FAQ 1,

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1, Question
Battery Light
What does it mean when the red light comes on with a battery symbol inside the light?
The most common reason  is   the battery is not getting any charge. This will cause the battery to run flat and finally prevent the engine to run.
If we ever see the red battery light come on,  this means we need to do something ASAP; like have a mechanic or auto electrician attend to the problem.

2, Question

Jump Starting
If I have an EFI vehicle, can I jump start another vehicle?


Yes but  follow the correct procedure


Please take caution if you must jump start another vehicle, as there are dangers involved in this activity.

3, Question
Brake Shudder
I notice that when I apply the brakes the steering wheel shudders, does this mean that I need a front end alignment?
Yes and No. Here is a good reason to have the vehicle inspected for loose tie rod ends, front disc or drum brakes for wear, also the shockers . The most important thing is that by inspecting the front end it should be easy to determine what is the cause.

Brake shudder is best rectified as soon as possible, as any loose components found in the front end may cause damage to other components that may lead to a more expensive repair bill.

4, Question
Suspect Throttle Positioner Switch
My 97 Jeep Grand Cherokee (V8, 50,000 miles) stalls at start up approximately
2 times per week. If you keep your foot on the gas it will stay running.
The second you take your foot off, it stalls. This has been occurring for
approximately 4-5 weeks now. I brought it in to my mechanic and he cleaned
the “idle/air controller”???? and adjusted the throttle plate. A week later
it happened again. It is very frustrating, you never know if you can count
on your vehicle starting. The vehicle has been towed twice already. I also
used a bottle of dry gas, thinking water in the fuel may the problem, no
luck. Please help.

OK I take it, that its been serviced and tune on a regular basis ?
Did your mechanic check the fault codes ?
Sometimes the cold start injector may be playing up or the cold start program
either way you need to see this activity on the screen
(At a service centre where a computer will compare the information to your vehicles computer)
on a cold start.
Sometimes a long run may settle the problem

5, Question
I have a ’93 ply. acclaim with a 4cyl.,size I don’t know. my problem is it over heats,I change the thermostat and the sensor that control the fan, I don’t think it is the water pump.when it over heats the gauge is max.out then if I go around a corner with it showing hot the gauge drops to the 1/4 mark.I can park it running at a engine speed faster then idle and it doesn’t over heat.what do you suggest?
Ok when does it overheat!
At idle!
Slow driving!
With the Air On!
I have to say that overheating can trick us all.
I recently had a vehicle overheating an found the radiator to be blocked and while I’m on this subject all radiators are best to be serviced every 100,000Kms or every 5years.
I would start with the above.

6, Question
Oil Leaking
I have a 1994 Nissan Altima that has been leaking oil. I know that it can damage me engine if there is no oil. What do think is wrong?
I think the best thing to do is get the engine steamed cleaned to find out where the oil is leaking. Once you know where it is leaking, the next step is get 3 quotes as it maybe a costly repair.Let me know how you get on and where the oil is leaking.

7, Question
Missing on take off suspect ignition system
I have owned the 1994 Mercury Grand Marquis (V-8) for just over a year and have loved it. I have just begin noticing that there is a vibration like a  washboard when accelerating from a stop. I have checked the transmission  fluid and it is fine. I need suggestions as I am on a very limited budget and  the sole support of my family. Thanks for any help or suggestions you can give.
This does not sound good, does it only vibrate when taking off from the lights?  Is it hard to start in the morning?  When was the last time you had the vehicle tuned?  I would start by getting the ignition leads tested.  Leads are not that expensive but even new leads need to be tested as some makers don’t control the quality
Check Spark plug leads and change if necessary, and at the same it won’t hurt to change the spark plugs.

8, Question
Shudder When Braking
I have a 1997 Eagle Talon that I bought used with 16500 miles on it and I   have had the vehicle about 2 years now. My concern is this I have had this   problem supposedly fixed twice now as it was diagnosed as being the rotors   which were resurfaced instead of being replaced. I was wondering if you thought this was the problem (rotors) or if you thought it was something else entirely like a suspension problem? I would like to know if you could help  before I invest another 1500.00 dollars for the wrong thing to be replaced. This only happens when I depress the brake pedal to come to a complete stop or slow down and when I do my whole steering wheel shakes.
OK I would have started with the rotors but at the same time checking the tie rods for wear.
What does your mechanic say about the tie rods?
Also last but not least what condition are the shockers in. Shockers even new shockers can become faulty.
9, Question
Hyundai Tiburon Problems
I bought a 1998 Hyundai Tiburon in Aug 1998. My check engine light keeps
coming on then my car starts to stall out then all at once it gets a great
“surge” of power and takes off. These “dealers” changed the spark plugs and
wires 3 times in about 6 months. The 4th visit they put in gas treatment and
now I get terrible fuel mileage. Could thegas treatment affect my car? and
what could this surge be? my paint is also peeling and my mags are shot. My
tires wont hold air, except for a day or two. Please help I’m frustrated.

Q Engine Check Light
It should only come on if there is a problem in the EFI program or if the
computer itself faulty with a dry solder joint.
Q Starts to Stall
If it starts to stall when cold this problem maybe in the cold start
program, and this should be picked up by accessing the fault codes
Q Dealer has attended the problems 4 times
Are you able to try another dealer or go higher
Q Poor Fuel mileage
How many miles are on the vehicle now, if its done a hard 70,000 miles, then
the injectors may require a ultra sonic clean
Q Gas treatment effects
Gas treatments are best to be added when the tank is full
The only treatment that I reckon is any good is the genuine Toyota fuel
Q The surge
I can only assume the throttle positioner switch maybe dirty, or the EFI
codes may tell the story
Q Paint peeling off
Tires won’t hold air
Are they the correct wheels for the car
In conclusion I would write a letter to Hyundai Head Office,and list all the
problems and ask if they can help in any way.
In all fairness Hyundai was the first company to make it possible for young
people to afford a new vehicle at a low cost.
A new vehicle will always be better than a second hand vehicle with 100,000 miles.

10, Question
87 ford bronco 2 Could you please tell me what the fuel presure should be for a
2.9 fuel injected engine at the intake . im getting a high sounding rattle when
i accelerate hard

This sounds very much like the engine is pinging, so the timing is too far
advanced. The ignition timing requires adjusting, in this case it needs to
be retarded.

11, Question
Gas door
Hi.  We have a 1997 Toyota Camrt LE, and we have a problem.  The gas door
is closed and the gas door release button will not open it.  Also,
unfortunately, the car is out of gas.  We would like to be able to open it at
our home without having to try to drive to a mechanic who would be several
miles away.  Can you help?  Is there another way to open the gas door?

