Some 2005-09 Land Rover models may lower the suspension without driver input while illuminating the Transmission Fault Stop Safely message on the dash. If you hook up a scan tool while the problem occurs, you'll likely find trouble code P186D stored in the rear differential control module.
One probable cause for all these symptoms, says Land Rover, is the rear differential control module misinterpreting the signals from the differential actuator motor feedback sensor. Reprogramming the control module with updated software is the only surefire remedy. Check with a dealer for the specifics of the flash.
Vehicles that are prone to the problem and can benefit from the new calibration files are 2005-09 LR3 models built on or after VIN breakpoint 5A000360; 2006-09 Range Rover Sport models built on or after VIN breakpoint 6A900129; and 2007-09 Range Rovers built on or after VIN breakpoint 7A239036.
Nissan reports that drivers of 2002-04 Altima and Sentra models with 2.5L (QR25DE) engines may complain of a whistle-type sound that occurs immediately after engine shutdown. According to the carmaker, the noise usually lasts about ten seconds, and is due to the normal “rotor slowdown” function built into the alternator. No service is required.
Some 2008-09 Accords with four cylinder engines may produce a metallic-type rattle when the engine is first started after a long period of inactivity (typically overnight). According to Honda, the noise usually lasts for only a few seconds, and is most likely due to the variable timing control (VTC) actuator losing its prime. Installing a new-design actuator, part No. 14310-R44-A01, H/C 8665374, should eliminate the noise immediately.
Accords that are prone to the condition and can benefit from the updated VTC actuator are all 2008 models; 2009 two-door models built from VINs 1HGCS1…9A000001 through 1HGCS1…9A004953; and 2009 four-door models built from VINs 1HGCP2…9A000001 through 1HGCP2…9A029528 and JHMCP2…9C000001 through JHMCP2…9C010096.
"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].