Archive Page 3

1989 Buick Century Missing UNder Load and Stalls In Gear

Ben’s question:

Question: I have a 1989 Buick Century 112,000 miles with a 3.3L V6. I have put new plugs, O2 sensor,wires, ignition module, fuel filter, 5 fuel injectors serviced at NAPA and bought a new one. The car runs pretty good when first started, as the engine warms up it misses under load and then misses at a idle sometimes stalls when in gear. Should I check for a clogged catalytic converter or ??”


I doubt if it’s a clogged converter, because they have definite symptoms such as the engine will begin to run hotter on the temperature gauge, and the car will not be able to go over a certain speed (a small clog may limit you to fifty, a big one can limit you to ten miles per hour top speed.) First, I would really question the injector repair. If one injector was replaced, and the others merely cleaned, you may never get it to run correctly. The new injector is going to flow differently than the other old five ones, and odds are those five are on their way out like the one you just had replaced. I would start there to begin with. Also have the fuel pressure and volume tested, as a weak fuel pump can give your symptoms. And of course, replace the fuel filter as that’s simple and cheap. Good Luck,

Toyota Camry 2002 cant pass emissions(code p0420)

Jose Alvarez’s question:

i have a Camry 2002 and i cant pass my emissions test because of code p0420(catalyst efficiency below threshold)what does this mean and is it expensive to fix????”


That code means either the oxygen sensors are getting weak, OR the catalytic converter itself is getting weak. BUT, you can often just have the computer reset with a scan tool and drive the car about twenty miles on the highway. After doing this, if the check engine light stays off, you should be able to pass the test then. If it comes back on before you get it reinspected, then you will have to repair it to get the sticker.

My 98 Dodge Intrepid fuel pump wiring

Terry’s question:

My 98 Intrepid stalled on the road and won’t start up. I checked the fuel and there is no fuel pressure at all. The fuses and relays are fine, but the pump won’t work. So I hot wired the pump, and it worked fine then. What should I check for now?”


Well, I’d check the wiring going to the fuel pump next. This wiring goes under both the front and the back seats on that Dodge. I’ve seen the wires rub under those seats and then short out before. Especially if you live in a cold northern part of the world, as the wires seem to get brittle and then break. Good Luck,

Putting big wheels and tires on my 2005 Impala

Jeremy’s question:

I’m thinking about putting big wheels and tires on my 2005 Impala. As a professional mechanic, do you see any downsides in doing this?”


Yes, I don’t ever advise anyone to do this. Your Impala was computer designed for the rims and tires that it came with. The suspension system rides best with those size tires. The braking system works best with them. AND the gas mileage will be best using those rims and tires. Putting on Huge rims and tires may look cool, BUT it will adversely effect handling, braking, and gas mileage. If you want fancier looking rims, go right ahead, but I wouldn’t change their size.

1988 GMC pickup 305 v8, a700R4 transmission wont shift out of 2nd gear

Tom’s question:

i have a 1988 GMC pickup 1/2 ton rear wheel drive,305 v8,with an automatic/overdrive transmission believed to be a700R4 trans. i have had it overhauled,and i have attempted an overhaul myself,the trans. seems very strong in low, and 2nd, it even seems to work fine when it has set over night, but when warm it will not shift out of 2nd, any ideas?”


Visit a good transmission mechanic when it won’t shift out of second. They can hook up their transmission computer to the vehicle and do a couple simple tests. This could tell you if it’s a mechanical problem, such as a bad automatic clutch, or an electrical problem, like a bad solenoid inside the transmission. You might get lucky and find an electronic problem exists. Your only other option is to pull the tranny off again and pull it apart to see if a mechanical part has failed. Good Luck,

2000/2001 Toyota Celica GT Clutch Wear

Simon’s question:

Hey I saw your video on youtube and I really like the way you pass on information I was wondering in regards to a 2000/2001 Toyota Celica GT with low mileage of 100 clicks or less, how much do you think its worth? Especially since if the clutch has never been changed and lets just assume that all the interior and wheels are above average.?? For newer 2000 year + cars.. how often does the clutch wear under a typical use?


First, clutch wear depends upon where you drive and how you drive. I’ve had customers who do mainly highway driving get over 150 thousand miles out of a clutch. While some hard drivers who do mainly in town driving can wear them out in thirty thousand miles. The more you baby the clutch, the longer they last. As for value, I assume you have a regular celica and not a GTS with the Yamaha racing engine in it. It would probably be worth about 3300 trade in, if it was really clean you might sell it on the street for forty five hundred.

1998 honda accord change a timing belt/water pump

Santi Rodriquez’s question:

is there any way to clean my catalytic converter and reuse it on my 1998 honda accord? what is the going rate for a universal catalytic? i would like to learn how to change a timing belt/water pump on my 1998 honda accord. any advice you give me i would greatly appreciate! “


If a catalytic converter is really clogged up, the material is so fused into the platinum substructure inside that nothing will break it apart. BUT, sometimes you can run catalytic converter liquid through the gas tank that can make a marginal converter work good again. All auto parts stores sell these cleaners. Changing out a timing belt and water pump can be done by anyone with hand tools and patience. You can purchase a book for your car that shows every exact step to do with pictures for less than twenty bucks, OR, if you want to e mail me through my website e mail section, I can e mail you back the whole procedure. This forum doesn’t support the sending of pictures, so I’d need an e mail address to send such information to you.

Honda Accord EX vtec 96 no spark

Tony’s question:

i have a honda accord EX vtec 96 and i dont have spark how can i test the ignotion coil.thank you”


The coils rarely go bad on those Hondas, the internals in the distributor go out. they are rather complex inside and even mechanics rarely fix them. We just buy a rebuilt distributor OR a brand new one (and now Chinese made new ones are available and generally cost the same as the old rebuilds, around two hundred dollars.) Simply see if you have power going into the distributor when you turn the key on and crank the engine over. If you do, and have no spark coming out the distributor, just replace it.

My 2004 PT Cruiser keeps dying out at stop signs when I have the AC turned on

Wendy’s question:

My 2004 PT Cruiser keeps dying out at stop signs when I have the AC turned on. I’ve had tune ups, the idle valve changed out, and other things. But, it still dies at idle when the AC is on. Please tell me you’ve seen this before.”


As a matter of fact, I have seen that before. Your PT Cruiser has a two speed fan that cools the radiator. It has low speed, and high speed. And many times the low speed circuit of that fan motor will burn out. SO, when you’re idling with the AC on, the low speed fan doesn’t work. Then the AC system builds up too much pressure from the heat, and strains the engine enough to make it stall. Have the low speed circuit checked on your radiator fan. Odds are it’s burned out and you just need to replace the fan motor. It’s a rather common problem with those Cruisers.

change the rearwheel bearings on an 1982 opel corsa

Murray’s question:

Hi all, was wondering if anyone knows if its possible to change the rear wheel bearings on an 1982 opel corsa without a set of hydraulic pullers, ie with a hammer and punch and install the new ones with the same…… appreciate any comments Murray”


Well, my data system doesn’t have opels in it as they aren’t sold in the states anymore. BUT, the first car I owned was an Opel. Being a poor kid, I changed bearings out with hammer and punches and long pipes to reach into areas you can’t get to otherwise. If you’re inventive, you can do it. BUT, be REALLY careful putting the new bearings on. You don’t care if you destroy the old ones, but be careful where you hit the new ones (that’s where a pipe that fits exactly on the outside race of the bearing comes in handy.) Good Luck,