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Tech Stuff

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Why Your Shop Should Worry About Faulty Airbags

Faulty inflators are fueling concern for airbag service safety. According to reports, this includes approximately 34 million vehicles in the U.S. and over 85 million individual airbags, when we consider steering wheel, passenger and side airbags.

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Understanding Vehicle Stability Control

Just what is stability control? And why do we have it? My GMC pickup caught me totally off guard when I was going up a familiar hill on a damp morning recently. I was accelerating normally when the rear end started to break loose. Before I could react, however, the StabiliTrak light started to flash, the rpms dropped, and I could hear the anti-lock brake system (ABS) pump running and the solenoids cycling. I never hit the brakes but my immediate reaction was to let off the gas... but by then my truck had already returned to the direction that I’d always intended. Almost before I lost control, I had it back again.

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Fuel Pump 101: The Basics of Fuel Pump Diagnosis and Repair

The most common cause of fuel pump failure is frequently running the tank low on fuel, which causes the motor to overheat. The second most common cause is fuel contamination, usually dirt and rust particles that clog the fuel strainer and prevent the pump from drawing enough fuel under high engine load. If enough contamination gets past the pump’s intake strainer, it can actually jam the pump and stop the engine immediately.

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Diagnosing Steering System Noises

The most common cause for power steering noise is low power steering fluid level. The resulting noise will likely be a whining that is heard when turning the steering wheel. A high-pitched or “screeching” noise is usually caused by a worn or misadjusted power steering drive belt.

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Cooling System Service: Common Sense Guidelines for Covering the Variables

Generally speaking, a 50/50 mix of water and “antifreeze” is the recommended norm. However, when mixing concentrated antifreeze with water, avoid using tap water, as this may contain excess calcium or other materials which can promote corrosion. Use only distilled/deionized water for the mix. Granted, some coolants are available as 50/50 pre-mix that eliminates the need to add water.

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Avoiding Brake Job Comebacks

There is no worse feeling for a tech than to have performed a straightforward, uncomplicated brake job and see the vehicle return with a concern or a complaint. The customer can raise his concerns immediately after the repair or in the weeks or months following.

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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.

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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.

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

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.

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

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.

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