Nissan reports that some 2004-11 Titan pickup trucks may exhibit a vibration in the steering wheel that may also be felt through the floorboard or seats. According to the Japanese manufacturer, the vibration typically occurs at speeds between 25 and 40 mph, and is due to the rear leaf springs oscillating in the spring seats. Installing newly designed shims between the leaf springs and spring pads should eliminate the condition. Note that the shims are available in kits containing two shims of ½ degree, 1 degree and 1½ degree tapers. The part numbers for the kits are 43036-7B805, 43036-7B810 and 43036-7B815, respectively. You'll be wise to order all three kits.
Start the fix by getting the truck on a lift. Now support the rear axle by placing jack stands on both sides, as close to the spring pads as possible. Working at the driver's side of the vehicle first, remove the four spring seat U-bolt nuts and install new nuts, part No. 08911-6441A, finger tight. Using a pry bar, separate the spring pad from the leaf spring to make room for the shim installation. Using the illustration above, insert a ½ degree shim between the leaf spring and pad, making sure the cutout portion of the shim contacts the center bolt and the taper faces the front of the vehicle. Tighten the U-bolt nuts in a cross pattern to 89 foot-pounds, then repeat the procedure on the passenger-side of the axle.
Now lower the vehicle and go on a road test to see if the vibration has been eliminated. If it has, you're done with the fix. If the vibration is still there, remove the ½ degree shims, replace them with the 1 degree shims, then go on another road test. If the vibration is gone, your work is complete. If it's still there, swap the 1 degree shims for the 1½ degree versions from the third kit.
The owner of a 2007-10 Saturn Outlook may come into shop with a complaint that he ran out of fuel, even though the fuel gauge never actually went to empty. He may also comment that he hears a loud sloshing noise while braking or under heavy acceleration.
One probable cause for both problems, reports GM, is a detached fuel tank baffle. The baffle usually gets dislodged after a rear end collision, goes unnoticed by the body shop, then typically settles underneath the fuel float, which is what prevents the fuel gauge from showing an empty tank.
To make a definitive diagnosis, drain the fuel tank, get the truck on a lift, then remove the tank and fuel pump module. Now tip the tank high and low. If you can hear the baffle rattling around, your only option is to replace the fuel tank.
"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].