Read This Note Before Posting (Combined Notes)

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    Keymaster

    Here’s some more information that might help with getting “The Basics” out of the way.

    ***Help Us Help You – Please include as much information as possible***

    Always post:

    1) State Year, make, model, transmission type, and engine size, body type.

    2) What the problem is. A comprehensive description of the problem. Include the conditions if any of when the problem happens and how often it happens.

    3) What attempts have been made to fix the problem, either by you or a mechanic. What parts have been changed? No detail is too small.

    Check:

    1) http://www.alldata.com for relevant Technical Service Bulletin titles that might apply to your problem. See the car dealer for a printout of the full bulletin. Alldata.com will only give you the titles of them! Also if it’s a known recall, contact the manufacturer or the NHTSA at their website.

    2) If the vehicle is perhaps under warranty. If not, and it is not that old of a vehicle (or has low mileage) consider contacting the manufacturer and working out a deal for a goodwill warranty. That is, the manufacturer will cover some of the repair and you cover some of the repair. The term “goodwill” means that the manufacturer will offer some help on the problem (financial assistance) to promote “customer goodwill” (the hope that you will buy another car from them).

    – Lastly, Please keep all posts together on the same vehicle/problem by using your REPLY button for continuity and expedience.

    – It is appreciated if you’d post back the results of your problem, our solution and what fixed the issue. Everyone learns more this way

    Mechanical Basics
    1) Must have spark, air, and fuel. Without these three you go nowhere.

    Causes of no spark: Bad ignition parts, crank sensor, broken timing belt (to test: see if the distributor rotor turns when you crank the engine). If in doubt, start with a full tune-up including all filters to eliminate any possible questionable parts. When the car does run, it will run better with fresh parts.

    Causes of no fuel: Bad fuel pump, relay, wiring, as well as clogs in the lines or filters. On cars with electric fuel pumps in the tank, avoid running the vehicle low on fuel. Doing this removes both the lubrication and cooling ability of the pump (the fuel!). Not to mention you will suck up dirt from the tank and cause problems. Not worth it!

    Causes of no air: Clogged air intake, air filter, bad air flow meter, carbon in the intake, etc.

    Rules of Safety
    1) Never smoke while around cars or batteries. The results can be explosive. Literally. Extinguish all sources of flames and sparks. Never be too careful.

    2) Always properly support a load when going under a vehicle. Make sure to put it on steady, level ground. A hurt or injured DIY’er is not a happy one.

    3) Backup plan: If you have to, don’t rush. Plan to hitch a ride with a friend or take public transit/alternate vehicle. Rushing through a job to get stuck the next morning is more expensive than waiting till the next day and doing it right.

    4) A clean work shop is a happy one. While sometimes not avoidable, the job is better when you keep the area clean and clutter free. Keep all tools in good shape and use good quality tools. I like Craftsman products (Sears) due to the good warranty and overall good quality and value. Home Depot’s Husky line is pretty good too. Snapon, Matco, SK and Proto are among other good professional brands out there, and cost considerably more.

    Basics of Maintenance
    1) Tuneups and filter changes regularly. Follow your manufacturer’s recommendations for oil and fluids to be used. Look at the maintenance schedule and see how your driving fits into the schedule for “severe” or “normal” driving. Many folks do “severe” driving and don’t know it!

    2) “If you can’t remember when, it’s time”. Good motto. If you can’t remember when the last time you did a regular service, it’s time now. Can never hurt.

    3) Think simple. Most parts are not returnable to a parts store if they are not your problem. So, in that respect, don’t go changing expensive parts in lieu of testing or diagnosis. Your wallet will thank you. Think about how the system works. Refer to your manual or the archives of the forum for more help.

    4) Belts and hoses should be changed after four years. Prevent a breakdown! (Tow Guy can attest to this, I’m sure!)

    More information to come from the vast experience that gets posted in the forum or through diligent reading!

    ===================================

    – For information on how to read and interpret your trouble codes (if applicable), check out Knuckles & 0Patience’s website at http://www.batauto.com

    -Service information can also be purchased at http://www.alldata.com.

    Note: The best, most comprehensive, and recommended manual is the OEM factory service manual.

    -Go to the following URL for phone numbers and OE contact information regarding how to order them (as well as owner’s manuals and service tools):

    http://www.iatn.net/nastf/oematrix.pdf

    -Safety first! When in doubt, always consult the appropriate service manual. Always disconnect the battery before working on the electrical system. Wear the appropriate eye, ear and skin protection to avoid injuries. Extinguish and keep away all sources of sparks and flames and vapors while working on motor vehicles…safety is no accident!

    Good luck!

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