How Long Does It Take to Replace a Clutch

When comes to replacing your automobiles clutch, there are several factors that effect how much time the project may take to complete. In order to help you gauge how much time will be needed, whether you are doing it yourself, or hiring a mechanic, let's go over the main points of focus that factor in on clutch replacement. First, I'm going to give you the crash course on clutches, so that you have a basic understanding of what your clutch is and how it helps your automobile function. Your vehicles clutch works to help your transmission shift gears and keep the vehicle moving. The clutch also allows your engine to continue spinning freely, even when your vehicle is stopped. Without the clutch, your car would be in constant motion while the engine is on, which would make driving very difficult. Likewise, in a vehicle that has a clutch in need of replacement, your vehicle won't move at all, as most clutches do not break while in gear. No motion from the vehicle while the engine revs up...

How to Replace the Water Pump on All 1996 - 2000 Honda Civic LX / Del Sol 1.6L 4 Cyl Engines

The original radio contains a coded anti-theft circuit. Obtain the security code number before disconnecting the battery cables. Removal Disconnect the negative battery cable. Drain the cooling system. Remove the accessory drive belts, the valve cover, and the upper timing belt cover. Set the timing at Top Dead Center (TDC)/compression for No. 1 piston. Remove the crankshaft pulley and lower timing belt cover. Remove the timing belt. Replace the timing belt if it is contaminated with oil or coolant or shows any signs of wear and damage. If equipped with a Crankshaft Speed Fluctuation (CKF) sensor at the crankshaft sprocket, unbolt the sensor bracket and move the sensor out of the way. Cover the sensor with a shop towel to keep coolant off of it. Unbolt the water pump and remove it from the engine block. On 1.6L engines, the top right water pump mounting bolt also secures the alternator adjusting bracket. Leave the bracket attached to the alternator. Installation Clean...

How To Use A Battery Load Tester

Battery load testers were once too expensive for the do-it-yourself mechanic. Today, a battery load tester is affordable enough for even the casual shade tree mechanic to have in his garage. My favorite is a handheld digital battery loads tester made by KAL Industries, the KAL model 4780, 130 it loads Amp Digital Battery Load Tester that costs less than $50 online. You can use a Digital Multimeter to check Automobile storage batteries, charging systems, and starting systems, but it is not the right tool for the job. Every serious shade tree mechanic needs to have a stand alone battery load tester on his or her tool kit. General Guidelines for Using Any Battery Load Tester To Test A Battery Make sure that the ignition switch is in the "OFF" position and that all-electrical load has been removed from the battery. If there are electrical loads on the battery, you will have to disconnect the battery's negative ground cable. CAUTION: Do not disconnect a battery without first plugging a...

Auto Air Conditioning: Why Does It Blow Hot and Cold?

"The Dog Days of Summer" will soon be upon us, and your car's air conditioner is starting to blow hot and cold. You are grateful for your auto AC and the icy-cold air that flows from the vents. Then, one morning, without warning, all that changed. You cranked up the AC. You relax as icy-cold air washes over your body. Then, a few minutes later the air from the vents starts to get warm. Soon the air from your AC is as warm as the air outside your car. Then slowly it starts getting cold again, then icy cold. What is going on? What is wrong with the AC? If you are driving an older vehicle, chances are that the AC is freezing up. Air and moisture usually cause this problem in the system by turning into ice and blocking the orifice tube. Things That You Will Need Basic mechanic's hand tools Air conditioning duct thermometer Air conditioning manifold gauge set Air conditioning vacuum pump Refrigerant 134a (R134a) Electronic refrigerant leak detector...

How to Replace the Thermostat on All 1996 - 2000 Honda Civic LX / Del Sol 1.6L 4 Cyl Engines

Removal & Installation Fig 1: Removing the hose from the thermostat housing Fig 2: Removal of the water outlet housing Fig 3: Pull the thermostat out of the water outlet housing Fig 4: Remove the gasket from the thermostat Fig 5: Location of the thermostat air bleed CAUTION: Never open, service or drain the radiator or cooling system when hot; serious burns can occur from the steam and hot coolant. Also, when draining engine coolant, keep in mind that cats and dogs are attracted to ethylene glycol antifreeze and could drink any that is left in an uncovered container or in puddles on the ground. This will prove fatal in sufficient quantities. Always drain coolant into a sealable container. Coolant should be reused unless it is contaminated or is several years old. To remove: Note the radio security code and station presets. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Drain the engine coolant into a sealable container. Remove the fasteners from the thermos...

How to Remove & Install the Alternator on a 1996 - 2000 Honda Accord DX / Prelude 2.2L 4 Cyl Engines

Fig. 1 Location of the alternator on most Honda 4 cylinder engines Fig. 2 Remove the dust boot for access to wiring connection at the alternator Fig. 3 Unfasten the nut, then remove the closed-ended connector Fig. 4 Unplug the wiring harness from the rear of the alternator Fig. 5 Check the O-ring on the end of the wiring harness for cracks and or tears in the rubber. Replace as necessary Fig. 6 After removing the retaining bolts, use a small prytool to remove the alternator from the pivot bracket if it is lodged Fig. 7 Using both hands, firmly grasp the alternator and remove it from the vehicle Fig. 8 Front view of a common Honda alternator Fig. 9 Rear view of a common Honda alternator Fig. 10 Always inspect the integrity of the alternator bolt before re-installing it REMOVAL (ACCORD) Note the radio security code and the radio presets. Disconnect the negative battery cable, then the positive. Remove the power steering pump, for detail...

Types of Automotive Lubricants

A quick trip to an auto-parts store reveals several different types of lubricants. Each one has a specific purpose and use. Choosing the correct type of automotive lubricant can extend the life of an expensive part, while choosing the wrong lubricant will destroy it quickly. A little basic lubrication knowledge can save large amounts of money in the long run. Motor Oil: Motor oil is the most common type of automotive oil used. Many vehicle manufactures recommend replacing motor oil every 3,000 miles. Motor oil typically contains additives to prevent break down, corrosion and reduce foaming. Motor comes in many different viscosity ratings. Viscosity of an oil is its thickness. It measures the oil's internal resistance to flow, or friction. The smaller the viscosity number, the thinner the oil is and the easier it flows. Most automobile manufactures recommend a multi-grade motor oil like 5W-30. The purpose of a multi-grade oil ...

How to Replace an Intake Manifold on All 1996 - 2000 Honda Civic LX / Del Sol 1.6L 4 Cyl Engines

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION Fig. Typical Honda intake manifold The radio may contain a coded theft protection circuit. Always obtain the code number before disconnecting the battery. If the vehicle is equipped with 4WS, the steering control unit is shut down when the battery is disconnected. After connecting the battery, turn the steering wheel lock-to-lock to reset the steering control unit. To remove: Disconnect the negative battery cable. Drain the cooling system to a level below the upper radiator hose. Relieve the fuel system pressure by loosening the fuel filter service bolt. CAUTION: The fuel injection system remains under pressure even after the engine has been turned off. The fuel system pressure must be relieved before disconnecting any fuel lines. Failure to do so may result in fire and personal injury. Remove the intake air duct. If equipped with the D16Y7 engine, remove the air cleaner assembly from the throttle body. Cover the throttle body opening to keep dir...

ABS Brake Repair: How to Clean, Test, And Replace ABS Wheel Sensors

The Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) consists of speed sensors, usually one on each wheel, a pump, four valves, and an electronic control module (ECM). A malfunction of any one of those components will activate the ABS "Idiot" light. A defective pump or ECM means substantial bucks, but an ABS light could mean nothing more than a dirty or defective wheel sensor. Dirty sensors might not be such a problem for city dwellers, but it is a significant problem for those who live out in the country where unpaved roads abound. Fortunately, cleaning, testing and replacing wheel speed sensors is something that any shade tree mechanic can handle. Things That You Will Need A service manual for your vehicle. There are many good ones to choose from, but I recommend one by either Chilton or Haynes because they are written with the non-professional auto mechanic in mind. They assume nothing and omit nothing. A good basic set of mechanics hand tools. Lug wrench or a power impact wrench Hydraulic gar...

Why Your Dodge Stratus Might Be Overheating

First of all, it's very important to remember not to remove the radiator cap or any hose while the engine is still hot and under pressure; serious burns from coolant can occur. There are more reasons your engine could be overheating than it would be realistic to discuss in this format. Everything from coolant fan failure to a bad head gasket to an incorrect radiator cap could be the source. When talking about overheating problems on the Stratus, however, the first thing that comes to mind is the water pump. A water pump is just what it sounds like, a mechanical device, driven by a belt that pumps coolant (antifreeze) to the engine, heater core and cooling systems of your vehicle. While the water pump circulates the coolant continuously through your engine, the thermostat is what will tell it at what rate to push the coolant. The water pump consists of a main body, a flange, a main shaft, bearings, seals, an impeller and a gasket that will seal it to the engine. When a water pum...

How to Replace the Engine on All 1997 - 2000 Toyota Camry / Avalon 2.2L 4 Cyl Models

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION 2.2L (5S-FE) Engine Camry & Camry Solara Disconnect the negative battery cable. On vehicles equipped with an air bag, wait at least 90 seconds before proceeding. On the Camry Solara remove the strut tower brace. Remove the battery and the battery tray. Remove the hood. Remove the engine undercover, then drain the engine coolant and oil. Disconnect the accelerator cable from the throttle body. On models with automatic transmission, disconnect the throttle cable. Remove the air cleaner assembly. Detach the intake air resonator chamber. Disconnect the air intake hose. On models with cruise control, remove the actuator cover, unplug the connector, remove the 3 bolts, then disconnect the actuator with the bracket. Disconnect the ground strap at the battery carrier. Remove the radiator, then disconnect the coolant reservoir hose. Remove the washer tank and disconnect the electrical l...

How to Clean the Radiator Inexpensively

Many car problems can be avoided with good maintenance practices. One of those maintenance routines is cleaning the radiator. Cleaning the radiator makes the cooling system much more efficient and the engine is kept cool. A cool engine makes the car run at its peak performance. The usual way of cleaning a car's radiator is to drain the radiator by removing the plug underneath it. But this is not thoroughly effective in removing the muddy sludge that accummulate inside the radiator through time. Chances are, the coolant or water circulating in the engine is still not free of dirt that may again build up and possibly clog the cooling system. A much more effective way of flushing out dirt and cleaning the radiator thoroughly is  by performing the following technique. This will require simple materials and skill to perform. What You Will Need an improvised extension tube a garden hose source of water screwdriver masking tape coolant collector Proc...

How to Replace an Oil Pan on All 1996 - 2000 Honda Civic LX / Del Sol 1.6L 4 Cyl Engines

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION The radio may contain a coded theft protection circuit. Always obtain the code number before disconnecting the battery. To remove: Disconnect the negative battery cable. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Drain the oil and remove the lower splash panel. Remove the nuts and bolts connecting the exhaust pipe to the catalytic converter. Discard the gasket and the locknuts. Remove the nuts attaching the exhaust pipe to the exhaust hanger. Remove and discard the locknuts attaching the exhaust pipe to the exhaust manifold, then remove the exhaust pipe from the vehicle. Discard the exhaust gaskets. Loosen the oil pan bolts in a crisscross pattern. To remove the oil pan, lightly tap the corners of the oil pan with a rubber or plastic faced mallet. Clean off all the old gasket material. Inspect the oil screen and pick-up tube for damaged and clogging. If the screen and tube are clogged with oil residue, they should be tho...

