Category Archives: DYI

Bleeding the System

A few hints about bleeding brakes or clutch systems. If you bleed the system change the fluid at the same time not necessary to flush but replace the fluid simply let it run until it is clean at all points. I do not recommend pressure bleeders easy to use but can cause more problems than they are worth mainly with ABS. Us the vacuum method with the use of a hand vacuum pump and a container in the middle of 2 lines Mighty vac sells the kit. If you have an air problem as a last resort remove the MC cap and let the system sit overnight this will allow the air to escape naturally. Wont always work but it usually does this will also work with cooling systems.One more item when you push the cylinder back into its bore block off the line and open the bleeder screw do not push the old fluid back into the system through you are going to replace the fluid this dirty fluid can cause problem here again worse with ABS but it can still cause a headache.Do not use old brake fluid that has been open in the garage for who knows how long fluid is cheap and if you use fluid that has moisture from sitting you will be asking for major problems.Remember if it doesn’t start it is a problem but if it doesn’t stop it is a major problem.

Manuels On Line

You can easily get a free auto repair manual for whichever repair need you might have. You need an internet access and have to follow a certain procedure searching for auto repair manuals, but when you have done this procedure a few times it will be very easy to find the right instructions for do it yourself auto repair and it won’t cost you a dime.There are four types of automotive description documents that you will need to choose from when you want to do a repair;General manualsDiagnosis descriptionsRepair manualsMaintenance manualsGeneral ManualsIn addition to some general manuals, most of these are related to the make. Here you can get step by step guidance on how to repair most of the makes in the vehicle market. Let’s say you have a Honda Acura 2002 model and you want to find a manual for that make and model. What you do is perform the following search in a search engine: “free car manuals+Honda Acura+2002”. Then you will have a long list of sites that provide you with all kinds of descriptions for your Honda Acure 2002 model, and you can choose what you want.Diagnosis descriptionsAutomotive diagnosis manuals can also be sub-divided by make and model. But it can also be divided by the area of the vehicle that is affected, for example engine intake problems, brake problems, cooling problems, exhaust problems, start or stall problems, transmission problems etc. Let’s say you have a start problem. Your search would be “car diagnosis manual+ start problem”, then you should get more than enough repair information to choose from. You can even get diagnostic trees where all options are covered for nothing.You have probably more than one time heard some annoying noise from somewhere in your vehicle, without finding the source of it. This is one of the most kinky situations to run into because you don’t know if it is a serious signal or just a small thing. Some websites gives you the opportunity to diagnose vehicle problems by the noise, sound and vibrating signals – and that is great. The sooner you find it the sooner you can fix it and then you can relax. When you search, you can describe the sound, for example “whine noise” or “shifter knocks” or “driveline vibration” plus car diagnosis manual plus eventually the make.Repair Manuals In addition to regular manuals you can also get very instructive and detailed descriptions in other internet document or websites like articles, etc. The natural way to sub-divide such repairs before searching, is by the area of the vehicle that is going to be repaired, for instance body repair, exhaust repair, suspension fix, interior repair and even general car repair.You do the search the same way as above; “car repair manual (or description) + the area of repair and go through the list of resources you get.Maintenance manualsThough vehicle maintenance is closely related to your vehicle make and model, there are some maintenance issues that are pretty much common whether you have a Cadillac, VW or a Mercedes, for example changing oil, changing air filters, engine wash, fluid maintenance, tier maintenance etc. You can get access to maintenance descriptions by searching for the kind of maintenance plus “car maintenance manual (or description)” plus eventually your make and model.I think you’ll be amazed of the amount of automotive repair free stuff online. News source: Flixya