This sounds urgent, try to push on the gas door as you pull on  the lever.
Using a rag around the a large flat knife try to open the door, it should
take much to open the door.
Thanks for your advice.  We followed it and did get the gas door open.  It
appears that the latch is not working to open it, so we will have it
officially repaired.  Thanks for your response.

12, Question
Cam Belt
I have a 1994 Hyundai Elantra with 76,000 miles.  It wasn’t having any
problems and then one day It died out when I tried to pull it out ot a gas
station.  I couldn’t start it….sounded like battery was dead.  I had it
towed to a shop, but I think they blew a hole in a piston because they kept
trying to start it.  They first told me it was the ignition module and then
days later they told me that it was my timing belt that caused it.  They
wouldn’t fix it unless I gave them $3900 for a new engine.  I think they
advantage of me because I am a woman.  Could you tell me what would cause a
hole in the piston?  My warranty insurance would cover this if I knew the
real reason.  The mechanic billed my warranty insurance for a water pump
labor but never did any work on my car.  He pulled my engine out and a
of parts and put it all in the trunk of my car along with the water pump.
Other mechanic didn’t want to look at it because parts were everywhere.
any suggestions??

Thank you.
Hi Cheryl,

It sounds like the cam  belt snapped, therefore it caused the valves to
damage the pistons.
This is common on some bad engines designs.
It seems like the mechanic has tried he best by pointing to the ignition
module but then found a broken timing belt.
No I don’t think the mechanic took advantage of you because you are a women.
On some engines if the cam belt snaps it will cause the inlet or exhaust
valves to hit on the piston, and thus cause either the valves to bend, or
piston damage.
I think the best part of this story is that you were able to get a new
engine out of warranty.
Now there is a lesson behind all this, and that is where ever your vehicle
is serviced make sure the cam belt is replaced when required, in Australia
its every 70,000 – 90,000Kms so that would make it approx. 40,000 to 60,000

If you can could you send me an image in jpg and I’ll write down the

13, Question
I have a couple of questions about my 1991 Honda LS Integra:

1/ The brakes go soft in hot weather but are fine in the cool. Why might
this be?
2/  When I bought the car it didn’t have the “badge” or writing on the rear
boot panel just below the spoilery type looking thing. I didn’t realise it
should have been there until I saw other cars like it on the road. Do you
think it devalues the car not having the identity on the outside anywhere?
You comments would be appreciated!

Stephen Australia
1/The brakes going soft in the hot weather.
Without knowing the history, I recommend the following checks
Check rotor thickness for spec
Check that the calliper slides are not seized
Make sure if fitted with rear drums that the shoes are adjusted
Some very cheap disc pads may cause this problem
Brake fluid if its been in the system for more than 2 years, change it
All brake hoses should be checked for cracks and expansion

2/ The badge missing, I guess the most important thing is does the vehicle
have a compliance plate
in the engine bay area. If not it may look like the other models but ever so
slightly different.
Steven thankyou for 2 great questions I here anytime. I hope this will help you

Thanks Darren…the brakes question was a bit of a test for you…I had
them looked at and the master cylinder needed replacing…the explanation
was that when the fluid got warmer it became thinner and was getting past
the seal. When it was replaced the problem was fixed.

14, Question
Wiper Washers
I have a 1986 Peugeot 505, and am always having problems with my windshield
washers — there are four of them.  Invariably they get plugged up so that
only 1 or 2 work and so they squirt water over the roof, whereas the others
just dribble water out.  Do you have any handy ideas to keep the squirter
nozzles running properly?  I look forward to hearing from you.

Hi Gordon,
Ok ther are several ways to deal with this problem, the first is disconnect
the tube going to the jet and with compressed air blow into the jet and
re-aim if neccessary.
The second but as effective, carefully use a needle to poke into the washer
jet to release the blocked matter inside and re-aim if neccessary.
The third option is go down to the wreckers to purchase some second hand
Let me know how you get on.

15, Question
I have a Subaru GL wagon, 1983 model.  For a few years now there has been a
weird sound which seems to come from the front wheels.  It is like a
stretching or rubbing sound and appears to be present particulalry on hills
when turning and when the car is first used for the day.  The CV joints are
in appearently good order, and nothing else seems to be amiss.  What do you
Suby Ruby Australia
Well I would have started with the CV Joints, but if they are okay then we
need to look deeper, like checking all engine and transmission mounts. The
other day I had a customer with a similar problem, it being the plastic
cover worked loose and was rubbing on the tyre when turning.
I would start with make sure that all plastic covers are secure under the
Let me know Suby Ruby

16, Question
Red Light
I learnt about the website on A current affairs yesterday. It is a
fantastic idea.
Lately my radio/clock will not work unless the car has been under the
sun. I have a 1993 Toyota corolla hatch. The red light with the battery
symbol is not showing. Is it a sign that the battery is running low?
Many thanks for your help.
Hi May-Lee,
If the red battery light is not showing, and the clock is not operating
check the following,
Check that all fuses are ok
Turn the ignition on and look for the red battery light, if no light, take
it to the auto elect
if the red light come on from time to time this means the charging system
requires attention asap
See how you go.

17, Question
Plugs Fouling
Subject: 1995 acura integra ls 1.8
i just changed my spark plugs and i found oil on two of my spark plugs.
what could be the problem please help.

Hi Gurley,
This doesn’t sound good, it may have a cracked oil ring or starting to burn oil
Change the plugs, and check them in 5000 kms, and see if they are still oily
if so you may consider hotter plugs.
I hope this helps

18, Question
Suspect injectors
Subject: help!!
Our small manual mtsubishi mirage has a problem,it is a 1997 model, the
problem is when the engine is cold, the driver cannot accellerate properly
or it is very slow at accellerating, could you give me some tips on why this
may be the case, thanks
Hi Bryce,
Its sounds like it needs a good tune.
Also if the vehicle has over 100,000 it maybe due to the injectors (if
fitted) requiring an ulta sonic clean
I hope this helps.

19, Question
Subject: Engine
I like your website! I have a question re my 1983 Toyota Van (Jap import –
Tarago equivalent) 1974cc Diesel Turbo motor. I have had this vehicle for 12
months. It has done 115,000k, about 20,000 in the last year.
Problem relates to sooty exhaust which includes “spitting” which makes a
polka dot mess on the rear of the van. It has also been down on power
particularly acceleration from standing. Also very smelly!
Treatment so far based on Toyota dealers referral to a diesel and injection
specialist, who I took the vehicle to twice:
1. First visit – replacement of the injectors. This resulted in a transitory
increase in power – didnt last long.
2. Showed vehicle to another “specialist” who suggested a new motor, this
based on a fairly superficial examination!..
3. Back to the first specialist who ran some tests which showed compression
to be good. Adjustment was made to reduce diesel intake and increase air,
this reducing the sooty output significantly. However still getting sooty
smoke when putting foot down and power is even less than before.
Any thoughts?

