Auto Doctor: Don't replace parts without checking Identifix, Alldata
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Dear Doctor: I own a 2006 Ford Explorer 4.0-liter with 72,000 miles. The engine light has been on, even though all four oxygen sensors have been changed. The computer showed no defects. What could be the problem? -- Johnny
Dear Johnny: I see many emission parts replaced because of fault codes. Before any parts or sensors are replaced, check the circuit. The technician needs to go online to the Alldata and Identifix web sites to check both wiring and known voltage values.
Dear Doctor: Since getting my car back from the mechanic, I've been experiencing static on many radio stations. They worked on getting the "check engine" light off, trying numerous things to that end. I think they crossed some wires, causing radio static. How would they remedy this? -- Linda
Dear Linda: First, they need to check any parts that were installed and make sure the ground wires were put back on, if removed. Alternators will give of a whining with engine running. Ignition systems, spark plugs, and wires coils will cause static while the engine is running.
Dear Doctor: I'd like to know if you have driven the 2013 Dodge Journey with the new 3.6-liter VVT engine and your opinion on it. -- Pete
Dear Pete: I spent a week behind the wheel and there is no question that the new Dodge with the 3.6-liter VVT gives a lot of power and performance, as well as economy with great gas mileage. The new V-6 has 283 horsepower with EPA of 25 mpg highway. The transmission is also more responsive.
Dear Doctor: We purchased a 2006 Kia Amanti with 56,000 miles. One problem the dealer cannot duplicate or resolve is that sometimes on start-up and shifting into gear there's no throttle response. A couple of minutes later throttle response resumes. Have you run across this problem? -- Frank
Dear Frank: The first step is to check for trouble fault codes or pending codes without setting the "check engine" light. There have to be faults with the Throttle Position Sensor that is causing lack of electronic throttle response. This will need to be checked by a certified technician.
Dear Doctor: I have a 1998 Honda Accord coupe with the V-6 engine. I went to start the car and all it did was crank, but no spark to start the engine. After I did some basic checks, I determined it was a distributor problem. The same problem arose again. This time it wouldn't start for two days and I had it towed to my mechanic. He determined that the new distributor was defective and replaced it, along with the wiring harness and the ignition switch. All was well for another week before the same problem happened again! Help. -- Angelo
Dear Angelo: The most common problems with this model are internal distributor module and pick-up, and main relay, as well as a few ignition switches, which are an easy replacement and inexpensive. Make sure the technician checks for fault codes. This should be done to see if there are codes in the system before any parts are replaced.
Junior Damato is an ASE-certified Master Technician. Email questions to email@example.com. Mail questions to: Auto Doctor, 3 Court Circle, Lakeville, MA 02347