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Display Dash Warnings: Fault Codes Need Analysis

By Junior Damato, September 9th, 2017

strong>Dear Doctor: I have a 2004 Nissan Murano. The AWD light stays on, and after testing we discovered only the right rear wheel has power to it. It's the only wheel that spins in gravel. Any ideas what the problem could be? Am I causing any damage by driving it? Nick

Manufacturer photo: 2004 Nissan Murano
Manufacturer photo: 2004 Nissan Murano

strong>Dear Nick: All fault codes need to be performed first. The technician will follow the trouble path for the fault code. The problem could be as simple as a faulty ABS sensor. This is why going to a qualified technician is so important on today's computer-controlled vehicles. The technician will follow wiring diagrams on Alldata, as well as use the Identifix professional site or even speak with an Identifix technician for help. As for doing any damage driving the vehicle in this condition, no additional problems should arise.

strong>Dear Doctor: My 2010 Honda CR-V with the 2.4-liter engine has 60,000 miles on it. I would like to change the brake and power steering fluids. Is it okay to drain the reservoirs with turkey basters? Joe

strong>Dear Joe: We use suction tools every day for removing power steering and brake fluid, but remember, you must always use a separate suction tool for each fluid. Never mix the suction tools. Just a small amount of petroleum fluid into the master cylinder could damage the entire brake system, including the ABS assembly.

strong>Dear Doctor: My 1998 Corvette Coupe, with only 40,000 miles on the odometer, has a defective traction control module (I think it is part #9367071). The module shuts down while the car is being driven and resets when the engine is off. When the system shuts off the dashboard warning light comes on and the digital readouts repeat "service engine soon" and "service active handling." I had diagnostics performed on the car twice by two different auto mechanics; both concurred that the module is the problem and stated that General Motors no longer supports this older module, due to its defective design, and that it is impossible to get a replacement. Can you help me? Harvey

strong>Dear Harvey: There are many companies that rebuild discontinued electronic modules. You can also check major Corvette suppliers, such as Mid America Motorworks at 800-500-1500. They may also be able to advise you, if they do not have it in stock.

strong>Dear Doctor: I am in the market for a four-cylinder midsize sedan. For the first few years the car will be used sparingly -- about 8,000 miles per year and mostly short trips around town. Should I avoid turbocharged engines due to the possibility of not getting up to proper engine temps and the lubrication issues pertaining to the turbo? Can this problem be avoided by more frequent oil changes and a specific type of oil? John

strong>Dear John: This is a great topic. Turbochargers are generally used on small-displacement four-cylinder engines to add power and improve fuel economy, and on performance engines they bring lots of additional power. If you find a vehicle you like with a turbocharged engine, then feel free to buy the vehicle with no concerns. The use of full-synthetic oil is mandatory on turbocharged engines, as well as on a lot of new vehicles. Some turbocharged engines suggest the use of premium gasoline to get optimum power. The new Toyota Camry V-6 offers around 300 horsepower and great gas mileage. Most midsize imports are going to smaller turbo and some twin-turbo engines. Buy the car you like and that best fits your needs.

strong>Dear Doctor: Having always been a Honda man I decided to lease a Lexus for a change. What's up with the eight-speed transmission on these vehicles? At slow speeds the thing shifts way too fast and when I take my foot off the gas for a second, like in traffic situations, then press it again, it hits a dead spot, and then lurches. The programming seems somewhat confused as to what it should be doing. Have you heard any similar complaints? Ned

strong>Dear Ned: You are not alone. Many of the seven- to 10-speed automatics have owners concerned about the shifting, both up and down. It will take car manufacturers a year or so to figure out a reprogramming update. You can talk to the dealer about disconnecting the battery for an hour or so, which will put the transmission in a learning mode on your driving habits. This has made a difference on many vehicles and it does not cost anything but time.

Big Drop in Fuel Mileage: Get Engine Test


Big Drop in Fuel Mileage: Get Engine Test

strong>Dear Doctor: I have a 2014 Ford F-150 with the EcoBoost engine. The dealership cannot tell me why my gas mileage is at 9 mpg. It was 24 mpg when I purchased it. Can you help me out? Gerald

Gas Mileage Misread: Fuel System Needs Attention


Gas Mileage Misread: Fuel System Needs Attention

strong>Dear Doctor: I own a 2006 Ram 2500. The mileage calculator says I'm getting 30 miles per gallon in fuel economy, but I'm actually getting about 20 mpg. What should I do? Mark

Car Shakes at Idle: Check for Multiple Fault Codes


Car Shakes at Idle: Check for Multiple Fault Codes

strong>Dear Doctor: My 2009 Toyota Camry with 199,600 miles has a check engine light showing the codes P0101 and P0170. I have already replaced the MAF sensor, PCV valve, throttle body, the car's computer, O2 sensors, cam sensor, crank sensor, fuel pump, injectors, and fuel pressure regulator. I also checked for multiple vacuum or air leaks, and the cabin air filter, spark plugs, alternator, and battery have all been checked over the course of a year. Now the car has both codes showing consistently and it shakes at idle. What should we do? Cheyenne

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