Clicking from front end when turning.

Question:

Everytime i’m driving my car,i here this clicking noise when i turn the
wheel to the right..i’m afraid i might “break” something or possibly have
the car stop running while i’m driving…what is this and also when i leave
from my parking spot,there seems to be a grease spot on the ground…i know
it is not the oil in my car..so what is it?

Answer:

More than likely the clicking is the CV joint (constant velocity) if you have a front wheel drive car.  And the spot you see on the ground is the grease leaking out of it.  There is a boot which is supposed to keep the grease in the CV joint, but over time it wears out and may split.  This will allow the grease to leak out and dirt to get into the CV joint.  This will cause premature wear and the clicking noise you hear.  Get the car to a mechanic ASAP, if the CV joint snaps, you may lose control over the vehicle.

Kevin

Posted: 29th August 2006  |  Author: Kevin Schappell  |  Category: Drivetrain

Changing Rear Main Seal

Question:
I have a 5.7L (350 cid) V8 in a 1982 corvette.  I believe it is an L83.
What does it take to replace the rear main seal?  I have heard it minght be
possible to do so without removing the transmission.  Any advice?

Thanks,

David

Answer:

I believe the rear main seal is a two piece design, so yes, it’s possible to change without pulling the transmission.  You will have to remove the oil pan and the rear main cap.  You can then remove the old seal and replace it.  The seal is a rope style seal and you will have to use a small piece of string or wire to pull the new seal into place.

Kevin

Posted: 28th August 2006  |  Author: Kevin Schappell  |  Category: Engine

Valve Seals 2000 Toyota Camry

Question:

Just purchased (July) 2000 Toyota Camry from Toyota dealer.  The 3 mo.
warranty doesn’t cover valve seals.  Car has 130,000 miles, runs well, very happy with it otherwise.  When it starts there is some smoke, doesn’t do it once car has run a minute even with start stops for errands.  Smoke is white to perhaps slightly blue.
Doesn’t appear to be using oil and no drips under car.  I won’t put enough
mileage on the car to get to 200,000 by the time I retire in 5 years and
buy a new car but I do want to take care of it.

AAA said 1,500 to replace seals.  Toyota dealer said 1,100 to replace
seals.  The used car dealership consultant said there is no big problem and
not to worry about it that I’d be spending money needlessly as long as there
is no big oil consumption going on I’m okay.  He said he’s sure no oil will
have to be added between changes.

What is your opinion?  Should I have repair done or just watch how much oil
it uses?

Thanks!
Miranda

Answer:

I would keep checking the oil level, and live with it.  You may wear out your spark plugs a little sooner, but not a real big deal.  Besides the annoying smoke at cold startup, you are not doing any real damage to your car.  You may want to look at your owners manual and change your oil to the highest viscosity recommend.  So if your car manual says the range is 5W-30 to 10W-30 I would make sure the next time you get an oil change they put in 10W-30.  The higher the number, the lower the viscosity (thicker oil)  Running a thicker oil in the engine will allow less oil to seep down past the valve seals.  I would stay away from oil treatments which advertise to reduce oil consumption, they never seem to do any good, and sometimes do bad things to your engine.

Kevin

Posted: 28th August 2006  |  Author: Kevin Schappell  |  Category: Engine, Oil & Lubrication

To Scrap or Not To Scrap

Question:

My 96 Grand Cherokee in otherwise good condition stopped running last week
and the shop hasn’t figured out how to restart it – some complicated
electrical problem – so would like to know how to sell it for junk and how
much to expect for it. The “sold by owner” blue book value is $4500.
Thanks.

Answer:

I question how complicated the issue is, and maybe the garage is jumping the gun a little bit. If there was a major melt down in the wiring harness, I could see you looking at scrapping the car, but if it’s something a little less severe like a blown fusible link, or bad solenoid/starter it’s worth fixing. I don’t know anything about your repair shop, so I don’t want to say anything negative, you will have to make the call on their competency.

If you are comfortable with the shops diagnosis and it’s going to cost you over $1,000 to fix then you have a few options…

1. List the car as a “Mechanic’s Special” in your local paper/car trader.

2. Put the car on Ebay as a “Mechanic’s Special”

3. Sell it to a junkyard in your area as a whole vehicle.

4. Part it out and sell pieces on Ebay or Locally.

The problem I see with trying to sell it as parts is the time involved with removing the parts, and I don’t see the demand for those parts being very high. If the vehicle was a classic car or truck, selling it in pieces on Ebay or even locally would be worth your time.

Selling the car as a mechanic’s special would be the best way in my opinion to get the most money from the vehicle. A competent shade-tree mechanic could diagnose or replace the wiring harness and have a good running vehicle for a small investment. I would ask $2500 – $3000 for the Jeep if you sell it this way. Selling it this way on Ebay does not make a lot of sense, unless you find a local buyer, as shipping a non-running vehicle is more expensive.

If you want the least hassle, sell it to a local junkyard and let them haul it from the garage. I do not know what price they would be willing to pay, but you can check www.car-part.com for an idea of what major parts are selling for. (engine, transmission, axles, interior, hood, rear hatch, and doors) By checking these prices, you can get a good idea of what kind of money the junkyard would wring out of the vehicle. Take 75% of that value and that would be a good starting point for negotiation.

Good Luck,

Kevin

Posted: 21st August 2006  |  Author: Kevin Schappell  |  Category: Selling Your Car

Sonoma Clutch Cylinder Problems

Question:

There’s been something going on with my clutch ever since my floormat got
shoved up in there and was pushing up on where the clutch thing connects to
the master clutch cylinder. It’s not leaking any  fluid, but it’s almost
like air is getting in there. I’ve seen a lot of info about how the slave
cylinders have needed replacement on many of the Sonoma models (mine is a
’98), but I really don’t feel like that is the problem. The issue comes and
goes and sometimes it’s worse than other times. Sometimes I’ll get in and
push in the clutch and it’s perfect, other times there’s no clutch at all
and I can’t get it into gear for my life. Do you think it’s some sort of
sensor, or electrical issue that the floormat interference started? Or is
it something more serious (and expensive) like the slave cylinder? My dad
knows a lot about repairing cars/trucks but not so much with the electrical
stuff, and he’s pretty sure that’s what it is. Any ideas before I shell out
a pretty penny at the garage?
Answer:

As far as I know, there are no electrical connections or sensors on the hydraulic clutch system for your vehicle.  If there was, it would be a fluid level sensor, which would not keep the system from working.  Do you have to add fluid to the clutch master cylinder?  Is the level low?  I would suspect either a low level, or a bad slave cylinder.

If your level is low, I would fill it up and monitor it.  If it the level stays high, then I would say that you just got a little air in the system from the level being low.  If the level drops again, then the fluid is leaking somewhere.  Either the hose or the slave cylinder.

Kevin

Posted: 20th August 2006  |  Author: Kevin Schappell  |  Category: Drivetrain

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