Tech Feature Archives - Import Car
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What DOT Really Means: Brake Hose Inspection And Replacement

Brake hoses are the most government-regulated components on a vehicle. Anyone making brake assemblies must be registered with the Department of Transportation (DOT). All aftermarket hose, fittings and complete hoses must conform to FMVSS 106 and SAE J1401. These tests are demanding and often exceed what a vehicle will see in the real world.

BMW Fuel System Repair Essentials

The BMW N54 fuel pump recall a few years ago brought to light the importance of the integrity of the fuel system and how it can contribute to the overall reliability of a vehicle. These fuel quality issues apply to all BMW vehicles with either port or direct injection. The underlying message here is that if the cleanliness and overall integrity of the fuel tank is ignored, it will damage any fuel pump. This is why addressing the fuel tank is essential during any pump replacement to prevent costly comebacks that can also hurt your reputation.

Diagnosing Variable Valve Timing

Fully variable valve timing can be achieved only by using computer-operated solenoids to precisely control the intake and exhaust valve opening and closing events. Although the various combinations of valve timing events are theoretically infinite on an electronically controlled system, their applications are limited due to issues of cost and, in some cases, reliability.

Diagnostic Dilemma: 1999 Dodge Dakota Intermittent Stall Complaints

Diagnosing intermittent stalling complaints is a challenging experience for any diagnostic technician because any number of electrical and mechanical failures can cause an engine to intermittently stall. Most of us immediately narrow this laundry list of potential failures down to the most common few, which include components like the crankshaft position sensor and electric fuel pump.

Start Solving Transmission Electronic Control Problems

Troubleshooting an automatic transmission can be one of the most intimidating diagnostic procedures at a shop. The first reaction is typically, “We don’t do that type of work.” But there is profit in performing drivetrain diagnostics and “in-the-car” repairs.

Three Causes Of Transmission Complaints

The modern transmission is one of the most connected components on a vehicle. When using a scan tool to diagnosis a drivetrain problem, it’s often what is not displayed on the scan tool that will lead you to your final diagnosis. Read on for three of the common causes of transmission complaints.

Air Filter Fuel Trim Diagnostics

The modern engine measures two things extremely well, the amount of air going into the combustion chamber with the mass airflow sensor (MAF), and the byproducts that are generated by the combustion event with the oxygen sensor. These measurements allow the engine’s computer to put the right amount of fuel and spark into the cylinder to give the most efficient and cleanest combustion event.

Aluminum Suspension Component Serviceability

For every 10 percent reduction in vehicle weight, there is a 5 to 7 percent fuel savings. Since 1990, there has been a steady increase in the weight of vehicles due to airbags, structural components and convenience features like heated seats. This fattening in some areas forced suspension components to go on a diet.

A/C Diagnostics 101: The Value Of Scanners

Leave it to the manufacturers to take a simple thing like heat and air conditioning and turn it into an electronic jungle of wiring, sensors and computer components. HVAC units have come a long way from when I started in the business. Not that I want to dwell on the past, but it might be a good idea to make sure we understand the basics before diving into the problem of today’s systems. I always feel that if I understand a system fully before doing any repair work, I’m more likely to get it right the first time.