Some 2005-06 Saturn Relay minivans with 3.5-liter engines may stumble or hesitate at high engine revs (5400 rpm or above).
According to GM, the symptoms usually surface just before the transmission upshifts, and may be severe enough to turn on the Check Engine light and store misfire trouble code DTC P0300 in computer memory. Valve float is the likely culprit. Installing new-design, stiffer valve springs, part #12599294 (complete set of 12) should help eliminate the condition.
Toyota reports that all of its 2004-09 cars and SUVs are susceptible to an irritating squeak from the front seat(s) when the vehicle is driven. The Asian carmaker attributes the noise to the seat track locating pins making contact with the seat crossmember. Removing the seat and cutting off the locating pins is the permanent fix.
Begin the job by disconnecting the negative battery cable to cut off juice to SRS system. Wait at least 90 seconds to allow the residual voltage in the system to deplete, then remove the affected seat. With the seat on your shop floor, tilt it backward to gain access to the front locating pins. On all models except Highlanders, cut off the front pin at the inner seat track so that no more than 2mm of the pin remains, as shown in the illustration above. Repeat the procedure at the outer seat track. On Highlanders, it's only necessary to cut off the pin at the inner seat track, says Toyota.
Continue the fix by removing any metal shavings from the seat track. Next, put some paint on the bare metal to prevent corrosion. Once the paint dries, place the seat back into the vehicle and reconnect the electrical connectors, if applicable.
To complete the repair, reinstall the seat retaining bolts and seat track covers, reconnect the negative battery cable, then test the function of the power seat and seat heater, if applicable. If your work involved the passenger seat, you'll have to send the vehicle to a dealer to have the passenger occupant system of the SRS reinitialized.
Ford reports that some 2000-02 Lincoln LS sedans and 2002 Ford Thunderbird coupes (all with 5R55N automatic transmissions) are susceptible to fluid leakage at the transmission drain plug.
One probable cause for the leak, says the carmaker, is a defect in the sealing surface of the “O” ring positioned near the hex portion of the drain plug. Removing the “O” ring and installing a new-design sealing washer, part #2W4Z-6734-AA, in its place should prevent further leakage issues.
Some 2002 Altima models my emit a knock or thump from the rear suspension when going over rough road surfaces at slow-to-moderate speeds.
According to Nissan, the noise is most apparent when the suspension is subjected to rapid compression/rebound cycles, and is due to design weaknesses in the rear strut assemblies. Installing updated, beefier struts, part #56210-AL585, should vanquish the noise immediately.
Drivers of 2001-03 QX4 models may come into your store with a complaint that an oily fluid is leaking from underneath the truck.
One likely source of the leak, reports Infiniti, is a damaged pressure port plug on the transfer case. You'll find the plug on the upper left side of the case. Installing a new-design, self-sealing plug, part #31306-2W510, is the only reliable fix.
To remove the damaged plug you'll have to remove the transfer case assembly from the vehicle. After the new plug is installed, run the truck in gear on a lift for at least five minutes to ensure that the leak has been eliminated.
“Factory Fixes” is written by Jim DePalma, a 30-year veteran of the auto repair business who has served stints as a service manager, parts manager and ASE-certified technician. His column provides vehicle manufacturers' authentic factory technical service bulletins (TSBs) that have been condensed for easier reading. Mr. DePalma advises that techs always check with a dealer or repair information system for the latest revisions before starting to work on a vehicle. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]