Is Your Car In Trouble?

Keeping your car on the road and running is very important now that it is getting colder. Dean Bailey, owner of King Auto Service in Raleigh, gives expert advice to anyone confronted with car problems.Below are some examples of real life situations in which Dean Bailey was of assistance:

Cylinders With No Compression

Carter in Wake County was told that four of the six cylinders of his 1997 Buick LeSabre had no compression. The car has 103,000 miles and has been well maintained. Dean Bailey acknowledges that this car has a very strong engine and typically does not have a lot of problems. The car’s rings could have possibly gone bad from an overheating situation. It could also be that his values are burnt. A cylinder leakage test could determine what is wrong. The timing could be out on the engine because some timing chains break letting there to be a loss of compression on a couple of cylinders. This test can cost around $80.

Check Engine Light Will Not Turn Off

Jackie from Wake County has a 2005 Nissan Frontier. Its check engine light has been on for almost a year. She has been told it is a gas sensor and it could cost about $500 to fix it. Her gas gauge is not reading on the dash. It may be sitting on empty or stuck in one place. According to Dean Bailey, the price is right for replacing a fuel tank sender unit, but it may not be related to the check engine light.

Blown Head Gasket

Elaine from Wake County has a 1999 Toyota Camry with 213,000 miles. Her water pump was replaced but since then, she has had repeated issues with the temperature going up. She has replaced hoses, bands, and the thermostat, but nothing seems to work. The car is also making a whining noise that keeps getting louder. According to Dean Bailey, she could possibly have a blown head gasket on that engine. A CO2 test could be done that picks up gas inside the radiator or the cooling system that would indicate if combustion gasses were leaking and causing an overheating problem.

Why is my Check Engine Light On?

Owning a car is a big accomplishment, but it comes with many responsibilities. Car trouble cannot be avoided, but experts like Dean Bailey can be a big help. Take for example some cases that Dean Bailey has been able to help with.

Pam from Wake County has a 2003 Toyota Camry. Its “check engine light” has been turning on and she has been told it could be her catalytic convertor. Wanting to fix this problem, she asks Dean Bailey for choices on how to continue with this matter. Dean Bailey believes that she does need to get her car checked further because it could be the oxygen sensors. There is not an inexpensive fix, if the catalytic convertor is the problem and needs to be replaced. There are chemicals that can be used but they are not very effective because it builds up a lot of residue internally.

Ted from Wake County has a 2004 Hyundai Sante Fe that hesitates when he backs up and puts his car in drive. He has had the transmission fluid flushed and filled. Dean Bailey believes it could be a solenoid; most transmissions now are controlled by a computer, and at times the solenoids would stick or bind up internally and they usually need to be replaced to fix it and a scan can see if it needs fixing. Oveda in Wake County has a 1995 Chevy Cavalier who has bulbs that keep going out, especially when she drives over a rough spot, even though the bulbs and housing have been replaced. Dean Bailey says that she should look at the sockets again and maybe get new sockets for the bulbs instead of taping them together.

Pearl has a 2003 Honda Accord who hears a clicking when she switches from first to second gear. Dean Bailey believes it can be the constant velocity axels but it could also be the transmission and engine mounts as well. When shifting from first to second most of the load is on the car and that is when it is felt the most, but it may not be felt in third or fourth gear.

Carol says her 1997 Chrysler Town & Country does not Ideal correctly all the time. She replaced the map sensor twice, the check engine light turns on periodically, and the computer diagnostic program did not show any problems. Dean Bailey says that at times the Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) valve binds and stays open when it should be closing and this can cause a rough ideal and the check engine light to turn on.

Car Issues Resolved

Dean Bailey from King’s Automotive is an expert at repairing automobiles. He consistently helps people with any car trouble they face. Here are a few examples:

A 1994 Dodge Dakota has 4400 miles. The headlights have stopped working and the ABS and the brake lights stay on all the time. A mechanic says that the electrical harness is corroded, but other mechanics disagree. Dean Bailey says that it is often expensive to replace the electrical harness, so it is better to replace the area that is corroded, which saves a lot of money.

A 2004 Ford Taurus idles at 550-650 rpm. The owner has done some maintenance to it and wonders if the idle air control has gone bad. It could be bad, but it could also just be a vacuum leak. Dean Bailey says it would be best to have a professional look at it.

A 2004 Ford Freestar jerks when it drives. It is believed that the fuel filter may be clogged or the car may have received some bad gas. Dean Bailey says that it would be a smart idea to replace the fuel filter because it has been through a lot. That could be a good preventative step and it could resolve the jerking of the car.

