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Doug C.
Doug C., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 6212
Experience:  16 years automotive and OTR repair including specialized training from Toyota and Mitsubishi
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Looking for Doug about My Suzuki Throttle Cable

Customer Question

Looking for Doug.....about my Suzuki...throttle cable....they installed the the thing....car idles at bare minimum....shuts down if I sit in one spot in park and turn the ac on or defog....same thing if I roll to a stop. Ok if I'm on the road rolling along. It didn't do that before.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.
Hi again,
I'm sorry to hear you are having issues since your repair.... Has this condition with the stalling/low idle been present from the moment you received the vehicle back from the cable replacement, or has it just developed shortly thereafter?
Do you have any other symptoms or anything else that seems unusual?

If it was immediate, and so related to the work done, it sounds like one of two things happened.

First, when the battery is disconnected, which it likely was for the repair, the computer will lose it's idle adjustment settings and revert to default settings which will be insufficient due to normal carbon bulidup in the throttle body. Solution for this is simply clean the throttle body.
I do not believe this is the case though, as it has been a while since we last spoke, and typically if this were the cause, it would correct itself (relearn idle position) within a few days, XX miles, etc. It is still worth noting however, and as such worth checking out.

Second, and more probable, is the adjustment for the cables is not correct. Both cables are fully adjustable at the throttle body and if out of adjustment could create an issue such as this.

Let me know on the questions at the top, and if necessary I can post the adjustment procedure for the TV cable for themt o verify/correct as necessary.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I noticed the stall out....noticed; poor choice of words....about 4 days after I got the car back. It got a little on the warm side around here so I turned the ac on. Engine didn't like that and quit. Discovered the defog doing the same thing...stall out... 2 days ago in the rain. And yes it rains in california, no matter what you heard. A long time ago I put a couple of small felt pads under the stop plate in front of the cable wheel to up the rpm when the car started to idle on the rough side. Must be when the cable started to go. I haven't been under the hood since I got it back; but I'm willing to bet those pads are still there. And I also found a small bolt with 2 washers attached about a 1/4" long in the tray between the front seats. After writing all of the above; I had to go out and look. The felt pads are still there and there appears to be an unacceptable amount of slack in the cables...especially the top. The bottom cable has about an 1 1/8" gap between the button and the cable housing. That does not look right to me. Can I make the adjustments? I really can't afford to put this thing in the shop and lose any more time from work. Blasted computer sensor run *%@^&*!!! Gimme back the good old days before catalytic converters. Gimmee back my Gremlin....straight 6 cast iron engine. No smog crap. Best car I ever had....snifff.
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

Okay, since the cables visibly look wrong, we can start there.

 

The top cable is the accelerator cable, and should not be significantly loose. You can adjust it by loosening the two locknuts on the bracket the cables loom through. Loosen them and slide the cable to remove the excess slack, spinning the nuts as you go to allow more travel. Once in position, snug the nuts down.

Start the vehicle and note the idle.

Warmed up, you want the idle to be between 700 and 800rpm with the AC off, and between 750 and 850 rpm with the AC on.

Readjust the cable as necessary then tighten nuts down completely once in position.

 

If this gets the idle correct and you still have stalling issues, there may be other things going on. Likely the cables were just never final adjusted. Leave the lower cable as is for now, as it affects shift characteristics, we don't want to fool with that yet if it is shifting fine. I'm not sure about the 1 1/8" measurement you mentioned; if you could get a picture of that maybe it would help me out.

 

Let me know how that goes.

 

Doug

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I'll give it a shot tommorow if it's not raining. See about getting the pic of the bottom cable. The top cable has enough slack where U can move it up and down a good 2 inches. Not comfortable about that bolt sitting in the tray. Wondering if it belongs somewhere and was left out or they replaced it with a new one.U mentioned cleaning the throttle body....can of spray? or more involved?
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

For cleaning, use a can of carb cleaner or brake parts cleaner, sprayed on a rag and use it to wipe out the inside of the throttle body (open the throttle plate to get all the way in). Do not spray into the throttle body, only spray onto a rag and then wipe it out with the wet rag.

If it is real dirty, the idle will increase significantly just from cleaning.

 

I have no idea what the bolt would go to....there isn't anything like that they would have removed, unless the tire place started taking the lower dash apart think it was the gas pedal cable? Even then I can't picture what the bolt would have come out of. Only real thing you can do is take it back to them and tell em to find out where it goes... have to watch em though, might just throw it away and say they "installed it" :(

 

See if you can get a picture of the cable for me tomorrow, and let me know how you fair with the cleaning/top cable adjustment tomorrow (weather permitting of course). I'm here every night if it takes a few days, so no worries .

 

doug

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
U got it....I always worry mate....Murphy lives here...rent free. Eats me out of house and bank account. Talk at ya soon. Chuck
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

I get that too sometimes :)

 

Sounds good, I'll be here.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Just for your info....couldn't get at the car today.....rain....still raining. I'll send pics of those cables before I start anything. Weather is supposed to clear by tommorow afternoon....talk at ya then.....I hope. Chow
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

No problem :)

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
How do.......I finally got the pics for ya....hope these links work..................................... Pic1:http://i46.tinypic.com/23ljkll.jpg
Pic2: http://i46.tinypic.com/15h1kao.jpg
Pic3: http://i47.tinypic.com/11smu61.jpg
Pic4: http://i47.tinypic.com/1zbq6u.jpg
Pic5: http://i49.tinypic.com/symliw.jpg
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

Thanks.

It does not appear that there is a lot of room for adjustment on the top cable.

