judder when turning.
Your customer may complain of a vibration in the steering wheel, floor, seat, instrument panel, or brake pedal pulsation during light to moderate brake application. This can be caused by excessive lateral run-out or a thickness variation of the brake rotor surface.
Your shop routinely changes vehicle oil, fuel and air filters and occasionally emission filters. But there is another important filter that is often forgotten – the “cabin” or “interior” filter.
Initially, these filters were offered only on the high-end luxury vehicles. Over the past few years, many more vehicles have been equipped with interior air filters. The filtration capabilities range from simple dust filters to nearly HEPA-grade systems with activated charcoal for odor control.
You can’t push-start a 2001 Toyota® Prius® a hybrid vehicle. But you can jump start or “boost” it. Will you see these vehicles in your shop any time soon? You bet! With fuel prices skyrocketing and substantial federal income tax credits being offered, the development and sales of hybrid vehicles is increasing. There is a good chance you’ll see more of these unique vehicles coming in for servicing. Undoubtedly, there will be at least one with a dead battery.
Running Compression Test is a Great Tool for Diagnosing Density Misfires
Running a compression test or dynamic compression test is an important, but little-used and often overlooked engine diagnostic tool. Why is this test so significant? It can be used to pinpoint the cause of a misfire when all the usual tests return normal results. It’s also used by performance tuners to verify that each cylinder is contributing equally to the engine’s overall power output.
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