I'm not quite sure how to interpret those numbers. Every alignment computer is different but the "SAVE THE BEFORE MEASUREMENTS" sounds like a message that appears on one I've used.
Camber and toe readings are always live. Camber actually changes as you turn the wheels. If you watch the left wheel, it will tip out on top when you turn to the left. It's the caster that causes that. To visualize caster, look at the front fork of a bicycle or motorcycle. It doesn't go straight down to the wheel. It goes forward as it goes down. That's why putting your weight on the bike allows you to ride no-handed. Cars are kind of the same way. Caster can not be measured directly. The computer calculates it by comparing the camber readings when you turn a prescribed amount to the left, takes a reading, then to the right, takes another reading, then back to centered. When you get back to center and it finishes taking its last reading, THAT'S when it will automatically save those as the "before" measurements. We call that procedure a "caster sweep". Some mechanics won't bother to do that on front-wheel-drive cars because most of the time it's not adjustable and most of the time it has almost no effect on pull, unlike the big effect it has on older rear-wheel-drive cars. If they don't bother to do that sweep, those "before" numbers don't get saved in memory for the printout, then they have to simply push the button to manually save those numbers. It's just like saving your work periodically in Microsoft Word.
If the mechanic never saves those measurements and doesn't do the sweep, the camber and toe will still always be live and you'll only see those measurements on the printout after the corrections have been made. They might do that to save time but I always saved the "before" readings, then at the end of the alignment I highlighted the ones I adjusted to show the owner what I did for them, then put one copy on the passenger front seat and I saved a copy for myself if I needed it for future reference.
Another reason they might not save the "before" readings is they forgot to adjust something beforehand. First let me explain that there are some computers out there that are REAL fast at getting the initial readings and they use the first technology in the world that does not require the car to be perfectly level, they don't require all four tires to be the same size, and you can even get adapters to align the car with the wheels and tires off. This technology was unheard of and would have been scoffed at ten years ago. Up until then, everything depended on gravity and some type of electronic or mechanical bubble level like in a carpenter's level. That's why the hoist and car had to be perfectly level. These new ones use a mirror attached to each wheel, and cameras that "see" spots on those mirrors. Nothing about anything depends on gravity.
My reason for explaining that is to clarify what I meant by "they might have forgotten to adjust something beforehand". Two common examples come to mind. The last step of the caster sweep is to center the steering wheel absolutely perfectly so on the printout it will show the two toe readings. If those are unequal, that explains why the steering wheel was off-center before. You do that caster sweep by tugging on one tire by hand, then the computer suddenly automatically saves those readings when both tires are equally straight ahead. It doesn't know or care at this point yet where the steering wheel is. I want to be able to show that to my customers so I simply let the computer do its thing; that "save" procedure just takes two or three seconds, then I climb up in the car, put the steering wheel straight which changes both toe readings, then I have to manually press the "save" button again. That puts the new readings into memory as the original "before" readings. Think of it as MS Word does an auto-save every ten minutes, but after one minute you have a lot of changes you don't want to risk losing so you manually click on "save" again, that's all. The point is, the computer saved the "before" readings automatically before you were ready.
The second thing we could forget, at least on the older equipment, was to adjust the tire pressures to make both rear tires exactly equal and both front ones exactly equal. Wrong pressures won't affect caster and toe but it will greatly affect camber. Since camber is always live, once the computer has saved the "before" readings, and I THEN come along and adjust tire pressures, both camber readings will change as one or both corners of the car go up or down. The correct camber readings are found when the tire pressures are correct so if I change pressures after the readings have been saved, I have to re-save them after changing those pressures.
There's a third thing that has a big effect on camber readings. That is holding the driver's door open to center the steering wheel. The weight of the door makes the car lean to the left a little. That might not sound like a lot but these computers are so extremely sensitive, that open door can turn a camber reading red meaning it's out of specs.
I've already found that I forgot to set the hoist down on the fold-down legs so it wasn't level. That's another cause for manually saving the "before" readings after the computer did it automatically.