Is the lower cable 'tight'?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Lower cable is pretty much tight.....more than the top. My concern with bottom was the button and the gap from the mount. This morning I started up the engine and hit the defog right off. Let the engine run at fast idle and as it slowed it got to the point where it started to bog down.....almost quit then picked back up and kept running. Went and gased up and kept trying the defog. It kept running.......I thought maybe the computer is starting to relearn the idle.....nope....couldn't get it to work later on in the day. Oh ya...notice the felt pads they left in under the plates?
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

I saw the pads :)

 

I don't have my documentation for this vehicle with me tonight, but will have it in the AM and can give you the proper adjustment for the lower cable then.

 

When you do not run the defog or AC, does everything otherwise seem OK?

 

Does your vehicle have a tachometer, and if so, what are the idle speeds with defog on and off?

 

Thanks

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Sounds like you agree the lower cable doesn't look right.? Should I take some slack out of the top?......I don't think that will do much for the cause. Only rpm gauge is the dash...no specific number to look at but at idle, defog off; I'm guessing its just about where it should be.....defog on.....engine stops but this morning when it kept running it was probably about the same. On the rough side. I guess I should mention this car is way overdue for a tune up. But that didn't cause all this.
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

It looks a tad off, I want to verify with the specified adjustment tomorrow before I judge it though. It really shouldn't have any effect on this, I'm just curious how good of a job they did at this point... the upper cable looks odd, which is what has me wondering.

 

However I am still on that original train of thought that they may have disconnected the battery to do this job and lost idle memory.

 

Do you feel comfortable removing the intake hose from the throttle body and looking down into the throttle body/plate with a flashlight?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Well they may have.....but when that cable came apart to the point of breaking in two; I was at Autozone replacing the battery. Never had a problem before...after I put the new battery in, the only way I could keep the engine running so I could get home was to stuff a rag under the plate where the felt pads are now. Played hell with the shift. I can do the throttle body thing....it will have to be this weekend tho....work gets in the way. I'm going to do that; might as well clean it out too. Let me know what ya find out.....and by the way; where is the turn signal flasher?...behind the panel on the driver side;bottm of the dash....I need a new one....this one works but ya can't hear clicking anymore.
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

Ahh, another piece of the puzzle... I didn't know (or forgot probably) that the battery was where this all started... that makes sense about your idle issue right after replacement, the need for the felt pads etc.

 

Cleaning was going to be my next instruction; clean it out well, opening the throttle plate (twist the wheel the cables are on) to really get in there. You should find a decent amount of black/brown mess. Use a rag sprayed down with brake clean or carb cleaner. Do not spray into the intake, only spray the rag then use the rag to scrub.

If you have particularly troublesome bits, using a flat instrument you can scrape at it gently... the carbon will give long before the metal does, so be gentle, no need to rough it up.

Once it is nice and clean put the hose back on and check operation. It will likely idle very high at first, that is ok, just give it a moment to adjust.

 

In the morning I will get the lower cable adjustment spec and see f I can find a nice diagram of the flasher location for you.

 

No worries on time if it take until this weekend to get to the throttle body, I'm here a lot as you probably noticed. I will do my best to have my Vitara information home this weekend if possible.

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The felt pads went in a-LLLonnng time ago....probably when the cable just started going...I just never noticed it. Any more puzzle pieces you need let me know.
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

Hehe, ok.

I'll have that other info for you in the morning.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Sounds good...Chow for now
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.
Good morning,
The metal 'button' on the lower cable should be installed about 0.8-1.5mm from end of nose cone on the cable. Hopefully it was pulled taught during installation. You may be able to get a little more adjustment out of it, I would leave it be though if it is shifting normal at this point (defog off anyway), and proceed with the cleaning of the throttle body first.

The turn signal relay is lower/center of drivers fuse box, see illustration in lower left corner:
graphic
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I was looking for the gizmo that makes the turn signals blink. The one in my car works it just isn't audible anymore. Least not to my 57 year old ears. ( To much rock & roll when I was younger. ) Last time I changed a flasher it looked like a small silver battery about 2" long and round about the size of a nickel. I think it had two prongs on the bottom and maybe a tiny lamp in the top. I got it for the old ladys Plymouth.....it played Love Me Tender. Who knows what they're sticking in cars today. I'm gonna go get me one of those new Honda trikes they just came out with. U can see it on ktla.com.
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.
Yeah that's the one... they have changed a bit over the years and the old tin-can flasher units are pretty much obsolete. The flashers are mostly electronic now; same principle, but less moving parts for more reliability. Yours is still relatively basic; some of them are just out of control now, 10 wire flasher units, incorporated hazard function, etc etc
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
It's the etc etc that I can't hear....from the looks of that diagram, it's down in the bottom area behind that panel lower left dash. About how much for new one? I'm the type that might open it and get it to sound like Ricky Ricardo on the bongo. Ba ba looo.
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

haha, I'd pay for one of those!

 

I have a hard time believing it, but the flasher is $70 from Suzuki. I'm not certain if you can use an aftermarket one in this vehicle or not, as I've never had to change one.

 

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Holy crap!! Where's Elvis in a can when ya need him. I think I'll go to Wal-Mart and get a hearing aid for 19 bucks. Geeessss.....Iv'e been opening my wallet so much lately, I had to get a new one. Oh well...........that measurement....0.8-1.5 mm....can ya break that into inches....I got nuthin here in mm increments. But I'm not gonna mess with that for now.....shifting is good.
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

um, very small.... 0.03-0.06 inches.