Hi Michael,

You may not agree with me but here it is.
Consider the following
I would be thinking of getting another reco engine.
But before you do that I would also consider the cost of getting another
vehicle, maybe not a diesel.
Diesels are very expensive and is the vehicle ok otherwise.
I did Australia Posts vehicles for a short time and they had Diesel Vans
They changed the vehicles over at 100,000 to reduce costs
As for the sooty rear I don’t really believe there is much anyone can do for
the long term.
Michael I hope I haven’t upset your day!!!!
See how you go

20, Question
Subject: Headlights
I have noticed that my headlights keep changing brightness. They go
bright and then they go dim and bright again. This keeps happening as I
am driving along. Can you tell me what it might be?

It sounds to me like its either a loose earth or one of the filaments are
Try turning the lights on in the drive way with the engine running in park
with the hand brake on and wiggle the earth cable.
Try lightly tapping the headlamp to see if the lights go out, if they do it
may just be a faulty filament which means you may need another headlamp
Start there and see how you go


21, Question
Subject: Horn
Hi Darren,

I own a 1995 Hyundai Excel and am having some problems with the horn on my
car.  A few years ago it stopped working, and at the time had it fixed.
Recently I have started having problems again.  Sometimes it works, and
sometimes it doesn’t.  When it works, great, but when it doesn’t you just
here a small clicking sound from the steering wheel when you try to use it.
Is it just a loose connection behind the cover of the steering wheel, or
somewhere else, or is it something more sinister?

Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Ok Lyn,

Try this:
First check all fuses to make sure they are not the cause
Start the engine in the drive way in park with the hand brake on
Press the horn while turning the wheel if it comes on you know its a bad
If you press the horn and you can hear a faint noise, this may mean the
horn itself.
Try to find the horn and while someone is pressing the horn you tap the horn
to see if it will start operating
See how you go


22, Question
Subject: 1986 Ford Fairlane 4.0 EFI – Stalling

HI Darren,
Just got a verbal tip on your site. Looks good.
Here is a question for you. I hope you have some time to answer it.
My car has travelled 193,000 Km. When the engine has warmed up the oil
pressure lamp drop down to the lower end of the scale and flashes. At this
stage the engine starts to stall. This only occurs in drive or reverse (or 1
and 2 also), yep it is Auto. If I put the trans in neutral or Park it will
idle normally and oil pressure returns. If i put it back into drive or
reverse the engine revs start to range up and down. At night you can see
headlights dim and brighten. This all started appearing after my trans
slipped at take off from lights and thumped into gear. For a short time I
had some whining and rattling.
My mechanic looked at the car for me and said the trans was fine. The
was a cover over the manifold or something that was loose. The stalling
problem has been looked at several times by the mechanic who said he also
took it to a friend(specialist) and queried a Ford Dealer. The problem
say is the engine runs with crankcase pressure(inherent design problem
the Fairlane and not the falcon) and that any leak through a seal, loose
dipstick or anything will cause it to run rough. I will also add here that
the vehicle drives very well once your onto the accelerator or even
at speed. Never had a high speed stall. Always at 5km/h or less.
I have been told the only solution is live with it, rebuild the engine or
get a reco. Note this same mechanic also did the head gasket for me about
two months prior.

Hope you can help,

Hi Mark,

Ok it sounds like your base idle is the problem
The oil pressure in according to revs
The lights will dim up and down on low revs
Your problem is the RPM revs per minute are not enough in drive.
Its a trade off on an older vehicle because you may encounter the vehicle
creeping at lights.
The RPM at idle should be around 850-950 RPM
I wish you all the best, I hope this helps

23, Question
Subject: starter motor  problems…not much time left….help?
my problem is that when I turn the key not a darn thing happens…I’ve checked the grounds from the battery, the starter, and I’ve checked the connections on the starter relay…they all seem ok.
what else is there? Nothing happens at all after I’ve checked all of those already, I’ve even tried jumping circuits on the relay..and it just clicks…Help soon..I’m waiting..and thanx.
This a common problem, you need to check the fuseable link near the battery
You need to have some one in the vehicle with the ignition on and wiggle all the main loomsAlso you will need to check for power using a test light.Look for corroded leads around the battery
Wiggle all main leads

See how you go


23, Question
Wet Patch Oil? Trans Fluid? Water?
I have a 10/95 TS Magna SE V6 with power steering, antilock brakes etc.
Today I noticed a rather large fresh wet patch directly behind the right
front tyre on the wall of the arch separating the tyre from the engine.
I’m a bit concerned about the safety aspect (my safety and the potential
damage to the car too). The financial side ‘should’ be ok as I bought it
from a large caryard only last week.
If you could email me, I’d really appreciate it

Hi Warren,
If its clean water it could just be the airconditioning.
If its oil red
Or oil black it requires urgent attention
What colour is the fluid?


24, Question
Twin Cam Engines!
Hello Darren
I was told that you may be able to help me with a question I have
regarding cars.
I am looking to buy a car soon and was wondering if you could tell me about
‘Fuel Injection’ and ‘Twin Cam’ engines?
All I know is that they increase the cars engine performance and perhaps
fuel economy? but I am actually interested in knowing the functional aspect of each.
Do all modern cars automatically have fuel injection these days?
What ever you can offer as an expanation I would be grateful.
Would you mind telling me why you offer this free information service?
I am rather curious?  (Steve  gave me your email address and said you
may be able to help with my query)
Thankyou very much

Hi Lise,

The fuel injection is nearly a standard item to support constant fuel
The twin cam is another component that supports fuel economy
The above sound great when you buy a new vehicle, but they raise the price
of servicing the vehicle.
Because I know!
Let me know what car your thinking of buying!
25, Question
Subject: Gas problems

We have a problem with our gas. Our car conks out everytime we turn a
corner. My husband thinks that it is the converters and we want to be sure
when we go to get it fixed.
🙂 Magalie
Hi Magalie,
I can’t see that it would be a gas problem because gas is under pressure.
I would be looking for a loose connection under the bonnet, around the
engine bay area.
See how you go

26, Question
TPS (Throttle Positioner Switch
Dear Sir,
i have a Mitsubishi Lancer Glxi 1992 model. My problem is during traffic jams
where there is minimal stop and go. From a complete stop, i have to accelerate
higher in order not to stall the engine. what part / system of the engine
should i have it checked? it is an Electonic fuel injection. how do they tune
this things?