How to Replace the Cylinder Head on All 1996 - 2000 Honda Civic LX / Del Sol 1.6L 4 Cyl Engines

Before You Begin... Warning: To avoid damaging the cylinder head, allow the coolant temperature to drop below 100°F (38°C) before removing the head bolts. Careful thought and a clean work environment should be a priority when removing a cylinder head. Have plenty of cardboard boxes and a good marker handy to label and organize the parts as they are removed. Be sure to have an ample supply of sealable clear plastic bags that can be labeled for the removed fasteners. Make sure to investigate whether or not certain fasteners can be reused or must be replaced. Have sealable containers available for the used coolant and engine oil which must be drained during the procedure. Have a pencil and note pad handy to make drawings and make notes of cable routing, wire and bracket locations. Follow the installation procedures carefully to know whether certain fasteners should be lubricated or not when being installed. Read the procedures before starting to get a thorough understanding ...

How to Replace the Radiator on All 1996 - 2000 Honda Civic LX / Del Sol 1.6L 4 Cyl Engines

Removal & Installation Fig. Remove the upper fan mounting bolts Fig. Detach the fan wiring Fig. Removing the upper radiator hose clamp Fig. Pull the upper hose from the water neck on the cylinder head Fig. Remove any plastic splash shields that may be in the way Fig. Loosen the lower fan bolts Fig. Upper radiator support bracket Fig. Remove the radiator support bracket Fig. View of the lower radiator support Fig. Pull the fan assembly out of the vehicle Fig. View of a Honda fan assembly Fig. Removing the clamp from the lower hose Fig. Remove the lower radiator hose Fig. Once all fasteners are removed, pull the radiator from the vehicle Fig. Check the lower radiator rubber mount for cracks To remove: CAUTION: Never open a radiator cap or cooling system when the coolant temperature is above 100° F (38° C). Avoid physical contact at all times, wear protective clothing and eye protection. Always drain coolant in...

How to Replace the Engine on 1999 - 2005 Toyota Corolla / Celica / Echo / MR2 1.8L 4 Cyl Models: Part 2

(Continued from Part 1) Removal & Installation In the process of removing the engine, you will come across a number of steps which call for the removal of a separate component or system, such as "disconnect the exhaust system" or "remove the radiator." In most instances, a detailed removal procedure can be found elsewhere in this product. It is virtually impossible to list each individual wire and hose which must be disconnected, simply because so many different model and engine combinations have been manufactured. Careful observation and common sense are the best possible approaches to any repair procedure. Removal and installation of the engine can be made easier if you follow these basic points: If you have to drain any of the fluids, use a suitable container. Always tag any wires or hoses and, if possible, the components they came from before disconnecting them. Because there are so many bolts and fasteners involved, store and label...

How to Check & Replace the Timing Belt on a 1994 - 2000 Acura Integra 4 Cyl 1.8L PFI DOHC 1.8L Engines

Replace the timing and balancer shaft belts at no more that 105,000 miles (168,000km). Acura also specifies that under extreme conditions the timing and balancer shaft belts should be replaced more frequently, at 60,000 miles (100,000 km). These abnormal conditions include very high temperatures over 110°F (43°C) or very low ambient temperatures of minus 20°F (-29°C). Removal & Installation 1. Remove the negative battery cable. 2. Remove the splash shield from the wheel well. 3. Remove the power steering pump by loosening the adjusting bolts and removing the mounting bolts. 4. Loosen the adjusting and idler pulley bracket bolt on the (A/C) to free the belt. 5. Loosen the adjusting nut and then the mounting nuts to allow the alternator belt to be removed. 6. Remove the cruise control actuator if equipped. 7. Remove the side engine mount bolts and then mount. 8. Remove the valve cover. 9. Remove the crankshaft bolt. Be careful when removing the crankshaft d...

Basic Car Maintenance Tips: Antifreeze and Coolant

Keeping the cooling system in your car properly filled with an antifreeze coolant formula is critical to maintaining a well running engine. Purpose of Coolant/Antifreeze The purpose of antifreeze/coolant is two fold just as the name of the product implies. It both keeps the water in your car from freezing in cold weather and keeps it from boiling and overheating in hot weather. Either of these conditions can cause a breakdown and serious injury to your engine. Pre-mixed - Unmixed - Rust Inhibitor Formulas Antifreeze comes in pre-mixed and unmixed formulas. Antifreeze also comes in formulas with additives to inhibit rust. You never want to put unmixed antifreeze directly into your system. It must be mixed with water. A 50/50 mixture is typical but there are exceptions and it is always a good idea to read the label on the product as well as your vehicle owner's manual. Filling the Radiator Make sure your engine is turned off and your car has cooled down. Find the antifreeze re...

How to Replace the Cylinder Head on All 1999 - 2005 Toyota Corolla / Celica / Echo / MR2 1.8L 4 Cyl Engines

Removal & Installation 1NZ-FE Engines Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section. Drain the cooling system. Remove or disconnect the following: Negative battery cable Water filler Outer front cowl top panel Alternator Air cleaner Accelerator cable Center exhaust pipe Exhaust manifold support Exhaust manifold Ignition coil Spark plugs PCV hoses Throttle body Engine wiring harness at the head Intake manifold Camshaft position sensor ECT sensor Oil control valve PCV valve Oil filer cap Cylinder head cover Fuel injectors Timing chain cover Camshaft sprockets and valve timing control assembly Camshafts Cylinder head. Remove the bolts in a circular pattern, in several stages, starting from the ends and working toward the center To install: Install or connect the following: Cylinder head, using a ne...

How to Repair Stripped Threads in a Bolt Hole or Nut

Striping a bolt hole or nut's threads can ruin an otherwise easy repair. A bolt hole or nut's internal threads strip when the bolt or nut is over tightened. Soft aluminum parts are notorious for stripped bolt holes but any bolt hole or nut can strip. In many cases a stripped threads can easily be repaired. Bolt threads are available in both metric and standard, sometimes called SAE or USS, threads. SAE threads are sometimes called fine threads and USS are sometimes called coarse threads. It is important to determine which thread type, thread pitch and the diameter of the bolt hole before trying to repair the stripped threads. Metric and standard look similar but are not interchangeable. An example would be a standard thread 1/4 - 13 X 2 bolt's diameter is 1/4 inch and has 13 threads per inch and is 2 inches long. A similar looking bolt, but not interchangeable, is the metric thread M6 - 1.75 X 50 bolt. It has a 6-mm diameter with a thread pitch, the distance betwe...

How to Replace the Oil Pan on All 1997 - 2000 Toyota Camry / Avalon 2.2L 4 Cyl Engines

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION CAUTION The EPA warns that prolonged contact with used engine oil may cause a number of skin disorders, including cancer! You should make every effort to minimize your exposure to used engine oil. Protective gloves should be worn when changing the oil. Wash your hands and any other exposed skin areas as soon as possible after exposure to used engine oil. Soap and water, or waterless hand cleaner should be used. 2.2L (5S-FE) Engine Disconnect the negative battery cable. On vehicles equipped with an air bag, wait at least 90 seconds before proceeding. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Drain the engine oil and remove the engine undercovers. Remove the front exhaust pipe. Safely support the engine assembly and remove the engine mounting center member. Remove the rear end stiffener plate. Remove the oil dipstick and remove the 17 bolts and 2 nuts attaching the oil pan to the engine. Insert the blade of the SST 09032...

How to Replace an Oil Pump on All 1996 - 2000 Honda Civic LX / Del Sol 1.6L 4 Cyl D16Y5, D16Y7 & D16Y8 Engines

Removal & Installation Fig. Crankshaft and camshaft TDC marks-1.6L (D16Y5, D16Y7, D16Y8) engines Fig. CKF sensor location-1.6L (D16Y5, D16Y7, D16Y8) engines To remove: The original radio may contain a coded anti-theft circuit. Always obtain the security code number before disconnecting the battery cables. 1.6L (D16Y5, D16Y7, D16Y8) Engines Disconnect the negative battery cable. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Drain the engine oil. Rotate the crankshaft to set the No. 1 cylinder to Top Dead Center (TDC) for the compression stroke. The white TDC mark on the crankshaft pulley should align with the TDC pointers on the lower timing cover. Mark the direction of the timing belt rotation if it is to be reinstalled. Remove the accessory drive belts and the crankshaft pulley. Remove the valve cover and the upper and lower timing belt covers. Cover the rocker arm and shaft assemblies with a towel or sheet of plastic to keep out dirt and fo...

Mineral Spirits: Common Uses, Cool Tricks, and Precautions

Mineral spirits are purchased at a paint supply store and are used for various things. Mainly they are used for paint clean up on paint brushes, mistakes made while painting, thinning paint to make it easier to scrape, and as a degreaser in auto and machine shops. I use mineral spirits to help clean my brushes. First I wash out the bristles of all paint that is in the brush under warm water, and then I soak the brush in warm soapy water. If there's any paint left on the bristles I pour mineral spirits over the bristles and let sit for about 15 minutes. Using a wire brush, I scrape the rest of the paint off the bristles and soak in hot soapy water. You'll find this really saves on brushes. When drying my brushes I lay them flat so they don't bend and get an undesirable shape. For Mechanics: When cleaning auto parts you can soak them in mineral spirits and it will help degrease them. After soaking you can use a wire brush to get into threads, nooks and crannies to help get a real good c...

2011 Chrysler Mini-van Rattle Explained

Do you have a noise coming from the under carriage of your 2011 Chrysler mini-van? If your mechanic is telling you that you are hearing things when you complain of a knocking noise or a rattle from underneath ask them to look again, you may be right. Consumers are coming into dealerships with just this complaint and Chrysler has found that the repair is not necessarily an easy one, the good news is that the repair should be covered under your vehicles warranty. According to Chrysler this problem is occurring on some 2011 Town & Country and Grand Caravan mini-vans that have a 3.6L engine and that was manufactured before December 22, 2011. The problem is caused by loose crankshaft to flexplate bolts. If your vehicle is making a noise currently, make an appointment to have it checked out and make sure you mention to the service manager that you read about a problem with the retaining bolts holdi...

How to Replace the Engine on All 1996 - 2000 Honda Civic LX 1.6L 4 Cyl Models

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION It is virtually impossible to list each individual wire and hose which must be disconnected, simply because so many different model and engine combinations have been manufactured. Careful observation and common sense are the best possible approaches to any repair procedure. Removal and installation of the engine can be made easier if you follow these basic points: If you have to drain any of the fluids, use a suitable container. Always tag any wires or hoses and, if possible, the components they came from before disconnecting them. Because there are so many bolts and fasteners involved, store and label the retainers from components separately in muffin pans, jars or coffee cans. This will prevent confusion during installation. After unbolting the transmission or transaxle, always make sure it is properly supported. If it is necessary to disconnect the air conditioning system, have this service performed by a qualified technician using a recovery/recy...

