Drivability Archives - Transmission Digest
Intermittent No Start Camry Woes

Baffling ‘irresistible situation’ involving stalling Camry results in the wielding of detective skills.

BMW 530e Plug-in Hybrid

A while back, I compared a 2005 BMW 325 2.5 liter to the updated 2011 model and guess what? The newer one was harder to service. So the questions I ask working techs include: Do the automotive designers look at the ease of service when designing a new car? And are they getting better or worse to work on?

A Misfiring Mustang

Our customer arrived at our door with a beautiful, black Mustang shaking and rattling at idle and running poorly on acceleration. My test drive revealed that the car ran smooth with no codes and no noises until it warmed. I also heard and felt a probable throw-out bearing issue, as the sound changed with clutch pedal pressure.

Newer Nissan Rogues: A Technician’s View

Did Nissan make the redesigned Rouge better, or worse, to work on? How do American technicians view Nissan? Do the automotive designers look at the service end when they design or redesign a new car? Until service technicians tell me engineers understand “someone has to fix it later,” I will continue to write these articles.

Super Sleuth

This vehicle was recently dropped at my door with the daunting “intermittent” concern. Power windows, radio and wipers would work for periods of time – sometimes for full days – and then fail, only to resume for no apparent reason.

Sorting Out the Technology

The two electric cars I’ve chosen for this article are the new Chevy Bolt (not to be confused with the Volt) and the new Tesla Model 3. They’re about the same price ($37,000 to $38,000 base, before incentives), have well more than 200 miles of range and both allow fast charging. The Bolt is available everywhere, but the Tesla Model 3 just came out as I was writing this article in July 2017.

Feelin’ the Love

This article is about a customer who believed his car not starting related to his under-hood encounter with a strange critter. After chasing off his uninvited guest and making a visual inspection, the customer had the car towed to his Toyota dealer and explained that the critter was somehow responsible for the problem with his car.

A Tale Of Two CRVs

Case studies illustrate diagnosing a vehicle’s misfire and a customer’s misfire

If your shop is like ours, Honda CRVs make an appearance weekly. Mostly for maintenance, but sometimes they need to be diagnosed. We’ve seen several lately with around 200,000 miles and still providing reliable service.

How Does the Original Toyota Prius Plug-In Stack up to the New Prius Prime?

The Prius family (Prius Hatchback, Prius C, Prius V and the new Prime) is still popular. When the engineers changed the plug-in model technically, did they make it easier or harder to service and repair? We’ll find out.

Give ’Em an Upgrade

This half-ton carryall came to us with an illuminated malfunction indicator light (MIL), accompanied by P0300 (random misfire) and P0304 (cylinder 4 misfire) codes. During our test drive, the MIL also flashed.
With 180,000 miles, a plethora of possibilities existed for the root cause, so I began with a GM original: the Strategy-Based Diagnostic Chart.

Serviceability Report: Ford Fusion Hybrid

Ford Motor Co. saw the light in hybrid technology with the introduction of the model year (M/Y) 2005 Escape hybrid. Since then, they’ve made many improvements and gained market share.

Cracking the Codes

In Colorado – and elsewhere, I’m certain – P0442 codes can be counted on to bring cars into our service drives. But in Denver and other heavily populated, pollution-producing areas in the state, we have an additional layer of inspection that forces vehicle owners to have their evaporative emissions systems inspected.