A 1989 Mazda 2200 will only run why holding the ignition in the start position and it shuts off when the ignition is released. It is a possibility that it is the ignition switch has a problem and it should be replaced.

2000 Oldsmobile Alero makes a clicking sound from the front right tire. It seems like the front rotors were replaced during brake repairs. It could be a lose pad that may be in need of lubricant and retightening.

Common Car Questions Answered

Scenario #1: A 1999 Cadillac Eldorado has 84,000 miles and when it is running it has a low roaring sound. It is thought to be the air conditioner, even though it roars when the AC is off as well as on. Dean Bailey says that repairing this problem will be expensive. However, the noise could be a pulley that constantly moves whether the AC is on or off. It is driven by serpentine belts and it is very important to fix it because that pulley bearing can lock up and brake that belt and it will lead to loosing power steering and the alternator. The bearings loose their lubrication. You cannot add lubrication to it so the bearings have to be replaced, but when mileage is high, it is best to replace the entire compressor.

Scenario #2: A 1999 Volkswagen Cabrio’s check engine light continuously stays on. A mechanic is able to get the light to turn off, but it turns back on after 25-50 miles. Dean Bailey says that it is more than just turning the light off. When going in for an inspection that light has to be off in order to pass the inspection. The computer has to internally rate the test and some component has to be failing, causing the light to turn back on. So the mechanic should look more deeply into it.

Scenario #3: A 1998 Dodge Ram runs great until right before it goes into overdrive and then it starts shaking severely and when overdrive is turned off it smooths right out. Dean Bailey says that the transmission fluid needs to be changed; it has friction modifiers to allow the clutch to slide in and out smoothly without causing shakiness. Adding good friction modifiers and regular transmission checks will do the trick.

Battery, Engine, and Oil Loss

Scenario #1: A 1994 Mazda 626 V6 Automatic cuts off while moving down the road. The distributer was replaced twice and there have been problems with the battery and the engine still cuts off. The owner suspects that the overheating has caused wire damage. Dean Bailey’s suggestion is as follows: “Often times there is a power wire that feeds the alternator so that when it is charging it recharges the battery. The connection on that alternator often burns up so a charging system analysis can be helpful.

Scenario #2: A 1986 Ford Ranger keeps loosing oil. It originally had a V6 but it was replaced with a 5.8-meter engine. No one knows why he is loosing oil since he has not seen an oil spot anywherein his driveway. Dean Bailey thinks that it could be burning oil going past the rings in the engine or the valve seals. You can pull the spark plugs and you can see the build up of contaminants on the plug indicate that it has been burning oil. Often times it is by the rings and there additives you can put in the system that helps move the carbon away from the rings.

Scenario #3: A 2002 Hydundi XG350 has a power steering leak. It was taken to a service shop where it was said that it was steering pump, but others said it was power steering hoses. Dean Bailey said that an ultraviolet light could help detect where the leak is coming from and that way there are able to fix.

Car Care and Car Trouble Tips

First question: Jessica is having someone replace the starter of her 2001 Oldsmobile Aurora and was asked her for a security code. Never having a security code, she asks Dean Bailey what is she to do. In reply, he says, “ Well, there are several issues here. The security code normally deals with the radio itself and not the starting of the car. She has to pass through this system which will most likely need reprograming to accept an old key so she has to possibly go to a dealer if the technician that is assisting her does not have the equipment.”

Second question: Bob has a noisy fuel pump opposed to the original on his 1994 Jeep Cherokee. He wants to know if this is normal. In reply, Dean Bailey says, “Sometimes when you put a new tank in, since most pumps are made of a plastic material, it causes them to expand and contrast and it moves the pump up and down inside when it is empty. So it is normal and okay.”

Third question: Jennifer says that smoke comes out from under her 2001 Nissan Xterra’s hood on the passenger side. She has oil in her engine and all the fluids have been checked. Dean Bailey says that she may have a leak that is getting into the exhaust. It could be the valve cover gasket or some other type of pressure system that may be leaking and she needs to get in checked.

Fourth question: Daniel’s 1998 Saturn SL2, with 172,000 miles, has a squeaking noise. He believed it could be the belt, but it only occurs when the car is moving so he would like to know if it is his wheels or shocks. Dean Bailey says, “when it is moving, it is related to the brakes or some component’s in the dry shaft system. He needs to take it in and have it put up on the lift to pull the wheel and check it out.”

Fifth question: Trish has a 2000 Saab 9-3 Convertible. It smokes at time when she starts it. It’s not burning oil and it is running fine. Dean Bailey says that it may be valve seal leaks. It gets harder as it ages. She may not notice the burning oil, but that is a strong possibility.