The Maxima might not have reached quite the pinnacle of fame that some of its brethren from Nissan have, but it sure hasn't been for lack of the right hardware. The 1998 model, like all of those before and since, was at its heart a sport sedan with the six-cylinder heart of a Z-Car. The fact that that engine sits sideways in the Maxima chassis can make a lot of jobs a bit more difficult compared to the rear-drive Z-Car -- but it actually makes a starter replacement much easier.
The Ford Contour, designed by Ford's European division, is a mid-size sedan that was produced for the 1995 through 2000 model years. It was billed as having spirited performance, composed handling, aerodynamic styling and a European feel. Although customers said the Contour was a fun car to drive, they also complained that it fell short in back-seat legroom and comfort. Replacing a CV shaft yourself on your 1995 Ford Contour -- or Mondeo, as it's called in the European market -- will save you the expense of paying a repair shop.
Security systems have come a long way in the last couple of decades, and that's certainly true for the 2001 VW Jetta. These newer systems make it much harder for thieves to abscond with owners' cars and get them running -- of course, they also make it much harder for you to "steal" your own car with a key that needs to be reprogrammed.
The Nissan Maxima seemingly always delivered on its promises as a premium ride with sporty characteristics, from the Datsun 810 Maxima of 1981 and its weird "turn off lights" spoken message, to the four-door sports car its has become. Removing and replacing the radio in your 1998 Maxima isn't a terribly difficult procedure, but do have a careful hand when handling interior plastics, as they may be brittle.
Volkswagen released the Jetta in the U.S. in 1979 as an attempt to regain its foothold in one of the world's largest markets. The Jetta offered what American customers were looking for in their compact cars -- four doors and a roomy cabin. Replacing the battery in a 2003 Jetta's keyless entry remote requires careful use of a small screwdriver.
Originally released in 1986, the Nissan Pathfinder was built on the same chassis as Nissan's pickup. It was also only available in a two-door version. By 2002, it had undergone several changes; one of these was using unibody construction instead of a ladder chassis like the original. The unibody construction is stronger and lighter at the same time. Changing the blower motor is not a difficult task and only requires a few tools to do the job right.
Like all truly great war plans, Chevy's designs for the Avalanche didn't quite survive contact with reality. With its unique body and it 5.3-liter LS engine, which used superior head flow to deliver torque belying its displacement, the Avalanche seemed as unstoppable as its namesake. But, the muses of war are fickle, and fortunate were the few who wound up owning an Avalanche.
The compact size, N-body, Grand Am was produced by General Motors' Pontiac division for the 1985-through-2005 model years. Although it had a 20-year run, probably due to its affordable price, the N-body was rated low in comfort and handling. The 2001 Grand Am came with a choice of a 2.4-liter, 150-horsepower four-cylinder engine or a 3.4-liter, 170-horsepower V-6 engine.
Los Del Rios, Deep Blue Something, Ace of Base and the Dodge Stratus -- name four things that were really popular for two years in the mid-1990s, and then fell off the map. Like the aforementioned musicians, the Stratus had the perfect formula for success in its time, and indeed captivated audiences for a couple golden years. But that formula proved fairly narrow and easily imitated, leaving the Stratus consigned to the one-hit-wonder category of automotive history. If you and your Stratus end up sitting at the crossroads counting blue cars after overheating, a simple radiator change might be all…
Hyundai introduced the Accent for the 1995 model year as a replacement for the Excel. The car became popular from the start due to its affordability and favorable fuel mileage -- it was also roomier than the Excel. However, the Accent suffered from poor performance and safety ratings when it was first launched. The base model 1996 Accent came with a 1.5-liter engine.
The definition of the word eclipse is the same today as it was in 1996, which is to overshadow, outshine or surpass. The 1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse lived up to its name by being a great handling sports car with an available turbocharged engine. The throttle body bolt torque specification is 14 foot-pounds. Always replace the gasket when removing the throttle body.
As the big brother of the Camry, the Avalon is Toyota's full-size sedan. The Avalon comes equipped with the same 3.0-liter, 210-horsepower V-6 that is available in the Camry and standard in the Lexus ES300.
The debut of the TrailBlazer in 2002 marked the end of the road for the four-door Blazer. The TrailBlazer lasted eight years, and from 2007 through 2009, it was available in an SS trim with a 391-horsepower, V-8 engine. Replacing the low-beam headlight in your 2002 TrailBlazer requires that you remove the front grille and the headlight assembly to gain access to the bulb.
