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Tuesday, 1 January 2013

How to Check Vehicle Antifreeze/ Refrigerant:Coolant or Water?

Testing Antifreeze in vehicle

How do you check the antifreeze and water mixture in the radiator for corrosion?

I will mention the procedure we use at out garage.As per our auto garage experience,

The easiest and simplest manual procedure i will provide.

At shop we use test strips that report the concentration of anti-freeze and the acidity of the coolant. These test strips can be found in most automotive parts stores and are really easy to use. You just dip the test strips in the coolant and compare the color of the test strip to the chart on the bottle they come in. It is a quick and reliable test and lets you know if the acidity of the coolant is at a damaging level. If the coolant is too acidic, the system must be drained and refilled with a 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water. You should test the acidity of your vehicle's cooling system every oil change.


Various warning lights are coming up on dashboard


How to troubleshoot vehicles warning light

Vehicle's service engine light was on for a week, I thought it was because I did not put the gas cap on properly. As per vehicles owners manual it should take about 3 cycles for the light to go out. After a week the light was still on, so I took it to the dealership, they did a diagnostic test and said the 02 sensor skipped. They reset the computer so that the engine light went out. A week later, the engine light is back on, afterwards the battery light came on and shortly after that the ABS indicator light came on. As I was driving home the radio went out and the lights inside the car started to dim. After shutting the car off, I tried to restart and it wouldn’t. The headlights did come on. I noticed as I put the security alarm on the car, it sounded weak. 
Any better idea of what may be wrong with this vehicle, so that I can trust, when I take it to the shop, I have some sort of idea what is going on with the vehicle.

Its a random issue,there are multiple possibilities to cause these problem

It’s very unlikely that the check engine light from the week before is related to the problem you’re having now. As per the problem  described I suggest to test charging system of the vehicle.It seems that the charging system on your vehicle has failed. The first indicator was the battery warning light. The job of the charging system is to provide electrical power for the vehicle’s needs and replenish the battery. The main job of the battery is to store electrical power for starting the engine. After the engine is running the charging system takes over. In the event of a charging system failure the vehicle’s electrical demands are supplied by the battery. On today’s vehicles it doesn’t take long for the battery to drain to the point that other computer systems take notice. When they see that the power supply to them is too low to operate correctly the other computers start complaining which would explain your ABS warning light. As the battery gets lower the radio will drop out, which is just about the time the engine computer will start thinking about throwing in the towel. At this point the battery has about enough power to light some lights but wouldn’t even think about cranking the engine over. The fix for your vehicle is likely a new alternator. Once you’re up and going the check engine light may come back on because of the O2 sensor problem, but that won’t kill the battery.

How to retrieve OBD error codes without scan tool?


Been in the automotive trade for  years, I’m an ASE triple master tech, and love computerized technology. My problem is tapping into the OBDII computer for diagnostic codes, like it was done with EEC, CCC, etc. At this time I am running a small shop on my own, part time, and cannot warrant the cost of big time diagnostic equipment. Is there a way to jump terminals or something to get into the newer systems to access error codes?? 

At present the simple answer is NO.
But you cannot challenge inventions,tricks and R&D .The procedure an any time get created.
Now a days newer vehicle’s computer systems have a new generation of advanced On Board Diagnostics which is affectionately referred to in our industry as OBD II. The reason of the OBD II system was to create a common data port, with a common protocol, for accessing information, primarily emissions related. The key word is integrated. The days of using a jumper wire or pin to flash codes from a vehicle’s computer is quickly fading away. If you wish to communicate with today’s vehicle computers you need to determine the level of information you want access to. The more information you want the more money you have to pay. A low dollar tool, for checking codes, turning off the Check Engine Light and with a wee bit of the computer info, cost around $300 to $400. For the privilege of the above, viewing more and opening a door or two to the computer jumps the price tag up to $2000 to $3000. Annual software updates range from $600 to $2000 and does not cover every vehicle. Now if you want the high, the book store, encyclopedia factory of information and the ability open all doors in today’s vehicle computers you need the vehicle manufacturer’s scan tool and software. Yeah it costs more but wow does this tool make things happen, but it only works on that manufacturer’s vehicle.


1991 vehicle with recalls

My vehicle is under recall

If I own a ‘91 vehicle with recalls can I bring it to a shop/dealership for repairs... and are they for free? 

First you have to understand that recalls come in different flavors; voluntary and safety. A recall will commonly have a time and/or mileage limitation. If the recall is a safety recall the age or ownership of the vehicle is not a factor. To have the repairs performed at no cost requires that the work be done at the dealer. In the event you have had safety related repairs performed prior to the announcement of the safety recall, manufacturers have historically reimbursed the vehicle owner for those repairs if they present their receipt of the repairs.

Consumers can get up-to-the-minute information on safety recall campaigns, or information on the recall history of a particular make and model of the car or truck, by calling the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Agency's toll-free Auto Safety Hotline at 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236), or by accessing NHTSA on the Internet at www.nhtsa.dot.gov.