General Motors reports that the clutch on some 2006-09 Pontiac Solstice models may not disengage properly when the ambient temperature is below freezing. According to the carmaker, the problem usually occurs following a heavy rain or snowstorm and is due to moisture entering the clutch housing and freezing between the clutch plate and flywheel. Allowing the clutch assembly to thaw and installing a new water deflector shield, part No. 25875802, at the air inlet grille panel to prevent moisture from reentering the clutch housing is the recommended repair.
Owners of 2001-03 Montero trucks produced before Jan. 7, 2003, may complain of a hum or clicking sound from the front axle while driving. One likely source of the noise, said Mitsubishi, is a bad front hub bearing assembly. Water intrusion into the bearing is what causes all the trouble. Installing a new-design hub bearing with an improved seal should help eradicate the noise. You'll find the bearing in a new kit, part No. MN103586, which includes a new castle nut, washer and lock pin. After installing the new bearing, tighten the castle nut to the revised spec of 148 ft.-lbs.
Drivers of 2007 FJ Cruisers may come into your store complaining of a creaking sound from one or both inner door handles. Toyota says the noise occurs when opening the doors, and is due to a poorly designed handle assembly. Updated handles are now available to address the problem. Order part No. 69205-35020-B0 for the right door; part No. 69206-35010-B0 for the left door.
"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]