Following the Beetle's exodus from the U.S., Volkswagen had a tough run in America, but it found solace in the Dasher that it introduced in 1974. The Dasher eventually lead to the introduction of the Passat in the U.S. in 1990. Though the Dasher that predated the Passat was essentially a rebadged Audi Fox, the first-generation, U.S.-spec Passat wasn't closely tied to any Audi model. Oddly enough, the second-generation U.S.-spec Passat -- 1998 through 2005 -- went back to being based on an Audi model, the A4. Swapping out the headlights in the 1999 Passat is not difficult, but the…
Saturn, a subsidiary of General Motors, produced the SL model for the 1991 through 2002 model years. The company slogan was, "a different kind of car company -- a different kind of car." Saturn had a "no haggle pricing" policy, which was supposed to make its customers feel like they were getting a fair deal, while not having to worry about their neighbor getting a better deal on the same car. The 1998 SL base model came with a 1.9-liter, single-overhead-cam engine.
The 1980s Chrysler LeBaron wasn't an amazing car by most standards. While reasonably good looking and sporty, it was pretty standard K-Car in all respects but one. The LeBaron is credited by many as the car that saved the convertible top in America -- it was not just the best-selling convertible in the United States, but at one point it was the only convertible sold here. The Sebring picked up where the LeBaron left off, bringing folding-top fun to the masses with a family friendly price tag. The Sebring's hydraulic folding top pump is behind the rear seat, and bound…
Compact hatchbacks and sedans like the Aveo have long been a part of Chevrolet's lineup. Ranging from the Vega hatchback of the 1970s to the Chevrolet Metro and Aveo of the 2000s, these small city cars made maneuvering through heavy traffic a little easier, and were easier on the wallet at the pump. Your 2005 Aveo's radio has an anti-theft system that requires a four-digit code to work after you remove it, so make sure you have access to this code before pulling the head unit out.
In the 1980s and 1990s, GM had a bit of a naming traffic jam with the Chevy S-10 Blazer and the full-size Blazer, and the GMC S-15 Jimmy and the full-size Jimmy. General Motors fixed the GMC naming issue in 1992, when it changed the full-size Jimmy's name to Yukon, but the confusion in Chevy's lineup continued until it changed the full-size Blazer's name to Tahoe in 1995. Replacing the starter in your 1995 Yukon's base, 5.7-liter, V-8 engine is fairly simple, thanks to the large and uncluttered engine compartment.
As the middle sibling between the hot-selling F-150 and the heavy-duty F-350, the F-250 is often left out of discussions, but it may be the best balanced of the group. The F-250 offers buyers more towing and payload capacity than its smaller brother without the sheer massiveness of the F-350. Replacing the starter on your 1997 F-250's base 4.6-liter engine is simple, but you need to disconnect the battery to avoid damaging the electrical system in the event of a short.
Nissan has long called the Maxima its "four-door sports car," and for good reason, as the sporty sedan has always offered the convenience of a sedan with the soul of a sports car. Following a short stint as the top-of-the line Datsun 810 trim level in 1981, the Nissan Maxima made its official arrival as a standalone model in 1982. The spindle nuts are what secure the halfshafts to the front hubs on your 1995 Nissan Maxima, and they require a high amount of torque to hold the halfshafts in place.
The Escort was Ford's answer to the import-car onslaught by the likes of Honda, Toyota and Nissan, who were all delivering fuel-efficient and peppy compact cars to the U.S. The Escort lived a production run that spanned from 1981 through 2003 -- three years after its replacement, the Focus debuted. Replacing the cylinder head on the 1995 Escort's 1.9-liter engine requires a very specific bolt-tightening procedure.
Lacking a two-wheel-drive option, the Jeep Wrangler was obviously built for off-road use. Your 1995 Wrangler was available in only two styles -- S or SE -- and with two possible engines -- a 2.5-liter four-cylinder or a 4,0-liter six-cylinder. Both styles came with the same size battery.
The 1994 Chevy Corvette came standard with a passive keyless entry system. This system is designed to automatically unlock and lock the doors when you enter or leave a 10-to-15-foot distance from the car. The PKE system can support a maximum of three wireless transmitters -- all of which need to be programmed at the same time.
The 2003 Cadillac CTS came standard with keyless entry, a panic alarm, and a Passkey III engine immobilizer system. The immobilizer system is designed to detect whether or not a correct key is being used to start the engine. If you -- or a potential thief -- attempts to use a key that isn't programmed to the vehicle, the powertrain control module cuts the fuel supply and the engine stalls. If the VIN on your CTS starts with a "1" or a "4," you can program a new key yourself, but if the VIN starts with a "2" or "3"…
When hanging out in high school with your friends talking cars you probably were not chatting about the 1998 Honda Civic as your dream car. By the time you hit college you were probably glad you owned it. With great fuel mileage and low maintenance costs, this car was every college kids dream when funds were tight. By 1998, this car was already on its seventh generation as Honda’s icon of the sub-compact market. Replacing the side view mirror is something you can do right at home, or on the street outside your campus housing.
