In the current import market, performance-modified vehicles known as sport compacts are finding themselves equally at home at local road courses and drag strips as they are on city streets. While the most popular hot-rod imports were originally designed to squeeze the last mile out of a drop of regular gasoline, these gasoline-miserly vehicles may
With station wagons, small multi-purpose trucks and high-powered sports models in its product mix, Subaru has become an obvious choice for multi-use purchasers. And, by building one basic platform with all of the right stuff, Subaru has been able to concentrate on quality. That brings us to the topic of this article, Subaru electrical systems.
One of the more common complaints these days from jobbers and retailers when dealing with electronic powertrain control modules (ECMs/PCMs) is the relatively high number of defective returns, exchanges or warranty claims demanded by repair shops. Yet, of all electronic parts that come back defective, ECMs tend to be the ones most often misdiagnosed. This
The sport compact car market is hotter than ever. The market has moved beyond the simple bolt-ons such as wheels, tires, brake rotors and spoilers. It’s not unusual today to see sport compact engines producing upward of 400 horsepower on the street. With so much power under the hood, the challenge is getting the horsepower
Question: There is a lot of talk in the industry regarding returns on non-defective parts. So, how can repair shops and technicians reduce the number of warranty returns on rotating electrical parts? Answer: Misdiagnosis of starting and charging problems is the main reason many starters and alternators are returned. The issue isn’t the quality of
The Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) is one of the most misunderstood warning lights on vehicles today. Most motorists have no idea what the light means or why it’s on. Some think the MIL light is an oil change reminder light. Others realize something must be amiss to cause the light to come on, but don’t
A battery charger is something every shop should own, and most do. But battery technology has changed in recent years. Battery chargers that were designed for older conventional lead acid batteries (called “flooded” cell batteries because the cells are filled with liquid electrolyte) may not be the best choice for newer batteries with absorbent glass
Electrical principles, like voltage, amperage and resistance, can be described as cars passing along the roadway. Voltage would be the vehicle’s speed, amperage would be the number of vehicles on the road at the same time, and resistance would be the potholes in the road’s surface. Basically, electricity is a supply of atoms with an
A flashing Check Engine light and a P0301 to P0312 diagnostic trouble code is a sure-fire indication that one or more cylinders are misfiring. Occasional misfires may pass unnoticed, but a steady misfire is hard to miss. The engine usually feels rough, lacks power and uses more gas than usual. Sometimes a misfire may feel
Intermittent electrical faults are the bane of the auto repair business. If an electrical component has failed, or there is an open or a short in a circuit, you can usually find it fairly quickly because it isn’t hiding from you. It’s a persistent fault that can be isolated by a systematic process of elimination.
As the saying goes, “Old habits die hard.” Among the old habits that die hard is the way we test alternators. In the past, the job of the alternator or generator was simply to recharge the battery after start-up and carry minor accessory loads such as ignition, lighting, radio, heating or air conditioning clutch, and
A battery breakdown is bad news. If the battery can’t supply enough amps to crank and start the engine, your customer’s vehicle isn’t going anywhere (except maybe downhill powered by gravity). A good battery is absolutely essential for reliable starting and for powering the vehicle’s onboard electronics and electrical systems when demand exceeds the charging