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A slew of little things that add up!

 
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Old 06 Feb 2014, 10:04 pm
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Default A slew of little things that add up!

Alright. Ten, almost eleven years old '03 Touring in need of a lot of work.


Here's what has to be solved so far:
---There seems to be some issues with the engine cooling system:
For a while(a year or two) there were major leakage issues. Come to find out last December, that there was a busted seam in the radiator. My brilliant roommates(and mom) were correct in that it was wrong to just keep putting coolant in there for the fact of what it does to any living thing, but not correct in putting only water in there in the middle of a long week of FREEZING temperatures. Luckily, the engine didn't crack before I'd nagged them enough to get the radiator replaced AT LAST. Now it doesn't leak nearly as bad, but there's still some weirdness.

A, I think there's a blockage between the reservoir and the actual system. Whatever is in the reservoir, it has stayed perfectly at the fill line for YEARS.

B, I don't know what's supposed to be in the reservoir, but I'm told it's not supposed to be the blue stuff that it currently is(They said blue meant windshield washing liquid...). I need to figure out how to siphon that out, especially since what's currently in the system itself is green.


(High Res)

C, I think there's still a leak at perhaps the heater core. When the blowers are turned on, I sometimes smell coolant inside the vehicle.
-The only alternative I can think of is that it is actually coming from the engine compartment, where I have also been smelling coolant despite the repaired radiator. It makes a bit of sense, especially considering the possibility of the nonfunctional reservoir, and also the fact that the car has not spent one second of its life in possession of a cabin air filter.
Any tips?
---There's got to be a wheel bearing going out somewhere. The sound is kind of a gritty version of the Gungan Submarine's engine noise in Star Wars: Phantom Menace while Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Jar Jar are going back to the capitol from the Gungan city.
Personally, I like the sound itself. I've grown accustomed to the pitch at various speeds, and so it acts as an aural speedometer that allows me to check that less, and check the road more. Plus, it just plain sounds cool. It makes me feel like I'm going into hyperspace or something when getting on the highway. However, whatever is causing the sound probably isn't good. Sad face.

---Cruise Control doesn't work
Cruise control is weird. I get codes P0582 and P0586. One of those refers to the "Vacuum Solenoid" and the other to the "Vent Solenoid." I cannot find either of these online in all of my googling. I am starting to suspect they are both part of the servo.
Speaking of the servo, it is broken in an odd way. As far as I could tell, no internal stuff. However, the "seat" for the cable housing on the end of the servo "cone" had broken in half, so the cable housing could slip past and therefore the tension wasn't maintained. I fixed this with a zip tie and some duct tape(to keep dirt out).
(Don't worry, I've cut that zip tie since taking the picture. Also, that's a second one behind the first one, which is under the duct tape.)

High Res

Where it did not before, now when I push the button on the steering wheel, the servo actually pulls the throttle for a moment, then lets off on it and throws the two error codes again, as well as refusing to respond to any further input until after the next engine start.
Here, I finally shot a video of it.

So far, a head scratcher. I can't find any fuses, any specific solenoid parts on Autozone, O'reilly, or any other site online. This one obviously is not critical, but it's still broken and I'd like to fix it.
---The engine light is on because of the NVLD(I think, just now figured it to perhaps be that. Code P0441). I can get the part, but does anyone have any videos or pictures I can use so that I might be able to repair it myself?;

---I think the suspension is bad, at least in the front. I don't know how bouncy the car is supposed to be though. Anyone know how I could go about determining the status for sure?;

---On that note, the struts for the trunk are WEEEAAKKKK. But not expensive or hard to repair. Right? (We do have a Torx driver set.)
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Old 07 Feb 2014, 08:43 am
quicksilverdon's Avatar
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Default Re: A slew of little things that add up!

Just some general thoughts, since you wrote quite a saga....

Have you had your brakes looked at? They can make noise also - a bearing noise rarely stays the same - it escalates and won't be ignored....

WITH THE ENGINE COLD - have you looked inside the radiator with cap off? Is the coolant up to the brim? Clear, not cloudy?

