Bob Howlett, Author at Import Car
Volvo AWD With Active On Demand Coupling

There are a lot of Volvos on the road, and the same-year vehicles all share the same AWD systems.

Volvo xc70 AWD
Saab Fuel Sending Unit Replacement

The 2006 Saab 9-3 Sport sedan came in on the hook and the tow truck driver said, “I think it needs a fuel pump.” The gas gauge was reading less than a quarter of a tank and the low fuel warning light wasn’t on, so a quick fuel pressure check was in order. The test showed zero fuel pressure, so I called the customer and asked “does your fuel gauge seem to read normally?”

Audi Fuel System Diagnostics

Nine out of 10 times, a P0087/16471 “Fuel System Rail Pressure Too Low” DTC points to replacement of the high-pressure fuel pump. But there are other problems that will set the code, says Import Specialist Contributor Bob Howlett, who takes a closer look at the 2009 Audi A4 that came into his shop with this issue.

Timing Chain Failures on 2.0L, 2.5L Import Engines

Last month, we looked at the timing chain setup on the Audi 3.2L engine and saw how a lack of oil changes can adversely affect the tensioners and cause engine failure. We’ve also seen similar issues with the timing chain setups on the 2.5L 5-cylinder BGP engine that came out in 2005, and the 2.0L

Timing Chain Failure
Audi Engine Timing Chain Failure Due to Lack of Maintenance

If you’ve been working on cars as long as me, you’ll remember the first timing belt you did and thought, “what was wrong with timing chains?” It was only a year ago, when I was working on a 2005 Audi A6 Quattro with a 3.2L engine with a broken timing chain tensioner and bent valves,

Audi engine timing chain
Saab Front And Rear Spring Replacement

I bought my first Saab 28 years ago, the year after I started working at The Swedish Solution in 1985, and have been driving one ever since. When everything is working right, I believe it’s one of the nicest cars on the road. I’m partial to the 2004 and up 9-3 sports sedan; it’s fast, fun

Capturing Unperformed Service Work

We’ve all had those preventive maintenance conversations with customers, but has a customer ever asked you to replace something that didn’t test bad? I had a customer tell me to replace a battery that was barely four years old and it was a 75-month battery. I told him that the battery tested fine and the charging system was working well. That’s when he said something that I now say to my customers almost every day. “You don’t wait until you run out of gas before you put gas in, right? Why would you wait until your battery died to put a new one in?”

Routine Maintenance Schedules Help You Capture Unperformed Service Work

The cold snap that hit most of the country in early January was the onset of one of the coldest winters most states have seen in years. And since cold weather can have adverse effects on vehicle systems, you probably experienced an influx of customers whose vehicles were towed in with dead batteries, or ones that were flooded due to ignition systems that could not fire the fuel. Let’s look at some VW and Audi maintenance schedules and see what we may have been missing that could help our customers avoid costly tows and generate some additional revenue for our efforts.

Audi/VW Direct-Injection Issues And Carbon Deposits

Through the years, injection systems have incorporated more sensors like air temperature, EGR temperature or exhaust gas temperature, and the emissions systems monitor how efficiently everything is working. But the systems didn’t change a whole lot until about 2006.

A Thorough Chassis Evaluation Must Precede A Proper Alignment

Thanks to all the potholes caused by our harsh winter weather, we tend to do a lot of alignments here in Northeast Ohio. But wherever you live, it’s a good idea to check the alignment whenever you put on a new set of tires or replace a worn suspension component. And, sometimes you might encounter a problem due to a unique chassis setup. Take the Volvo 850, S70 and V70, for example, which from 1993 to 2000 had a slightly different split rear axle setup that was adjustable.

Diagnosing And Replacing A Faulty Water Pump On A 2003 Volkswagen Jetta

The water pump impeller is plastic on many Volkswagens. It gets brittle and can break into pieces or spin freely on the shaft and not push any coolant. We checked the sensor, felt the radiator and had a strong suspicion that was the case on this 2003 Volkswagen Jetta, but how do you tell without removing the pump? Since the car had overheated, we were going to replace the thermostat, and with the thermostat removed you can reach in and feel the water pump impeller and verify if it’s broken or loose. This article will show you how to remove the thermostat, check the water pump and replace the pump, if necessary.

Volkswagen Feature: Don’t Miss Out On Missed Maintenance

“We don’t work on those V8s.” I’ve often heard that said in reference to the 4.2L VW and Audi 8 cylinders. Some criticisms are that the timing belts require too many special tools and you can’t see the engine. I hear a lot of excuses when it comes to V8 Audis and VWs, but, in reality, they are not much different than the V6s and most models don’t require too many special tools. There are many shops that don’t want to do a timing belt replacement on the 4.2 V8, but it’s time to buy the tools and stop sending good paying jobs to competitors.