Timing Belt Change Tips: 1991 Honda Accord

The Honda Accord and its brother the Prelude are common cars that require regular timing belt service and replacement. My particular 1991 model requires replacement belts every 90,000 miles, while later models need it less often such as 100,000 to 110,000. There is also an age recommendation for timing belt replacement, and it usually falls at about 6 years after the previous change. A timing belt job is generally (hopefully) not a repair, unless the service schedule has not been followed. It should simply be a regular replacement of parts which wear out over time. The following tips are pulled from my specific experiences in the timing belt change I did on my Accord a week ago. The parts I purchased for the timing belt change cost about 400 dollars. Service for a timing belt change is quite a job, and a good estimate is that a local service shop at the dealer's will charge you twice or more for the service, meaning that you will end up paying from $800-1,000 for the service and parts...

How to Replace the Camshaft on All 1996 - 2000 Honda Civic LX / Del Sol 1.6L 4 Cyl Engines

The radio may contain a coded theft protection circuit. Always obtain the code number before disconnecting the battery. REMOVAL & INSTALLATION 1.6L (D16Y5, D16Y7, D16Y8) Engines Disconnect the negative battery cable. Label and disconnect the ignition wires. Remove the valve cover and the upper timing belt cover. Rotate the crankshaft to set the No. 1 cylinder at Top Dead Center (TDC) for the compression stroke. Once the engine is in this position, it shouldn't be disturbed. Remove the timing belt. If the timing belt is contaminated with oil or coolant, it must be replaced. If the timing belt is to be reused, mark its direction of rotation. Remove the distributor as an assembly. Unbolt and remove the camshaft sprocket and its key. Remove the upper rear timing cover. Loosen the rocker arm locknuts and back off the valve adjusting screws. Loosen the camshaft holder bolts in a two-step crisscross sequence, starting at the edges and worki...

DIY Windshield Wiper Repair

In these difficult economic times we try to save money wherever possible. Rebuild, reuse and recycle are the new "The Three Rs." So many things in today's world are convenience-packaged, disposable and just plain don't last very long. And accordingly, often pricey to replace. Windshield wipers for your vehicle are no exception. But with a little effort, a set of windshield wipers can be rehabilitated and reused. Perhaps not indefinitely, but a single re-use can save you upwards of $20.00 Windshield Wiper Renewal is Easy! Remove the windshield wipers. Check for torn or frayed edges. Any physically damaged wiper blade must be replace with OEM, but if the rubber edge is not ripped, torn or cracked, they can be cleaned and reused again. Soaking in soapy water and cleaning with dish detergent will remove the rubber oxidation. You will notice the black water, indicating that sun-bleached rubber is being washed away. Wipe dry and with a rag soaked in white vinegar, clean the wiper again....

How to Replace the Exhaust Manifold on All 1996 - 2000 Honda Civic LX / Del Sol 1.6L 4 Cyl Engines

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION Fig. Late model exhaust manifold Fig. Early model exhaust manifold The radio may contain a coded theft protection circuit. Always obtain the code number before disconnecting the battery. If the vehicle is equipped with 4WS, the steering control unit is shut down when the battery is disconnected. After connecting the battery, turn the steering wheel lock-to-lock to reset the steering control unit. CAUTION: The exhaust system should be serviced with the engine cold. To remove: Disconnect the negative battery cable. Raise and support the front of the vehicle and block the rear wheels. Unbolt the front exhaust pipe from the exhaust manifold/catalytic converter. Unbolt the exhaust manifold support brackets if their bolts are accessible from this angle. The splash shield may be removed for better access. Lower the vehicle. Remove any rust or dirt from the exhaust manifold before removal. This will prevent dirt from entering the exha...

How to Overhaul / Rebuild All 1999 - 2005 Toyota Corolla / Celica / Echo / MR2 1.8L 4 Cyl Engines: Part 1

Overhaul Buy or Rebuild? Now that you have determined that your engine is worn out, you must make some decisions. The question of whether or not an engine is worth rebuilding is largely a subjective matter and one of personal worth. Is the engine a popular one, or is it an obsolete model? Are parts available? Will it get acceptable gas mileage once it is rebuilt? Is the car it's being put into worth keeping? Would it be less expensive to buy a new engine, have your engine rebuilt by a pro, rebuild it yourself or buy a used engine from a salvage yard? Or would it be simpler and less expensive to buy another car? If you have considered all these matters and more, and have still decided to rebuild the engine, then it is time to decide how you will rebuild it. The editors at Chilton feel that most engine machining should be performed by a professional machine shop. Don't think of it as wasting money, rather, as an assurance that the job has been done right the first time. There are many...

How to Replace the Doors on All 1996 - 2000 Honda Civic LX / Del Sol 1.6L 4 Cyl Engines

Removal & Installation Fig. Front door and its components-2 door, 3 door models Fig. Front door and its components-4 door model Fig. Remove the power window switch assembly To remove: Front and rear doors may be removed using the same procedure. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Protect the door and surrounding trim and painted areas using cardboard and masking tape. A thick masking tape is available at local body and paint supply stores. Cover and protect any corners, sharp edges or protruding objects. Support the door, by placing a floor jack and a piece of wood underneath the door. Remove the bolts from the door stop arm. Remove the door panel, detach the wiring connectors, and guide clips. Remove the wiring harness from the door frame. If necessary, use tape to keep the wiring pulled aside. Inspect and make sure all applicable wiring connectors are disconnected and removed. Matchmark the location of the hinges o...

How to Replace the Exhaust Manifold on All 1999 - 2005 Toyota Corolla / Celica / Echo / MR2 1.8L 4 Cyl Engines

Removal & Installation 1NZ-FE Engines Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section. Remove or disconnect the following: NOTE: On vehicles equipped with an air bag, wait at least 90 seconds before proceeding after disconnecting the negative battery cable. Negative battery cable. All electrical wires and vacuum hoses that interfere with removal of the exhaust manifold. Exhaust heat insulator Exhaust pipe stay Exhaust pipe from the manifold by removing the 2 bolts and 2 compression springs. Exhaust manifold and gasket To install: Clean the gasket surfaces Install or connect the following: Exhaust manifold with a new gasket. Bolts: 20 ft. lbs. (27 Nm). Exhaust stay to the engine and exhaust manifold. Bolt and nuts: 29 ft. lbs. (40 Nm). Exhaust manifold heat insulator. Bolts: 71 inch lbs. (8 Nm). Exhaust pipe to the exhaust manifold with the 2 compression springs and 2 bolts. Bolts: 46 ft. lbs. (62 Nm). All electrical wires and vacuu...

How to Remove & Install an Alternator on a 1984 - 1995 Honda Civic / CRX / Del Sol

The alternator converts the mechanical energy which is supplied by the drive belt into electrical energy by electromagnetic induction. When the ignition switch is turned ON , current flows from the battery, through the charging system light or ammeter, to the voltage regulator and finally to the alternator. When the engine is started, the drive belt turns the rotating field (rotor) in the stationary windings (stator), inducing alternating current. This alternating current is converted into usable direct current by the diode rectifier. Most of this current is used to charge the battery and power the electrical components of the vehicle. A small part is returned to the field windings of the alternator enabling it to increase its output. When the current in the field windings reaches a predetermined control voltage, the voltage regulator grounds the circuit, preventing any further increase. The cycle is continued so that the voltage remains constant. The alternator is located near the No...

How to Replace the Oil Pump on All 1997 - 2000 Toyota Camry / Avalon 2.2L 4 Cyl Engines

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION 2.2L Engine Disconnect the negative battery cable. On vehicles equipped with an air bag, wait at least 90 seconds before proceeding. Remove the hood. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Drain the engine oil. Remove the front exhaust pipe. Remove the rear end stiffener plate. Remove the oil dipstick and oil pan. Remove the oil strainer and gasket. Carefully suspend the engine with a sling device, or equivalent and remove the timing belt and pulleys. If equipped, remove the crankshaft position sensor. Remove the 12 mounting bolts, the oil pump, and the gasket. To install: Install a new gasket and the oil pump with the 12 bolts. Tighten the bolts to 82 inch lbs. (9 Nm). NOTE The long bolts are 1.38 in. (35mm) and all the others are 0.98 in. (25mm). Install the crankshaft position sensor, if removed. Install the timing belt and pulleys, remove the engine sling device and safely lower the engine. Install the oil strainer with a new gaske...

How to Remove Dents from a Tailgate

Repairing a pick-up truck tailgate may not be considered by some to be a do-it-yourself project. However, if you are armed with the proper tools, some encouragement and some help from a friend, you can, indeed, repair a pick-up truck tailgate yourself.   Read on to find out how. Your truck tailgate is damaged and now the daunting process of getting fair estimates begins. Before you know it, your insurance company is saying that the damage is not as extensive as you first thought, and perhaps your deductible is so high that you would end up incurring the cost to repair it out of pocket anyway. By the time you have dealt with the hassle, you could have repaired it yourself. The first thing you want to do is get a good assessment of the damage. Is it just a dent? Can you open and close the tailgate properly? Or, are the hinges bent and preventing the tailgate from closing? When the tailgate closes, does it do so evenly on either side? Before you begin any work on the tailgate, ...

How to Remove & Install the Distributor on All 1996 - 2000 Honda Accord DX / Prelude 2.2L & 2.3L 4 Cyl Engines

2.2L & 2.3L Engines Removal The radio may contain a coded theft protection circuit. Always make note of the code before disconnecting the battery. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Access the crankshaft pulley bolt through the left side inner fender liner. Use a socket, long extension and a suitable ratchet to rotate the engine. Rotate the engine counterclockwise until the white Top Dead Center (TDC) mark on the pulley aligns with the pointer on the engine cover. Label the ignition wires to the distributor cap, but do not remove them, unless absolutely necessary. Remove the distributor cap and note the location of the ignition rotor. If the ignition rotor is not pointing toward the terminal of the distributor cap for cylinder No. 1, rotate the crankshaft one complete revolution counterclockwise, and align the white (TDC) mark on the pulley with the pointer on the engine cover. If the distributor is going to be reinstalled, make an alignment mark be...

How to Keep Cats off Cars

Some vehicle owners complain about cats on their car, either their own cats, neighbors cats, or stray cats. Perhaps they fear the cat will scratch the paint, or they just do not like the footprints, in any case, what is the car owner to do? Why do cats Cats go on Cars Cats like to go on top of the car for a few reasons; they enjoy being high up and, if the car was just running, they like the warmth of the engine. Rest assured it is very unlikely that the cat's nails will scratch the paint of a car. Cats can retract their nails and would do so to scale a car. Their nails are very ineffective in climbing a metal surface, and actually make it more difficult. Their paw pads are better for climbing. photo source Cats in Cars Be aware that sometimes cats, particularly small kittens, might climb up under the car. If you live in an area populated by a lot of stray cats it is suggested to pound the hood of your car to scare them before starting the engine. If you hear meowing sounds you ...