For 2002, the Mitsubishi Galant received a refresh that included a restyled front end and interior. Standard equipment on the 2002 Galant included a 2.4-liter engine with 140 horsepower, cruise control, air conditioning and a 210-watt, seven-speaker AM-FM-CD audio system from Infinity. Removing and installing the radio requires removal of the decorative bezel around the radio, which may have become brittle over the years, so use care when removing it.
While today Hyundai has developed a pretty good reputation for low-priced, quality cars, there was a time not long ago when the "quality" part evaded them. Still though, one little P0335 after all these years isn't so bad; maybe Hyundai deserves some belated cred after all.
The 1997 model year F-Series was introduced with a more aerodynamic design. This new concept shortened the nose of the vehicle and placed the engine farther back in the engine compartment. The engine control module is located within a cavity in the firewall in the engine compartment, between the master cylinder and inner fender. The ECU must be programmed to the vehicle in order to operate. You can order an ECU from most of the chain parts stores. They will require the VIN number for the truck to complete the order. You could also install a computer without programming it,…
Cadillac introduced the Escalade in 1999, to respond to the Lincoln Navigator and other luxury SUVs. The Escalade came with a 5.7-liter-Vortec V-8 and the Autotrac selectable four-wheel-drive system. The distributor is located behind the intake manifold and is the heart of the ignition system, delivering a high voltage pulse to the spark plugs for only 1.5-milliseconds, which in turn allows for complete combustion of the air and fuel mixture when operating at peak efficiency.
With seating for up to nine, yes nine, the 2002 Tahoe can carry most entire families. Your Tahoe came with one of two V-8 engines -- the 4.8-liter or the 5.3-liter. Both of these engines use the same mass air flow sensor setup.
The 1999 model year brought major changes to the Chevrolet truck lineup. With new body styles, added options and new engines, the Silverado was essentially all-new. The 6.0-liter V-8 in the 1999 Silverado produced 300-horsepower, and filled a gap for those needing more power than the 5.3-liter and not wanting the poor fuel mileage of the 8.1-liter.
Ford introduced the Ranger pickup in 1983 to replace the Courier that was being produced by Mazda. The 1999 Ranger was offered with a choice of a 2.5-liter inline-four, 3.0-liter-V-6 gasoline and flex fuel engines, and a 4.0-liter-V-6. You should replace the ignition lock cylinder when signs of wear, such as the key pulling out in any position or binding when turning, first appear.
The 1999 Toyota Corolla uses a closed fuel tank system to prevent fuel vapors containing harmful hydrocarbons from entering the atmosphere. This system is designed to monitor itself for any leaks of these vapors and alert the driver via the check-engine light.
The serpentine belt is one of those little innovations that never really gets its due. While many Luddites resistant to change bemoaned the fancy new belts when they were introduced, it didn't take long for them to realize that serpentine belts didn't fly off at high rpm, they were far easier to change, didn't wear out as quickly, and even helped to boost fuel economy and horsepower by requiring less mechanical tension. Unsung it might be, but the serpentine belt really is a small marvel of engineering.
With its introduction in 1982, the S-10 filled the empty slot for a compact truck in Chevrolet's lineup. It continued production until 2004 when it was replaced by the Trailblazer. Your 1986 S-10 was available with either a 2.5-liter four-cylinder or a 2.8-liter V-6.
In 2000, the Century was manufactured with a 3.1-liter V-6 engine that was assembled with an aluminum upper and lower intake manifold set. General Motors split the intake manifold to allow ease of access to the fuel injectors located between the two manifolds. Under normal circumstances, the lower intake is only removed when the cylinder heads require removal or the lower manifold gaskets develop oil, coolant, or vacuum leaks. General Motors recommends to replace the lower intake bolts with new ones coated with a thread locking compound. An alternative to replacing the existing bolts, would be to clean them and…
When you are cruising down the road and it begins to rain or snow, aren’t you glad for wipers? A woman inventor who noticed the streetcar drivers in New York City sticking their heads out the windows to drive, invented windshield wipers in 1903. Originally called a car-window cleaning device and operated by using a lever, wipers became standard equipment on most cars by 1913. By 1997, the levers were gone of course, and wipers are operated by motors. Replacing the wiper motor in your 1997 Sentra is something you can do at home in the driveway with little time…
In 1953, Henry Ford II designed a concept car named the Vega. It never saw the production line, but this design became the primary influence for the Ford Thunderbird in early 1955. Unlike the Vega concept, the T-bird was more luxurious and less sport-oriented. Since 1955, the T-bird has gone through through 10 revisions, with a break between 1997 and 2002, and finally ending production in 2005. The 1997 T-bird was offered with a choice of a 3.8-liter V-6 or a 4.6-liter V-8. On the 4.6-liter engine, the throttle position sensor is located on the left side of the throttle…
Your 1994 4Runner with the V-6 had a recall due to a defect in the head gaskets. The recall extended the warranty on these gaskets to eight years or 100,000 miles, which meant that the dealer would replace them for free. If you did not have this done within this time frame, you're stuck taking care of this repair yourself.
