Calling Off Those False Alarms

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Out-of-line Chrysler steering wheels and misbehaving Subaru transmission sensors are among the mechanical maladies covered in the latest technical service bulletins.

The bulletins are compiled by alldatapro.com and offer automakers' insights into some recurring problems with various models. The bulletins, known as T.S.B.'s, are not recalls; they are information provided by manufacturers to dealers' service departments and mechanics.

Unless otherwise noted, the carmakers do not offer payment assistance for these repairs beyond normal warranty coverage. Alldata.com sells a more comprehensive version of the bulletins to consumers. Here are some recent examples:

BMW The low-coolant indicator may give false warnings in some 2012 3 Series models. In T.S.B. 170212 issued on Nov. 1, BMW said that moisture-induced corrosion in the electrical connector for the coolant level sensor could cause an inaccurate reading. Replacing the expansion tank and correcting any problems in the wiring should stop the false alarms.

CHRYSLER Drivers of some sporty coupes may be feeling a little off course. In T.S.B. 02-007-12A issued on Nov. 16, Chrysler said the steering wheels in some 2013 Chrysler 200 models might be off center from three to 12 degrees. (A similar model, the 2013 Dodge Avenger, may also be affected.) Setting the wheel alignment should fix the problem.

DODGE Clutch slave cylinders in some 2013 Dodge Darts with manual transmissions may drip hydraulic fluid. In T.S.B. M37 issued on Nov. 19, Dodge's parent company, Chrysler Group, said the problem affected about 4,200 cars. The part must be replaced on all vehicles built within a specified date range.

GENERAL MOTORS Buyers of vehicles with eAssist mild-hybrid systems may encounter a failure of the system's drive belt. In T.S.B. 12239 issued on Oct. 30, G.M. said that the belt might break on some 2013 Buick LaCrosses and Chevrolet Malibu Ecos, causing a loss of power, the illumination of the battery light and eventually a no-start condition. Replacing the belt will clear up the problem.

HONDA Poorly performing air-conditioning systems in some CR-V crossovers has led to the company's extending the warranty on the compressor clutch. In T.S.B. 12-072 issued on Nov. 2, Honda said the problem in 2007-11 models might also result in noisy operation. The warranty is extended to seven years or 100,000 miles, from three years or 36,000 miles. (A similar condition may occur in 2007-12 Acura RDX crossovers, covered by T.S.B. 12-039 issued on Nov. 2.)

MINI Trouble with the engine coolant temperature sensor could heat things up for a range of models. In T.S.B.'s M170412, M170512, M170612, M170712, M170812 and M170912 issued on Oct. 1, Mini's parent company, BMW, said that corrosion in the contacts of the sensor in some 2011-12 models could cause an inaccurate temperature reading, illumination of the Service Engine Soon light or a failure to start. Replacing the upper coolant hose (the replacement hose contains a new temperature sensor) and fitting a wiring harness for the new sensor will clear up the problem in Cooper, Cooper S, Clubman, Convertible, Coupe and Countryman models.

NISSAN "But, officer, I wasn't speeding." This time, it could be true. Some Versa owners may be getting incorrect readings from their speedometers. In T.S.B. NTB12-100 issued on Nov. 8, Nissan said the problem might occur in 2009-11 models. The company will recalibrate speedometers on affected vehicles at no charge.

SUBARU Continuously variable automatic transmissions that make a squealing sound on light acceleration may have a faulty sensor. In T.S.B. 16-85-12R issued on Dec. 12, Subaru said the noise in 2010-12 Legacy and Outback models was most likely a result of a malfunctioning secondary pressure sensor, which could cause slippage and transmission damage. A new sensor could be in order, with further repairs possible if the transmission itself was damaged.

autonews

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.


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