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Tech Stuff


Brake basics booster shot

When was the last time you had a tetanus shot, asks the doctor when you arrive to have that cut stitched up. You need a booster every 10 years. Every year, 10% to 20% of people who contract tetanus will die. Auto repair is risky business. Make sure your booster is up-to-date.


Ford Powerstroke diesel: Engine background and tech tips

As anyone familiar with diesel engine operation knows, a diesel engine differs from other liquid fuel engines in one major respect: The fuel/air charge is ignited by cylinder pressure and heat, instead of via an electrical ignition system (diesel-fueled engines don’t use spark plugs).


Camry generations five and six: A brief tour of the Toyota Camry fuel and EVAP systems

Since the day it was introduced to the U.S. market, the Toyota Camry has been one of the most reliable cars on the road. With normal maintenance or even a fair amount of neglect, it seems these cars almost never break down. When problems do arise, the diagnosis is rarely a challenge.


Advanced O2 sensor diagnostics: Tracing sensor wiring and checking for ‘lazy’ sensors

Over the years we covered a lot of the basics concerning oxygen and air-fuel sensor diagnostics. This includes their basic operation, the differences between oxygen and air-fuel sensors, air-fuel ratio sensor voltage specifications, the differences between zirconium and titanium dioxide oxygen sensors, and using emissions analyzers to verify Lambda.


Making lemonade

It’s hardly a secret that today’s vehicles feature much more complex systems as compared to the pre-electronic control era. While some curse the increasingly sophisticated management systems that we must deal with, the fact that the use of ever-advancing electronic monitoring and management is here to stay, and it’s only going to increase and expand.


Tool review: Beta driver tools -- a sampling of the Italian brand

OK, so what’s so neat about yet another set of hand drivers and a ratchet? That’s what I wondered when I started to examine a small selection of hand tools from Beta Tools. I was pleasantly surprised.


It may not be the pump: Problems can be caused by a variety of fuel system issues

Unless you are into racing or collectable cars, you have probably not seen a mechanical fuel pump in many years. The same could be said for most external electric fuel pumps. With the death of the carburetor and the advent of fuel injection, electric, in-tank fuel pumps have become the norm.


Accessory drive belts: Belt noise means more than just worn-out parts

Summertime. Even after a short drive, it can get hot enough under the hood to bake biscuits. That heat soaks into everything, and it can be particularly hard on belts and hoses. Of course you already know that, but have you thought about how a worn or damaged belt can affect other things under the hood, even driveability?


J-2534: 2015 update

Reflashing is no longer something new and neither is getting the job done with a J-2534-2 tool. By now many shops have decided that they are in it to win it or they simply sublet the work


TPMS tips:Identifying types, applications, functions and service

 Every vehicle from 2008 model year to the present is equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). If you service tires, you’ll be forced to deal with TPMS. That means that you must invest in a TPMS tool (preferably a combination tool that allows scanning/diagnostics, activating, programming if needed and relearning).

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