The 1999 Dodge Ram 3500 was offered with either single or dual rear wheels, and with several engine and transmission options.The throttle position sensor for the 5.9 liter engine provides throttle position data.This information is used to assist the powertrain control module in precise engine and transmission management. A faulty TPS can set several PCM codes: P0121 -- TPS does not collaborate with the MAP sensor; P0122 -- TPS low voltage; and P0123 -- TPS high voltage.
The F-150 underwent a full redesign in 2004, and in 2005, Ford added the 4.2-liter V-6 as the new base engine. The oil pressure switch on the base V-6 is tucked away on the engine block, so finding it can be a little tricky.
The Tahoe first came to life in 1995, as the replacement for the full-size Blazer. The changeover from Blazer to Tahoe was more of a rebadging job than the introduction of a new model, as the 1994 Blazer and 1995 Tahoe were nearly identical. The oil pan on 1997 Tahoe's 5.7-liter V-8 requires a two-stage torque process in order to correctly seal it and prevent leaks.
If the blower in your 2005 Ford Five Hundred doesn't work, there are a couple of things to check before you remove the blower motor. A brown 7.5A fuse in slot No. F23 of the passenger compartment fuse panel provides juice to the blower relay. In the power distribution box in the engine compartment, find a 40A cartridge fuse in slot No. 36 for the blower motor and the motor relay -- a full ISO relay -- in location No. 57. Check them first.
Known for their ground-breaking aerodynamic design, the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable were first introduced in 1986. The 1999 Sable model introduced the third major redesign of the popular sedan. One of the changes in this redesign was the removal of the distributor from the ignition. On the 3.0-liter engine, the distributor was replaced by a camshaft position sensor, a crankshaft position sensor and a set of ignition coils wired directly to the spark plugs. The timing of the coils firing was controlled by powertrain control module. On the Sable, the crankshaft position sensor is on the front of the…
Although “sportiness” isn’t a term usually associated with minivans, Dodge attempted to set it’s Caravan and Grand Caravan apart from its competitors by offering revamped styling packages. While three engines were available for the 1999 Grand Caravan, the 3.3-liter V-6 was the most popular choice. It didn't offer stump-pulling power, but the engine had enough low-end torque to give it a faint, truck-like appeal. Like other minivans with limited engine compartment space, seemingly simple maintenance or repair tasks like changing spark plugs can be a frustrating and time consuming affair, but replacing the starter isn't as difficult by comparison.
The Ram symbol was first used by Dodge in 1933. Before 1981, Dodge identified their truck models with a D prefix. The 2001 model year pickup was the 20th anniversary of the Dodge Ram pickup. Its crankshaft position sensor delivers vital information to the truck's powertrain control module to control the proper timing of fuel and spark. It's located on the top of the cylinder block, behind the passenger-side cylinder head. A faulty crankshaft sensor, or CKP, will trigger a code P0320: CKP signal not detected, or P0336: a problem with the voltage signal from the CKP.
The Chevy Cavalier was a popular car in the U.S. auto market during its 24 years of production, 1982 through 2005. Its low sticker price and high fuel economy were a big draws with car buyers. Car enthusiasts liked them because they were relatively easy to repair. In 2001, the base model Cavalier came with a 2.2-liter engine.
Though the Ford Aerostar was named Motor Trend's Truck of the Year in 1990, by 1996 it was almost phased out of production. Having never really resolved its "is it a car or is it a truck" identity, the Aerostar minivan was available in both passenger- and cargo-van versions, and with two-or four-wheel drive. The cargo van had double rear doors, but the passenger van had a liftgate.
First manufactured in 1973, the Honda Civic quickly became one of top-selling cars in the U.S. auto market. Owners have been pleased with its excellent fuel mileage, low-cost maintenance and reliability. Now in its ninth generation, growing in size and comfort over its 41-year history, the Civic is still one of the most popular cars on the market today.
The Nissan Sentra, introduced in 1982, was a strong contender in the compact car market at the time, boasting impressive efficiency, low emissions and a respectable safety rating. But by the time the fifth generation came, the once lean and anemic Sentra of Nissan’s past became a little heavier, meaner and sexier. While replacing a faulty brake light switch isn’t considered a routine maintenance task, it’s a repair that most people can take care of themselves – without an expensive trip to the shop.