If you you have to add, only use distilled water.

How many miles? Have you had timing belt/water pump replaced?

The trunk struts are weaker in the cold....
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nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
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'05 Limited Turbo Lite, (Silver, of course)4-wheel ABS, Sunroof, Spoiler. Mods: E&G Classic grill, K&N FIPK, BTG duals, rear lowered 1.5", LED washer lights, $20 catch can, Aoogah horn, Weatherflectors, Sunroof Deflector, Fuzzy Dice, rear logo flames, rear pinstripe graphic, Gen3 Taillights, rear sway bar, hood struts, Strut bar.
Traded in '02 Silver Touring Edition w/87,000 miles
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Old 07 Feb 2014, 08:54 am
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Default Re: A slew of little things that add up!

With that washer fluid in the overflow, your cooling system can't expand extra fluid and contract and pull fluid back into the system. It must be spitting it out. So that's one place you may be losing it. The hose that connects the radiator to the overflow must be off or loose. Check the ends for tight and the length for holes. Pour out that washer fluid and add coolant. This could be your sweet smell. Jack up the rear and spin the tires to see if either of them are making that noise. You may hear some brake shoe noise but you will be able to tell if it's a bad bearing. the front is more difficult. Replace both if you do any.
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Old 07 Feb 2014, 05:39 pm
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Default Re: A slew of little things that add up!

Quote:
Originally Posted by quicksilverdon View Post
Just some general thoughts, since you wrote quite a saga....

Have you had your brakes looked at? They can make noise also - a bearing noise rarely stays the same - it escalates and won't be ignored....

WITH THE ENGINE COLD - have you looked inside the radiator with cap off? Is the coolant up to the brim? Clear, not cloudy?

If you you have to add, only use distilled water.

How many miles? Have you had timing belt/water pump replaced?

The trunk struts are weaker in the cold....
I am very sure the noise isn't from the brakes. It goes up in pitch as does the car in speed. This afternoon I might be able to snag a recording of it. But go look at a wheel bearing video or two from EricTheCarGuy on youtube, and you should be able to hear it there too.

There IS, however, what sounds like a wonky indicator on one of the brakes; there IS a metal squeak- however, it's also likely that said sound is the result of cold ceramic pads. The brakes just got looked at and were fully replaced back in late December. As was the radiator and coolant. It's not up to the brim, however. Never was.

I'm not sure, but I think we just had an auxiliary belt replaced. Maybe also the timing belt. We just switched mechanics to a local lone-wolf(who our most PARANOID friend trusts) and he found so much that was wrong because of extreme carelessness on the part of the place we had been going to. Not only were the belts that said place put in already dry rotted, but even the vacuum hose off of the intake manifold was COMPLETELY MISSING. I'm amazed the car still ran. Thankfully, him replacing that did alleviate the oil leak problems we were having. Too much pressure behind the valve cover gasket, methinks.

The water pump was replaced with the timing belt and we know it works because if it didn't our overheat problem wouldn't have been fixed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Busted_PT View Post
With that washer fluid in the overflow, your cooling system can't expand extra fluid and contract and pull fluid back into the system. It must be spitting it out. So that's one place you may be losing it. The hose that connects the radiator to the overflow must be off or loose. Check the ends for tight and the length for holes. Pour out that washer fluid and add coolant. This could be your sweet smell. Jack up the rear and spin the tires to see if either of them are making that noise. You may hear some brake shoe noise but you will be able to tell if it's a bad bearing. the front is more difficult. Replace both if you do any.
We'll be having our mechanic friend look at that soon. For now the car is fine and running without overheat; Since we're tight on money, we have to pick and choose what gets repaired. We can delay the radiator stuff for now, as much as it pains me to say that. However, I don't want the wheel bearing to go poof and release the wheel onto the shoulder.
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Old 07 Feb 2014, 06:26 pm
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Default Re: A slew of little things that add up!

Okay then - you're in better shape than it first sounded like.
Let mechanic friend hear noise to see if it's a bearing - which is a lot cheaper than radiator.

