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Car and motorcycle repair collection

Collection of gearhead tips for cars and bikes.

There is a squeeking or clattering, it does not suspend anymore or would not go off? Your engine is on strike or puts out fume? Look into my error collection for ignition problems, noisy ventilation, grinding brakes, rattling idle speed or rising fuel consumption...

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The battery loses energy over night, so I can't start anymore. The battery is new. The alternator works, as if started by starting aid, the battery charges normally. I didn't change anything on the radio or the like, there are no accessory units. Check if the boot lamp goes out when the lid is closed. Gauge the idle currency with switched-off consumer units. Then pull the fuses, one after the other, and look on the ampere meter, if the currency lowers.
The battery control lamp lights up while the engine is running. In addition, the light control lamp flickers from time to time. The v-belt has been renewed, the belt tension is OK. Check carbon rod of the alternator. Possibly the alternator regulator is defective, depending on the alternator manufacturer fixed directly on the alternator with two screws, there the carbon rods are affixed.
When going around bends, the car clatters, depending on the numbers of revolutions. It stops when pushing the clutch. Drive shaft defective.
While going, the engine suddenly died off. After waiting shortly, it always would start again flawlessly. Now it can't be started no more. The battery is OK. It can be started by push-starting, but again and again has engine cutouts. Since then, the electric windows left ahead and right in the rear, as well as the rear window wipers don't work anymore. Check and if necessary clean or replace spark plugs, ignition cables, distributor arm, distributor cap and the contacts.
The oil indicator lamp is blinking and the warning lamp for the battery also lightens up. In addition, the speedometer does not work anymore. Probably a grounding problem. Possibly there's a cable loose in the engine compartment. Possibly the cable at the oil pressure switch or the the cable between starter and alternator is not connected.
After turning off, it smells of fuel at the back, near the fuel pump. Possibly fuel pipe defective or fuel filter leaky. Possibly a rip in the tank inlay. Sealed up with silicone freehandedly, it might be proofed again for years.
Both head lights failed at once. Parking light and full beam still work. If the fuse is OK, check if there's voltage on the light bulbs. It's also possible, that both bulbs fail same time.
The engine gets far too hot, beyond 210°F (100°C). Replacing the defective actuator of the ventilator wheel didn't resolve the problem. Check, if there's oil to be found in the cooling water => the cylinder head gasket is defective or the cylinder head has hairline cracks. Possibly the thermostat doesn't open (replace it). Check, if the water pump works.
To stop the car, the brake has to be stepped on quite strongly. The previous owner said, that the brake pads were very new, so they had to be looped-in first. The looping in of the brake pads should be done after 40 or 80 miles, thereafter the brake should react normally. If not, have the brake checked in a garage immediately, no experiments!
The pointer of the temperature indicator doesn't exceed the first bar. The heating needs longer and longer to get warm. There's no cooling liquid leaking. If the cooling water doesn't get warm well, it's usually a problem with the thermostat.
Idle speed sometimes swings between 600 and 1000 rpm. Sometimes it also dies off, but can be started again easily. The lambda probe, the throttle valve, the air filter, the idle speed regulator and the whole suction system have already been checked without success. Possibly a vacuum hose has a fissure. Possibly a ignition cable defective.
The engine oil looks like burnt cream. Cylinder head gasket defective.
When the engine is warm, it rattles in idle speed. Possibly a plate or a clip at the exhaust is loose. Place your foot on the tail pipe of the exhaust and push it down slightly, while the engine is running. Check if the noise disappears.
The toothed belt has been renewed, and now the car rattles like a diesel. The belt has been twisted for some sprockets. Get it adjusted immediately, engine damage ahead.
Permanently there are burned out bulbs. The alternator delivers too high voltage. Replace the regulator.
Filthy brown sticky film on the cooling water. The cylinder head gasket is defective.
Loss of cooling liquid Get a pressure check done.
After having touched down on the border stone with the right forefront, the steering wheel bucks when going by more than 60 mph. From outside, there are no damages perceptible, also there are no sounds when driving. Get steering, tie rods and axle suspension checked by a garage and, if necessary, adjusted. Check the felly and the tire for damages, if necessary replace. Have the wheels balanced. Steering, brakes, wheels and tires are safety-relevant parts, deficiencies can lead to severe accidents!
The car didn't start anymore, as the battery was empty. Battery has been replaced. After some time, the car again wouldn't start. Possibly a consumer turned on, which exhausts the battery after some time. Probably alternator defective.
The spark plugs are smeared with oil. The cylinder head gasket was already replaced. While driving, the car starts to buck, doesn't react on the throttle. Very high oil consumption. Possibly piston rings defective. Possibly the cylinders have striae or a gasket is defective. Possibly the valve stem sealings don't seal up so well anymore.
Suddenly the car wouldn't start anymore for hours. Starter and battery are OK. After sprinkling the distributor with contact spray, the engine runs again (at first unsteadily). Replace the spark plug connectors and cables. If necessary also distributor cap and arm.
The rear fog-lamp doesn't work, indicator lamps don't light, the fuses are OK. If a tow-bar is present, it's probably the problem. In the plug connector there's a small switch, which is to prevent, that the fog-lamp burns when a trailer is connected. Possibly this switch is stuck or there's an adapter still in the plug.
Every now and then, the engine dies off in idle speed. Possibly vacuum hose porous. Possibly the catalytic converter is molten.
After having replaced the original winkers bulbs by smaller halogen lamps, they are winking much faster. By the weaker bulbs the total resistance increases, so the turn indicator flasher increases the frequency => go back to using the normal winkers.
The car doesn't start anymore. The battery is OK. Push-start works. Check the magnetic switch on the starter. Possibly the engine ground strap destroyed by corrosion.
When moving off and at the beginning of the second gear, there are squeaking sounds coming from the engine compartment. Strain the v-belt, respectively replace it.
Mildew at the ground under the drivers seat. Possibly cooling circulation leaky, thereby water penetration into the drivers compartment and afterwards evaporation by the heating. Check for humidity in the footwell (pedal area and co-drivers side).
The brake has to be pushed through completely before working, or one even has to "pump". The brake is a safety-relevant system => don't mess around, directly to the nearest garage.
The vehicle has stalled and does not start anymore. There is enough gasoline. Perhaps the fuel indicator is defective.
Three alternator belts have worn out within 3 months. The alternator pulley gets warm. Check the alignment of the pulleys and whether a pulley is worn out. Turn the pulley without the belt mounted, to see if a bearing is defective.
When hitting the start button, the bike goes "click", and all electrical power shuts off. No lights, no horn. Check the battery ground cable, wiggle it and if tight, remove and clean it good.
The speedometer does not work anymore. Certainly the speedometer flexible shaft is defective.