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EVAP Monitor on European Cars: Real World Diagnosis of DMTL Systems

EVAP Monitor on European Cars: Real World Diagnosis of DMTL Systems

On a business trip several years ago, I was in a country that has no emissions regulations. The hotel parking lot was filled with late-model rental cars, but cars parked on the street were much older and obviously well past their best years. The strong smell of gasoline on those sun-baked streets made it obvious that a functioning evaporative emission control system (EVAP) was not important there.

Article

A Turbocharged Pet Peeve

A Turbocharged Pet Peeve

I hope I’m not alone in this. One of my pet peeves is the all-too-common misuse of the term “turbocharged.” It seems as though manufacturers of just about any product feel that they can freely apply the term to promote the benefits of a host of consumer offerings.

Article

Dealing with TPMS Problems: Tips to Avoid Issues and Diagnose Glitches

Prior to any TPMS service, existing sensors should be scanned for potential concerns. This step...

Rather than covering programming and relearn procedures, a subject that has been addressed in select previous issues, this article focuses on common (and uncommon) concerns that a technician may encounter, along with tips to avoid mistakes. Here, we’ve enlisted the expert advice from some of the leading tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) sensor and tool makers.

Article

Wheel Bearing Tech From TRB to Gen I, Gen 2 and Gen 3

This Gen 3 bearing is so bad that the seal is gone and the balls are rusty — and some are missing.

Today’s wheel bearings, like many other components, have become so dependable that we don’t pay much attention to them until there is a complaint. The typical wheel bearing grumbles are about strange noises, rumbling feelings or an anti-lock brake (ABS), electronic stability control (ESC) or traction control system (TCS) system light or issue.

Article

Hybrid Service Is Not Rocket Science

Hybrid Service Is Not Rocket Science

Most of the normal service and repair required by a hybrid vehicle is the same as other cars. They all need fluid changes and brake service, they all have oxygen sensors and EVAP systems and they use the same generic OBD-II fault codes as their non-hybrid cousins.

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Let’s Defend the Fender Cover!

Let’s Defend the Fender Cover!

Ah, the lowly fender cover. It was born with a single life mission: to protect the painted surface of a front fender from nicks and scratches while underhood work is being performed.

Article

GM EcoTec3 Truck Engine GDI Concerns: New Technology Affects Service Practices

GM’s EcoTec3 engines are workhorses, built for the tough stuff such as delivering power for...

General Motors’ EcoTec3 family of engines is a familiar sight under the hoods of many GMC and Chevrolet pickup trucks and SUVs. It is available in three versions: 4.3 V6, 5.3 V8 and a 6.2 V8. General Motors debuted this new engine design on the 2014 model year trucks and although the 6.2 V8 versions look comparable to the GEN 5 V8 LT of the Corvette and Camaro, they are uniquely individual engines.

Article

Thank You Means a Lot

Thank You Means a Lot

Vehicles enter the shop. Some customers require routine maintenance. Some customers complain about driveability issues. The brakes squeal. They hear a clicking noise on turns. The engine cranks but won’t start. The tires are wearing out fast. The car pulls to the left under braking. The engine is leaking oil. The list goes on.

Article

Luxury Car and High Performance Brakes

Some high performance rotors employed by OEMs feature an exotic disc construction formula such...

Premium-priced high-performance luxury cars tend to push the envelope in terms of braking system performance. While a disc/drum or disc/disc system found on any production vehicle is designed to provide safe and reliable braking, luxury performance cars tend to be outfitted with “spirited” driving in mind. As engine power increases, accompanied by the potential for higher speed operation, there’s more demand on the brake system, requiring the system to meet these challenges.

Article

Should OBD-II be Your First Step in Diagnosing an Engine Management Issue? Yes, and Here’s Why...

Among the numerous tools in my shop’s arsenal, these are my three favorite generic OBD-II...

We can’t possibly have all the tools that we need to repair every vehicle that comes into our shop, even if we concentrate on only a couple of makes or manufacturers. There are simply too many dedicated tools required today to perform all of the required tasks on today’s engine, transmission and drivetrain systems. Even a simple water pump service can now require highly specialized tools, but dealing with a check engine light doesn’t always require the factory scan tool, even if you have one available.

Article

Thermal Imaging: Affordable Technology Lets You See a New Light

Thermal Imaging: Affordable Technology Lets You See a New Light

Before cars had electronic controls, all their malfunctions were something we could see, hear, smell, feel or sometimes even taste (ever sipped coffee next to a car with a coolant leak?). Sometimes we used a test light or a vacuum gauge to pinpoint problems, and for really advanced diagnostics we had an engine analyzer with an analog ’scope as big as a roll away toolbox that would actually let us see  secondary ignition patterns.

Article

Taming Alignment in Winter

Taming Alignment in Winter

Proper wheel alignment is obviously important in terms of preventing premature tire wear, and to maintain predictable and controllable handling and braking. But in winter weather, where the customer encounters slippery conditions, wheel angles become much more critical. The effect of improper toe, camber and/or caster angles becomes more pronounced and are compounded as the coefficient of friction between the tires and the road are reduced.