With radiator cap off, you'll see a small hole on side that leads to hose that goes to overflow tank - coolant should be up to that hole. Add coolant or distilled water until it is. I understand it isn't overheating now, you want to keep it that way.
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"Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life,
nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
Isaac Asimov"

'05 Limited Turbo Lite, (Silver, of course)4-wheel ABS, Sunroof, Spoiler. Mods: E&G Classic grill, K&N FIPK, BTG duals, rear lowered 1.5", LED washer lights, $20 catch can, Aoogah horn, Weatherflectors, Sunroof Deflector, Fuzzy Dice, rear logo flames, rear pinstripe graphic, Gen3 Taillights, rear sway bar, hood struts, Strut bar.
Traded in '02 Silver Touring Edition w/87,000 miles
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Old 08 Feb 2014, 06:20 am
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Default Re: A slew of little things that add up!

Kitt; also, with a cold engine, remove radiator cap and inspect for any damage to either of the rubber seals. If in doubt, replace it.
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Old 08 Feb 2014, 10:37 pm
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Default Re: A slew of little things that add up!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pt06 View Post
Kitt; also, with a cold engine, remove radiator cap and inspect for any damage to either of the rubber seals. If in doubt, replace it.
If you mean the seals on the cap, then they're definitely good. We just replaced the Gas, Oil, and Radiator caps about a month ago. I think there's just a blockage or a kink in the hose between the system and the reservoir. Not to mention the incorrect fluid in the radiator.

Today I found another theory to explain the "coolant" smell in the blowers vents.



That, according to my roommate, is transmission fluid. How it got there, I don't know. I DO know that the fluid level of the trans has been fine ever since we got it replaced.

The other theory is that this is where our oil has been going. DTC P 0522 comes up a lot, which is oil pressure sensor issues. The sensor is in such a place as to possibly be able to leak just so that the oil ends up on top like this.

Whatever it is, I doubt it's supposed to be there.


Anyways.. any thoughts on any of the other things on the list? Cruise control?

How bouncy should the car be on the struts? Or, since they're definitely still stock hardware, should they just be replaced anyway?
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Old 08 Feb 2014, 10:45 pm
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Default Re: A slew of little things that add up!

You have 170,000 on original shocks/struts? Yeah, they are toast.
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nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
Isaac Asimov"

'05 Limited Turbo Lite, (Silver, of course)4-wheel ABS, Sunroof, Spoiler. Mods: E&G Classic grill, K&N FIPK, BTG duals, rear lowered 1.5", LED washer lights, $20 catch can, Aoogah horn, Weatherflectors, Sunroof Deflector, Fuzzy Dice, rear logo flames, rear pinstripe graphic, Gen3 Taillights, rear sway bar, hood struts, Strut bar.
Traded in '02 Silver Touring Edition w/87,000 miles
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Old 08 Feb 2014, 10:52 pm
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Default Re: A slew of little things that add up!

Quote:
Originally Posted by quicksilverdon View Post
You have 170,000 on original shocks/struts? Yeah, they are toast.
I had a feeling. Well, they still "kind of" work, at least. I want to get the cooling system back into shape and the wheel bearing replaced before I worry about the suspension though. Priorities, priorities..
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Old 09 Feb 2014, 07:15 pm
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Default Re: A slew of little things that add up!

Well, I just found a not-so-nifty thing under the hood.. which could also explain why I smell stuff inside the car. According to my friend, transmission fluid also has a sweet smell to it. Also according to my friend, the fluid I found sitting in a pool on top of the transmission is also transmission fluid.

Oddly enough, the fluid levels in the trans have been stable(the same, really) for as long as we've had this transmission. I wouldn't put it past the Above and Beyond Auto Care people that we HAD been going to at the time, to have spilled some though. Let's just say that we gave those people about $9000, but have only got about $1500 of actual repairs out of them.

The only other explanation I have for it is that this is actually engine oil, and since we're having DTC's come from the Oil Pressure sensor(P 0522), it might be coming from where the sensor goes.

How the heck am I supposed to get it out of here?
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Last edited by Kittera; 09 Feb 2014 at 07:18 pm.
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