To add some more confusion to the story, I was the only alignment specialist at a very nice family-owned Chrysler dealership all through the '90s and my computer used an old dot matrix printer, just black and white numbers. I found that real easy to interpret at a glance but you had to be experienced in alignment angles and know what to adjust. Many of these newer computers use a Windows XP program and a color printer that includes colored bar charts along with the numbers. That's so numbskulls with almost no training and no experience can watch an arrow move and it will turn green when they have some adjustment "close enough". That screen can be printed out too and that sounds like what they gave you. I'm not implying your car was aligned by someone with no experience. I'm simply saying they might prefer printing that screen thinking customers will understand bar charts easier than a page full of numbers. My assumption always was customers aren't going to understand the numbers no matter which screen I print; I want them to be able to hand the printout to an alignment specialist at a competitor's shop and have them say, "that guy did a good job for you". I never want to have to defend my shoddy work.
If they did give you a printout with colored bar graphs with arrows over the top, you still have to be careful when drawing conclusions on the quality of the job. Lightly slamming the door closed can settle the suspension and change some numbers. Also, as I mentioned, these computers are extremely precise and detect the slightest change. I started out aligning cars in the late '70s when there were no computers yet. We had light beams that could be read on a metal chart to an accuracy of 1/16 degree and that was plenty good enough for old heavy rear-wheel-drive cars and trucks. The computerized equipment can be set to read to.01 degree. Many front-wheel-drive cars at the dealership needed.06 degrees more camber on the left to offset "road crown", the lean to the right so rain runs off, and there would have been no way to measure that precisely with the old equipment. We used to joke that the computers were so sensitive that the readings would change if we sneezed! That's why you can't assume you got a bad alignment if a few numbers aren't perfectly equal on both sides.
Those bar charts take me a little time to read since most of my experience was with a page full of numbers. As I recall, they show a camber chart for each wheel, and on top of each chart there's a number on the left and another on the right. Those are the limits which that wheel can be adjusted to and still remain within the acceptable range. A third number in the middle, often larger font, lists the actual reading for that wheel at the time the "print" button was pressed. Camber is not adjustable on some cars, (don't get me started on Ford front-wheel-drive cars and their horrendous tire wear problems), and it has to be made adjustable on some cars such as yours. I get the impression you think two "cam bolts" are needed on each front strut to make them adjustable but that's not correct. Only one bolt needs to be replaced to allow a wheel to be adjusted in or out a little. One bolt usually provides a real lot more adjustment than is ever needed.
There are three big things to look at to evaluate the quality of your alignment besides that printout. The first one is when you let go of the steering wheel on the highway, the car should go straight. Mismatched front tire sizes or brands will have different rolling resistances and cause a pull so take that into account if it applies. If you have the same brand and size tires, the car should go straight. All roads are different so if it pulls on one, try it on different roads before you go back and complain. Most mechanics have a regular route they test drive their alignments on and they learn how cars react there when they get few complaints from customers.
The second thing is the steering wheel should be perfectly straight when traveling on a straight road. If the car pulls to one side the steering wheel will be off-center a little as you counteract that pull. Gotta have the car going straight before you can evaluate the steering wheel position.
The third thing takes more time to evaluate. That is tire wear. Camber needs to be just about equal to make the car go straight but if both tires are tipped out too much on top, both will run on their outer edges and scrub that tread off. (That's the huge Ford issue). Camber wear always affects just that one tire, although camber can be set incorrectly on more than one tire.
Incorrect toe will cause the tires to slide a little sideways as they go down the road. That results in a feather-edge that you can feel when rubbing your hand one way around or across the tire tread but you don't feel the raised edges so much the other way. "Total toe" is just the sum of both of the readings. That will be wrong if one wheel is misadjusted AND the steering wheel will be off-center. Total toe will also be wrong if both wheels are misadjusted, but if they're both turned too much toward the center of the car or too much outward, but equally, you'll have that feather-edge wear but the steering wheel could still be straight. Incorrect total toe always causes wear on both tires even if just one wheel is misadjusted. Camber and toe are also measured on the rear of all cars and trucks now, and it can be adjusted on most front-wheel-drive cars. Usually the rear wheels might have to be adjusted once or twice in the life of the car. Caster is never measured on the rear because the wheels don't turn left or right. A few exotic cars are the exception such as the Dodge Viper and Chevy Corvette and they require some really sophisticated equipment.