Facts About Changing the Timing Chain on a Chevy Malibu

About a month before Christmas the engine on my Chevy Malibu classic started to rattle rather more than usual when it was running. At first my husband thought maybe it was the lifters (or tappits as my husband calls them). Any way, a friend, who is a mechanic came and had a look and listen and said, 'no its your timing chain'! He then added it was a workshop job and would cost somewhere in the region of $900 and take about 10 hours! With second thoughts it was more likely to be the timing chain guide, as the engine would actually run, it just rattled more than usual. As funds were short my husband decided he would do the work required. First things first, we purchased a copy of a Haynes Manual for our model car. My husband decided that he was going to do the work but would require the following before proceeding:- An enclosed work space A Haynes Manual A set of good axle stands or ramps A set of good METRIC wrenches and sockets Enough oil to refill the engi...

Carbon Buildup in Your Car's Engine

Carbon buildup in your vehicle's engine is not something that you can see, but when your car starts stalling or your check engine light comes on. Every vehicle manufacturer issues a schedule of suggested (and sometimes required to maintain the warranty) maintenance. This list will tell you roughly every 5,000 miles what work you should have done to keep your vehicle in good working order. While it seems counter intuitive to fork over money to a mechanic when there appears to be nothing wrong with the car, it will work out to your advantage in the long run. Most vehicles today will last for 200,000 miles with few problems if that maintenance schedule is followed. When routine maintenance is not done, all sorts of problems can crop up, bad water pumps and radiators from not having the coolant flushed, transmission failure from not flushing the fluid and engine trouble from not replacing spark plugs and having the carbon cleaned from the engine routinely. Carbon is a naturally occur...

How to Replace The Timing Belt & Water Pump on a 1996 - 2000 Honda Accord EX / Prelude 2.7L & 3.0L Engines

On interference engines, it is very important to replace the timing belt at the recommended intervals, otherwise expensive engine damage will likely result if the belt fails. Removal & Installation 1. Disconnect the negative battery cable. 2. Turn the engine to align the timing marks and set cylinder No. 1 to Top Dead Center (TDC) on the compression stroke. The white mark on the crankshaft pulley should align with the pointer on the timing belt cover. Remove the inspection caps on the upper timing belt covers to check the alignment of the timing marks. The pointers for the camshafts should align with the green marks on the camshaft sprockets. 3. Remove all necessary components for access to the timing belt covers, then remove the covers. Do not use the covers to store removed items. 4. Loosen the timing belt adjuster bolt 180 degrees ( 1 / 2 turn). Push the tensioner to remove the tension from the timing belt, then retighten the adjusting bolt. 5. Remove the timing belt. Do ...

How to Replace the Flywheel / Flexplate on All 1997 - 2000 Toyota Camry / Avalon 2.2L 4 Cyl Engines

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION NOTE Vehicles equipped with manual transaxles are equipped with flywheels and automatic transaxles use drive plates (also known as flexplates). Drive plates and flywheels are removed and installed in the same manner. Remove the engine from the vehicle and disconnect the transaxle from the engine. Loosen the eight bolts that attach the flywheel/drive plate to the crankshaft. Pull the flywheel/drive plate from the crankshaft. Wire brush the retaining bolts thoroughly to remove all the old sealant from the threads. Remove any sealant or debris from the crankshaft and flywheel/drive plate bolt holes. NOTE If the holes are filled with oil and grease, clean them with a small wire brush and penetrating oil. You may have to run the proper size metric tap down each bolt hole several times to clear the hole. Apply No. 08833-00070, THREE BOND®1324 or equivalent adhesive to the last two or three threads of each bolt. Suppo...

Facts and Myths About Why Your Check Engine Light Comes On

There is a lot of confusion and misinformation out there about why a check engine light comes on. 1996 and newer vehicles have an OBDII computerized monitoring system. OBDII uses different sensors to gather information, vehicle speed, air temperature and engine temperature, for example. It feeds that information into the vehicles computer, commonly called the ECM. The ECM then adjusts things like air/fuel ratio so that the vehicle runs well. If OBDII detects a fault in one of the sensors, it will turn on the check engine light to let you know that something is wrong. Here are some myths cleared up about why the check engine light may be on and what you should do about it.   Myth: My check engine light is on, my oil must be low Fact: A low oil level condition will not set your check engine light. That light will come on if something is wrong causing your vehicle to produce more one and a half times more the emissions than it was designed to...

How to Replace the Intake Manifold on All 1997 - 2000 Toyota Camry / Avalon 2.2L 4 Cyl Engines

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION CAUTION Never open, service or drain the radiator or cooling system when hot; serious burns can occur from the steam and hot coolant. Also, when draining engine coolant, keep in mind that cats and dogs are attracted to ethylene glycol antifreeze and could drink any that is left in an uncovered container or in puddles on the ground. This will prove fatal in sufficient quantities. Always drain coolant into a sealable container. Coolant should be reused unless it is contaminated or is several years old. 5S-FE Engines Disconnect the negative battery cable. On vehicles equipped with an air bag, wait at least 90 seconds before proceeding. Drain the engine coolant into a suitable container. Disconnect the accelerator cable from the throttle body. If equipped with automatic transmission, disconnect the throttle cable from the throttle body. Disconnect the intake air temperature sensor connector On California models, disconnect the air cleaner hose. Loosen ...

How to Flush the Radiator in an Oldsmobile Alero

Flushing the radiator in your Oldsmobile Alero every other year is important if you want to keep the radiator in a good working condition and to keep your vehicle running smoothly.  You do not need to be an auto mechanic to flush a radiator, just some materials that can be purchased at your local auto parts store.  Things You'll Need Distilled water Coolant Bucket Sealable container Gloves Long-sleeved shirt Wear gloves and a long sleeved shirt to protect your skin from coolant spills. Park your vehicle on an even surface and apply the parking brake.  Open the hood of your car and feel the radiator to see if it is has cooled down.  If the radiator is still hot, you must wait for it to cool off.  Rotate the radiator cap counter clock wise once and then take a step back.  Remove the cap after approximately one minute.  If the cap area is smoking or hissing, wait a little longer because the radiator can spew coolant and injure anyone near...

How To Install A Trailer Wiring Harness

Installing a wiring harness in your car, truck, or SUV is an easy project that any mechanically inclined person can complete successfully. Every installation is slightly different, so you need to consult the service manual for your vehicle for the exact procedures. Barring any unforeseen complications, you should be able to complete the basic installation in a couple of hours on a Saturday morning. Saturday Morning? Back in the time when I got my start in auto mechanics there was a magazine that ran a monthly section called "The Saturday Morning Mechanic." Before that magazine went where all legitimate magazines go when they go out of print, they had changed the name of the department to "The Shade Tree Mechanic." What You Will Need Basic mechanics hand tools 12 volt circuit tester or a digital Multimeter (DMM) Wiring harness 804C Scotch Lock Connector - Blue Gel 3M connectors Service manual Step 1: Remove The Tail Light Assemblies. R...

How to Perform an Alternator Voltage Drop Test & Output Voltage Test on All 1996 - 2000 Honda Accord DX / Prelude 2.2L 4 Cyl Engines

TESTING Voltage Drop Test These tests will show the amount of voltage drop across the alternator output wire from the alternator output (B+) terminal to the battery positive post. They will also show the amount of voltage drop from the ground (-) terminal on the alternator. A voltmeter with a 0-18 volt DC scale should be used for these tests. By repositioning the voltmeter test leads, the point of high resistance (voltage drop) can easily be found. Test points on the alternator can be reached by either removing the air cleaner housing or below by raising the vehicle. Before starting the test, make sure the battery is in good condition and is fully charged. Check the conditions of the battery cables. Start the engine, let it warm up to normal operating temperatures, then turn the engine OFF. Connect an engine tachometer, following the manufacturer's directions. Make sure the parking brake is fully engaged. Start the engine, then place the blower on HIGH, an...

How to Power Flush Your Cooling System

Professionals use extremely expensive machines to perform a power flush on cars cooling system. The shade tree mechanic can do a reasonable job with a "Flush and Fill Kit" made by Prestone and an ordinary garden hose. Many people simply open the petcocks and drain the old coolant from their cars cooling system and then refills with fresh coolant. I suppose that is better than not replacing the coolant at all but not many betters. Power flushing the system not only removes every drop of the old coolant from the system but forces out the majority of rust and scale build up too. There are other power flush adapters similar to the Prestone "Flush and Fill Kit" that are permanently installed on a vehicle, that work equally well, but Prestone is my favorite. Things that you will need Prestone "Flush and Fill" kit or a similar kit Basic mechanic's hand tools Two lengths of garden hose How to install the Flush and Fill kit Allow the engine ample time to cool down. Loosen the radiator c...

Why Your Brakes Pulse

We have all experienced it, you put your foot on the brakes and the pedal shakes badly, sometimes clear up into the steering wheel. It is one of the most common complaints consumers have about brakes and not many people understand what is happening and what they can do to prevent it. The way disc brakes work is when you push on the brake pedal the caliper pistons push two brake pads in and onto either side of the rotor, which is a disc, kind of like a Necco wafer. This slows your car down and stops it, at the same time generating a lot of heat. When you hit the brakes if there are any raised spots on that disc or variation in the thickness you will get that brake chatter or pulsation that you feel in the pedal. One of the number one causes of brake pulsation is rotor runout. What this means is that for some reason the rotor, which should remain steady, firmly mounted to the hub, is able to move side to side some in the caliper, think of it as wobbling. Rotor ...

4 Simple Ways for Smokers to Keep That New Car Smell

You just bought a new car and want it to stay smelling fresh and clean. But, you smoke. What is the answer? Can you REALLY keep it smelling great while enjoying a smoke as you drive? The answer is yes! Of course the best way to keep your car smelling new is not to smoke in the car at all, but for most smokers, that is easier said than done. So if you are going to smoke in the car, try these tips and see for yourself. Removable, covered ashtrays come in many styles and most fit into the cup holder. The lid keeps the smell from permeating the upholstery, carpet and headliner. The ability to simply pick up the ashtray and dump it when you go into the house means you will be more likely to remove it more often. The fact that it has a lid means it won’t stink up the house until you put it back in the car. An added bonus is that a lot of these ashtrays also have tiny LED lights in them so you don’t risk burning your console or seat while driving and tamping your cigarette. Turn...

How to Replace & Test the Engine Fan on All 1996 - 2000 Honda Civic LX / Del Sol 1.6L 4 Cyl Engines

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION The radiator cooling fans are electrically operated and mount directly to the radiator. CAUTION: Never open a radiator cap or cooling system when the coolant temperature is above 100° F (38° C). Avoid physical contact at all times, wear protective clothing and eye protection. Always drain coolant into a sealable container. If spillage occurs take care to clean the spill as quickly as possible. Removal Note the radio security code and disconnect the negative battery cable. Disconnect the electrical connectors and wiring guide brackets for the cooling fans If additional work space is needed, drain about 3 quarts of coolant from the radiator into a sealable container by loosening the radiator drain plug, then disconnect and plug the upper radiator hose. Remove the positive battery cable and remove the battery. Disconnect the wire harness guides from the battery tray. Remove the ground strap and the relay box bracket fro...