Hi Don,
You need to find a good mechanic that will inspect the TPS
Thats the throttle positioner switch to make sure its clean at the same time
calibrate base idle.
You are best to allow a fuel injection specialist perform this rectification
See how you go


27, Question
Subject: 1984 honda prelude cruising speed problem
Hi darren,
i have a 1984 honda prelude (5 spd manual, owned for 7+ years and self basic
maintenance) that’s been having a stuttering problem when it’s at cruising
for example,  at either 20,30,40,50,60,70,80,90,100 km/h,  as long as i’m
‘just’ stepping on enough gas to maintain any speed, the car coughs and
stutters. but when i step on more gas, the problem is gone.
i’ve changed spark plugs, spark leads, rotor, and spray those carby
(heaps!) into my carbies.
the problem normally comes after the auto-choke is off…. but on occasion
has happened when the auto-choke is still on.
another interesting note is that i can sometimes redline the car to 6000
rpm, the problem would go away.. sometimes it’s cured for a few days..
sometimes for a few hours only ..
i’ve also tried a few bottles of fuel addictives that cleans the fuel
systems etc.. doesn’t seem to help.
from my own diagnosis, there doesn’t appear to be any vaccum leak in the
system. (using a tube to my ear and other end to spot any leakages around
the carby + vaccum tubes)
i’ve read a bit on the newsgroups that the problem could possibly point to
the fuel pump? but does the above symptoms that i’ve mentioned match a
pump problem?
the problem comes and goes.. and has been bugging me for years…. it just
keeps coming back.  any suggestions on what else i should try? the hard
thing is that it’s a intermittent problem and i have no idea why high
revving it would solve the problem but it comes back!

best regards,

Hi Vincent,

I understand you have put the fuel additive in the carby, may I suggest
getting the carby overhauled as this little bugger seems to be playing down
Or at least drive past a fuel specialist to confirm that the carby is
causing this event.
See how you go


thanks for responding so promptly darren.
so from what i’ve told you,  u think the problem points to the carby?
actual a kei-hin dual sidedraft carby), i’ve balanced it before with those
suction strength devices. most mechanic wouldn’t even dare to touch a dual
carby system….
who would classify as a fuel specialist?

Do you live in Melbourne if so Wilsons are the only people I’d recommend
If you are not in Melbourne arrange to speak with him first and get them
sent of
Phone No 9347 3036
Wilson Carburettor Service
110 Queensberry Street
Vincent they are costly but I trust them because we got a fleet of jaguars
sidedraft carbies done and they were different vehicles..

28, Question

My wife has recently gone back to work so it was time for us to buy a second car for me run around in as she uses the family car. We purchased a 1977 (3K-C engine) Toyota Corolla coup manual which is very clean and straight. Form the time we picked the car up the engine idled roughed and stalled when the headlights were switched on, especially when high-beams were applied. The exhaust sounds as if the engine is miss firing even when headlights are ‘not’ on, but the engine appears to be idling relatively smooth. It blows a little smoke on start up, but does not burn oil, cold starts are O.K, but warm starts are bit harder, and it also has an occasional flat spot on acceleration. The car is garaged at the moment as I am scared it will leave me stranded.

At this stage I have replaced plugs and points, overhauled the carbie and replaced the ignition coil, set point gap, adjusted carbie, checked valve clearance, and set engine timing all to manufactures recommendations to no avail. When setting engine idle on the carbie, manufacturer recommends it be set at 750-800 RPM, and then adjust mixture screw until smooth idle is achieved. I find the engine cannot maintain idle at this RPM, and mixture adjustment does not help. The lowest RPM I can set the engine with out stalling is at 1200 RPM, but this does not eliminate the rough idle or the miss-firing sound of the exhaust. Out of chance I removed the oil fill cap while the engine was running and found combusting air (like exhaust air) coming out of the rocker cover, when engine speed is increased the air pressure drops, is this normal?

Can you please give some direction to what the problem or problem’s could be, I don’t want to take to a mechanic just yet as I cannot afford any major works should it be require.

Thank you for your support.

Kind regards


Hi Nev,
When you did the tune up did you change the condensor?
if not then change it.
Now this sounds very similar to a vehicle I had,
You need to establish the actual compression of each cylinder, they should be around 150 psi and not outside 30 psi of each other.
When the engine is worm idling in park or with the handbrake on
Lift the bonnet and carefully pour water along the inlet manifold if it sounds like its sucking water or stalls then I suspect a leaking manifold

Start there


29, Question
Subject Electric Windows
Please help
I drive a 1979 SL/E VB Commodore.
The switch ( 4 switch ) for the elecric windows which is found on the
middle console needs replacing.
I’m trying to find a retailer who will sell me just the switch at a
reasonable price.
The people I’ve gone to want to sell it to me for minimum $230-00
Can you suggest some retailers, and also what price is realistic !
I just need the switch.

Hi Alice,

Yes I agree with you they are very very expensive, I might try to get your
switch repaired now this may require a bit of calling around

Also try WW Automotive Electrical Services
W & W Automotive Electrical
59 Keys Road (Unit 10)
Ask for Bill 9555 9186
Even if they or your local Auto elect can make an addition switch to bypass
the faulty one.
Alice I hope this helps you

30, Question
Subject: Magna 86 Cold Start problem
Hi, I have an 86 Magna, and when I start it from cold and push the
accelerator the car stops, I only have to touch the accelerator lightly and
the car still stops.  Also after I go to drive with it the car seems to
struggle to get going like there is no power or the fuel is not getting
through properly.  Can you help?

Thankyou Benita

Hi Benita,

Its a real pain and dangerous when that happens, its sounds like its in the
fuel system
You will need to see a fuel specialist
If your local
Carburettors To Go
356 Lower Dandenong Road (Unit 6 (Cnr Boundary Rd)
Speak to John 03 587 7000
Other than that the fuel system will need attention

I hope this has helped you.
31, Question
Water problems
Dear Darren
I think I’m in the middle of a nightmare!!! My parents are retired and have a problem with their car. They are convinced that they will be ripped-off at every turn & therefore dad is trying to fix his own car!!!!
My dad has a 1980 model Chrysler Sigma. It was leaking water inside through the heater so they had it replaced. Cost $600.
Once they got it back, it was leaking water from somewhere in the engine. They had the “wells” (dad’s english is not too good and this is what I think he is saying!!) changed. There are three of them from what I gather. Cost $150
Still leaking water!!! He mixed some kind of “sealent” in to the water and it stopped leaking!!!
However, the plot thickens!!!
He had a new 2.6 litre motor put in 6 years ago. They never put a overflow “thing” on the radiator. When he had the “wells” changed, the guy put an old coke bottle in to act as this overflow thing with a new radiator cap!!!
Once the leaking stopped, when the car started to warm up, the gauge inside would go to red and then suddenly drop. When dad opened the bonnet, there was water everywhere!!
He has now taken the bottle out, put a new radiator cap on, replaced the thermostate and the same thing is still happening.
Please help me I’m going crazy!!! None of us know anything about cars, let alone my dad!!!
Can you recommend someone reputable in the Hopper Crossing/Werribee area!!

