Volvo S60 Turbo – ETM and Crankcase Breather Problem

The Volvo Electronic Throttle Module (ETM) has earned a bad reputation, perhaps unfairly, for problems and early failures on the 1998-2001 cars. The ETM is the subject of a warranty extension by Volvo, now up to 10 years from the date the car was first put into service, or 200,000 miles. Volvo has also released a number of updates, both software and in service procedures to deal with these problems. This car in particular had a number of throttle fault codes stored in the engine computer. Volvo has released a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) addressing this problem, with the recommendations [...]

By | August 6th, 2011|Case Studies|Comments Off on Volvo S60 Turbo – ETM and Crankcase Breather Problem

BMW X5 – 4.4 Engine Coolant Loss

This BMW had a substantial coolant loss from the engine, in the area of what is termed the "valley pan". Service correction of this fault requires the removal of the intake manifold system, replacement of all seals and gaskets in the center engine area. While the manifold is removed, there are a number of vacuum lines and crankcase breather hoses which will need inspection and attention. BMW has released an update kit on some of the early engine crankcase breather systems, this is prime time to install this update. As you can see from the photos, it is also a [...]

By | August 5th, 2011|Case Studies|Comments Off on BMW X5 – 4.4 Engine Coolant Loss

Mini Cooper – Transmission Differential Failure

This low mileage car was towed into our workshop with the concern that it would not move. Initially it seemed that the clutch may be defective, but upon further inspection we found an internal transmission problem. It seems that Mini only presses the ring gear into the differential carrier hub, rather than bolting it in the traditional method. I suspect that the ring gear is heated, to cause it to expand, and the carrier is chilled to cause it to contract, allowing a slip fit. Fortunately we were able to repair the transaxle, saving our customer a considerable expense. While [...]

By | August 4th, 2011|Case Studies|Comments Off on Mini Cooper – Transmission Differential Failure

Audi A8 Quattro – Engine Timing Belt Service

There is no way around it, replacement of the engine timing belt on the late model Audi A8 is a chore, but it is something that if you do correctly once, you don't need to worry about again for 100K miles. Over the years we've developed some specific protocols for timing belt service on these cars, making the procedure quite straightforward, minimizing both cost and down time of the car. Unfortunately we've also corrected a number of other shops mistakes, some minor, some very major. It always cost less to have it done right the first time. So if you [...]

By | August 3rd, 2011|Case Studies|Comments Off on Audi A8 Quattro – Engine Timing Belt Service

VW Golf TDi – When Good Bio-Diesel Fuel Goes Bad

Towed into our workshop for a no-start complaint, the service technician had a bit of a surprise when he opened the top of the fuel tank to check for restriction in the fuel supply. A bad batch of bio-diesel fuel really stopped this car cold in its tracks. Diesel fuel is normally a yellow to clear liquid, much like gasoline. This bio-diesel fuel, made from an animal fat material, apparently did not have the proper mix of anti-gel additives in the batch. At ambient air temps below 60 it became, for all purposes, a solid mass with the consistency of [...]

By | August 2nd, 2011|Case Studies|Comments Off on VW Golf TDi – When Good Bio-Diesel Fuel Goes Bad

Mercedes C-Class – Air Flap Lever Fracture “Snapping” Noise

Hiding in the dash of that nice C-Class is a small plastic lever, which, given time and use, may fracture, resulting in a noise from the dash area. The noise is noted as a "snapping" or "popping" sound in or near the center vents, and the customer may also have a concern about incorrect temp or air flow from the vents. The problem, a small plastic lever which operates the foot well flaps via a servo motor. Running a diagnostic with the Mercedes SDS computer should confirm the fault, before the teardown and visual inspection. The plastic lever in question [...]

By | August 1st, 2011|Case Studies|Comments Off on Mercedes C-Class – Air Flap Lever Fracture “Snapping” Noise