General Inspection

General Inspection – BRAKE WARNING LAMPS

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PURPOSE
A brake warning lamp may be a handbrake light, a master cylinder level indicator or a master cylinder losing excessive fluid which enables the switch to be activated.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR
The most serious light indicator is a brake light staying on because the system is leaking excessive fluid.  The first step is to check the fluid reservoir.  If it’s exactly at the full mark while you have the cap off, push the level indicator down to see if ...

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General Inspection – BRAKE LIGHTS

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PURPOSE
Brake lights are designed to let other drivers know when you’re braking.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR
The problem with brake lights is that it’s hard for the driver to know if they are operating or not.  One way to check this is to reverse close to a wall at night and view the reflection of the brake lights in the rear vision mirror.  Also you can ask a friend to view the rear lights while you depress your brake pedal ...

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General Inspection – BRAKE FLUID

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PURPOSE
Brake fluid is designed to operate under high temperatures therefore it contains additives that make it hydroscopic, this means its properties will become affected if it’s exposed to water.  Brake fluid is not designed to last forever as moisture may affect the boiling point.  For this reason brake fluid must be kept in a dry place and the rubber lid on the master cylinder must be sealed to prevent moisture and dirt from entering into this reservoir.  Brake fluid ...

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General Inspection – Distributor drive stripped

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THE EFFECT
Non start..

THINGS TO LOOK FOR
Remove the distributor cap and have a look at the rotor button when cranking.  If it doesn’t turn, this is either the distributor drive stripped or the cam shaft gear stripped.

COST
Somewhere between $65.00-$300.00.

 

This article is found in the Virtual mechanic CD Rom
You can download it for the price of a latte, but you will learn not to buy a lemon
By Darren Gow-Brown, Melbourne Australia ©2009

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General Inspection – Stone caught in the brakes

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THE EFFECT
This will give a high pitched squeal all the time, not just when braking and usually happens on disc brakes.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR
You will need to remove the wheel from where you think the noise is coming from and have a look around the stone guard.  The stone guard is a guard to prevent stones from hitting the disc brake rotor.  What you should find is a stone.  These noises just come on out of no where ...

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General Inspection – Tappet noise

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THE EFFECT
A tappet noise can be an irritating noise but it is better than a quiet tappet.  Tappet noise may be the result of hydraulic tappets requiring replacement.  It also may be the effect of a low oil level or the result of the tappets requiring adjusting.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR
Check the oil.  If it’s been a long time since the oil has been changed, eg. 10,000kms, change the oil.   Consult your local spare parts dealer and tell them ...

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General Inspection – Ring gear slipping

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THE EFFECT
The whole neighborhood gets to hear it!  It’s a high pitched metallic noise that when cranking the pinion gear from the starter motor is trying to turn the ring gear that has no teeth left. 

THINGS TO LOOK FOR
Basically what you will find is that with every second crank, every fifth, fifteenth or hundredth crank, you will hear this noise..  If the noises become more common, eg. every second or third or tenth crank, it’s time to get ...

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General Inspection – Loose timing belt

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THE EFFECT
A loose timing belt will rub up against the plastic housing surrounding the belt.  It also can cause a distributor drive to chatter at idle.  A loose fan belt may slip causing the timing to go out which can give poor performance or  cause a potential misfire.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR
If you feel you have a suspect timing belt you may have to remove some of the housing to get to it to feel the belt  to see ...

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General Inspection – Loose fan belt

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THE EFFECT
A loose fan belt is a fan belt screaming out for help.  Also a loose fan belt may perish or deteriorate rapidly depending on whether it’s a polyrib belt or a ‘V’ belt.  A loose fan belt will also affect the charge rate and the cooling system if the water pump pulley is connected to that fan belt.  Any fan belt that is loose will affect what it’s driving.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR
Check the belts for tension.  If ...

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General Inspection – Squealing brakes

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THE EFFECT
Everybody notices the squealing brakes.  It could be an indication of very low brakes or it just might be a simple rectification of the pad material.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR
Squealing brakes certainly need to be checked if they are low.

COST
If the brakes are low then the cost to replace a set of disc or drum brakes is around $100.00-$200.00 depending on what is required at the time.  If the brakes are okay and they are not squealing ...

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