There's a fourth thing I used to look for that was more subtle. When the front of the car goes up and down over a big bump such as when crossing railroad tracks, the steering wheel should stay straight AND the car should go straight. If you see the steering wheel wobble left and right a little both camber and caster are unequal. This is a big problem mostly on GM front-wheel-drive cars. I won't get into what else needs to be measured and corrected to solve that but many mechanics overlook it or aren't even aware of it. For other brands of front-wheel-drive cars, if you see that steering wheel wobble, there's a good chance something is bent. Even if it's misadjusted as on the GM cars, camber can be readjusted to make both readings appear to be correct, and tire wear will be okay, but that handling problem will still exist.
In looking at your numbers again: 0.5 |0.0 | -0.5 -0.5 | -0.5 | 0.5 degrees
I think we can break these camber numbers down to: Left front wheel: 0.5 |0.0 | -0.5 the acceptable range is from 0.5 degrees to -0.5 degrees, (which is tipped in on top). You have 0.0 degrees which means that wheel is standing up perfectly straight and it's perfectly in the middle of the acceptable range.
Right wheel has the same acceptable range from plus half a degree to minus half a degree, and they have that one set all the way in on top to -0.5 degrees. While technically that's just in specs, to me that is not nearly close enough. Remember when I said a lot of the Chryslers I aligned went perfectly straight when I set the left camber 0.06 degrees higher? You have eight times that difference. You have 0.5 degrees difference which for most cars is a real lot. The car should be pulling left pretty noticeably. If it is not, either your model is very forgiving or that isn't the actual reading on the right wheel. Perhaps the mechanic left the door open when he pressed the "print" button and you really have closer to 0.2 on each wheel. Some old-school mechanics still put a 100 pound weight on the driver's seat, then adjust camber to what experience tells them is about right. Few people still do that because that is all taken into account with the design of the suspension geometry and when the manufacturer publishes the optimum alignment settings.
"CASTER says really nothing" suggests to me they never did the caster sweep. I would at least want to know caster is correct and equal. It only takes about a minute to do that sweep procedure and you only have to do it once.
I would also tweak both toe adjustments a fuzz: -0.02 and 0.05 degrees
I'm used to having my computer read toe in inches instead of degrees but that's irrelevant. -0.02 means the left wheel is turned to the left a very tiny amount when the steering wheel was locked perfectly straight. The minus sign means "toe out" or steering away from the center of the car. The right one is positive 0.05 degrees which means it's toed in a small amount so that wheel is also turned to the left. Those numbers would both make the car go to the left, (they're steering to the left as opposed to trying to pull the car to the left which is what camber would do). To overcome the toe issue, you simply bring both wheels back to where they're equal by turning the steering wheel a little to the right. In this case, the top of the steering wheel is going to be to the right by about 1/4" and you're never going to see that. The difference that you have is 0.03 degrees which is just about perfect.
Your total toe specs. When both wheels are added together is: -0.16 to 0.32 degrees.
-0.08 |-0.02 | 0.16 0.16 | 0.05 | -0.08 degrees
In the '80s a lot of front-wheel-drive cars called for a little toe out meaning the fronts of the tires were further apart than the rears. Tugging on the car to make it go put tension on the steering linkages and pulled the tires ahead a little. That made them perfectly parallel to each other when zipping down the road. Since the late '80s almost all cars, even front-wheel-drive cars call for a little total toe in. The fronts of the tires are closer together like a snowplow going down the road. The rolling resistance pulls the tires back to make them parallel more so than the force of pulling the car forward. I would have liked just a little more total toe in but I think yours is fine.