 

Definitely less than you have on there... its function is not as important however as the bolted position of the cable, which is why I said lets wait and see how the cleaning goes first. With the button installed, there isn't anything you can do to un-do it really; the cable will never adjust anywhere near far enough to bring it within spec, thats why you have to crimp the button on after installation/adjustment. While 'wrong', it will not effect anything in its current position; if it were too far off the other direction, it would prevent the throttle from closing all the way and cause issues, but not in this direction.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Ohhh-k.....I didn't know the button went on after the fact. U would think Suzuki could put it where it belongs in the first place for what that thing cost me. I suppose after a few snorts any spot looked good to those guys who installed it. I'll quit bending your ear for now....gotta bone up on my Ba Ba looo. See ya saturday.
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

Hehe, ya the idea is you get the cable positioned correctly, then install that to prevent the cable from retracting too far.. but the throttle body prevents it from going any farther now anyway. If it is shifting normal, we'll leave it be.

 

Talk to you Saturday :)

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Chow
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Been awhile huh?.....haven't been able to do anything yet.....won't go into details. I'll get back to ya when I can.
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

No worries.

 

If you have been driving it all this time the system should have adapted itself by now if it was due to the throttle body cleaning vs battery disconnection. Typically a week or two of regular driving and the problem would be completely resolved if that were the problem

 

If it is still acting up it sounds like something might have gone wrong with the cable installation, perhaps being bound up somewhere etc. At that point it might be in your best interests to bring your concerns to the shop that did the install in the event that the cable was damaged etc during installation. Knowing that this issue occurred as a direct result of having the cable replaced and the computer having had time to adapt, there is little other possibility.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Still the same.....defog crap out. Even put another felt pad to help the idle. Think the belt is going.....runs like crap in reverse. There is a unit on the side of the throttle body with wires to it...left side front of the engine....sensor?...idle speed sensor? maybe not working? Hate to ask how much?
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

I'm not in front of my service manual right now (long story), but there should be two electrical connection there.

One is a throttle position sensor, which helps determine the amount of fuel required for the gas pedal position. While it sounds like this might be related, it likely is not.

The other item is the Idle Air Control valve. As this sounds like it might be related, it possibly could be. It controls the amount of air being allowed into the engine when there is little to no pressure ont he gas pedal.

 

When the ac (defog) is turned on, or the steering wheel is turned at idle, the IAC will allow additional air through to adjust for the increased load. If it is not functioning, then turning the defog/AC on could stall the vehicle. My problem is why would it just up and quit at exactly the time you had the cable replaced? It's possible, but not entirely probable.

With the vehicle running and in gear, monitor the idle speed on your tachometer, then apply turning pressure to he steering wheel (turn it just enough that you can hear the engine load up) and see what results you get on the tachometer. If the idle dips low and does not recover, the IAC is not working, if it dips the recovers, the IAC is working.

Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

Just read back a little bit to refresh. You had mentioned that when you started it up cold it had a fast idle then reduced itself to normal (and eventually to the bogging don area). This is an indication that the IAC is operating normally. If the IAC was stuck/inoperable, you would either have had fast idle stuck on or low idle to begin wit when starting it cold.

 

Another possibility, not that either of us want to go there, is that there may have been some issue/problem with the idle during the cable install and someone fooled with the manual idle adjustment screw to get it into a 'shippable' condition. Not something you want to have happened

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Just touching base on the IAC thing...turning the wheel causes idle to drop and then it recovers. Since we last talked, things have been going down hill. All revolving around the idle I think. Worst of it is the growl/rattle when on the brake into reverse and the idle drops a little. Also; the idle drops and recovers if I come to a quick stop...not all the time tho. I never did get a chance; well had the chance, to clean the throttle body. Money issues...there ain't none. I was wondering; if I happen to crap out a hundred dollar bill one of these mornings, would a diagnostic find the problem? My luck, it would find something I don't wanna know about. The growl/rattle almost sounds like some thing came loose.....location almost sounds like in the glove box dashboard area. Wish I could just park this thing in your driveway and let ya have it. Later
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

Hi again. Sorry to hear things are rough. As things are progressing, I do think a diagnostic visit would be a good idea. With the reverse problem going from rough running to odd rattles/noises, attention should be made as soon as you can, and with someone in person that can locate the noise, identify if i is related, etc in case this may lead to a safety concern.

 

Regarding the $100 diagnostic, the way the auto industry is right now, absolutely you should be able to get help that way. In my shop right now, you can come in with $45 and get a slew of problems checked out. Business is slow everywhere, and for single issues etc, we've been diagnosing for free if people don't com e in with a grocery list of items.

The important thing is that if you do not take it to the original shop (or the sublet shop I guess), you need to be CERTAIN that the shop knows the history, what was done prior involving the TV cable etc. Even if there is no relation, its things like that that make a huge difference to the person examining the vehicle in the event that there is a relation.

 

Doug C., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 6212
Experience: 16 years automotive and OTR repair including specialized training from Toyota and Mitsubishi
Doug C. and 9 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Well guy, I'm gonna try something....U mentioned the computer REMEMBERING idle position. So I'm gonna unhook the battery.....pos is getting corroded anyway...new battery and leaking...figures.....never got a battery yet that didn't....remove the felt pads and see what I get. And the final straw if that makes things worse; is back to GoodYear. Ya know seems to me; this outfit allways finds something else wrong with my car when I bring it or when they get done, later on I have other problems come up. Maybe it's just me.....I'm gonna click ACCEPT...U been the best. Don't go nowhere....I'll be Bach.
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for the Accept. I really hope you get things squared away. Please let me know what happens with Goodyear.

