Drivers of some 2000-01 Sentra models may come into your store with a complaint that the transmission won't upshift when the cruise control is activated. According to Nissan, the problem typically occurs just after cresting a hill, usually lasts for several minutes and is caused by an out-of-adjustment cruise control cable. Adjusting the cable is the simple fix. Sentras that are prone to the shifting trouble include all models with SR20 engines, as well as vehicles with QG18 engines built before Aug. 7, 2001.
Ford reports that some 2005-07 Ford Five Hundred and Freestyle and Mercury Montego models may emit a scraping or screeching sound from the front suspension while turning the steering wheel traveling at slow speeds. The carmaker attributes the noise to defective upper strut mounts. Installing a set of new-design mounts, part No. 5F9Z-18183-B, should eliminate the noise condition immediately. When removing the old mounts, note the placement of the notches and arrows, then install the new mounts in the same position.
Some 2003-04 PT Cruisers may produce a whistling or hissing sound from the engine compartment. Chrysler says the noise may increase in intensity when the steering wheel is turned with the vehicle moving slowly or at rest. The carmaker attributes the condition to design flaws in the power steering hoses. Installing a new power steering hose assembly, part No. 05272319AJ, should eliminate the noise in short order. The assembly includes both pressure and return hoses.
"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]