A Fix for a Chirp Under the Hood

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Honda Crosstours that foul spark plugs and Jeep Wranglers that run hot are among the vehicles with mechanical maladies covered in the latest technical service bulletins.

The bulletins, which are compiled by alldatapro.com, 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 Corrosion may develop around the positive battery terminal of some 3 Series models. In T.S.B. 610713 issued on Aug. 1, BMW said the problem on 2012-13 models might be caused by a lack of an anticorrosion coating on the panel that houses the battery. Coating the area with underbody protection spray should keep the corrosion at bay.

CHEVROLET Owners would be dismayed to hear the phrases "dimensionally incorrect" and "bent valves" in reference to their new vehicles. But those words may apply to some of the 4-cylinder engines in 2013-14 Impalas and Malibus. In T.S.B. 13283 issued on Sept. 6, General Motors said a problem with the engine block casting, possibly causing the valves to contact pistons, meant the engines might need to be replaced before the vehicles were delivered to customers.

CHRYSLER A chirping sound from the engine compartment may plague some Dodge and Ram pickups. In T.S.B. 07-003-13 issued on Sept. 4, Chrysler said the noise from 2009-13 pickups stemmed from the serpentine accessory drive belt. Replacing the belt with one that compensates for a slightly misaligned pulley should quiet things.

FORD The power transfer unit of some all-wheel-drive models may have a leak. In T.S.B. 13-9-16 issued on Sept. 17, Ford said a lubricant leak on Taurus, Explorer and Lincoln MKS all-wheel-drive models might stem from a missing or disconnected hose at the transfer unit, which distributes power to the rear axle. Fitting a new hose, or reinstalling a disconnected hose, should stop the leak.

HONDA A powertrain warranty extension may offer help for some Crosstour owners. In T.S.B. 13-079 issued on Oct. 8, Honda said that as part of a class-action-lawsuit settlement, the company would extend the warranty to cover repairs related to a condition in 2010-12 V-6 models.

The company said that the piston rings in some cylinders might rotate and align their end gaps, leading to oil fouling the spark plugs. This can cause a misfire, rough running and the Check Engine light to illuminate. The revised warranty is eight years with unlimited mileage for repairs related to the condition, from five years or 60,000 miles. Replacing the piston rings, spark plugs and related parts will fix the trouble.

Also, cracking, chalking or clouding paint on the horizontal surfaces of some Civics is the subject of two T.S.B.'s. The warranty is extended to seven years, with no mileage limit, but applies to only nine colors from the 2006-11 model years. The T.S.B.'s include 13-060 of Aug. 13 for the roof and trunk and 12-049 for the hood.

JEEP Owners of some 2013-14 Wranglers may notice the engine running hot. In T.S.B. 08-069-13 issued on Sept. 12, Chrysler said the problem might be caused by a failure of the cooling fans to turn on. The fix involves reprogramming the control unit.

KIA Rear lower control arms may need to be replaced in some 2011-12 Optima sedans. In T.S.B. CHA040 issued on Aug. 6, Kia said the parts might not stand up to road salt in 21 Snow Belt states. The parts will be replaced free on vehicles covered by the campaign.

TOYOTA Disengaged rear driveshafts could pose a problem for some Highlander Hybrid owners. In T.S.B. SC-D0N issued on Oct. 2, Toyota said the rear driveshaft on some 2011-12 hybrids could disengage from the inboard joint assembly. A loud rattling noise will alert drivers, which is good, because continuing to drive the vehicle can do damage. The company will inspect, and replace as needed, the rear driveshaft assemblies.

autonews

This article originally appeared in The New York Times. First Published October 19, 2013 2:01 PM


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