What should we do!! And don’t say take the car to the tip as I have already suggested this & it will only happen over my dad’s dead body!!!
I look forward to your reply.


Hi Tina,
I’m very sorry to hear this,
Ok we got the
Heater core replaced at $600 they are costly because of the time it takes
Welsh plugs replaced at $150 not bad
The stop leak is very temp
New thermostat the correct type we hope
New Radiator cap
I like the sigma there a good little car, now it still sounds like we have a problem with the headgasket, now before we go ahead we must qualify this problem
Below are two companies that are very good at what they do
RL Walker
Ask for Rob
8 Carmen Street
9791 2549
If you need the vehicle transported alot cheaper than the Auto Club  then try JP Car Transport 0418 567 034
Now I know a very good place that you can go and that is
Ken Farmer engineering ask for Grant
Ken Farmer (Vic) P/L
227A Nepean Highway
9596 1356
Tina I know this is not in your location but I also know the standard of work that these workshops produce, and its a high standard.
I hope this helps

32, Question
Subject: Problems when cold
Our small manual mtsubishi mirage has a problem,it is a 1997 model, the
problem is when the engine is cold, the driver cannot accellerate properly
or it is very slow at accellerating, could you give me some tips on why this
may be the case, thanks

Hi Bryce,
Its sounds like it needs a good tune.
Also if the vehicle has over 100,000 it maybe due to the injectors (if
fitted) requiring an ulta sonic clean
I hope this helps.

33, Question
Subject Sooty exhaust Diesel

I like your website! I have a question re my 1983 Toyota Van (Jap import –
Tarago equivalent) 1974cc Diesel Turbo motor. I have had this vehicle for 12
months. It has done 115,000k, about 20,000 in the last year.

Problem relates to sooty exhaust which includes “spitting” which makes a
polka dot mess on the rear of the van. It has also been down on power
particularly acceleration from standing. Also very smelly!

Treatment so far based on Toyota dealers referral to a diesel and
specialist, who I took the vehicle to twice:

1. First visit – replacement of the injectors. This resulted in a
increase in power – didnt last long.
2. Showed vehicle to another “specialist” who suggested a new motor, this
based on a fairly superficial examination!..
3. Back to the first specialist who ran some tests which showed
to be good. Adjustment was made to reduce diesel intake and increase air,
this reducing the sooty output significantly. However still getting sooty
smoke when putting foot down and power is even less than before.

Any thoughts?

Hi Michael,

You may not agree with me but here it is.
Consider the following
I would be thinking of getting another reco engine.
But before you do that I would also consider the cost of getting another
vehicle, maybe not a diesel.
Diesels are very expensive and is the vehicle ok otherwise.
I did Aussie Posts vehicles for a short time and they had Diesel Vans
They changed the vehicles over at 100,000 to reduce costs
As for the sooty rear I don’t really believe there is much anyone can do for
the long term.
Michael I hope I haven’t upset your day!!!!
See how you go

34, Question
Subject: Headlights

I have noticed that my headlights keep changing brightness. They go
bright and then they go dim and bright again. This keeps happening as I
am driving along. Can you tell me what it might be?


It sounds to me like its either a loose earth or one of the filaments are faulty.
Try turning the lights on in the drive way with the engine running in park
with the hand brake on and wiggle the earth cable.
Try lightly tapping the headlamp to see if the lights go out, if they do it
may just be a faulty filament which means you may need another headlamp globe.
Start there and see how you go
35, Question
Rear Lights
My back-up lights on my 1997 Toyota Camry are not working.  Both bulbs are
fine, I replaced them, but they looked OK.  I checked the fuse for the
back-up lights and it is also fine.  What else could be wrong?  I’d like to fix it myself?
Also, my timing belt is possibly clicking and even if not, is due to be
replaced- I’m at 71,000- do I really need to go to a dealer for that work?
I don’t trust them.  I watch anyone who touches my car, but that job looks
to be long.  Even if I watched, I’m not sure I could tell if they did
anything wrong.  Any advise on that?  Thank you for your consideration of
my questions.

Hi Lynda,

The reverse lights !
If you have checked the fuses with a test light and tested the reverse
globes and they are ok then this leads to the power going to the reverse
light switch and power going from the switch to the rear light assembly.
Don’t forget about the earth connection around the rear assembly make sure
its ok.
The Cam belt on a 97 is a long painful job, one that I would leave to a good
I did one one the other day it took me about 4 hours.
If you live in or around Melbourne I could give you names of good mechanics.
See how you go, I hope this helps!
Subject: 92 eagle talon fuel system
I have a 92 eagle talon that will start and then immediately die I can keep it running if i pump the gas vigorously. I changed the fuel filter but no change I think it is the fuel pump. I am writing to ask you were the fuel pressure gauge connects to the fuel system and what the fuel pressure specs are. Thank you for your time. The talon has the 2.0 liter twin cam 16 valve.
Hi Ron the fact that the engine starts means your getting enough pressure, its sounds more like the cold start program, or the TPS throttle positioner switch.
I would even be looking at the injectors to make sure they are in good order and needing ultra sonic cleaning.
I would contact a fuel specialist to get the exhaust gas levels measured this way you will see where the culprit is hiding.

Subject: 1993 Hyundai Elantra – Cam Belt/Timing Belt
My name is Moses from Northern CA. I own a 1993
Hyundai Elantra which has 66K miles. I’m know I’m due
for a timing belt change, but what else should I get
done @ the same time? A/C belt, Alternator belt, P/S
belt, water pump?

I also need to know whether I would need the tensioner
and idler replaced since when going up a hill I hear
this cracking noise from the timing belt area. I’ve
been told that I could be the tensioner or idler.
What do you think? Thanks.