Nissan Altima hit the market in 1993, and has been manufactured in the U.S. ever since. It was originally built in the Smyrna, Tennessee plant until 2004, when production also began in Canton, Mississippi to keep up with the high demand. Replacing the instrument panel is something you can do in your garage or driveway.
The 1995 Accord had three engines to choose from, and they included a 2.2-liter four-cylinder with 130 horsepower, a 2.2-liter VTEC with 145 horsepower and a 2.7-liter V-6 with 170 horsepower. The coolant temperature sensor in all three engines distributed the coolant temperature to other electronic controls and the temperature gauge. Honda tucked the sensor out of site, so finding it can be a little tough.
The Chevrolet Astro was introduced in 1985 to compete with the growing minivan market in the U.S. Although it was referred to as a minivan, the Astro was bigger than the minivans of today, though smaller than a full-size van. One advantage of this rear-wheel-drive, mid-sized van was it could tow up to 1,500 pounds more than its front-wheel-drive competitors, and the box-shaped design made it good for use as a cargo van for businesses trying to save on the cost of a full-size van. In 1999, the Astro came standard with a 4.3-liter engine.
When faced with transmission maintenance, repair or replacement, it is vital to know which transmission came in the car. When it comes to similar General Motors products of the late 1970s, there is a high degree of interchangeability among parts, so there are many times when a GM ransmission isn't the one that came in the car, but still does the job just the same.
Engines are a lot more efficient today than they were 20 or 30 years ago. Sure, there have been mechanical advancements that have helped, but what really increased efficiency was the addition of computer controls. By measuring the density of the air, temperature of the air, temperature of the engine, and content of the oxygen left over after combustion, the computer can calculate the optimal air-to-fuel ratio for the best efficiency possible. The 2002 Dodge Dakota uses a temperature sensor to monitor the temperature of the air, just before it enters the combustion chamber.
The Chevrolet Cavalier was produced by General Motors from 1992 to 2005, and came in coupe, sedan, station wagon and hatchback configurations. The Chevy Cobalt replaced the Cavalier in 2006. Removing the instrument cluster in the 2005 Cavalier for service or replacement is a moderately easy job that you can do at home. If you replace the cluster in your car you will need to have the new one programmed with the correct mileage and VIN, and you may have to send your old cluster back as a core to avoid a core charge.
When you hit 100,000 miles on your 2000 Alero, it's time to swap out the spark plugs, according to Oldsmobile. Replacing the spark plugs on the Alero isn't too difficult of a task, but finding where Oldsmobile hid them on the base 2.4-liter engine may seem a little tricky, as they are tucked away under a decorative cover that is in plain sight and only four bolts hold it in place.
Infiniti was introduced to the U.S. market in 1989. At the time, the Japanese government had imposed voluntary export restraints, making it more profitable to sell more expensive cars in the U.S. Honda and Toyota developed the higher lines of Acura and Lexus and Nissan decided to develop Infiniti to compete. Although there have been several changes to all the Infiniti models over the years, one standard on all the interior designs has been an analog clock mounted in the center of the dash. Replacing the cornering light on your 1999 I30 can be done right in your driveway.
Audi has long occupied a proud place in German automotive history -- and that place has been pretty much the same since its beginning. From its first day, Audi was known for well-engineered, solid-handling cruisers designed to keep executive customers cruising comfortably and quickly at autobahn speeds. The S4 wasn't the largest or fastest car Audi ever built, but it was just right for many customers.
The sixth-generation, 2004-to-2008, Malibu was one of those cars that was just kind of...there. Known in Europe as the Opel Vectra and Fiat Croma, the sixth generation seemed designed from the outset to get lost in mall parking lots. Fortunately, the seventh-generation car truly brought some style and substance back to the marque -- but even though the newer Malibu was harder to lose in a parking lot, its key fob wasn't.
The Powerstroke diesel was a new engine for a new millennium, so little like diesels of 50 years past that it might have been from another planet. The Powerstroke 7.3-liter was beloved in its time not just because it was powerful and sophisticated, but because it was one of the great beasts of the new diesel era.
Saab's history has had its high and low points over the years; for certain the company had its fair share of wacky ideas that fell with dull thuds with consumers. But Saab's greatest legacy is that for every iron bomb it dropped, it wrote one pure symphony of genius and design. The original Saab 900 turbo wasn't just the most legendary car the company ever built -- it was a true legend in its own right.
"They don't build 'em like they used to" is a very true statement, as electronic engine controls have taken cars and trucks to whole new levels of performance, efficiency, reliability and cleanliness. An unfortunate tradeoff for these enhancements is that there are now more components than ever to break on an engine, like the throttle position sensor on your 1999 Dodge Ram 2500. Replacing the TPS on your truck is not overly difficult and is something that the typical do-it-yourself mechanic can complete.
