Engine Warning Lights and Troubleshooting

The good thing about modern day cars is that they are loaded with computers and sensors. These basically take most of the guess work out of the diagnosis and troubleshooting process.

Changing Serpentine or Accesssory Belts

This belts drive connect the main engine rotor to other parts that need the rotational power - like the water pump,Alternator, Power Steering Pump, Air Condition Compressor and the FAN that cools the radiator. It varies from car to car and all cars will have some form of belt driving a bunch of  "accessories". Most of the serpentine-belt installations use a spring-loaded tensioning pulley that maintains a constant load(or tension) on the belt, eliminating the need to adjust the tension.

Coolant leaks - Replacing Radiator Hoses and Engine Thermostat

About the thermostat.

Alternator / Generator Symptoms and Replacement

An alternator is the device that spins and generates current that is used to charge your battery.  It also provides power to run your lights and other electric accessories on your car while it is running. There is electronics to monitor and control the charging process. The Red Battery light on your dash board comes from this circuit and tells if you there is a malfunction of the charging circuit. Sometimes the light will not show all malfunctions.

Starter Motor Symptoms and Replacement

 Diagnosis :- These are the symptoms to look for, for a problem with the Starter Motor On turning the key in the ignition :

     1.) there is a light click sound from the Relay.

     2.) there is a light click sound from the Starter Motor itself

Transmission Replacement Notes

The basic philosophy here is just like a the engine replace. Transmissions are assumed to be good for the 'life time' of the vehicle and are basically maintenance free for the most part if the transmission fluid flush is performed at suggested intervals.

Note - Transmission Fluid Flush also consists of replacing the Transmission Oil filter. Some times you may end up with bad transmission for several reasons :-

Engine Replacement

If you have a damaged engine , for most cases it makes cost sense to replace than do a rebuild. You can buy either buy used or rebuild engines. Going with used engines makes a lot of sense cost wise if you are able to find a used engine between  50 to 80K miles or lower. If you are doing the replacement yourself you might need to rent or buy an engine hoist. You might also consider more budget for the following additional needs :

Engine Overhaul Notes

 Engine over haul is basically rebuilding the engine to make it work like new all over again. This job is more like a 'Project' and might take several weekends.

The reasons for an engine going bad are many including :-

Timing Belt Replacement

The purpose of a timing belt is to provide a quiet, flexible connection between the camshaft and crankshaft to keep the valves opening and closing in phase with the movement of the pistons.

Coolant leaks and Water Pump Replacement

 Back in the good old days before the coolant water was used as the 'coolant' hence the name water pump. The purpose of the water pump is to circulate the coolant. The pump gets its rotational power from the serpentine belt described here. The pump is a pulley connected to the belt system along with other pulleys like as those of the alternator , fan , power steering pump etc. So consult the repair manual or guide for your car to identify the water pump pulley.

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