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Well here I am again.....that didn't take long. New issues......all that growling and other noises may be tied into something else. I noticed about a week ago a clacking noise that seemed to show up when I turned at low speed like in a parking lot. Well it happens just sitting in park......the noise seems to be at the top of the valve cover right at the front of the engine. Sounds like a ball bearing rattling around.....then it stops.....then it starts again. GoodYear seems to think the timing chain is loose and knocking around. And they kind of shrugged off the throttle/idle defog issue.....blamed it on a vaccum problem. Funny...never had a vaccum problem 'till they jobbed out the cable. Anyway; can't see a timing chain coming loose. I don't hear the noise above 2k rpm. In fact the car cruises down the freeway like nothing is wrong. Backing up is another story,,,,growl shake ratlle and squeek...sounds and feels like the engine is going to drop out. I'm closing in on 260 thousand miles on this thing....I don't expect parts to last forever. I did discover when I checked on the noise I HAD no oil in the engine..... where did it go? Put 2 quarts in a week before. GoodYear says even tho nuthing on the stick...still 2 in the pan. Maybe I guess. What happend to my low oil light? And with all that's going on....no check engine light. Never seen one for routine maintenance. Talked about a diagnostic before....what about running a code scanner for now on trouble codes?? I'm sure if there are any, the computer is full of them. Chuck
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

Wow. In the nicest possible way, it is time to stop going to Goodyear and find a reputable shop or dealership if you plan on keeping the car.

The sound could be as simple as an alternator or AC compressor with a bad bearing, or as complex as an upper engine oiling issue or piston wrist pin. The latter two entirely possible if you have been losing oil for longer than you just became aware. At 260k, the odds are more than good that you are burning oil. Your car won't really tell you that there is a problem until there is no oil left, which is when the oil pressure light will come on. Because of this it is very possible to run the vehicle down to a quart or so of oil, have no light at most times, but have oil starvation issues at higher speed.

Because of the age of the vehicle and it's miles, it really is important that you take it to a reputable shop from now on if you intend to keep it. As you have seen, chain stores and the like will opt to blow you off rather than try to get involved and risk unraveling new problems that they are unfamiliar with.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Your right about finding another auto shop. Iv'e come to learn the hard way that all ASE certified repair shops aren't all they're cracked up to be. No offence. Only reason I went to GoodYear/Tire Guys is they are close by and could walk home if they kept the car for more then a day. My alternator may have it's own issues, but doubt the noise is from there. Or the AC. It is definitly in the top front of the engine. From about 1500 rpm to idle is when U hear it most. What kills me is the on off aspect of it. Went to the store earlier to get some brewskies so I'd have something to cry in; fired up the hot rod....fast idle...smooth as silk. Engine warmed...idle droped....reverse....growl. And on the way to and back, I didn't hear one clack click or cluck. U don't seem to be buying the loose timing chain theory. Me either. It IS a chain and not a belt? I would like nothing better than to trade the thing in.....what do U think about a Subaru Forester...maybe an 07 or 08? Just a dream right now until I start seeing more of a pay check. A far fetched idea I was thinking was mabe a noisy lifter or valve. Thought about throwing a can of Justice Bros. in there. I'm a firm believer in oil additves. Think I ran my Gremlin on 100% STP. Couldn't kill that engine no matter what ya did. I digress. If I keep driving the car the way it's acting...........??
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

The on-off is what made me mention alt/AC... a lot of times a noise on the belt drive will get amplified then quieted as the AC cycles.

 

I understand what you mean about shops... I know how hard it is to find a reliable trustworthy mechanic, as I hear horror stories on a regular basis... often times when vehicles are towed into me after being at "Ed's" etc for 3 weeks without getting fixed, etc. Once you find one, hang on to them :)

 

With the miles you have, the oil consumption, and some unresolved issues, a new car I'm sure is sounding pretty good. I have no personal reservations over the new Subaru's. They are, and always really have been good vehicles. The only complaint I have ever run into with them is people complaining it is difficult getting certain things warrantied... that may be a local dealer issue, however.

 

Regarding the noisy lifter, that was what I was getting at with upper oiling issue. If you have a collapsed lifter or a blockage, that could create a similar noise as to what you describe.

 

There is a lot to be said for older vehicles... it's not just the reliability from simplicity, it's the build quality as well

I don't want to say what would happen if you continue driving the vehicle, as their are so many issues (sounds etc) that really need to be heard in person to be 100% accurate in diagnosis, the odds of misdiagnosing are much higher for something like this. You do know what the worst case scenario is....for the best case you really need to have a pro check it out in person. Considering your reservations about shops in your area, I would say the dealer is going to be your best bet, even if just for a diagnosis.

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Well I'm gonna go ahead and dump a can of Justice Bros. in the ole rattle trap. Maybe it will hep. Maybe not. And I have to drive it as is. No choice. Me no drive...me no work. No work...no pay. Let ya know next weekend how I fare. Chow for now.
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

I know how that goes, trust me :(

 

Keep me posted!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Well.....big changes to report......the car is quiet as a mouse....in fact; it's so quiet...it quit running. Ran around all day yesterday and about 4:45 was on my way home from Irvine to Colton.....got about a 1/4 mile out and felt something let go. Coasted to the curb and tryed to restart the engine...no soap. I noticed something about the clacking upfront...it seemed to get just a litte more intense or louder when I made a left turn. I don't believe the chain or belt broke...or whatever is in there. I think it slipped out of position and threw the timing off just enough. The tow company wanted $570 to bring it back to Colton....$9 a mile. Geees....I'm not driving a Ferrari. So I had to leave it in Irvine overnight. I'm going to have it towed to a Suzuki dealer in Santa Ana...hopefully tomorrow. No mun no fun right now. Got a price of $120 for a diagnosis that I can apply towards the repair/timing chain of about $400 ball park. Sound about right? Seems a little on the cheap side to me. Not that I'm complaining...since the last price I got was $600. I think while I got it there, I'm going to have them check that throttle cable and see if it was installed right...or if the idle was messed with. If so....me and TireGuys/GoodYear are going to war. I think they may have been semi-right about the timing chain knocking but they shined on the defog as a vacumm problem. Well; I just hope my car is where I left it and in one piece. Hope your day is going better than mine right now. Chow for now.
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

Wow. $400 is a fair deal on a timing set for that car if that's all you need.