In 2001, BMW replaced the 2.8-liter engine in the 328i with a 225-horsepower, 3.0-liter, inline six-cylinder engine and renamed the model the 330. Setting the clock in the convertible version of the 330 -- known as the 330 Ci -- is a fairly simple task that just requires a few button presses and a twist of the adjustment knob.
There are just some tools in the automotive world that nobody ever wants to see. Like the scent of a steak to Pavlov's dog, the mere sight of a bolt extractor -- aka "EZ Out" -- elicits a visceral reaction from anyone who's had to use one. That goes double when you end up contemplating the use of an extractor after something that should have been as simple as a spark plug change. But, that's wrenching.
If you have a stroke, certain cells in your brain can die, and ultimately leave you with some serious health concerns. Sometimes the after effects of a stroke manifest them selves in the form of partial paralysis, numbness of certain body parts, even the loss of the ability to speak. While the human brain is many times more advanced that the computer that controls your 2004 F150, your F150 may show some of the same type of symptoms when its brain “strokes” out. The engine may not start, and if it does, it will run poorly. The PCM won't deliver…
Volkswagen made its name, quite literally, as "the people's car." That's no less true today than it was when the company first opened its doors, with the politically directed mission of putting a car in every garage, and every German on the country's amazing new Autobahn road system. Volkswagen is still doing its best to keep customers safely tooling down the highways and byways, and the lights on the dashboard are an invaluable means to that end.
The Silverado trim was the top level for the 1997 Chevrolet C1500's, and like many pickup trucks, it had plenty of available options to allow buyers to fit it to their needs. Within these options were three different rear differentials, and all three of them had different fluid capacities.
There are many things that fail on a car that require a novice mechanic to run off to his local repair shop to have repaired, but replacing headlight bulbs on your 2001 Chrysler Sebring is certainly not one of the tasks that require the sure hand of an ace mechanic. You can save yourself a little money by installing those new headlight bulbs yourself. When installing the bulb, use care not to touch the glass part of it, as the oils on your hands can cause the bulb to burn out earlier than it should.
The Ford Ranger hearkens back to a simpler time -- maybe a better one -- when a truck was a truck and real trucks had manual transmissions. Ford's manual trannies are fairly reliable in general, particularly when paired with smaller four-cylinder powerplants like those in the base Ranger. But things will break after so many years, and when it's time to fix the clutch -- well, something's got to bleed.
There haven't been too many really watershed eras in the history of the automobile -- times that forever changed what the car would later be. In fact, you could make the argument that there was really only one after the 1930s: about 1975 to the turn of the century. It was in this era that old-school iron became the computer controlled, emissions conscious, crash tested, decent riding, sophisticated vehicles of today. Ford had not a little to do with driving automotive development during this period, with the OBD-II 1996 Explorer being one of the greatest turning points of all.
Gravity bleeding brakes is one of those old-school gearhead tricks that seems to have gotten lost in the modern world. Maybe it's because kids these days just don't know how to sit back and wait -- maybe it's just because people don't trust anything that isn't expensive or fast. But GMC owners are a different breed, and as likely to try gravity bleeding as any GMC owner for the last 100 years.
Volkswagen's Jetta is tough compare to any other car. Technically speaking, it's just one of dozens of cars in the compact-to-midsized sedan marketplace, filled to the brim with models from America, Japan and Korea. But few other manufacturers have built the kind of rabid fanbase that VW has with the Jetta, which has gone on to become the best-selling European car in all of North America.
The 2005 Expedition used one of the most modern types of antitheft systems available either then or now: the Ford Passive Antitheft -- PATS -- system, Type E. This system used a resistor chip in the head of the key that served as a second line of defense against thievery.
Thanks to products like the K1500, Chevrolet trucks enjoyed a high resale value during the 1990s. This was a durable, capable workhorse for a wide range of applications. A tough and versatile transmission was an important part of that success. Nowhere was this more evident than in the exploding four-wheel-drive pickup segment, where millions of drivers were waiting with the real destruction tests. Chevy's approach was a mix of old and new ideas.
The 2003 Kia Spectra had two fuse blocks, one inside the car, behind the driver-side kick panel, and one under the hood, to the driver side of the engine. The fuse for the brake lights, which Kia calls the stop light fuse, is in the fuse block inside the car. Checking the fuse is a quick and easy job that doesn't require removal of the fuse, given you have a continuity tester.
The LSS, available from the 1996 through 1999 model years, brought a little spice to Oldsmobile’s iteration of the H-body platform, offering an upgraded, sporty interior and an optional supercharged version of the highly regarded 3.8-liter V-6 – upgrades not found on the Eighty Eight or Regency trim packages. Although the 3.8 is one of the most reliable engines GM ever produced, eventually the starter will fail and require replacement. The steps needed to replace the starter for a naturally aspirated 3.8 are the same for the supercharged version.