One final comment has to do with the camber and caster readings on the printout. Most alignment computers can be set up to read to one or to two places after the decimal point. This one is set up to read just one place as in 0.5 degrees. That is done to make the jobs go faster. Especially with those cam bolts you supplied, it's real easy to hit 0.5 degrees. I mentioned a lot of the cars I did needed 0.06 degrees more on the left than on the right, and that was pretty critical. My computer was set up to read to 0.50 degrees. It took more care and time to fine tune those measurements to the hundredth of a degree but in my case, 0.34 degrees would have gotten rounded off by the computer to 0.3 and 0.36 would have been rounded up to 0.4 degrees. The actual 0.02 degree difference wasn't enough to counteract road crown, and the rounded off numbers would have shown 0.1 degree difference which would have been too much and I would have had a tiny pull to the left. It depends on what the mechanic values more, speed or accuracy, and it depends on what has resulted in complaints and happy customers. If he regularly gets good results, there's no reason to whine and snivel about his computer setup.
June, 17, 2012 AT 12:48 AM
And many, many thanks again. As I said, I wish you were my mechanic, as I learned more on here than anywhere I ahve ever been, so that si a compliment to you.
I am never going back to that shop, but glad you interpreted the results. Sorry I had so much trouble trying to email the printout, but my keyboard is messed up! I wish I had a fax, but did the best I could.
My steering wheel was and still is off as some neighbor here had a puller and most likely did not put the wheel on correct before I had the alignment done. When I got to the shop I asked if he could straighten it and he said he was not going to mess with it. So much for that. I guess I have to get a puller and have someone fix it. Hope that doesn't ruin or change the alignment if I change position of the steering wheel itself. It is at 9 o'clock instead of being centered at 12 o'clock. I knew I was dealing with a rude shop owner soon as I tried to show him the old worn, tire I sent you a pic of here. He could have cared less, and even less about tweaking any camber bolts. I had 4 bolts in the kit, but like you said, they used 2 bolts (one on each strut). So sounds like my toe is okay but on right side (CAMBER)is -0.5 degrees. I don't know if they had any doors open, but they must have sneezed loud. Lol.
The right side tire I replaced so it was brand new at time of alignment, and the left tire(outer edge) was only slightly worn. Very little. Also, the left tire is older, and a different brand. Never thought about checking the air in them. Now it makes sense that would change camber from what you said.
So, a big thank you for all your explanation.I just hope they didn't mess up my old car!
Today my window crack broke, so next I have to replace the regulator. Do I have to remove the window or can I tape it up to hold it? Also, I can't get it to maually roll down half way. Are you suppose to lower the window to remove the regulator.I don't see how I can because the handle broke off inside and is stripped. So much for another project!
Anyway, my deepest thanks for ALL your help. I really, really appreciate all I have learned on here from you. Keep up the great work and kudos to you!
June, 17, 2012 AT 12:49 AM
Excuse the typos. Keyboard needs to be fixed, too!
June, 17, 2012 AT 8:53 AM
Well this is just wonderful! I typed for over two hours, then had a two-second power failure, . . . again, and lost everything. The last time this happened last week I somehow got an upgraded version of Firefox that doesn't hold anything in memory so I even have to start over trying to reassemble all the web pages I had open. Thanks a lot power company.
Let me start all over again!
In my previous reply I tried to explain away some of the things that could have happened on the alignment rack. Mechanics are real good at talking about car problems with other mechanics but like doctors, they aren't real good at putting things into words the rest of us can understand. A lot gets lost in translation.
However, . . . there is no way to justify the comment about not bothering with centering the steering wheel. Any shop could legitimately charge you extra labor for installing the cam bolts although many would not. It takes extra time to do it and that's not part of the normal charge for an alignment. Most shops don't charge extra labor when they sell you those parts because they're making a small profit on them already and installing those parts makes aligning your car easier and faster. Think of ordering a dinner at a restaurant. They can legitimately charge you for an extra vegetable, but they aren't going to charge you extra to heat it up. It's considered part of the job.