How to Replace the Balance Shaft on All 1997 - 2000 Toyota Camry / Avalon 2.2L 4 Cyl Engines

On the 5S-FE there are two balance shafts located beneath the engine crankshaft. To gain access to the balance shafts you must remove the oil pan. The 1MZ-FE engine has no balance shafts. Setting backlash Remove the oil pan. Detach the oil pan strainer. To inspect the backlash of crankshaft gear and No.1 balance shaft gear you must first turn the crankshaft two (2) or three (3) times. This will settle the crankshaft gear and the No.1 balance shaft gear assembly. Position the No.1 piston at Top Dead Center (TDC), then check that the punch marks on the balance shafts are aligned with the groves on the No.2 housing. Inspect the punch marks A and B are at the positions on the No.1 balance shafts. Rotate the crankshaft clockwise, then align the groove of the No.2 balance shaft housing with the mark on the No.1 balance shaft. Align a dial indicator to measure the backlash of the balance shafts. See the above diagram. Lightly rotate the balance sha...

How to Replace the Cylinder Head on All 1997 - 2000 Toyota Camry / Avalon 2.2L 4 Cyl Engines

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION 2.2L Engine Disconnect the negative battery cable. On vehicles equipped with an air bag, wait at least 90 seconds before proceeding. Remove all necessary components to gain access to the cylinder head. NOTE On California vehicles, remove the Vacuum Switching Valve (VSV) for fuel pressure control and EGR. On all vehicles (except California), remove the VSV for EGR. Remove the timing belt. NOTE Support the timing belt, so that the meshing of the crankshaft timing pulley and the timing belt does not shift. Be careful not to drop anything inside the timing belt cover. Remove the engine hangers and the alternator bracket. Remove the camshafts following the proper sequences and procedures. Uniformly loosen and remove the cylinder head bolts in several passes and in the reverse order of the installation sequence. Lift the cylinder head from the cylinder block disengaging the cylinder head from the block dowel pins. To install: Clean the ga...

How to Replace the Rocker Arms / Shafts on a 1996 - 2000 Honda Civic LX / Del Sol 1.6L 4 Cyl D16Y7 Engine

To remove: 1.6L (D16Y7) Engine Disconnect the negative battery cable. Label and disconnect the ignition wires. Remove the spark plugs and note their cylinder assignments. Remove the valve cover and the upper timing belt cover. Set the No. 1 cylinder to Top Dead Center (TDC) for the compression stroke. Verify that the TDC marks are correctly aligned. Once the engine is set in this position, it must not be disturbed. Remove the distributor as an assembly. Loosen the valve adjusting screws. Cover the timing belt with a clean shop towel to protect it from engine oil. If the belt is contaminated with oil, it must be replaced. Remove the camshaft holder bolts. Unscrew the bolts two turns at a time in a crisscross pattern to prevent damaging the valves, camshaft, or rocker arm assembly. The rocker arms and shafts are an assembly; they must be removed from the engine as a unit. To prevent warpage, always follow the torque sequence carefully when remov...

How To Use A Battery Hydrometer

A hydrometer is a device used to measure the specific gravity of a liquid. You may recall from your high school physic classes that the specific gravity is the ratio of the mass of a substance to that of an equal volume of water at 4°C. A battery hydrometer measures the ratio of the battery's electrolyte to an equal volume of water at 4°C or 39°F. A storage battery's electrolyte is a solution of 36 percent Sulfuric Acid (H2SO4) and 64 percent water (H2O.) The specific gravity of H2SO4 is 1.835 and the specific gravity of H2O is 1.000. The specific gravity of a battery electrolyte is 1.270. By measuring the specific gravity of the electrolyte, you can tell the battery's state of charge. State of Charge –Vs- Specific Gravity STATE OF CHARGE SPECIFIC GRAVITY 12 VOLT 6 VOLT 100 PERCENT 1.265 12.7 ...

What Not To Do With An Automatic Transmission

The automatic transmission is one of the most expensive components on your car to have serviced. I said have serviced because there are remarkably little that a shade tree mechanic can do in the way of servicing an automatic transmission. The shade tree mechanic may have the knowledge, but remarkably, few have the specialized tools or facilities to overhaul an automatic transmission. The tools are expensive, and the work itself must be performed under "Clean Room" conditions. There is not much that you can do to repair an automatic transmission, but there are things that you can do to keep them trouble free. In this article, I am going to talk about a few things that you should not do. 1. Do Not Park Your Car Without Engaging The Parking Brake. Do not do as many drivers do, do not park your car with the transmission gear selector in "Park" without applying the "Parking Brake." The "Parking Pawl," the tiny metal part that locks the output shaft of your transmission when it is placed i...

Auto Air Conditioning: How to Evacuate the System

In the first two parts of this series, I covered recharging your air conditioner with refrigerant and how to trace system leaks. I also introduced you to the use of manifold gauges and electronic leak detectors. In this part of the series, you will learn about another essential tool for anyone serious about working on auto air conditioners. I might add at this point that these same tools could be used to service your home refrigerator, deep freezer, and air conditioners. Single-Stage -Vs- Two-Stage Vacuum Pumps The basic difference between a single-stage and a two-stage vacuum pump is the speed at which they pull a vacuum. Unless speed is a critical factor, a single-stage vacuum pump will serve you well. Robinair air conditioning tools are a status symbol among professional but tools of equal quality can be had for a fraction of the cost. A single-stage Robinair vacuum pump would cost you $300 or more while one made by U.S. General would cost you around $90. My point here is to pay ...

All Spark Plug Wire Is Not The Same

All spark plug wire is not the same. There are Carbon Conductors, Low-Resistant Spiral Wound conductors, Solid Core conductors, and Capacitor Effect conductors to name the four main divisions of spark plug wire. Each type of spark plug wire functions differently and have different effects on EMI and FRI as well as the spark. What Are Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) and Radio Frequency Interference (RFI)? If you are old enough to remember when AM radios were standard equipment on new cars, you may recall the problem of ignition noise. It sounded like the putt putting of an outboard motor emanating from the speaker in the dashboard. The pitch and volume increased with engine RPMs. That was RFI. That signal emanating from the spark plug wiring entered those old AM radios through the antenna as well as through the power wiring that acted as an antenna for those RFI signals. When FM radios became standard equipment, RFI became less of a problem. Today, EMI is the problem that we need ...

How to Change the Timing Belt on a 1994 - 2000 Acura RL MFI 6 Cylinder 3.5L Engine

Replace the timing and balancer shaft belts at no more that 105,000 miles (168,000km). Acura also specifies that under extreme conditions the timing and balancer shaft belts should be replaced more frequently, at 60,000 miles (100,000 km). These abnormal conditions include very high temperatures over 110°F (43°C) or very low ambient temperatures of minus 20°F (-29°C). Removal & Installation 1.Turn the engine so that the No. 1 piston is at the top dead center (TDC). 2.Disconnect the negative battery cable. 3.Remove the engine cover. 4.Remove the air cleaner assembly and the intake tubing. 5.Loosen the adjusting nut and then the mounting nuts to allow the alternator belt to be removed. 6.Loosen the adjusting and idler pulley bracket bolt on the (A/C) to free the belt. 7.Remove the power steering pump by loosening the adjusting bolts and removing the mounting bolts. 8.Remove the TCS upper and lower bracket assemblies. 9.Remove the TCS control val...

Replace Thermostat in 1995-98 Mazda Protege

If your 1995-98 Mazda Protege is overheating, there is a good chance you need to replace the thermostat. This is not a major repair and can be accomplished in your garage or driveway with some common tools and a medium level of mechanical knowledge. It will take about 1 hour, perhaps longer, depending on the condition of the thermostat gasket. The tools you will need are: a small ratchet with 12mm socket and one 4-inch long socket extension. Also, you will need a 14mm box wrench, small needle-nose pliers, new thermostat and new thermostat gasket, a can of WD40 or similar product, a drain pan (the same type used to drain motor oil into), a flash light or better still, an attachable mechanic's light and a few clean rags. First, park the car on a flat surface and let the engine cool down to the point you can comfortably touch the radiator cap - or about an hour in 70 degree weather. Begin by putting the drain pan below the radiator drain-plug. Undo the plug and allow approximately 2...

How To Test and Replace Spark Plug Wires

One of my best friends operates a mobile auto repair business. I do not get to spend much time with him since I bought this home up on Walch's Mountain because most of his clients live in the flatlands. My friend has been in the business of bringing the garage to the customer's car for over thirty years. You could have knocked me over with a feather this past Fourth of July when he told me that he hated working on cars. One of the things he hates more than anything else is working on a car with electrical problems because the cause of the problem can be elusive. I nodded with full understanding. Back in the days when I was studying radio and television repair, we called those kinds of problems "Dogs." A few days ago I was down in the flatlands getting parts for a dune buggy engine when I spotted his truck parked behind a new car. He looked outraged, so I pulled my Jeep up behind his truck and asked what the problem was. The car had a rough idle and stalled out when it was we...

How to Replace the Flywheel / Flexplate on All 1996 - 2000 Honda Civic LX / Del Sol 1.6L 4 Cyl Engines

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION Fig. View of the flywheel and bolts-manual transaxle shown Fig. Removing the flywheel from a manual transaxle equipped model The flywheel on manual transaxle cars serves as the forward clutch engagement surface. It also serves as the ring gear with which the starter pinion engages to crank the engine. The most common reason to replace the flywheel is broken teeth on the starter ring gear. On automatic transaxle cars, the torque converter actually forms part of the flywheel. It is bolted to a thin flexplate which, in turn, is bolted to the crankshaft. The flexplate also serves as the ring gear with which the starter pinion engages in engine cranking. The flexplate occasionally cracks; the teeth on the ring gear may also break, especially if the starter is often engaged while the pinion is still spinning. The torque converter and flexplate are separated, so the converter and transaxle can be removed together. To remove: Remove the transaxle fro...

How to Replace the Camshaft, Bearings & Lifters on All 1997 - 2000 Toyota Camry / Avalon 2.2L 4 Cyl Engines

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION 5S-FE Engines Remove the cylinder head cover. NOTE Being that the thrust clearance on both the intake and exhaust camshafts is small, the camshafts must be kept level during removal. If the camshafts are removed without being kept level, the camshaft may be caught in the cylinder head causing the head to break or the camshaft to seize. To remove the exhaust camshaft proceed as follows: Set the knock pin of the intake camshaft at 10-45° BTDC of camshaft angle. This angle will help to lift the exhaust camshaft level and evenly by pushing No. 2 and No. 4 cylinder camshaft lobes of the exhaust camshaft toward their valve lifters. Secure the exhaust camshaft sub-gear to the main gear using a service bolt. The manufacturer recommends a bolt 0.63-0.79 inch (16-20mm) long with a thread diameter of 6mm and a 1mm thread pitch. When removing the exhaust camshaft be sure that the torsional spring force of the sub-gear has been elimina...