Hi Moses,

The timing belt is very important because if it breaks it will damage the
as for any of the fan belts your mechanic should be able to see if they need
changing as well as the tensioner.
All the best

Darren Gow-Brown
Subject: Vibration 92 VP Commodore
Dear Mr Gow-Brown,
I live in Western Sydney and I own a 1992 Auto VP ‘S’ pack Commodore Ute
which has developed a shudder during certain speeds, over the past 18
months. This vibration/shudder would only occur between 80 – 90 Kph and
again at 105-110 Kph. The car runs smoothly just generally driving around
town. I have taken the car to numerous mechanics (at least 5) who have tried
various repairs/methods.
I bought 4 new tyres last month and magically the shudders disappeared.
However, just as mystically, whilst driving along the freeway the other
day, the shudders started again. This time they are a bit more erratic, say
at any speed between 80 & 110. The car seems to lose some HP as well whilst
shuddering. It is possible to accelerate or decelerate to stop the
vibrations. Is it something to do with my wheels ? Have I thrown a weight
off one of my mag wheels ? This is strange because the old tyres caused the
same vibrations even after a wheel alignment and balance.
To help you with narrowing down the culprit for this annoying phenomenon,
this is the list of things replaced or repaired in the car since April this year:
Part Work Done
Leads Replaced
Fuel Filter Replaced
Spark Plugs Replaced
Oil Filter Replaced
Fan Belt Replaced
Transmission Checked for Torque Converter Lock out (nothing found there)
Uni joints(front & rear)Replaced
Tail Shaft Balanced
Tyres (old) Balanced & Aligned twice
Tyres (all 4) Replaced
Transmission Lube and Gasket change (metal shavings were found in pan)

Please help me because I am running out of patience AND money !!

Kind regards,

Hi Donna,

This vibration is a tough one to pick on the net, but I will give you a few
directions to follow.
I would start with the shockers, but make sure if who ever says the shockers
are faulty ask if they can prove a remedy.
The mag tyres, Donna you are going to hate me for saying this but as much as
love the look of mag wheels they maybe part of the problem if they are out
of round or out of balance, if the wheels continue to run out of balance
then you need to look at and around the shochers, as well as the stabilizer
D bushers and link bushers,lower control arm bushers and Lower ball joints

I know there is alot to check but you will be happy will the vehicle runs
Now just one last thing, its also possible that the timing chain may also be
a problem, if its worn it may cause a shudder down the drive line.

Donna all the best
And please let me know how you get on

Subject: brake light/noise

I have a 95 Nissan Altima and my brake light just came on the other day
and it is the light that usually comes on when my parking brake is on.
It is on all the time now. That light has come on and now there is a
noise that my car is making like a rubbing of metal (?) towards the
front of my car. I check the brake fluid and it is not needing the
fluid. What do you think it is?

Hi Leticia,
Sorry for taking so long, now by reading the above problem and it soulds
like the front disc pads maybe worn
On some vehicles a wear indicator is design to alert the driver when the brakes are low.
I would have the brake inspected asap
This will not stop you from getting about three quotes to make sure your paying a fair cost.
Subject: 1965 Dodge Polara It started with a rattle
I am the proud new owner of a 1965 Dodge Polara. It has a new
alternator, new regulator, all fluids are topped up and it’s running fine.
About two days ago, it started rattling under the hood. It sounds almost
like something is rubbing. I checked the belts and hoses, and I don’t see
anything. Now, I don’t really know a lot about cars.
It has been stalling more often than usual, should I just set the revs?
(I do know how to do that).
I appreciate any advice that you can give me.

Thanks, Tracy
Hi Tracy,

Firstly I wish I could came down and take a drive, can you send an image of you and the Dodge,
I’ve got a 1964 Karman Ghia.
Now to answer your question if the idle is low say under 900 rpm then you
may be experiencing a (too low rev rattle) problem
Now this may be difficult to describe how to adjust the carby, so I highly
recommend to take the show car to the local garage
and just ask the mechanic to raise the idle and at the same time ask them if
the vehicle is due for a tune up.

I hope this will help Trace,

Darren Gow-Brown
Tracy’s Experience
I’ll let you know what happened. Took it in and was shown that the bolts
were coming off the fan on the water pump. They tried to sell me a new
water pump… but it didn’t need it. Anyways, went to pick it up this
morning, and it wouldn’t start. They told me I needed a new battery. They
didn’t have one in stock that would have a warranty on it, so they
jump-started me and sent me on my way. Made it halfway to where he
recommended, and the car just died in the middle of traffic. Looked around
and there was an auto center right there. Went to get a jump and told him
where I was going and he recommended that I don’t go there. He said he’d
drop a new battery in and I could be on my way in ten minutes. I said ok.
He found that my new alternator was a dud, and went through three by the
same company before there was one that worked. (I forget which brand it
was.) (It was the 2nd one my Dad had put in.) Anyways, these guys were
great. They found a couple other things wrong (wires connected wrong) and
fixed them for free. They explained everything to me, let me watch which
a lot of mechanics I’ve been to do not allow) and showed me what they did
when I wasn’t there. They were pleasant and friendly, and even offered my
friend a ride across the city so he could get to his classes. So if you get
any more e-mails from Vancouver, BC where someone needs a recommendation,I
highly recommend Grandview Tire & Auto Center on Commercial Drive. (604)
872-8551. I’m a 24 year old female who is very suspicious of mechanics,
because I’ve run into a lot who have ripped me off. (Took my Blazer in for
an oil change and when I went to pick it up, the power door locks didn’t
work…) I was very happy when I drove my Dodge to work. It runs like a
dream. I’ll send you a photo when I can get the one off the digital
Thanks for the advice.

Tracy I think a glass of scotch wouldn’t go a stray!!

Subject: 1991 Dodge Caravan minor shake at 40-50mph

I just purchased a 1991 Caravan LE. I’m driving it because my Chevy venture
lease is over on mileage. I’m a veterinarian and have no car experience.
Besides regular maintenance, is there anything I should have serviced or
checked on this van?
The van has 161000 miles on it abnd doesn’t need an oil change until 167000.
It seems to run great except for a minor shake at 40-50 mph.
Thank you so much for your time,
Dr. Candi

Hi Dr Candi,

A driver is a good indicator of how the vehicle is performing, I would take
the vehicle to a tyre specialist to find out about that
minor shake and at the same time ask if the vehicle requires a wheel
alignment and or the wheels to be balance.
Start there and ask your friends for the No of a good mechanic and when you
find a good mechanic stick with them and they should treat you well.

See how you go

Darren Gow-Brown

Subject: 93 grand marquis transmission Slipping ?

I have a 1993 grand marquis with a transmission that sometimes feels
like it slips into neutral for a split second. Also, lately it feels
loose when switching from park to drive etc. For example, when going
from park to reverse, I usually need to go to reverse and then back a
notch. Also, twice I was unable to start the car in park only neutral.
What is your opinion?
Change the transmission already?
or try to fix it for now?
Any ideas on cost?
Thanks for your help!

Hi Yehuda,
From what you have discribed I would get the selector mechanism inspected
Because you should be able to start the vehicle in park and neutral with ease
Also if you are able, get the transmission mounts checked out as this may causing a problem
I take it that the trans fluid is full and there are no leaks that you can see.

Start with those items and I hope this helps you.