Troubleshooting car problems needs to be aproached in an oranized and logical fashion, as opposed to just guessing, or even educated guessing. Many times when I am working on a car, I might get lazy and take an educated guess at what the cause of the problem may be. I know it is wrong, but I will start diagnosing a system and see that I have three choices of what the failure may be. Instead of following the proper procedure of testing each component and continuing to diagnose the problem thoroughly, I will try to take a shortcut known as an educated guess. In most cases, when I guess, I pay the ultimate price. My educated guess will be wrong nearly 50% of the time or more. This means I have just increased my diagnosis time, and wound up replacing a part that was not required. I do not consider myself very lucky, and even when it comes to a 50-50 chance, I am wrong most of the time. In fact, I could flip a coin and take heads, and it will come up tails 10 times in a row. Troubleshooting car problems correctlyThis brings me back to the professional method of troubleshooting car problems. Get a good auto repair manual and perform all the step-by-step diagnosis that the troubleshooting manual provides. When you feel like you have found the problem take the extra step and test the individual component. For example, if you believe the relay has failed, all relays can be tested and confirmed to be good or bad. Another example of troubleshooting car problems is if you believe a switch has failed, a switch can be easily tested as well. Why do you need a multimeter? In the two above examples, a multimeter will be needed to test the individual components. A multimeter can measure voltage, amps, resistance and check for continuity. Now days a multimeter is a very inexpensive tool and a very good thing to have in your toolbox. All multimeters come with instructions on how to use the device. Become familiar with the operation of this meter before you begin troubleshooting car problems or performing Diy car repairs. Another reason to have a multimeter on hand is that if your diagnostic steps in the repair manual require you to take a voltage reading, a test light should not be used in this situation. If you are looking for a 5 V reference signal from the ECM, A test light will not be good enough. Also if measuring resistance is required only one tool can do this (yes a multi-meter). News source: Auto-Facts

Papa Can’t fix that

Your car’s “check engine” light blinks on, so you take it to the local repair shop that you have been going to for years. The problem is, they can’t fix what’s wrong. It’s a problem only the dealer can correct.Even for simple repairs, today’s vehicle technology requires new, expensive tools and information that manufacturers and dealerships have and are reluctant to release.However, a bill in Congress could help independent repair shops and weekend mechanics by requiring automakers to share diagnostic codes.“(Car companies) are designing a car that limits repair options,” said Skip Potter, executive director of the Pasadena, Md.-based Chesapeake Automotive Business Association. The association monitors independent auto and tire service shops and their suppliers in Delaware, Maryland and the District of Columbia.“Some people have compared repairing a vehicle to buying a house,” he said. “If the refrigerator needs repair and you go back to the developer who built the house to fix it, it would cost more money and be inconvenient.”A coalition intended as a joint effort between car companies and independent shops exists to monitor the needs between the repair sector and the manufacturers, Mr. Potter said, but there is no legislation requiring carmakers to participate.This means any car company can pull out of the coalition at any time, he said.The Right to Repair Act argues consumers own their vehicles in their entirety and should be able to have access to the codes. Since about the mid-1990s, cars and all their systems have grown increasingly computerized.The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers’ Web site says the modern car packs 1,000 times more computing power than the Apollo 11 lunar module.“It’s almost like a monopoly,” said Gary Anthony, manager of Firestone Complete Auto Care on Bay Road in Dover, of the carmakers’ hold on their information.He said consumers don’t have a choice anymore but to go through a dealer for service needs.Many independent repair shops have had to purchase scanners that cost about $1,200 to read the computers on the newer cars, Firestone service manager Adam Pomales said, but they still don’t have access to all of the codes.“The information is proprietary,” said Jeff Townsend, owner of Townsend Bros. Chevrolet.“It could be used not just for fixing a car, but also counterfeiting parts, which would cause more problems than it would cure.”Dover resident Edward Garrison has his own cure for paying the price to repair a computerized car – he refuses to buy a new one and said he will stick with older models.“I prefer to work on my own car instead of taking it to the shop,” he said.When Mr. Garrison’s daughter showed him the engine in her 2006 Hyundai Sonata, he said it looked like half of the engine would need to be taken apart to fix one part.“Don’t come to dad to get it fixed,” he remembers telling her. “You will definitely need to go to the dealer for that.” News source: News Zap