How to Replace the Electric Cooling Fans on All 1997 - 2000 Toyota Camry / Avalon 2.2L 4 Cyl Engines

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION Fig. Exploded view of the electric cooling fan-5S-FE engine Avalon Fig. View of the electric No.2 cooling fan system-Avalon 2.2L 4 Cylinder Engines Fig. View of the electric No.2 cooling fan system-Avalon 2.2L 4 Cylinder Engines NO.1 COOLING FAN Fig. View of the No.1 cooling fan Disconnect the cable at the negative battery terminals. Remove the battery and tray. Detach the cruise control actuator. Disconnect the No.3 relay block from the radiator. Detach the cooling fan connector. Remove the wire clamps from the cooling fan shroud. Remove the cooling fan by removing the two retaining bolts. To install: Installation is the reverse of removal. Install the cooling fan by installing the two retaining bolts. Install the wire clamps from the cooling fan shroud. Attach the cooling fan connector. Connect the No.3 relay block to the radiator. Attach th...

How to Replace the Rocker Arm (Valve) Cover on All 1996 - 2000 Honda Civic LX / Del Sol 1.6L 4 Cyl Engines

Removal & Installation Fig. Use a ratchet to remove the bolts from the valve cover Fig. Note the condition of each washer Fig. Lift the valve cover off the cylinder head Fig. Remove the spark plug tube grommets (see next step) Fig. (continued from previous step) and inspect them for wear To remove: Remove the spark plug wires by twisting side to side and gently pulling. Note or label their location and place aside. Starting from the outside, working inward, using a 10mm wrench or socket with an extension and ratchet, remove the fasteners securing the valve cover to the cylinder head. If equipped, remove all hoses and brackets. Carefully lift the cover off the cylinder head. Use care to not loose the sealing grommets when lifting the cover. Place the cover upright in a clean, protected area. If the cover is stuck onto the cylinder head, using a suitable prytool carefully pry the cover upward at the corners. Move each corner no more than...

How to Replace the Oil Pump on All 1996 - 2000 Honda Civic LX / Del Sol 1.6L B16A2 4 Cyl Engines

Removal & Installation To remove: 1.6L (B16A2) Engines Disconnect the negative battery cable. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Drain the engine oil. Label and disconnect the ignition wires. Set the No. 1 cylinder to Top Dead Center (TDC) for the compression stroke. The mark on the crankshaft pulley should align with the index mark on the timing cover. Mark the direction of the timing belt rotation if it is to be reinstalled. Release the tensions of the accessory drive belts and slip them off their pulleys. Remove the crankshaft pulley. Remove the valve cover and the upper and lower timing belt covers. Cover the rocker arm and shaft assemblies with a towel or sheet of plastic to keep out dirt and foreign objects. Release the timing belt tension. Then, remove the timing belt. If equipped with a Crankshaft Speed Fluctuation (CKF) sensor at the crankshaft sprocket, unbolt the sensors bracket. Then, disconnect the sensor and rem...

Joe LoCicero's True Blue: A Million Mile Honda Accord

Joe LoCicero of Norway, Maine has an unusual automobile. His 1990 Accord named “True Blue” has racked up over 950,000 miles and is projected to break the million mile barrier sometime in September 2011. Joe’s phenomenal car isn’t breaking any records; Irv Gordon’s 1967 Volvo P1800 has accumulated nearly 3 million miles, and another Honda Accord (this one an EX from model year 1994) has already broken the million mile barrier. This Honda’s effort is made all the more impressive since it achieved more than 1 million miles in just eight years! LoCicero’s car has achieved notoriety (or fame) because the driver has maintained detailed maintenance records and is creating a cult of personality around the vehicle. Although True Blue isn’t the first, Joe is propagating his story in ways that other Honda owners haven’t. Also notable is that Joe lives in a snowy climate where road salts are potentially deployed frequently, and this can cause ...

How to Replace the Camshaft, Bearings & Lifters on All 1999 - 2005 Toyota Corolla / Celica / Echo / MR2 Models: Part 1

Inspection To check the lock of the camshaft timing gear, clamp the camshaft in a vice and confirm that the camshaft timing gear is locked. CAUTION: Be careful not to damage the camshaft. To release the lock pin, cover the four oil paths on the cam journal with vinyl tape. The two advance side paths are provided in the groove of the camshaft. Plug one of the paths with a piece of rubber. Puncture the tape over the advance side path and retard the side path on the opposite side of the groove. Apply air pressure to the two broken paths (the advance side path and the retard side path). WARNING: Cover the paths with a shop rag to avoid oil splashes. Confirm that the camshaft timing gear revolves in the timing advance direction when weakening the air pressure of the timing retard path. When the camshaft timing gear comes to the most advanced position, release the air pressure of the timing retard side path, then release that of the timing advance si...

How to Adjust the Parking Brake on Drum Brakes

The parking brake on a car or truck with drum brakes needs to be adjusted periodically. When applied, the parking brake lever pushes the drum brake's shoes against the inside of the drum. A drum brake's self-adjustment lever only changes the shoes location relative to the drum itself. A parking brake that is out of adjustment will not force the shoes against the drum hard enough to hold the car or truck still when parked on a hill. Test the Parking Brake Park on a hill with the front of the car or truck facing downhill. Point the wheels straight ahead. Step on the brake peddle. Apply the parking brake fully. Set the transmission into neutral. Release the foot brake. The vehicle should not roll at all. If the automobile does roll, the parking brake is to loose and must be adjusted. Step on the brake peddle and release the parking brake lever. Allow the car or truck to roll downhill. If the rear brakes drag, the parking brake is to tight and needs to be loosened. Adjust the Parki...

How to Replace the Crankshaft Damper on All 1996 - 2000 Honda Civic LX / Del Sol 1.6L 4 Cyl Engines

Removal & Installation Fig. Exploded view of the crankshaft damper Fig. Crankshaft damper and bolt Fig. Crankshaft damper To Remove: Note the radio security code and station presets. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Remove the lower engine splash shield. Remove the engine accessory drive belts. (Mark the direction of the accessory drive belt's rotation if it is to be reinstalled. If there is any doubt about the condition of a belt, or if it has been contaminated by oil, it should be replaced.) Set the engine at Top Dead Center (TDC) for the No. 1 piston on the compression stroke. The crankshaft pulley white mark must be aligned with the mark on the lower timing cover. Once in this position, the engine must not be disturbed. Hold the crankshaft pulley with Honda Tool Nos. 07MAB-PY3010A Holder Attachment and 07JAB-001020A Holder Handle or their equivalents and remove the crankshaft pull...

Idiots Guide To Decoding Your Honda VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)

Almost everything you need to know about your car can be explained from the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). What is the VIN? It is a 17-digit code that can be found in a number of places on your vehicle. The most common location to look for the VIN is at the bottom driver’s side corner of the windshield. Just inside on the dash will be a metal plate with the VIN stamped on it. Some parts of the VIN are common throughout all car companies such as the year code (10th digit) and the first digit which indicates the country where the vehicle was manufactured. Here is some helpful information when decoding the VIN on your Honda automobile (note that this is specifically for North American Hondas: 1. The first digit states the country where your car was built. North American Hondas will generally have a VIN that starts with 1, 2 or J. The 1 is for a vehicle built in the United States. The 2 is for Hondas built at the plant in Alliston, Ontario, Canada. The J, of course, is for c...

How to Remove a Damaged Automotive Oil Filter

Not too long ago I purchased a used 1992 Jeep Wrangler with 160k miles on it. One of my first orders of business was to change out all the fluids since the previous owner had mentioned he wasn’t sure when the last oil change was. So after purchasing 5 quarts of oil and the new oil filter I embarked on what I thought would be a 30 minute oil change… not so fast!! After draining the used (and very blackened) oil into the container I set out to remove the old oil filter. There are several ways of doing this, ranging from using your hands to twist it off to using a strap wrench. Needless to say, twisting it off didn’t work, so I tried using a strap wrench which is available at most automotive stores.  In many cases, there won’t be enough room under the hood and around the filter to use a strap wrench. That was my case, so I went to the auto parts store and purchased a filter socket, which is a device that will fit over the bottom of the filter and...

How to Weatherproof Your Car

Why weatherproof your car Cars do not need a great deal of attention most of the time. However, there are times when it is essential to make a few adjustments or spend a little longer on them than you normally would to ensure safety and legality of your car. Such times may occur throughout the year, as and when your vehicle may be exposed to certain elements, but winter is often the time of year when it is essential to carry out a few more checks and take a few preventative measures to weatherproof your vehicle. Chipped windscreen These chips can occur year round but are especially prolific during the winter months. This is due to ice breaking pieces of the road up, creating more stones on its surface, which in turn are kicked up by other cars. Chips to be sorted out as soon as you spot them otherwise the first hard frost after may crack your windscreen. This happens when moisture gets into the chip and as the temperature drops, the moisture turns to ice, and expands, cracking ...

Facts About Nitrogen Tire Inflation

There appears to be a new trend at service stations with filling your tires with nitrogen instead of compressed air. This article will look at the pros and cons with this practice. Overview Several years ago there were numerous news reports about blowouts on SUVs, especially Ford Explorers equipped with Firestone tires. The compressed air that comes from the pump at the gas station was looked at as a possible cause and one solution would be to use nitrogen which is a dryer, more stable gas that's less prone to changes in pressure due to heat or cold. The molecules of nitrogen are also larger and may reduce the amount of air leakage through the tire. Nitrogen has long been used in aircraft tires and in the tires of race cars. Its use in average road cars is new and controversial. Supporters of nitrogen filling argue that since studies show that fewer than 60 percent of drivers rarely if ever check the inflation of their tires, anything that will slow the normal leakage, wh...

Running Engine Oil Below the Low Mark?

Often some engines are 'meant' to burn oil as part of the normal operation of the vehicle. In the past it has been generalized that American auto's burn oil and imports don't...  The 'import' would look cleaner and have lower maintenance but in the end seeping oil is good for gaskets.  Seeping is often what an engine does when it is perceived to be burning small amounts of oil over a thousand miles or so.  If, on the other hand, it is by the hundred mile basis that your car needs a quart or so of oil then it may be a serious problem. If you ever find the oil dipstick to show no signs of oil stop driving as soon as possible. Add quarts of oil to your car. If, your dipstick had shown no sign of oil then, your car is essentially some where between 'mildly well' and 'catastrophic.' If it isn’t at catastrophic now it may be there in the next minute. Once your oil system goes all the oil will quickly drain out, over heating and possibly melting internals. It is si...