Darren Gow-Brown

Subject: Won’t start up problem

Gooday Darren!
I was wondering if you could help me with my problem.My van won’t start
up, just gives me
clicking noise everytime i turn on the ignition. I’ve tried to jumpstart
but it did not help,same problem
just clicking noise. I tried to jumpstart the starter too but to no
avail Starter motor wont even crank up.
Hopefully this information that i’m giving is enough for you to work on.
My suspicion is its the starter,but i’m just not sure enough.Money is a
bit tight at the moment that’s why I’m trying to fix it my self.

Its a L300 van express 1984 model 1.6L


Make sure the jumper leads are in good order and the battery your jumping it
Better still try putting a good battery in place of the old one then see if
it starts.
Another than that make sure the earth leaks are well connected
Try that

Thanks for the quick response,I checked the jumper cables and swapped batteries
with my mate and still everytime I turn on the ignition just a clicking noise.

Hi Oliver,
If the battery is and the leads are well connected then we need to start by
getting the battery tested.
The other thing that comes to mind is can you actually turn the engine over
by hand, that is just try to move the engine by the pulley to make sure the
engine is not seized.

Thanks Heaps!!!I found the fault… Like what you said in your previous
‘test the battery’ apparently one of the cell is not working anymore.
I bought a second hand battery and it started okay.
I know now what i’m going to buy this christmas… your CD!
Thank you very much!


Subject: 87 honda prelude front end vibration

Great site, My problem is i have a vibration in the front end the
tires are new so i thought that the cv joints could make it vibrate so i
replaced both sides , they were bad. But the vibration did not go away,
its a manual transmission whay it sounds like is a tire sepperation and
thumps and gets louder as you go faster the tire are new and did before
the new tires, Thanks Dan .
Hi Dan
Just to be on the safe side, jack up each tyre, and check if there are
fractures and or separation.
Also with the vehicle stationary in neutral and the handbrake on, take the
engine above idle speed and check if the vibration is in the engine and not
in the front end

Try that Dan

Darren Gow-Brown

Subject: VB Commdore running rough

Our car is running very rough. I had a friend look at it and did a tune up
but not using the timing light ( he just rotated and listened), I have
changed the air filter, oil, oil filter and plugs.
My friend also set the idle. It sounded okay at the time but on the way
home it stalled at the lights in drive. It sounds nice then all of a
sudden it drops and picks up again. It is then when it sometimes
stalls. What do I do next?

Also there was a hose that was blocked off on the air filter case. They
unblocked that hose and connected it to another blocked off hose going into
the dash. When I got home I read the service and repair manual and it said
that the blocked off hose was supposed to go to the carburrettor. What
have they done and should I reverse it? Also I don’t know where it would
go on the carbi anyway.
Can’t afford a local mechanic so I am trying to do this all my self.
Thanks very much for your help

Hi Sara,
Try to reverse what your friend did, in regards to the vacuum hose.
It also sounds like you need to look at the leads, because if its running
good one minute and bad the next, this sounds like spark plug leads, and or
a carby leaking.
Another thorght is ring about three mechanics and ask them if you could pay
say $30 just to do the timing.
See how you go

Darren Gow-Brown

1997 Accent with transmission problems.
When you first drive the car in the morning, if you step on the gas while you are driving 25 mph to go faster like getting onto the freeway the transmission acts as if the car was shifted into nutral. You have to take you foot off the accelerator pedal until the car slows down then step on the gas and the car drives fine after it warms up. Do you know what could be causing this problem?
I used to be a mechanic years ago. It sounds like a pressure problem, like a valve opens up after the presshure gets too high. when the car warms up the fluid would be thinner and pressure would be lower so the valve would not open up.

What do you think, and does anyone have a diagram of this type of transmission?


David De Antoneo

David it doesn’t sound good.
I’ll take a punt on the seals being hard, when the transmission operates at normal temp, then the seals are flexible If this is the case you need to ask a transmission specialist or a spare parts outlet if they have a suitable additive for you trans to make the o rings softer.

David I hope this helps.

Darren Gow-Brown

Subject: Toyota Tarago engine problem
Hi Darren

I hava a problem with my Toyota tarago GLI 1990. The problem with the car is that it’s hard to start up in the morning and I had this problem for quite a while now. I’ve even seen a toyota specialist and the can’t find the problem. Can you please help me.

Thank you


Hi Ronnie,
When you say the problem is in the morning, do you mean it cranks too long before it starts
I would be looking at the compression
At this stage the best thing I could recommend is a fuel specialist
If you live in Melbourne

Ask for John on 9587 7000
Carburettors To Go
356 Lower Dandenong Road (Unit 6 (Cnr Boundary Rd)

See how you go with the above

Darren Gow-Brown

Subject: Low speed steering shudders
I have a 1997 Ford Taurus. I have a low speed steering shudder, that is
more noticeable at low speeds, but is always there. I have put new tires
on, had them rotated and balanced several times. What do you think?

Hi Ted,

I would be looking for a fractured tyre, or a flat spot on either tyre.
Also check to see if the wheels are bent or out of round
While your there make sure the shockers are ok
Pump the tyres up to 35psi

Ted see how you go

Darren Gow-Brown

Why do Mechanics Charge so much?
Well being one myself I thought we were quit fair in this big ugly world, I think people hate going to a mechanic because they feel that mechanics may over service their vehicle and over charge.
I believe that we all need to look at the services we pay for but don’t use.
You could start with road side service, now every year your paying money out for nothing
It will add up over 20 years of driving, so it pays to have a good mechanic, and while I’m on the subject perhaps its not a idea to give a bottle a wine to your mechanic once a year to let them know how much you depend on them.
Can you make a video on how to buy a second hand vehicle
Yes I’m in the process right now it should be completed by Dec,22,2000
Clutch cannot select first gear!!
I cant put the car into gear for some reason. I push the pedal right
down and try and put it into gear but it wont do so. I tried putting it
into reverse but it made a loud scratching sort of noise. Do you have
any suggestions on how I could fix this or do I need a mechanic in to do
the job.

