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> Adventures in car repair, my experience under the hood in the last 24 hours
bhorste
post Sep 24 2010, 03:48 PM
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So, the wife's Rio has been leaking brake fluid from the proportioning valve for a while now. Finally decided that it's time to be fixed. Call up the local dealership, and they want $414 to swap it out, with no guarantee that they won't break anything else. So instead I just hit them up for the valve (and an oil filter and plug gasket while I'm there) and decided to do it myself.

You have to take the air box off (and the throttle body, we later discovered) to get at the proportioning valve, but that's not a terribly difficult thing to do. Getting brake fittings with 95k+ miles on them to come loose without losing their shape? Quite another story. They were all doused in copious amounts of PB'laster (most awesome stuff ever), and a few of them even cooperated without much of a fight. The rest required vice grips and a firm but gentle touch... don't want to do anything to the lines.

After a long struggle with those (thanks, Dad!) the old valve came out and the new valve *slowly* went in. Things never line up 100% with a new part, do they? Got the lines back in, got everything snugged up and started putting the intake back together. Did a little bleeding of the brakes, fired up the car and a couple seconds later... WHOA! SHUT IT OFF! Turns out we missed a coolant line on the TB that was more than willing to dump coolant everywhere. There was a clamp on the hose, but it wasn't on the nipple... because it's just about impossible to get into the right spot unless you're a double-jointed midget. Got it back on (figured "hey, it didn't leak before, why would it leak now") put the air box *back* on, connected everything, and we get a bunch of OBD codes. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!@$!@21~3!

Limped the car home from my folks' as it was late, I had to work at 0600, I was supposed to go set up my band gear for our gig this weekend, and the kiddo was getting very cranky. What normally takes 1/2 hour took the full hour, since the car wouldn't shift itself and wouldn't use a gear higher than 2nd. Swear I will defeat it after work the next day.

Fast forward to this afternoon, after work and a trip to the parts store for a new TPS (which was what 2 of the codes were regarding). Take off the air box YET AGAIN and take a look at the TPS. Oh, wait, is the connector even on it?! OF COURSE NOT, YOU BLOODY FOOL! Turns out that sensors communicate with the ECM a lot better when they're actually connected to the harness. Put that back on, put the air box BACK ON, fired it up and went for a test spin.

<cue Handel>

HALLELUJAH! It drives just like it did! Returned the sensor, cleared the codes, and now everything is as back to normal as it gets around here. Now for some more work on the amp (and a blog is coming, I swear!).


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fuelrat
post Sep 24 2010, 03:59 PM
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Doh! I've had those days myself.
Hell, just today I found out that if you leave the car stereo on for too long without the engine running the damn battery will die. Who knew?! Lol


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only1db
post Sep 25 2010, 06:15 AM
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thats always the first thing i check when i have codes....i remember one of the old timers (in my head now) keep saying.."check the fuse? got power? its it plugged in?" it was annoying but it works...especially if its AFTER you did something in that area.

glad you figured it out though.


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Blupupher
post Sep 25 2010, 07:12 AM
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Yea, when I tell my wife I am going to work on the car, she asks how long it will be. When I tell her, she always replies "Oh, so it will take (2x what I told her)?".
Half the time it is true though, so now I am like Scotty on Star Trek, I tell her triple what it should, she doubles it, and I usually finish in less time than I originally told her, so she thinks I am getting better. smile.gif

Glad you got it sorted out.


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NevynPA
post Sep 25 2010, 07:18 AM
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QUOTE (Blupupher @ Sep 25 2010, 08:12 AM) *
Yea, when I tell my wife I am going to work on the car, she asks how long it will be. When I tell her, she always replies "Oh, so it will take (2x what I told her)?".
Half the time it is true though, so now I am like Scotty on Star Trek, I tell her triple what it should, she doubles it, and I usually finish in less time than I originally told her, so she thinks I am getting better. smile.gif

Glad you got it sorted out.



For sure! I normally use the rule of "double-forty." Figure out how long you expect it to take, double it, and then add 40%. I told this to a coworker, she didn't believe me (rule works for cars & computers). I timed the job we went out on, after she quoted an estimate. I told her how much double-forty was, and when we got back to the dept. we were within 3 minutes of my double-forty. smile.gif


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cobas
post Sep 25 2010, 07:29 AM
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That's the sort of experience that scares people out of working on their own cars! But if you'd paid someone $400 to do it for you, you wouldn't have learned how to do it, nor have a fun story to tell. smile.gif


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bhorste
post Sep 25 2010, 08:58 AM
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QUOTE (cobas @ Sep 25 2010, 08:29 AM) *
That's the sort of experience that scares people out of working on their own cars! But if you'd paid someone $400 to do it for you, you wouldn't have learned how to do it, nor have a fun story to tell. smile.gif


Won't dissuade me from the timing belt/water pump coming up soon (and affordable, since I didn't have to blow $400 on someone else). I am going to have to coat the side of my right thumb in New Skin before the show tonight, though... found a cut that ends up rubbing against the strings sometimes when I strum. Not a great feeling.


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2001VE
post Sep 26 2010, 09:07 PM
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Pick up a few pairs of those tough blue latex gloves ; I find they almost eliminate all cuts from sharp edges.

Reduces hand clean up later as well.


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bhorste
post Sep 27 2010, 07:51 PM
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QUOTE (2001VE @ Sep 26 2010, 10:07 PM) *
Pick up a few pairs of those tough blue latex gloves ; I find they almost eliminate all cuts from sharp edges.

Reduces hand clean up later as well.


Actually, I've got some Mechanix gloves around here somewhere... just didn't have them handy at the time. Will definitely make sure they're readily available next time.


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Doohickie
post Sep 28 2010, 11:29 PM
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Good job! It pays to be persistent (stubborn). And it's also great to learn new things when you work on your car.

I did a quickie repair this weekend. I got the Elantra inspected, no problem. My son's Escort was due also and although it passed, the technician noted that the temp gauge rose when the car was in Park with the AC on. My suspicion was the fan relays (which gave me problems in the past). I pulled up a thread about them on the Ford Escort forum and started to look around. There are three relays- two under the air cleaner and one easily accessible in the fuse box. I removed the fuse box cover and jiggled it and the fan came on. I put that relay in three years ago and it's bad again. So I bought a new relay and dropped it in. Done... for now. Not sure how long a '95 Escort will last but it's been a trooper.


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NevynPA
post Oct 1 2010, 09:35 AM
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QUOTE (Doohickie @ Sep 29 2010, 12:29 AM) *
Not sure how long a '95 Escort will last but it's been a trooper.


Should be durn near forever. Normal engine issue is head cracking/warping on cylinder 4 if it gets too hot. The CVH engine in that car is a slightly modified hemi design.


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