OBD Quick Check

Try This Simple Check Before You FreakIf you are resourceful enough to utilize your car’s On Board Diagnostic (OBD) system, you’re way ahead of the game. (Don’t forget you can have your codes scanned free at any AutoZone). If you’ve plugged into your car’s diagnostic port and aren’t reading anything at all, you might think that your OBD-II brain has fried, but don’t declare it dead yet.On many cars, the ECM (that’s the electronic brain) is on the same fuse circuit as other electrics like the cigarette lighter/accessory port. The lighter is prone to blow fuses on some vehicles, and if there’s no juice going to the ECM, it can’t tell you what’s wrong. If you’re getting nothing, check the fuse! News source: About Auto Repair


With so many Abbreviations being used today it is easy to get confused if you don’t use them on a regular basis so here is an excellent site for there explanation [url”>


Very few combination tools are very useful. Chances are they were developed to perform two different tasks in an average manner. This means they are never a good idea to have in your tool box. There are of course some exceptions, but the Tire & Battery Brush is not one of them. When you clean your battery terminals you need a really stiff brush. Getting all of that corrosion off takes some work. But translate the same effective stiffness to the soft rubber of your tires and you’ve turned into a butcher. Back in the day people rolled on whitewall tires. From what I’ve gathered from the oldtimers, a stiff wire brush was just the thing to keep the whitewalls shining.After a few dozen scrubbing sessions, the whitewall would start to wear off. That was fine, because tires back then wore out just as fast. These days you can get 50,000+ miles out of your tires. If you scrub the sides with a wire brush once a week, you might just eat through the sidewall before your tires wear out!Anyway, I’d skip this one for sure. News source: About auto repair

Computer V Carb

I started in the carb era so I get phone calls and E-mails on carb problems these I don’t mind but I am getting to old to lay across a fender and fool with a carb, this I don’t miss, and try not to do it to often. The intrigue of scanning a vehicle to locate a problem is one of my favorites. Some say I was lucky to grow along with the automotive industry and the computer era. Not only did I grow with it but I have always tried to stay abreast of the latest innovations. I believe my interest in computers has helped tremendously as the complexity of today’s vehicle systems has increased. I do believe the auto manufacturer have design today’s vehicles to make it difficult if not impossible for the average person to to there own repairs. They were also forced to do this to meet EPA standards.


Your car’s carburetor (if it has one, most recent cars are FUEL INJECTED) supplies the proper mixture of fuel and air to your engine. A defective carburetor can cause smelly exhaust, smoking, hard starting, and poor gas mileage. A carb works by the VENTURI PRINCIPLE: which basically means that if you pass air across a hole, a vacuum will be created in that hole. A carburetor has many carefully positioned holes which the air sucked in by the engine flows past. These holes are connected to the CARBURETOR BOWL, which is kept full of fuel by a FLOAT AND NEEDLE VALVE. This valve and float shut off the pressurized fuel sent from the tank by the fuel pump. It works about the same way as a toilet tank valve. How much air flows by the venturi(s) is determined by the throttle plate, which restricts the airflow through the carb. At wide open throttle, all possible air is admitted throught he carb, and maximum power is gotten from the engine.When an engine is cold it needs a richer (more fuel to air mix than usual) mixture to run correctly. Carburetors have a device called a CHOKE to accomplish this. The choke is like he throttle, except it is on the top rather than the bottom of the carb, and it closes when cold and opens when warm. When the choke is closed, it restricts the air entering the carb at the top, while the throttle still allows the same amount of air to go through the bottom. This means the same amount of fuel is sucked, but less air: so the mix is richer. FEEDBACK CARBS The last of the carburetors were computer controlled. The American cars mostly used a jet in the carb bowl which was “pulsed” by the computer, opening and closing 10 times per second. The computer would keep the jet open a longer or shorter period of time to “fine tune” the fuel/air mixture. Asian cars sometimes used a vacuum line connected to the venturi itself. A computer controlled module would “bleed” a small amount of air to the venturi to lean out the mix and adjust it. Throttle Body Fuel Injection Many people see throttle body fuel injection units and think it is some kind of carburetor. It is not. It just has a single (or two or more) large injectors which are above the throttle plate instead of inside the intake manifold. There is no fuel bowl, float, venturi, or choke. News source: Econofix