Please let me know what they find regarding the noise and the cable if you end up repairing it.

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Will do.....U by chance got a pic or diagram so I can see whats up's there....timing chain wise? I can save a couple hundred and do it myself if I new what I was looking at. Haynes manuals aren't much and generalize, but better than nothing.....too bad I don't have one. I'd kill for a Mitchell manual. Think after I get this thing on the road....I'm going to try and get caught up on my bills and go shopping for a new/used set "o" wheels. Seem to be getting to the end of the road as it were where this car is concerned. What's next?....transmission.....1000 dollar computer? Don't want to go where Dodge took this Treki. Got any thoughts on a good used vehicle? Sure like the Forester....maybe an 07 or 08. Maybe I'll get a Prius....they seem to run all by themself. Haha.
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

Sure, there are two chains in the system.

Honestly, if they are willing to do it for $400, I'd run with it as that is a very fair price (book time is closer to $600). It is not a difficult job if you do these regularly, but it isn't a good job to rough your knuckles on if you aren't in the engine bay regularly.

The oil pan, valve cover, and all front covers will need to be removed to access the chains.

graphic

It's a tough call with the next step... if $400 gets you on the road again and everything is fine, I'd keep the vehicle personally if it isn't giving you any other issues. Remember a $400 bill one month, another $400 4 months later, etc is a lot better than a $300-500 payment every single month :)

The big thing is if you feel safe in the vehicle. If you have lost confidence or fear getting stranded you will sleep better if you move on.

I'd stay away from the Prius (joking aside) just based on its end-of-warranty-life costs. I have run across far too many that have had extensive electronics issues once outside of warranty, and nothing that was 'hybrid' warrantied. And then 100k seems to be when the bills really start coming in on them.

I've heard nothing bad about the Subaru line as we spoke about before, but I do not work on them very frequently at all. I wish I had more information on them for you I just don't see enough to really comment though.

For staying in the same vehicle type, RAV4s do fairly well if they have been maintained; if you don't mind stepping up to a larger vehicle the Jeeps and Grand Cherokees are very low cost to maintain, and while plagued with the typical Chrysler electrical issues, it seems to be much lesser on the Jeep line.

Hyundai is a safe bet on new and just about everything they've made in the past few years as well. They have turned into quite the bulletproof company compared to 10-15 years back when we all sat around telling Hyundai jokes :)

Most new Mitsubishis are extremely reliable, however unless you are a good negotiator the price of admission is sometimes a little too high on them.... and I work for Mitsubishi... they just price them a hair too high.

Good luck!

Doug C., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 6212
Experience: 16 years automotive and OTR repair including specialized training from Toyota and Mitsubishi
Doug C. and 9 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Nope...no more Chrysler products for me....I like the look of Grand Cherokee....but it no longer says AMC on the back. The Rav's look allright...just don't want anything with front wheel drive nor do I like that flimsy looking....what do they call it....wishbone suspension? I see that on Honda also. Looks like trouble waiting to happen. One smack back there and I'm sitting here talking to U. No offence.....U been a peach. And my guess is the reason U haven't worked on very many Subaru's is.....THEY are still on the road. Not sitting in Lowes parking lot waiting for their master to come back and make it all better. Only reason I bought....guess renting; still paying for it.....the Vitara is 'cause I rented one when my Dakota to a crap. More than once. I really like it and I do feel comfortable with it. If I could over haul it top to bottom, I would drive it another 260 thousand miles. And finally....I agree with your opinion on Hyundai....they have really come into their own....they have some nice looking autos and the quality and dependibilty have really improved over the years. I remember the jokes....made out of recycled beer cans. U sneeze 3 feet from the car and put a dent in it. And one last thing...how do I put somemore cash in my account....not that I have any right now....oops....maybe two....that diagram...am I looking at 3 tensioners on those chains? Looks like twin overhead cam. Still can't see a tensioner coming loose. Maybe wearing out and running all screwy louie. I even thought about a link coming apart on one side of the chain and flinging around in there. And then maybe it's this that and the other thing. My money is on the other thing....it's allways the other thing. And I also had my money on the Colts. I should take the long shot from now on....might just get ahead. Later gator.
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

Hehe, learned a few new ones :) It is unfortunate Hyundai doesn't have anything with the truck platform you are after. The full truck suspension really limits your options, but I understand the attraction.

 

Subarus are not that popular around here, because... well it's flat and hot everywhere, not much need for AWD. We actually just got a Subaru dealer a few years back (which since went out of business and picked up again at a new owner), before that it was aXXXXXsouth or aXXXXXnorth to get to a Subaru dealership.... which is a lot of why I don't see many.

 

I'm not sure how to work the customer end of the website unfortunately... if it is like the Expert end, there should be a Tools link near the top, and on that page should be an Add Funds link, should you need it.

 

Regarding your chains... there is a guide on the right hand side of the main chain, a tensioner on the left lower end of the main chain, and a 'adjuster' that works with the tensioner on the upper left side of the main chain (left/right looking straight at the engine)

The dohc chain has a tensioner on the lower left corner of the chain.

 

If they are certain the chain is toast... I bet would attribute it to fatigue breaking the chain, or one of the guides wearing out (plastic) from age, allowing major slop in the chain (imagine all tension being relieved when it gets worn through). Even when the tensioners fail, they still usually hold enough to keep the engine running safely, just noisily.