Flat Tire Several Options to Fix a Flat Tire on Your Car or Truck

We Discovered that We Had a Flat Tire We started out on a little commute yesterday and discovered that the right-front tire was completely flat. It had gone down during the night. Our little travel plans came to an abrupt halt. There would be no holiday travel adventure today. Had the flat tire occurred on the road or away from home, we could have easily installed the spare tire from the trunk. This is a ‘mini tire’ sometimes disdainfully called a ‘donut.’ It is intended to save space in the trunk by being about 75% smaller than the standard-sized tire for the model vehicle. It is also considered to be an ‘emergency use’ tire, not intended for extended use or even for full highway speeds. It will get you home or to the garage. That is about the extent of their usefulness. Most people after having used the ‘donut tire’ once discard it in lieu of a full-sized spare for the next time, such is the disdain for these ‘mini-tires.&rsqu...

Auto Air Conditioning: How ToTroubleshoot The Heater/Air Conditioner Blower Controls

Many shade tree mechanics shy away from tackling auto electrical problems. Many professional mechanics shy away from them too. They shy away from tackling electrical problems because electricity is something that cannot be seen, touched, or smelled, with the proper tools and little knowledge, electrical problems can be traced and solved just as easily as any other automotive problem. Types of Controllers The cars heating and air conditioning systems to control the blower fan's motor speeds use the blower controller. There are two types of controllers. One type uses a series of coils of wire with various resistances to control the blower's speed. The coils are mounted on a non-conductive circuit board. The other type employs a variable resistor switch and an integrated circuit (IC) chip mounted on a printed circuit (PC) board. Both controllers are relatively small units, approximately 2 inches by 3 inches in size. Both types of controllers are mounted on or near the blower motor. Too...

Car Defroster Repair

Troubleshooting and repairing a car's rear window defroster is a straightforward project that even a neophyte can handle with aplomb. Everything you will need comes in the Frost Fighter 2700 Master Kit. This kit contains all the materials that you will need to repair several auto defroster grids. The kit also come with a test lamp. This kit has a street value of $70. In cases where the grid is damaged beyond repair, you can replace the entire grid using one of the 2600 Clear View Defroster Kits. More about the 2600 Clear View Defroster Kit a little later in this article. Typically, the 2600 series kits have a street price of approximately $46. The heater grid The heater grid consists of a number of thin, horizontal brown lines. Each brown line is a silver ceramic conductor silk screened on the window. The silver ceramic conductors are silk screened on the window and then baked at high temperature to make them more durable. The ends of the silver ceramic conductors are conn...

How to Repair Rear Window Defrosters

Many cars have rear window defrosters and at times they can be damaged if items inside the car rub against the heat conductive grid. These electrically conductive, heated grids on the rear window of a car or minivan are basically painted onto the glass. They are resilient to damage, but it's possible to damage them by letting cargo rub against the glass, or by scraping off a window sticker or the tinting film. Even a credit card can damage the grid, so limit anything that touches the glass to a clean rag and some window cleaner. If you had to replace a rear window on your vehicle it can cost more than $400, including installation, but you can fix it yourself for less than $30. You can purchase a rear-window defroster-grid repair kit at your local auto parts store. If you have damage to the connection point, called the defroster tab, you can pick up a defroster tab repair kit as well. Tab repair kits are a little more expensive, $40 to $60. Preparation The process starts by cle...

How to Replace the Exhaust Manifold on All 1997 - 2000 Toyota Camry / Avalon 2.2L 4 Cyl Engines

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION 5S-FE Engines Disconnect the negative battery cable. On vehicles equipped with an air bag, wait at least 90 seconds before proceeding. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Working from under the vehicle, remove the bolts holding the front exhaust pipe to the mounting bracket. Using a 14mm deep socket wrench, remove the nuts and the gasket and disconnect the front exhaust pipe from the manifold. Disconnect the main oxygen sensor connector and the sub oxygen sensor connector. Remove the bolt and nut and remove the left-hand exhaust manifold stay. Remove the bolts and the upper manifold heat insulator. Remove the bolts, nuts, and the right-hand exhaust manifold stay. Remove the nuts, the exhaust manifold, and the 3-way catalytic converter assembly. Remove the nuts, oxygen sensor and gasket from the exhaust manifold. Remove the sub oxygen sensor from the 3-way catalytic converter. Remove the bolts ...

How Often Do You Need To Service The Cooling System?

How often do you need to service your cars cooling system? That all depends, on whom you talk to. Cooling system efficiency and dependability have increased tremendously since Henry Ford's first Model T rolled off the assembly line in 1908, but the cooling system still function the same way. The liquid coolants used have evolved over the years. General Motors started using "Dex-Cool," an "Extended Life" or "Long Life," antifreeze in their cars in 1996. General Motors formulated Dex-Cool, identifiable by its red color to last five years or 150,000 miles, which ever comes sooner. Green antifreezes should be replaced every two years or every 30,000 miles, which ever comes sooner. Dex-Cool and Green antifreezes are compatible but if you mix the two you must revert to the two-year or 30,000 mile service shekel. The National Automotive Radiator Service Association (NARSA) recommends having a seven-point preventative maintenance check performed at least once eve...

How to Replace the Accessory Drive Belts on All 1999 - 2005 Toyota Corolla / Celica / Echo / MR2 1.8L 4 Cyl Engines

Adjustment A/C Compressor Tension on the air conditioning compressor belt is adjusted by means of an idler pulley. Loosen the lockbolt and then turn the adjusting bolt on the idler pulley until the desired tension is achieved. Retighten the idler pulley lockbolt. All of the bolts are either a 12mm or 14mm. Tighten the lockbolt securely. If a new belt has been installed, always recheck the tension after a few hundred miles of driving.5S-FE:7A-FE: 1994 new belt-140-150 lb 1994 used belt-60-80 lb 1995-98 new belt-135-185 lb 1995-98 used belt-100-120 lb 1994 new belt-120-140 lb 1994 used belt-60-80 lb 1995-98 new belt-170-180 lb 1995-98 used belt-95-135 lb Alternator Belt To adjust the tension of the alternator drive belt, loosen the pivot and mounting bolts on the alternator. These bolts should be either 12mm or 14mm. Using a wooden hammer handle or a broomstick, or even your hand if you're strong enough, move the alternato...

How to Replace The Timing Belt & Water Pump on a 1996 - 2000 Honda Accord EX / Prelude 2.3L (H23A1) Engine

On interference engines, it is very important to replace the timing belt at the recommended intervals, otherwise expensive engine damage will likely result if the belt fails. Removal & Installation 1.Disconnect the negative battery cable. 2.Turn the crankshaft so the No. 1 piston is at Top Dead Center (TDC) on the compression stroke. The No. 1 piston is at TDC when the pointer on the block aligns with the white painted mark on the flywheel for manual transmission or driveplate for automatic transmission. 3.Remove all necessary components for access to the rocker arm (valve) cover, then remove the rocker arm (valve) cover. 4.Ensure the words UP embossed on the camshaft pulleys are aligned in the upward position. 5.Insert a 5.0mm pin punch in each of the camshaft caps, nearest to the pulleys, through the holes provided. 6.Remove the upper and middle timing belt covers. 7.Support the engine with a floor jack below the center of the center beam. Tension the jack so that it is ...

How to Replace The Timing Belt & Water Pump on a 1996 - 2000 Honda Accord DX / Prelude 2.2L (F22B1 & F22B2) Engines

On interference engines, it is very important to replace the timing belt at the recommended intervals, otherwise expensive engine damage will likely result if the belt fails. Removal & Installation 1.Disconnect the negative battery cable. 2.Remove the cylinder head (valve) and upper timing belt covers. 3.Turn the engine to align the timing marks and set cylinder No. 1 to Top Dead Center (TDC) on the compression stroke. The white mark on the crankshaft sprocket should align with the pointer on the timing belt cover. The words UP embossed on the camshaft sprocket should be aligned in the upward position. The marks on the edge of the sprocket should be aligned with the cylinder head or the back cover upper edge. Once in this position, the engine must NOT be turned or disturbed. 4.Remove all necessary components for access to the lower timing belt cover, then remove the cover. 5.There are 2 belts in this system; the one running to the camshaft sprocket is the timing belt. The oth...

Prime Choice Auto Parts Review

Review of Prime Choice Auto Parts Prime Choice Auto Parts is an online, direct to consumer supplier of high quality, aftermarket auto parts. The company carries inventory for the most common maintenance parts, including: Brake Pads, Rotors, Drums and Shoes Bare and Complete Strut Assemblies Starter Motors and Alternators Wheel Bearings and Hub Bearing Assemblies Radiators CV Axle Shafts Replacement Lights and Mirrors Oxygen Sensors, Fuel Pump Assemblies Automotive Belts Bumper Covers Automotive Grilles Prime Choice Auto Parts prides itself on having the lowest prices on the internet for aftermarket auto parts. It is able to achieve this objective through a number of distinct advantages. First, the company is the manufacturer of their own products, so they are able to save on the mark-up between manufacturer and distributor by eliminating the Middleman and selling directly to their consumers. Second, they carr...

The DIY Auto Mechanic and the Digital Storage Oscilloscope (DSO)

The days when the serious diy mechanic, then known affectionately as a “shade tree mechanic,” could get away with a few simple test instrument like a tach/dwell meter, a vacuum gage, compression tester, timing light, exhaust gas analyzer, Multimeter, etc. are gone forever. Today’s cars with all their onboard computers require many specialized test instruments with Scan tools, digital Multimeter and digital storage oscilloscopes right at the top of the list. In this factoid I will introduce you to the DSO, also known as a Dual-Trace Oscilloscope. Next to a scan tool a DSO is one of the most important tools a mechanic can own and you should be thinking about purchasing one. Add one to your online wish lists and maybe someone will surprise you with one for your birthday or some other special occasion. First of all let me explain that a scope is not a substitute for a scan tool, digital Multimeter, breakout box, engine analyzer, exha...

How to Replace the Rocker Arms / Shafts on a 1996 - 2000 Honda Civic LX / Del Sol 1.6L 4 Cyl D16Y5 Engine

To remove: The radio may contain a coded theft protection circuit. Always obtain the code number before disconnecting the battery. 1.6L (D16Y5) Engine Disconnect the negative battery cable. Label and disconnect the ignition wires. Remove the spark plugs and note their cylinder assignments. Remove the valve cover. Rotate the crankshaft to set the No. 1 cylinder to Top Dead Center (TDC) for the compression stroke. The white TDC mark on the crankshaft pulley aligns with the pointers on the lower timing cover. Remove the distributor. Loosen the valve adjusting screws. Label and disconnect the VTEC solenoid valve connector. Loosen the camshaft holder bolts two turns at a time in a crisscross pattern to prevent damaging the valves or rocker assembly. Remove the rocker arm and shaft assemblies together with the camshaft holders. Do not remove the rocker shaft bolts yet. The bolts keep the bearing caps, springs, and rocker arms in place on the s...

Coupons for Car Maintenance

One of the major costs associated with owning any vehicle, is the often high price of maintenance. Although our cars are far more dependable now, it is important to understand how regular maintenance insures the lifelong reliability of your vehicle. The following are some of the standard maintenance articles necessary to maintain your vehicle, and some coupons to help you get it done at the best price possible! Tire Rotation. The importance of your tires is often overlooked, but cannot be over-stressed. Everything you love is literally riding on those four rubber components that separate you, from the road. Most good quality tires these days can last at least 50,000 miles depending on driving conditions. But tires, just like the mechanical components of your car need simple maintenance. The most important maintenance is a standard tire rotation. This is a simple process that takes less than fifteen minutes in most cases, and can save you a lot of headaches later! Because this is a fai...

