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Published on July 1, 2012

Factory Fixes

Nissan

Owners of 2007-08 Altima and Maxima sedans, as well as 2008 Altima coupes, may come into your store with a complaint of a rattle or clunk-type noise from the front suspension while driving over rough roads. According to Nissan, the problem only affects cars built between July 16, 2007 and Sept. 29, 2007, and is caused by improperly tightened front stabilizer bar connecting rod nuts.

Start the fix by getting the vehicle on a lift. Continue by loosening the two connecting rod nuts at both ends of the stabilizer bar. Using a backup wrench, retighten the outer nut to the revised torque of 58 ft-lbs. When properly positioned, the ball joint head of the connecting rod should be parallel to the stabilizer bar, not twisted, as shown in the illustration above. To complete the repair, lower the vehicle and road test it to verify that the noise has been eliminated.

Honda

Honda reports that all of its 2005 Odyssey minivans, as well as 2006 models built from VINs 5FNRL38…6B000001 through 5FNRL38…6B106388 and 5FNRL38…6B400001 through 5FNRL38…6B443036, may emit a groaning sound from the front brakes when coming to a full stop from low speeds.

The Japanese carmaker says the most likely cause of the noise is improperly formulated front brake pad linings. Installing new-design pads, part no. 45022-SHJ-A50, H/C 8303083, should eliminate the condition in short order. Before installing the pads, machine both front rotors, preferably with an on-car brake lathe.

General Motors

Drivers of 1997-99 Chevy Corvettes and 1998-99 Chevy Camaros and Pontiac Firebirds with 5.7-liter V8 engines may complain of a squeak or squeal from the accessory drive belt.

According to General Motors, the noise usually changes in intensity as the engine rpm increases, and is most due to the idler pulley's dust shield collapsing and making contact with the bearing race on the pulley itself. Installing a new-design idler pulley, part no. 12564401, should remedy the condition immediately.

"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 tirebusiness@crain.com.

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