 

Lemmie see if I can find some decent tensioner images....

 

DOHC tensioner:

graphic

 

Main chain tensioner and guides:

graphic

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Plastic?????? U got to be kidding.....?? No timing no engine. I can't believe they put plastic anything in there. Well whatever it is....it must be in the top chain....don't see anything in the bottom chain that would cause the clacking noise. Guess I'll find out tomorrow....money is on the way.....car is still in Irvine in one piece. Between those 2 pics, which on has the plastic....and what # XXXXX letter? Does that whole front end run in a bath of oil or none?
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

Yeah they're all plastic... every chain engine I've seen anyway. Metal would be very noisy I would imagine :)

The whole front end is oiled, the chain helps deliver oil to the upper engine area.

The clacking noise, if chain related, could be either... and actually my bet for chain noise would be the right hand guide failing, as that is where you would have the most amount of chain travel in the event of a failure; the noise is likely it hitting something from all the excess travel..

The old Toyota truck four cylinders had a similar setup, and that same section of chain would clack like you wouldn't believe as it hit the timing case... eventually rubbing through to a water passage and making a huge mess (and totaling the engine sometimes)

 

Heres a quick look at the components in real life (a kit from an ebay seller)

graphic

The top center unit is the dohc chain tensioner and plastic guide attached ("2" in the dohc picture previously).

Directly below it is the main chain tensioner adjuster, plastic guide attached ("3" in the main chain picture previously)

On the left center is the main chain tensioner ("2" in the main chain picture previously)

Just to the right and between the chains is the right side chain guide, all plastic ("1" in the main chain picture previously)

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Well sounds pretty good to me that when I discoverd next to no oil in the engine....and no oil light.... that the front end was on the way out when the clacking started. Plastic....seems to me something with a ball or needle bearing would be alot better and last forever if it's running in a bath oil. The way the engine quit....felt like something let go and the car kind of lurched forward when the engine stopped. Sounds like I'm gonna be buying somemore plastic...not to happy about that. Sounds like 400 just went back up to 6. I know one thing....I DON'T want to hear they need three days to get the parts. And I will get the old parts back....noticed alot of these places won't give 'em back if ya don't ask. Talk at ya in a few days.....quit yackin' at me and go fix something....Hehehehe
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

They should have the parts in stock at the dealer. The job calls for almost 6 hours of labor, so the 600-650 range is totally believable... more believable than the 400 unfortunately. Definitely have them save the parts so we can ID the failure :)

 

Seeya in a few days.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
One last thing before we sign off.....the guy at Suzuki said I might have damaged the engine....won't know until they scope out the thing. I can't see that....timing failed engine quit....what damage? Had a Plymouth Sundace that ate the belt....lucky me I was down in Temecula....that fix wasn't to bad....no oil to mess with. Replaced it no problem. My car wants to try and turn over.....thats why I think the chain just jumped and threw the timing off....I will definetly check the oil every monday before I start a week. Who knows maybe as it was on the way out; might have been just enough slack before the growling and clacking started. And effected the idle also...
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

If the timing goes severely out, the valves can contact the pistons during engine revolution. This is very bad.... requires at minimum the head to be removed and valve(s) replaced, worse, the guides can be damaged... worst, the head damaged or pistons damaged.

If this happens at idle/cranking, damage is less likely... the fact that the engine turns over is a fairly good sign, it means the valves aren't stuck out and preventing rotation... it does not guarantee there is no damage though, just means it is less likely.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Well I'll hope for the best.....can't see anything that U mentioned trying start the engine....just try's to start....no unusual noise...kind of labors trying to start. Then kind of smooth.....I didn't press the issue. Tried a few times and gave up. Just felt like something slipped...car lurched like somebody pushed it then slowed to stop. So I don't think the engine could have run long enough to do anything. But then I buy Scratchers now and then...so what do I know. See ya in afew days. Chow
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.
Hehe.. see you in a few days
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Some body shoot me.....Suzuki says my camshaft position sensor is bad. No signal. I have compression...according to them so it sounds like timing is still intacked. They have to order the part....maybe Monday....possibly Tuesday at the latest. Geeeeeeesus.....I've already lost a week from work. Had to borrow against my next paycheck to get this far. $290 for the part...$180 to install it. And who knows if that will fix my ills....only a .44 magnum between the eyes will do that right now. Not enough beer on this planet for me to cry in....or drink. If that sensor was on the way out; would that cause all the growling...clacking...they said there was no fuel to the engine; I think. The guy on the phone talked a mile a minute. Couldn't make out half of what he said. This part sounds like the one my Gremlin had that sat below the distributer cap. Field coil or something. It took a dump in the wire that went to the spark coil I think. Didn't cost no $290 dollars either. More like $29. Cars today SUCK!! All this computer smog crap! Before long, the engine will be towed behind the car with a trailer and driveshaft to make room for all the MODERN technologie they stick in the engine compartment. U will need a V-18 engine just to move thing. Max speed of 35 mph. 50 gallon gas tank on the luggage rack....right in front of 400 pounds of batteries. 2 years later some sensor will go out because U had to sneeze and nobody has the part. They got to order it....2weeks.....thousand dollars to install it....part costs $5.95. Made in China so they make sure it lasts 2 weeks. Sorry I'm rambling....or RAMBLER....now there was a car. No I'm not drunk...yet.....give me a couple hours..U got any pics shows where this senor is and why does it cost so much?? Know I can get one....yesterday?
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

Wow.... I'm not sure to think about the diagnosis as far as the noises etc... keep me posted with what happens.

