January 2016 Archives - UnderhoodService
Diagnosing An Intermittent, Poor-Run, Hard-Start Complaint That Stumped The Local Body Shop

This month we’re going to be looking at an intermittent poor-run, hard-start complaint on a 2012 Hyundai Sonata. This car came to us by way of a body shop with which we work closely. Like most good working relationships, we are always willing to help these guys with our expertise, and they are wonderful about

2013 Hyundai Sonata
Ultimate Underhood: Death Of Pop-Up Headlights

Where the designers created beauty, the engineering department created pain for technicians who had to fix pop-up headlights. Vacuum-powered servos were always the farthest vacuum-powered components from the engine and were prone to leaks even on new cars. Electric motors would burn out, strip plastic gears or break linkages.

Pop up headlight
Tech Tips: Fuel Pump Float Arm Assembly

In some cases, float arm assemblies have been damaged after the fuel pump has been tested. Shipping, mishandling and pump insertion/removal from packaging are causes for potential damage.

Float arm assembly diagrams
Why Oil Filters Matter To Extended Oil Change Intervals

With oil life indicators pushing the average oil change past the 6,000-mile mark, it is not just the quality of the oil that’s improved, it is the quality of the filter, as well. Neglected oil change intervals can ruin the best engine oils and filters. As engine oil and the filter accumulate miles, they become contaminated with carbon, water and various acids, all of which are a byproduct of internal combustion that will form a film of black, gooey sludge on the interior parts of the engine.

Replacement of the oil filter. New and old dirty filter
The Science Behind Precious Metal Spark Plugs

With the need to comply with ever-increasing efficiency and emission standards, auto manufacturers have been racing to raise the bar in spark plug performance over the past three decades. The use of precious metals like platinum and iridium in the manufacturing of spark plugs, as opposed to the use of nickel, has resulted in plugs that can last much longer and offer better performance than the spark plugs in circulation prior to the mid-1980s.

Spark plugs
Non-Invasive Methods To Remove Gaskets And Clean Surfaces

When removing old gaskets, there are two things to avoid. First, you want to avoid any of the material from entering the engine. Second, you do not want to damage the sealing surfaces. On modern engines with aluminum castings, a metal scrapper can do a lot of damage.

Scored gasket journals
Gonzo’s Toolbox: ‘Wanna Be’ Technicians

There’s one situation all professional automotive technicians have had to deal with from time to time, and it involves the home-grown garage guy who just so happens to own a couple of ratchets, a repair manual and a broken-down car. Some of these connoisseurs of the all-knowing repair manual skim through sections without truly comprehending them.

Men in garage with semi-truck
Belt Wear Diagnostics

The original equipment belts on late-model vehicles are made of synthetic materials and are far more heat-resistant and wear-resistant than older materials. These innovations mean serpentine belts may last up to 100,000 miles before they need to be replaced. If a belt fails sooner, you need to be a detective and investigate why it failed.

Cracked serpentine belt
Welcome To The Future: Are Your Networks Protected?

In my work on telematics and connected cars, I get a lot of great opportunities to talk with engineers. What engineers hate when they are designing a system – particularly systems that have ramifications on how vehicle networks interact – is unknown wild cards. Unfortunately, those of us who run repair shops are the wild cards that keep many of these engineers up at night.

Cybersecurity graphic
Directions: New Year’s Brings New Changes At Underhood Service

In 1997, UnderhoodService.com was launched. Since then, our website has been constantly built upon, and has grown to more than 12,000 pages to date. Last year was our best year in company history, as our growth in traffic spiked to its highest level since the website’s inception. But we’re not stopping there. In 2016, we

CTI Scan Tool Wall