You have a clutch problem, now if its a hydraulic clutch make sure the fluid
is topped up
If its cable try to see if the cable is frayed if both are ok you may be
looking at a new clutch
but try to make a few checks first

Darren Gow-Brown

Electrical Problems
My Toyota Corolla’s rear lights come on as I start the car then go out
so I have no rear lights.  What causes this and how do I fix it?
It sounds like it a faulty ignition switch or a bad earth at the rear,
either way a good auto electrician will be able repair the problem

Darren Gow-Brown

Subject: bad cold idle
i have a 91 ford mustang with a 5 liter engine. the problem is that it
will not idle when it is started for the first time of the day, the idle
goes from 800-1200 rpm’s and is not driveable for at least a good couple
of minutes. i haven’t had a chance to pull codes on it as i don’t have a
scanner tool yet. if i increase the fuel psi, it will idle better but
then as the car warms up it will then run too rich and stumble at higher
speeds. i have put fuel injector cleaner and it has done nothing for it.
when it warms up though, the car runs like a bat out of hell. the car is
not driven too much and the iab or iac was cleaned not too long ago and
the car has about 105,000 on it and the 02 sensors are not even a year
old and the tuneup was done fairly recently.
i will listen to any suggestions or hints, thanks.
It sounds like its in the injectors and or the cold start idle controller,
and this problem is a pain because its a level 2 problem this means its
going to take a few goes to rectify the problem
Have the injectors ever been ultra sonic cleaned?

If not it may be a start

Darren Gow-Brown

Subject: Charging System
I have a 1996 Hyundai Elantra and the alternator keeps jumping from 14 amps to 9 amps back to 14 then down to 6 and so on.  Could it be time for an alternator change? I have gone through 1 battery and will probably be on my second soon.  Please help!!!
thank you


Hi Steve,
It sounds like its in the voltage regulator, this may be less costly to replace, or even dirty terminals are capable of changing the voltage, if the auto electrician explains the only way to repair the problem is to replace the alternator then go with that decision
Darren Gow-Brown
Subject: I want to work on my Carby!
Hi wonder if you can help. i’ve got a BX citroen automatic. i need to take
the top off the carburettor and spray it with wd40, as advised by my car
dealer. where do i find the carburettor and how do i do this?


Hi Cheers
I’m sorry we will not instruct such a procedure as it may turn legal.
Subject: I want instructions on tuning my ? Vehicle
Dear Darren,
I have been looking everywhere on the internet for easy to follow instructions to tune up my vehicle and adjust the timing. Can you give me an easy to follow plan as far as adjusting the carburettor and adjusting the timing? I know how to do the lube already.



Hi Colin,
We producing videos in all formats for around $29.00 would you be interested?

Darren Gow-Brown
Subject: What’s the Chassis
I am slowly doing self maintanence on my truck.  I regurlaly make checks and
adjustments, trying to “know” my vehicle better.  However, I have a question.
What are the “chassis?”  How do I lube them?  Please help.  Any links you
have would be great.


Dumb Mechanic
Hi Rob,
The Chassis is the main body don’t get too concerned about the technical writers


Subject: Hyundai Excel Brakes
I’ve read the previous questions about shuddering brakes but other
people say the steering wheel moves or whatever.  i own a 1994 hyundai
excel automatic and sometimes when i apply the brakes harder than
‘average’ the whole car shudders, like jerks as if the brakes keep
slipping or are trying to catch on to something but doesnt quite do it
all the time, so its not the steering wheel, the whole car shudders.
even the car i took driving tests in was doing that.  can you tell me
what it is and how to fix it? and would you have any idea of the price
to fix it is?

Your particular problem sounds like its either a fractured tyre or the brake
rotors are warped
Depending on where you go the price may be different
I would find a mechanic that you can trust and ask him to check the
shockers, tyres and disc rotor if they are warped
If they are ok for machining then your looking around $90.00 or less if the
front disc pads require changing then the price goes up.
Kim start there and see how you go, and let me know!

Darren Gow-Brown
58,Question Extention
Subject: Hyundai Excel Brakes
Thanks so much Darren for your reply.  The thing is, i bought the car
second hand from Ian Weigh and they had just changed all the tyres, they
even showed me and my family the old ones.  Anyway, I guess I bought the
car with the fault.  And even when I was taking driving lessons in an
automatic car of the driving school, their car was doing that too.  Is it
common for this jerking thing to occur when you apply the brakes a bit
harder than you would normally to stop?  I haven’t been in a manual car
before with this problem.  I would really like to know, and thanks for
letting me know what to ask the mechanic because since i’m a female they
would probably lie and rip me off, as I have been lied to before by a
stereo installation company, lucky it wasn’t about anything serious.
Anyway to get back on track! I will definitely let you know how it turns
out.  I also might contact Ian Weigh motors first, would that be worth
Yes give them a chance to rectify the problem
Yes give them a chance to rectify the problem

It should not be common for a vehicle to pulse or shudder under braking, as
this may cause the wheels to skip if they are shuddering under braking.

It may just be a matter of machining the rotors
disc pads, let me know

Subject: Volvo 240 GLE sedan 1984
Vehicle:  Volvo 240 GLE sedan 1984.
Standard automatic transmission – 1 (first gear), 2 (second gear), and D (drive). It also has an ‘overdrive’ facility (the button is on the side of the gear lever).
Background: The car has no problem starting or getting moving. Idles in Park and Neutral a little under 1000rpm.  Doesn’t run ‘rough’, doesn’t stall.  It moves through gears 1 and 2 and then into ‘Drive’ as if nothing is the matter. However, it is here that my concerns begin.
Problem: When in ‘Drive’ it revs too high. According the tachometer, when I’m above 65kph, it revs close to 3000rpm. (Naturally, the higher the speed, the higher the revs. So I stay below 80kph much to the annoyance of other road users, but I drive a volvo so other drivers get annoyed whatever I do!!). However, every so often, there will be a slight ‘jolt’ and low/soft ‘clunk’ and the tachometer drops immediately down to 2000rpm; it is then that the car feels and sounds like it is running the way it is meant to. I can increase the speed to 100kph and the revs remain around the 2000rpm mark. The car actually feels really good – for an ’84 Volvo anyway!!
Question: Is there a second ‘position’ with the ‘Drive’ component of the transmission, or is it a case, as someone has suggested, that the ‘bands’ probably need adjusting? Someone else suggested that sometimes it’s just a matter of topping up the transmission fluid! (So of course I checked the fluid levels. It wasn’t full, but according to the dipstick there appeared to be enough fluid in there. While I’m on that subject, and at the risk of appearing like a ‘dipstick’ myself, how do you put transmission fluid in? Through the tiny hole where the dipstick goes?)
If there is an easy answer, I’d appreciate it. I know I have to get the car seen by someone, so it would be nice to have a little knowledge of what is going on in relation to this part of the car. regards
You can cover a multitude of problems by getting the trans service.
But first check the tran level, most transmissions you check when the engine is running in “Park”
When topping up the trans its a bit tricky to pour onto that little dipstick tube so I use a little funnel as the older I get the harder it is to aim!!!
If it needs topping up then you will need to find where its leaking, transmission fluid is flammable
Its sounds like its low in fluid but it wouldn’t hert to get it serviced to prolong its life
Tim do you use indicators when you drive or it that a miff?
Darren Gow-Brown


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