Compared to the first-generation Silhouette’s styling, the 1997-through-2004 models offered easier-on-the-eyes styling, and a serious list of family oriented options. Despite the thoughtful changes made to the later models, the Silhouette, along with its U-body cousins, failed to dominate the minivan market. However, compared to some of its rivals, the amount of engine compartment space is more abundant and inviting to the do-it-yourself owner, making the task of replacing one of the idler pulleys an easy proposition.
Although it never received the highly tunable -- and coveted -- 2.0-liter, 4G63T, turbocharged inline four-cylinder, or the all-wheel-drive system that Diamond Star Motors had in their performance arsenal, the 1995-through-2000 Dodge Avengers had respectable handling, styling and fuel economy. The camshaft position sensor for the base 2.0-liter 420a engine uses a hall-effect element that works in conjunction with the crank position sensor, and helps the powertrain control module make adjustments to the ignition and fuel injection system. Failure of the sensor may drastically affect performance, or cause a no-start condition.
From its very beginnings, the Seville STS represented power, elegance and performance. But the magic didn’t really happen until the 1993 model year, when Cadillac decided to drop in the 4.6-liter, 32-valve Northstar – an exclusive that set the STS trim apart from lesser-optioned Sevilles at the time. Unfortunately, true performance enthusiasts never saw a manual transmission option, which would have taken advantage of the Northstar’s upper power band, while unleashing its exotic, high-rpm exhaust notes. Despite the cramped nature of your vehicle’s engine compartment, replacing the idle air control valve is one of the easiest repairs an owner can…
Replacing the Lumina APV for the 1997 model year, the Chevrolet Venture was a welcome addition in the minivan marketplace, with modern styling and creature comforts not seen in its predecessor. The StabiliTrak system and GM's OnStar were available. The Venture’s 3.4-liter engine featured a sequential fuel injection system, which heavily relied upon the camshaft position sensor to accurately determine fuel injector timing. Failure of the sensor may set trouble code P0341, while affecting performance and fuel economy.
Although an example of “badge engineering” in its laziest form, the Dodge, Chrysler and Plymouth Neon was a viable American option for consumers looking for a compact vehicle in a market heavily dominated by imports. While generally respected as an affordable economy car, it didn’t take long for a wide range of performance and styling parts to appear in the aftermarket. A defective crankshaft position sensor may throw one or several diagnostic trouble codes, may cause intermittent stalling issues, or a no-start condition.
Ford’s Freestar minivan had a short production run – from 2004 through 2007. The short run could be attributed to several factors, but the most obvious was that this “all-new” model wasn’t much more than a rebadged Windstar. The looks of the Windstar wasn’t the only thing that carried over however, as both models shared some of the same common failures. In this case we’re talking about the windshield wiper switch. When this switch fails, you can lose operation of not only the wipers, but the turn signals, headlights, or even the horn. You can acquire a replacement switch at…
The Mazda MPV entered the North American market as one of the more credible, early attempts by a Japanese automaker to take a piece of the thriving minivan market, then mostly dominated by the “Big Three” American companies. The 1995 MPV featured a 3.0-liter V-6 boasting a respectable 155 horsepower, and an optional all-wheel-drive system. Eventually, like any other vehicle on the road, and given enough miles and usage, the engine’s starter will fail and require replacement.
At one point in time, an inoperative speedometer meant one thing: you needed to replace your speedo cable. There were no other ill side effects. Cruise control – if you were lucky enough to have it – would still work because it was vacuum controlled. Your transmission would shift just fine, and you would just guess your speed until you had time to fix it. That, however, was long before we computerized our vehicles – long before engineers started giving them seemingly more intelligence than some of the other drivers on the road. Your 1996 Suburban may not be as…
The mid 1990s brought about the end of various Chrysler vehicles – most notably the Dodge Shadow, the Plymouth Sundance and the Colt, which was sold under both brand names. Enter stage left: the Dodge Neon. This little prospective track car hit the streets in 1995 to replace the aforementioned nameplates. The first generation of the Neon lasted until 1999, but this generation has a hefty following among amateur racers. The second and final generation of the Neon ran through the 2005 model year, but wasn’t quite as popular as a whole compared to the first generation. All 2000-to-2005 Dodge…
Chrysler introduced the Neon into the economy-car market in 1994, as part of their 1995 model-year lineup. The Neon's first generation lasted until the 1999 model year, at which time Chrysler streamlined the model options. Regardless of the model year, all Neons were equipped with electronically controlled fuel systems, employing fuel filters to remove sediment and other foreign material from the fuel.
