General Inspection

General Inspection – Thermo fan not switching on

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THE EFFECT
The car will overheat mainly when it’s idling.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR
A thermo fan should switch on periodically when idling.  If it does not, make sure the connection to the thermostatic fan switch is okay. A fan fuse might also have gone.  Check all the fuses. Find the thermo fan relay, wiggle the relay or swap that relay with an air conditioning relay, provided that the amperage on the relays are all the same.

COST
Depending on why it’s ...

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General Inspection – Thermo fan switching on

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THE EFFECT
The cooling system will maintain normal operating temperature under all driveable conditions. 

THINGS TO LOOK FOR
It’s always a good idea to look at the thermostatic fan to understand how it operates.  Because thermostatic fans are thermostatically controlled, they should switch on and off.  A good thermostatic fan in a very good cooling system will switch on for between 20-40 seconds.  If the fan switches on for longer than 60 seconds this might be a cooling system that is ...

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General Inspection – Overheating

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THE EFFECT
Eventually the effect will be destructive towards the head gasket going and also the head warping.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR
First thing to do is to turn the vehicle off for 1/2 hr and then carefully open the bonnet and moving away from the cap, use a set of gloves or rag, remove the radiator cap, then start the vehicle and check the water.  You can only pour water in after you have started the vehicle up.  Check for ...

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General Inspection – Thermostat stuck or sticking

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THE EFFECT
This type of problem will give the same effect as a blown head gasket.  It will cause the cooling system to appear unstable.  It may also cause the upper radiator hose to tear apart as the thermostat decides to open with a great force of hot water.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR
If you decide to put another radiator hose on what you  need to do is feel the upper and lower radiator hoses at normal operating temperature, very carefully, ...

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General Inspection – Blown head gasket

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THE EFFECT
The needle will climb too high, basically the whole cooling system will not stabilize and also you may find water in the oil and oil in the water. 

THINGS TO LOOK FOR
If you have a suspect blown head gasket and you are driving, stop the engine for 1/2 hour, then very carefully lift the bonnet and using a rag or a set of gloves, gently remove the radiator cap.  Remember the radiator cap has 2 clicks. Turn the ...

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General Inspection – Slipping clutch assembly

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THE EFFECT
While driving you may notice that the engine is revving but the car is not moving any faster.  You may also notice that when you have four people in the vehicle that the vehicle seems to have no power but plenty of revs.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR
The best way to check any slipping clutch is to put it into fourth gear, bring the revs up, let the clutch out, and the car should stall.  If the car does ...

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General Inspection – Exhaust muffler leaking

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THE EFFECT
The exhaust fumes may be coming into the car and if this continues the hole might get larger and therefore the muffler could collapse and start dragging along the road.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR
Try to locate where the noise is and the best thing to do is to get it repaired ASAP.

COST
Depending on where the leak is.  If it’s only a small hole that’s corroded, you might be to get it cut out or replaced.  This could ...

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General Inspection – Flange gasket leaking

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THE EFFECT
It will be noisy around the engine.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR
You have to be very careful here so that you do not touch any of the hot exhaust componentry.  If you can carefully put your fingers around the flange gasket area and feel any air coming out, then that determines that’s what it was.

COST
About $65.00-$90.00 depending on the exhaust fitter.

 
This article is found in the Virtual mechanic CD Rom
You can download it for the ...

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General Inspection – BALLAST RESISTOR – if fitted

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PURPOSE
The bells resistor lowers the operating voltage to the coil from 12 volts down to 9 volts to maintain a low voltage to the points and condenser.  The bells resistor is bypassed when the starter motor is cranking the engine.  The bells resistor has a working life of approximately 10 years. 

THINGS TO LOOK FOR
Most bells resistors are open circuit making it impossible to start ..The most effective indication of this is when cranking the engine, the engine nearly ...

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General Inspection – BALL JOINTS

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PURPOSE
Ball joints are a component that connects the control arm to a stub axle, making it a very important component.  Some ball joints are serviceable with a grease nipple.  Ball joints should be checked every 10,000Kms.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR
A ball joint may produce a slight or heavy metallic noise as you turn the steering wheel or it may wear or elongate without producing any noise.  The best way to check a ball joint is to jack the vehicle ...

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