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Well that's what they said. Also said they are the only Suzuki dealer / repair station between here and Vegas. Not buying that one. What about the pics on that sensor? I know electronics....they either work or they don't. What does this thing look like? I found sensors on google for 6 bucks.
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

The sensor is located on the back of the cylinder head and calls for about a half hour labor to install, plus whatever time used to diagnose/come to that conclusion.

 

graphic

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Mind telling me what there is about that costs $290 bucks??? What is it...made out of platinum?? Gold plated....diamond studed? Bet dollars to donuts it's plastic....like everything else in this world. I'm going KIA shopping....the Sorento is about the same size as my Vitara....nice looking too....maybe an 06 or later.
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

Hehe, it should be mostly aluminum and plastic. It is a Hall-Effect sensor which incorporates an integrated circuit amplifier... it's really quite basic in design but exceptional in performance.... they are very precise in function and that has a bit to do with the pricing on them. I do not have any pricing information on this particular one but it is not uncommon for these sensors to go from 150-300$

 

I have an acquaintence with a Sorento (05 or 06 I think it was) and she likes it quite a bit. I've only had to change the oil and one bad gas cap since she has had it. I believe last she was over it was around 60-65k miles or so

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Lets see...19.95 for the oil change....and the gas cap must have failed smog test....around $500 I guess. Hheheeeee. Just drives to the store and church...right? Just messin' with ya. I gotta get a laugh somewhere. Simpsons ain't gettin' it. See ya after the sensor install. Wish me luck.....oh I ask them to check the throttle cable install and idle ajustment to see if it was messed with. Seems awfully strange to me that all this crap started shortly after that.....maybe the cause of it all. Sounds like a good case for a law suit if I can prove it.
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.
Strange indeed... let's see what happens. Keep me posted.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
U got it...chowie howie. And I asked for the old parts back....see if I get 'em. By
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

seeya later

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No need to reply; but I just looked at one of your previous answers...thats it HALL Effect sensor....that 29 dollar ring under the distributor in my Gremlin. My poor Gremmy....probably a rusted piece of junk in a land fill somewhere. Snifffff. And I never got an invite to the funeral. OH wait a minute....I think that Dodge I had....the rear bumper....had some steel in it.....could it be?? And I'm not paying 13 dollars if U answer this. I got a sick a puppy to worry about. Believe me your worth at least 13.50.......heheeheheeheeheee.
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

lol, you're something else :)

 

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
:) :) :)Smile
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Well....shit.....never mind my english. Car broke down in Irvine a week ago Monday. Been sitting in Santa Ana at Suzuki Depot while they do whatever it is they do. Supposed to be the largest inventory of parts out here. Doubt that. They didn't have mine to start with....cam shaft sensor they said....three days later. Got to order it. Have it by monday.....well that was a week in the toilet. Following wednesday....the ECM crapped out too...no signal or whatever they said. Soooo...$290 cam sensor...$1600 new ECM. Right now I been out of work almost 2 weeks. Not even sure I have a job to go back to. No thanks on the parts. They put the thing back to gether and I gotta cough up $255 for services rendered and the tow. Right now I'm waiting on a loan application so I can get this 08 Kia Spectra they got on the lot. $8600 and 430000 plus miles. Nice looking car...from what I can see on the internet. Not happy about the front wheel drive tho........beggers can't be choosers right. I know when the boots go; the joints are next. Been there. Since the Vitara is out of commision; they are going to be generous and give me $500 for it.

Ya know...what is it with todays cars? The computers programed to crap out somewhere between 150 and 250 thousand miles?? My Dakota did the same thing around 150. $1000 for that one. I know one thing....if I'm gonna keep driving for a living, I'm getting AAA....no more tows and rentals out of my pocket. And I still haven't heard dick about the loan.....I don't expect to get it. My credit looks like shit anyway. Hope ya know something about Kia's....'cause if'n I get the thing and it sneezes wrong...guess who I'm calling? You've been the best.Cool

Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

Good move passing on the repair. As I sad before, I was curious as to how they came up with the cam sensor... and that's as nice as I can put it. Following with the ECM smells like just pure incompetence.

 

Sounds like you are ready to move on, and that could be a good idea; I don't foresee an inexpensive.. just the feeling I get from the circumstances.

 

I would opt to keep the car though if they are only giving you $500... assuming you can have it towed home for $100 or less. I'm sure you can get at least that through a local sale. I often buy cars like that from people who refused to let a car lot give them $xxx.... buy them for(NNN) NNN-NNNNdepending on the vehicle/age, and fix it to resell.

 

As far as the boot/axle deal on FWD. Rest assured, those days are mostly behind the platform.... well, VW/Audi excluded, they still have tons of problems with them. For the rest of manufacturers the axles are pretty reliable even in ultra-high miles vehicles. The time of 50,000 mile axles problems are gone thankfully.

 

If you end up with the Kia,I'm pretty fair in that department, and there are quite a few others with more familiarity with them than I. At that age/mileage I wouldn't expect a whole lot of us talking though :)

 

Good luck!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The whole deal sounds like a big crock o shit to me. Nobody going to get me to belive that all that went out when what more than likely happen was the timing chain slipped and the engine quit. And come on...say it like ittis...I got the whole dictionary on 4 letter words. U'r not going to offend me. Hell I even make up some I never heard of....heheheehe. Anyway; they claim no signal out of either. Car has compression....they say. I SAY..when the car took a dump...I was making a left turn....the clack noise up front got louder....the car felt like it lurched forward and something let go. When I tried to restart it; it labored but it acted like it wanted to start.

Funny how U mentioned fixing for resale....that thought already crossed my mind. I had totaly planned on keeping an I on their web site...Suzuki Depot.com/Kia Depot.com...just incase that's what was going to happen; provided I part with it. And something just ocurred to me....how do I know they put my old parts back and not something else.? Well this that and the other thing...still boils down to the fact that I don't have a car....kind a sound like Ferris Bueller....have to envy yours.