Anti Lock Braking How They Work

Since most cars on the road today have some form of Antilock Brakes (ABS) I think we should take a look at how they work and clear up some mis-information about them. As always, what I describe here is how most systems work in general. Since different manufactures have their own versions of ABS their values, specifications and part names will differ. If you are having a problem with the ABS on your vehicle you should always refer to the specific service and repair manuals for your vehicle. The ABS is a four-wheel system that prevents wheel lock-up by automatically modulating the brake pressure during an emergency stop. By preventing the wheels from locking, it enables the driver to maintain steering control and to stop in the shortest possible distance under most conditions News source: During normal braking, the ABS and non-ABS brake pedal feel will be the same. Sponsored LinksBraking SystemsHeavy truck spec’ing advice, driving tips & the latest products.[url”>www.todaystrucking.comBrake pedalBrowse a huge selection now. Find exactly what you want today.[url”>www.eBay.comCar Repair Free AdviceFree Questions Answered. Get a Real Response ASAP. Post a Question! ABS operation, a pulsation can be felt in the brake pedal, accompanied by a fall and then rise in brake pedal height and a clicking sound. Vehicles with ABS are equipped with a pedal-actuated, dual-brake system. The hydraulic system consists of the following:ABS hydraulic control valves and electronic control unit Power brake booster Brake master cylinder Necessary brake tubes and hoses The anti-lock brake system consists of the following components:Hydraulic Control Unit (HCU). Anti-lock brake control module. Front anti-lock brake sensors / rear anti-lock brake sensors. Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) operates as follows:When the brakes are applied, fluid is forced from the brake master cylinder outlet ports to the HCU inlet ports. This pressure is transmitted through four normally open solenoid valves contained inside the HCU, then through the outlet ports of the HCU to each wheel. The primary (rear) circuit of the brake master cylinder feeds the front brakes. The secondary (front) circuit of the brake master cylinder feeds the rear brakes. If the anti-lock brake control module senses a wheel is about to lock, based on anti-lock brake sensor data, it closes the normally open solenoid valve for that circuit. This prevents any more fluid from entering that circuit. The anti-lock brake control module then looks at the anti-lock brake sensor signal from the affected wheel again. If that wheel is still decelerating, it opens the solenoid valve for that circuit. Once the affected wheel comes back up to speed, the anti-lock brake control module returns the solenoid valves to their normal condition allowing fluid flow to the affected brake. The anti-lock brake control module monitors the electromechanical components of the system. Malfunction of the anti-lock brake system will cause the anti-lock brake control module to shut off or inhibit the system. However, normal power-assisted braking remains.Loss of hydraulic fluid in the brake master cylinder will disable the anti-lock system.The 4-wheel anti-lock brake system is self-monitoring. When the ignition switch is turned to the RUN position, the anti-lock brake control module will perform a preliminary self-check on the anti-lock electrical system indicated by a three second illumination of the yellow ABS wanting indicator. During vehicle operation, including normal and anti-lock braking, the anti-lock brake control module monitors all electrical anti-lock functions and some hydraulic operations. Each time the vehicle is driven, as soon as vehicle speed reaches approximately 20 km/h (12 mph), the anti-lock brake control module turns on the pump motor for approximately one-half second. At this time, a mechanical noise may be heard. This is a normal function of the self-check by the anti-lock brake control module. When the vehicle speed goes below 20 km/h (12 mph), the ABS turns off.Most malfunctions of the anti-lock brake system and traction control system, if equipped, will cause the yellow ABS warning indicator to be illuminated.