In 1995, the Honda Civic was one of the more versatile compact cars on the road, thanks to its wide array of engines and three distinct body styles: coupe, hatchback and sedan. Air conditioning was an available option on all three body styles, and the systems all used R-134a refrigerant to help keep things cool. When recharging the air conditioning system, you must always be mindful of the total capacity of the system.
The early days of computer controls were kind of like the Wild West -- almost anything went. Prior to the debut of OBD-II in 1996, manufacturers put computers wherever they felt like, programmed them however they felt and used whatever connectors they got the best deal on. Those early computers weren't exactly marvels of engineering either, by today's standards. If it's come time to replace your 1980s-spec computer with something a little better or less broken, you can expect a slightly confusing hunt for the ECM.
The 1995 Ford Aspire was produced for Ford by Kia Motors in Korea. The Aspire replaced the Ford Festiva in 1994, and lived only three years before Ford discontinued it due to declining sales. On the 1995 Aspire, the electronic control module is inside the distributor and must be replaced, along with the distributor, as a complete unit.
Introduced in 1981, the Chevrolet Cavalier was one of the first front wheel drive vehicles introduced from general motors. The 1999 model year was part of the third and final generation of the Cavalier. The final design introduced a much sportier body style than it predecessors, based primarily on the Chevrolet Camaro design. This generation was also introduced into the Japanese market as the Toyota Cavalier.
1995 was the last year of the first generation of the Saturn S series. One of the most attractive features of the Saturn was the dent resistant polymer panels. The most unique feature of the Saturn line was that they were designed and manufactured almost entirely at their facility in Spring Hill Tennessee. 1995 was also the first year the SL2 incorporated a sequential multiport fuel injection system to improve both performance and fuel mileage. The oxygen sensor provides feedback of the oxygen content in the exhaust to the powertrain control module. With this information, the PCM will make final…
Volkswagen is a funny kind of company. Originally founded to build "peoples' cars," VW's made a reputation for itself building cars that last forever as long as they're maintained. They're pretty easy to maintain -- as long as you know how, and have all the right tools. Fortunately, as a card-carrying member of the Cult of Bug, I wasn't caught out when it came to replacing this Jetta's fuel filter.
You see all kinds of things on service calls. I've seen buzzards in truck toolboxes, and I've seen blown-out engine blocks repaired with duct tape and sheetmetal screws. I even had to throw a rock at a panther once. But I still maintain that you haven't really lived until you've replaced a belt tensioner in the dark while surrounded by vampires. Sparkly, sparkly vampires.
The 1999 Suburban had four different head unit styles available, and all four of them had clock displays. These head units had two different time-setting procedures, depending on whether the head unit had "HR" and "MN" buttons, or not. Setting the time on both versions is a fairly simple task.
A day on the beach in a convertible is better than any day anywhere else, in any other car. Unless, of course, you can't get off the beach because your power steering belt is broken, and you found yourself 20 feet from the water with evening high tide approaching. When I got to this particular Capri, the warm, lapping waters of the Atlantic told me that this roadster was about 10 minutes from becoming a dinghy.
It's a truism of the human condition that encounters with mothers-in-law rarely end well. The same thing can usually be said of landlords. The sight of my mother-in-law's green Tacoma trundling up the driveway is a dread-inspiring thing on the best of days, and being $400 behind on the rent we owed her pretty much guaranteed an Old West standoff on the front lawn. But as hot as she was sure to be, her truck was absolutely steaming. Some people might have smelled antifreeze in the white cloud billowing from under the truck's hood -- but I smelled opportunity.
These days, it seems like everyone has to have the newest and hottest thing. The newest phone, the latest television, the latest and greatest sheetmetal to roll into showrooms. This particular 300M might not have been the latest and greatest 300, but it was pretty obvious the owner didn't care. In fact, the AC belt on this car wasn't even broken; the owner just wanted to replace it as a matter of preventative maintenance to keep her Chrysler pristine. Those 300C buyers could learn a thing or two about the virtues of caring for a great used car, even if…
In America, we have a certain vision of the SUV; our ideal is that an SUV should be the size of a Saturn V rocket, and have a V-8 engine with about as much power as the Titanic. Here, a four-cylinder SUV like the 4Runner is something between a joke and a mistake, to people who have never owned one. But I've always found that when it comes to off-roading, just enough is just right, and too much is usually way too much.
My Kia Rio may not be the prettiest car on the road, but it's inexpensive to maintain and its 30 mpg on the highway keeps extra change in my pocket. That extra change came in handy the other day when my Rio overheated due to a stuck thermostat. A quick trip to the parts store for a new thermostat and gasket and an afternoon of work later, and my 2001 Rio was back on the road.