And the cheapest price I got for tow from Santa Ana to Colton was $275. Witch still seems awfull steep. Alot better than I got from the first outfit tho...$570! It only cost me something like $350 to tow my Dakota from San Diego home when the engine crapped...threw a valve or something....$2600 for a used engine. Past history......but ya know that engine was clacking too....more so in the valve cover than the top front like the Zuki.

If I do tow the old gal home....I will open her up myself....gonna need a Mitchell Manuel or somebody that sleeps with one....for step by step. Know anybody like that Wink ?

Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

Hehe... I hate to make 100% assertions when I haven't physically looked at a car or had someone to relay information etc.... but they are wrong :)

Even if the ECM is bad, then they were wrong on the cam sensor... one way or another, they blew it in my opinion. If someone comes in to my shop and I tell them they need a $500 repair, if that didn't fix the car, I'm eating the repair. I don't tell people "okay this too, and for the same thing, and I need another $1600". I would not be in business long.

 

If you can't afford to tow the car home, at least beat em up on the price if you find out you are approved. I don't see why they would not triple that price if you get approved. They know you need a car, and they surely have plenty of room to negotiate on the price. Further, if they are so sure it is an ECM, tell them they can always buy a used one for 1/4 the price and resell the car. Let them deal with it if it doesn't fix anything.

 

If you do opt to keep it and tear it open... checking the chains is probably the first thing I would do. Myself and plenty others here have access to the technical information needed, you just have to provide the tools, time, and be comfortable with the work. The only concern I have is not knowing how many issues we are dealing with, as it seems there were a few different problems piling up.... but we'd just have to take things one at a time.

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I'm with U on the one thing and another........repair this replace that....I can do that. Run to AutoZone or Napa and buy parts 'till I find the culprit causing the problem. I'd like to know HOW they determined those two parts were bad. Diagnostic do that?? Or they just didn't like the way they looked. And I'm not against doing a timing chain....done it before. Just don't like the fact I got to tear down half the engine; so to speak to do it. And your also right on uping the price on it....the rear tires and the battery are only a few months old. The brakes were overhauled less than a year ago. I think $1500 just for that and parts is fair. I'll find out Saturday....have a ride down there. Hell...got $120 worth of crap in the car...heeheehehee.

If it comes to pass that I tow it home....do the timing chain....the car runs like a top after...what do I do with Toms Truck Center...aka Suzuki/Kia Depot??? Ya know what...think I'll look em up on the BBB. If they are accredited; wonder what the rating is. Let ya know. And still wonder if MY old parts went back in the car?.?. Can't hardly prove that. I'm starting to feel a tug where the sun don't shine. I tug back if need be. With both hands. Know what I mean chili bean?..and I still gotta get some wheels in the mean time. Maybe the place I got the Zuki from can help....hell they bent over backwards to get me in that one...only problem is...they went into luxury cars like BMW and Mercedes. We shall see on everything.

Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.
Keep me posted
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Well......The Vitara is history. Had no choice. I had to take the 500 on trade and get something so I can get back to work. Made more sense to scrap the thing than tow it home and get new wheels too. I would have had 2 car payments a month......NO WAY Jose'! I financed it for 5 years...hopeffully it will live for 3 and then I'll trade it in. Not trusting electronics in cars beyond that. Been screwed once to often. The something I got is an '08 Kia Spectra...43,500+ on the miles...$8595.00. With financing for 5 years and all the other garbage...15 plus. Car still has 16,000 mile factory warranty on it... cause non transferable.....have no warrenty if Kia finds out I'm using it for work. I'll run the rest of the 100 thousand miles out by the end of the year anyway. The only problem I have with the car....when I start the thing...I can't hear the engine running. Only way I know it's on; the radio is still playing and the rpm is showing about 750+.Hheeheheee

Maybe I should take it back and have 'em get some noise out of it. Maybe a front engine clack or a back fire....Stand back Murphy...I'll kill ya if'n ya get near my new ride...heheheeeheee. Check out Kia Depot.com if ya wanna see my new wheels. Click on pre-owned...if my car is still in there; will be the first one. My major complaint with the car...the ashtray is smaller than a pack of smokes. Hheeheheeeheheee. Got enough cup holders for the LA Lakers. But I be a happy camper...my payments are about the same for this ride as the Zuki...20 bucks less to be exact. Beer money.

One thing that bothers me about the Zuki is the fact it was still in the service bay with the hood up; like they were going to start repairs....they must have been in the computer...there was a cover hanging loose near the glove box that I never saw before. Oh well.....they can pour gas on it and have a barbeque....I'M GOING BACK TO WORK!! YeeeHaaa. I think.UndecidedCool

Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.

I'm glad you are back on the road. The new car sounds like a good deal, I hope it serves you well.

Just keep it away from the Quickie-fix shops!

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
FIX shops!???...I better not see one for a long time! My biggest gripe with this car...the ash tray is half the size of a pack of cigs. They got to be kidding with that thing..right? The owners manual is missing and the floor mats...minor details. I would like to know how to adjust the steering wheel.....there seems to be a lever under the column but damned if I can get it to move. No biggy there either...wheel is fine where it is. Yep...me pretty happy with my new wheels. Great gas millage too...getting around 35 per gallon on the highway with the a/c on. Car got some guts too for a 4 banger. The old ride was only doing around twenty six highway. Looks like I might save a few bucks on gas. Thanks for all your time with the Suzuki...like Dodge thats my last one. See ya soon....not to soon I hope.
Expert:  Doug C. replied 4 years ago.
Nice deal. Seeya!

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