The first step in any TPMS diagnostic strategy is to figure out whether or not your customer’s vehicle actually has a TPMS problem. Why? Simply put, there are a number of factors that can cause a TPMS warning light to illuminate or flash – and some are hard to uncover.
Most late-model engines have serpentine belt drives for the engine-driven accessories, and most people know that belts are a maintenance item that eventually has to be replaced. However, many people don’t know the spring-loaded automatic tensioner that keeps a serpentine belt tight is also a wear item. Consequently, the automatic tensioner may also have to be replaced when the time comes to change the belt.
VWs suffer various ailments as they age. We’ve tried to identify some pattern failures that may afflict certain models and engines more than others for this article. It’s important to note that some of these problems can be prevented by following VW’s service recommendations and using fluids, filters and replacement parts that meet VW specifications.
Brake calipers are a key component in a disc brake system. The calipers use hydraulic muscle to squeeze the brake pads against the rotors. The clamping force creates friction between the pads and rotor that slows the vehicle and brings it to a halt. If a caliper is leaking or sticking, however, it may not apply the brakes properly.
A sealed hub assembly or bearing cartridge typically contains two sets of bearings: an inner set and an outer set. They may be ball bearings or tapered roller bearings. Tapered bearings have cylindrical rollers between the inner and outer race.
One of the ways automakers squeeze more horsepower and torque from an engine is by adding variable valve timing (VVT) to the valvetrain. A conventional camshaft has fixed valve lift, duration and timing; so, the grind is always a compromise between fuel economy, performance and emissions. But with VVT, duration, valve overlap and timing can be changed on the go to optimize engine performance at different RPM, loads and operating conditions.
All too often, technicians assume fuel pressure is “good” without actually measuring it with a gauge. If the engine runs, they assume the injectors are getting adequate fuel pressure. If the engine cranks but won’t start, and they depress the service valve on the fuel rail and some fuel squirts out, they assume the injectors have pressure. They do, but the question remains: how much pressure?
In recent years, the variety of different motor oils that are now available to consumers has multiplied exponentially. It’s more important than ever before to make sure you choose the correct motor oil for your customers’ vehicles. Using the wrong oil may cause problems, as well as void the OEM powertrain warranty.
Connected vehicles have been evolving rapidly in recent years, and what’s coming next will blow you away, says Technical Editor Larry Carley. Carley discusses various safety and driver-assistance vehicle communication systems that are currently available on a number of models, either as standard equipment or as an optional technology package.
Although stop/start idle systems have been used on hybrid vehicles for many years, a growing number of non-hybrid late model import models are also being equipped with this fuel-saving technology. For 2015, almost every major automaker offers one or more models with stop/start idle control. Many experts predict that within the next two years, over
Anything that moves under its own power also has to stop, so brakes have been a safety feature on cars since day one. Over the years, technical innovations such as antilock brakes (ABS) have improved the ability to stop with minimal skidding on wet or slick surfaces. The addition of stability control allowed each wheel
Oil is the lifeblood of every engine, so it’s important to always use a high-quality motor oil that meets the vehicle manufacturers’ viscosity recommendations and performance specifications when servicing your customers’ vehicles. Just use a name-brand motor oil that meets the recommended SAE viscosity and current American Petroleum Institute (API) quality standards and you should