How to Replace the Dash Panels, Covers & Vents on All 1996 - 2000 Honda Civic LX / Del Sol 1.6L 4 Cyl Engines

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION Before disconnecting the battery cable(s) or the radio electrical connectors, make sure to note the radio security code. Once disconnected, the radio will not function until the code is entered. CAUTION: The models covered by this guide are equipped with a Supplemental Restraint System (SRS), which uses an air bag. Whenever working near any of the SRS components, such as the impact sensors, the air bag module, steering column and instrument panel, disable the SRS. Perform the following procedures BEFORE working on the interior components. Note the radio security code and disconnect the negative battery cable. Disable the Supplemental Restraint System (SRS). CAUTION: Failure to observe the previously stated repair procedures could result in severe physical injury. Glove Box / Compartment Fig. Remove the fasteners that secure the glove box Fig. Once all fasteners have been removed, remove the glove box by pulling it straig...

How to Replace the Air Intake Chamber on All 1997 - 2000 Toyota Camry / Avalon 2.2L 4 Cyl Engines

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION This procedure applies to 1MZ-FE engines only. Remove the battery and battery tray. Drain and recycle the engine coolant. Disconnect the accelerator cable on automatic transaxles. Disconnect the throttle cable. Remove the air cleaner cap assembly. Disconnect and label any wiring or hoses interfering with removal. Fig. Label and remove the emission control valve set Fig. Brake booster vacuum line, (1), ground straps (2) and PCV valve hose (3) removal component locations Fig. Remove the rear engine stay mounted behind the throttle body Fig. The hydraulic fan pressure hose (2) must be removed to separate the ground strap (1) in the rear of the air intake chamber Fig. Remove the two hex head bolts and the two regular nuts from the air intake chamber Fig. Lift the air intake chamber off the intake manifold Fig. Never reuse old gaskets Fig. Once the air intake chamber is removed...

Cylinder Leakdown Test: What Is It and How To Perform It

In my last automobile maintenance article, I discussed the procedures for conducting a compression test on an internal combustion engine. I also explained how to interpret the results of the compression test. In this article, I am going to introduce you to a much more effective diagnostic tool, the cylinder leakage tester and explain how to conduct a cylinder leakdown test. A leakdown test can pinpoint the mechanical problems that may exist inside your engine to a much greater degree of accuracy than a mere compression test. The leakdown test can pinpoint if the problem is an intake valve or an exhaust valve. The leakdown test can pinpoint a blown head gasket or a cracked head. A leakdown test can pinpoint piston ring or cylinder wall problems. I will explain how shortly. What you will need A cylinder leakage tester kit A mechanic's stethoscope General mechanic's hand tools A source of compressed air (air compressor or portable compressed air tank) A vehicle...

Extend the Life of Your Car: Buy OEM Parts

If you have purchased a good model autombile, most of the time you have spent maintaining it probably has been changing the oil, oil filter, air filter, and the normal fluids that require replacement. Most of these items are not specific and have some level of tolerance to varied brands or versions. In my 1991 Honda Accord, for example, I have replaced the stock airbox, air filter, and intake tube with a larger aftermarket model from AutoZone to reduce the restriction and increase horsepower (you can do this on cars without a lot of electronics; newer cars have computers that are responsive to changes in intake airflow and temperature and get a bit ticky when you change things). Fluids that require specificity, however, are brake and clutch fluids; if you use DOT3 when you were supposed to use DOT4, it will often cause problems. For the most part, though, replacing fluids and items designed to wear out is a routine process in which you can choose from several b...

BMW Vs. Mercedes Maintenance: Luxury European Chick-Magnet Cars Best Economy Throwdown

If you're in the market for a European luxury car and want to know what motor company is going to nickel and dime you to death more slowly, you could do worse than to narrow it down to Mercedes-Benz and BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke). Both are known for producing high quality luxury vehicles. Founded in 1916, BMW is 30 years the junior of Mercedes, but we won't hold that against them. Both corporations come out tops in best-of automobile manufacturer lists both rating easily in the top three, but not altogether for the same reasons. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Mercedes enjoys a marginally better score on safety ratings than BMW, and is second only to Volvo for overall safety. This is particularly true in side impact testing. It's hard to quantify the end cost for a consumer should the question, which of the two cars did the paramedics pull you out of, arise. But in the event you find yourself doing the figures after an emergency room visit, you can be sure that a little donk t...

How to Check and Replace a Timing Belt on a 2000 Hyundai Sonata

Does your 2000 Hyundai Sonata clatter, backfire, idle rough? Is it just plain sluggish? Nerve-wracking, isn't it? Chances are it's your timing belt, and chances are, it's time to replace it. If the thought of working on your car makes you nervous, or if you've never changed a timing belt before, you might want to take your car to a mechanic, but if you're handy with tools and car maintenance doesn't scare you, then read on to find out how you can check and replace the timing belt on your 2000 Hyundai Sonata. (Note: If you're feeling a little anxious about the repair, yourself, then I suggest taking it to a mechanic; however, unless your car is still under warranty, there's no real reason to take it back to the dealership, unless, of course, you're filthy rich or don't mind getting ripped off. That said, if you do take your car in, take it to a trusted garage, and to prevent you from having to spend money on the same repair the next time you--heaven forbid--then stick around while the ...

Are Winter Tires Really Necessary?

There’s no doubt that winter tires are becoming an increasing concern for drivers in the northern regions of North America. With lighter vehicles, unpredictable winter weather and exponentially increasing traffic, everyone is looking to get a grip on the icy and snowy roads. At what point should you put on your winter tires in the autumn and take them back off in the spring? The general rule of thumb is when the average temperature drops below seven Celsius, or 45 fahrenheit, it is time to switch over from all-seasons to winters. The reverse is true in the spring. The reasoning behind this is that winter tires are made of a softer compound that will rapidly break down in the warmer temps. In other words, you will literally burn your rubber away if the temperature gets to warm. How many tires should be changed over to winters? There have always been theories on whether all four tires should be winters or just two. What comes after that is the argument over whether the two should...

How to Replace the Crankshaft Damper on All 1997 - 2000 Toyota Camry / Avalon 2.2L 4 Cyl Engines

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION 5S-FE engine On some models the engine coolant reservoir must be removed. Remove the right front wheel. Remove the fender apron liner and right engine under cover. Remove the drive belts. Using a wood block on the jack, raise the engine enough to relieve the weight from the engine on the right mounting side. Using a spanner wrench to hold the crankshaft pulley, remove the pulley setbolt. Remove the pulley using a puller. To install: Install the pulley on the crankshaft. Torque the set bolt to 80 ft. lbs. (108 Nm). Lower the engine. Install the drive belt and adjust the tension. Install the cruise control actuator with bracket. Install the fender apron seal and right engine under cover. Install the right front wheel. 1MZ-FE engine Remove the engine coolant reservoir tank. Detach the alternator belt. Remove the right front wheel and the splash shield on Camry mod...

A Guide to Jiffy Lube and Other Speedy Oil Change Service Centers

A guide to Jiffy Lube and other speedy oil change service centers: Can you trust the care of your car to them? The days of the full-service service station is rapidly becoming nothing more than a fond memory for most of us. There are still a few around, places that have attendants to pump your gas, change your oil and perform other services on your car but they are rapidly becoming extinct. In fact, today most places that sell gas don’t service cars and most places that service cars don’t sell gas. The small, independent garages are finding it harder and harder to survive because people are turning to car dealerships for all their service needs including routine oil and filter changes. The problem with using dealerships for such routine services is that you can’t just drive in when you have the time, you have to make an appointment ahead of time. That’s where Jiffy Lube and other no appointment needed service cen...

Basic Car Maintenance Tips: Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF)

Automobile transmissions are complex mechanical systems that take your car through the gears so your car engine can work efficiently and effectively. Check and Add Fluid as Needed Keeping your automatic transmission healthy is pretty easy and uncomplicated. Just as you put motor oil in your engine, you also put automatic transmission fluid (ATF) in your transmission. There is a dipstick to check the ATF that is separate from the dipstick you use to check your oil. Open your hood and generally look toward the back of the engine for a dip stick. It might be located down lower in the back so you may have to look down into the cavity to locate it. It might say ATF on the top of the dipstick. You can also look in your car manual for a diagram. With your car running, pull out the dipstick, wipe it off and re-insert it to check the level. Make sure you push it all the way in. When you pull it out the second time you should be able to look at the end and see two marks indicating high and lo...

How to Flush Your Car Radiator

Most people don’t give their radiator much thought until they are on the side of the road with steam shooting out from under their hood. The radiator and coolant should be flushed every year, or when the freeze protection drops below recommended specifications for your car and area of the country. Deposits can accumulate inside the coolant loop over time and by performing a simple coolant system flush you can greatly reduce the likelihood of a major engine repair or overheating in the future. It is relatively easy to perform a radiator flush and it will take about an hour to complete. Tools and Supplies Screwdriver for the coolant drain plug can be either Phillips head or flat head. Rags Catch basin for collecting the coolant Coolant Funnel Radiator Flush solution Before you start: Coolant can be very dangerous to pets and children. It has a sweet taste but ingesting it can be fatal. Be sure not to leave any new or used anti-freeze in containers where an animal could drin...

Repairing the Heated Leather Seats on 2008 Jeeps

There are few things that are nicer than a nice heated leather seat on a cold day. Conversely it can be extremely frustrating to get into your vehicle on a cold day only to find that they are not working. If the heated seats on your 2008 Jeep quit working like they should, there may be a simple and easy repair that will have your rear end heated again in no time. According to technicians at Jeep, the heated seat module on some 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Commanders may not have been configured correctly in the factory, causing them to quit functioning. Jeep Technical Service Bulletin #08-021-07 states that only Grand Cherokees and Commanders with a build date before July 20,2007 suffer from this particular problem. You can find the build date of your vehicle on the sticker on the inside of the driver side door along with the vehicle identification number and other information about the vehicle. A Technical Service Bulletin is an article released by ...

How To Fix A Bumper Scratch

A simple scratch on the bumper of an otherwise nice-looking car can make valuable asset an embarrassment to drive, but for the average person to fix a bumper scratch it is really a pretty simple task if you have an eye for detail. Regardless of the seriousness of the scratch to a car's bumper, a professional auto body shop or car dealer can be an unnecessary expense in many cases because a small amount of knowledge and some leg-work can enable a car owner to fix a bumper scratch in a very short time frame. In just about every instance, to fix a bumper scratch will cost less than $50 in total and only require a few hours (if that) of a car owners time to perform a perfect job. The first step to fix a bumper scratch is to determine your car's color so that your repair will match. This can be accomplished in several ways, the easiest being looking at your car owner's manual to see if the information is contained there. If not, a car owner can take their car to the dealer from which they ...