daughter has a 2008 Ford Focus that hesitates and stalls when it is
warming up from a cold start. So far I have installed new Motorcraft
spark plugs, air filter and fuel filter with no improvement. I took
it to a dealer but all they could come up with were some random
misfire codes. They said that I would need to install a software
update for $149. If that does not fix it, they want to do further
testing. Why would the car run fine for 65,000 miles and then need a
software upgrade to fix this problem?
Alldata automotive database pulled up Ford service bulletin 11-8-22,
dated August 2011, that describes an idle issue potentially caused
by the powertrain control module, or PCM, commanding an erratic
signal to the exhaust gas recirculation valve stepper motor. If
diagnostic testing confirms an erratic signal, the bulletin calls
for replacement of the PCM.
into the elusive world of electrons, start with the simple stuff.
Hesitation and stalling after a cold start are often caused by a
lean fuel/air mixture. Look for any type of intake vacuum leak,
positive crankcase ventilation valve issue or an air leak downstream
of the mass air flow sensor.
other causes for a lean condition such as an inaccurate coolant
sensor signal or low fuel pressure. And donít overlook routine
maintenance items like the fuel filter, which should be replaced
every 30,000 miles, and the air filter, which should be replaced
every 60,000 miles.
Q: I have a
2004 Nissan Altima 3.5 SE with 105,000 kilometers (about 65,000
miles) on it. At about 90,000 km, the car started making a clunking
noise that seemed to come from the front end. The dealer could not
find anything loose but suggested the front struts be changed, which
was done. There was little improvement. The clunk seems intermittent
and happens at slower speeds when going over bumps. I know there is
something wrong somewhere but the Nissan dealer is unable to locate
the problem. Iím rather fussy and the car sounds like a piece of
junk when the clunking happens.
issued a voluntary recall NTB05-114c, dated June 2012, addressing
the possibility of corrosion in the rear subframe bushings of some
2002-2005 Altimas driven in "salt" environments. Nissan
will replace and extend the warranty on the rear sub frame for a
total of 13 years and unlimited mileage on the affected vehicles.
live in Canada and the bulletin identifies specific "salt"
states in the United States, have your dealer check eligibility if
this is the problem with your vehicle. Because you sense the noise
coming from the front, have the dealer check the front bushings as
Q: There are
times when I wish we were back to the good old days when the only
thing on the dash was the speedometer. I have a 2012 Honda CR-V and
there must be 15 maintenance indicators on the dash, most of them
requiring a dealerís intervention. Remember when maintenance was
left up to a local mechanic and a sticker on the windshield?
memories of the "good old days" tend to be rather
selective, donít you think? Would we really rather have cars only
deliver 8-12 miles per gallon, wear out by 100,000 miles, and offer
little protection in a crash? On a broader scale, would we be happy
with black-and-white TVs? No computers? No cellphones?
your sentiment, but recognize one absolute truth about modern
automobiles ó the dramatic improvement in safety, efficiency,
comfort, convenience, performance, durability and consistency are
the product of ongoing developments in technology. The number of
maintenance and warning lights on the dash is due to our tendency to
ignore proper service and maintenance on our vehicles. In essence,
technology has relieved us of much of that responsibility ó and Iím
having a hard time finding a downside to this.