When I go to the barber, I don't have to tell him to cut the hair on both sides of my head; it's kind of implied. The same is true with centering the steering wheel. You shouldn't even have to request that. It's part of the job. There are actually a few exceptions but they are very few. In the '70s or '80s Volkswagen was too cheap to make toe adjustable on both front wheels. You took whatever you had on the right, adjusted just the left wheel for correct total toe and best tire wear, then removed the steering wheel, centered it, and reinstalled it that way. They are always splined so that even if the nut comes loose the wheel won't slip causing you to lose control. When you reinstall the wheel, you have to hope it's perfectly straight when it lines up with those splines. If it doesn't, you have to turn it one way or the other a little until it does. That makes the steering wheel off-center a little, . . . but not a quarter turn!
I looked up the parts for your car and nothing suggests yours uses that design. Instead, there is going to be a "master spline" that only allows your steering wheel to be installed one way. I have heard there are some that have four master splines that allow the steering wheel to be put on four ways, and that could be what happened to yours, but do you really think the mechanic was so busy he couldn't be bothered to install your steering wheel correctly? That's just one of the many little courtesy things we do to make you happy. It can take an extra 15 minutes which is what might have come into play, especially if they had other appointments or people waiting, but at least he could have been more tactful in how he said "no".
The first thing to do now is to determine if indeed the steering wheel is on wrong or if toe was adjusted wrong. If the steering wheel is on wrong, I'd have to wonder how he set toe. The standard procedure is to set it last after camber is done and caster too if it's adjustable. Both of those affect toe but small changes in toe don't affect camber or caster, so toe is done last. You put the steering wheel perfectly straight and lock it in that position with a special tool, then you adjust one front wheel, while watching the computer screen, until that wheel is perfectly straight ahead, (plus or minus the tiny amount of toe-in or toe-out they call for). Next you adjust the other wheel to the same setting. There is another way that involves one total toe adjustment, then the tires are pushed to straight ahead, then there is a separate adjustment that just turns the steering wheel until it too is straight. Just a different way of getting to the same place. That mostly applies to some pickup trucks and vans.
By starting with the steering wheel locked straight ahead, the steering gear assembly is also centered. That means you will be able to turn the steering wheel almost exactly the same number of turns in both directions. I know you said it's to the left a quarter turn but in case it's ABOUT a quarter turn and not exact, and to make counting easier, consider putting a piece of tape at the very top when you're driving straight ahead, or some other means of marking it for reference. Now turn it as far left as possible while counting the number of turns and fractions of a turn. A typical number might be 1 turn to full left. In that case you should also find it turns 1 turn to full right. If it does, toe is adjusted correctly and just the steering wheel is installed in the wrong orientation. Removing it and reinstalling it in the correct orientation won't change anything on the alignment. All the adjustments are done down by the wheels.
If you find there is a different number of turns going each way, within about a quarter turn leeway, start with it at full left, then count the number of turns to reach full right. Now turn it back half way. THAT is where the steering gear is centered. That is where the steering wheel should be reinstalled straight, then THAT is where it is supposed to be locked while each wheel is adjusted for correct toe.
Going along with explaining away the mechanic's apparent misdeeds, if your steering wheel is really installed a quarter turn off-center and he had turned it straight ahead, then set toe, a quarter turn on the steering wheel moves the steering linkages quite a bit. Each toe adjustment is the connection between two pieces like a threaded bolt and a nut. Threading the nut up more toward the bolt head shortens that linkage and turns the wheel out away from the center of the car. To make up for a quarter turn of the steering wheel, it is likely he wouldn't have enough threads to adjust it that far. On the other side of the car he would have to lengthen the linkage so much that nut could fall off. If only a few threads were still caught, the hammering action of bumps and potholes would tear those few threads out and you'd go sailing into a tree, . . . or oncoming traffic! That is not only a legitimate reason for leaving the steering wheel off-center, it shows that at least in that regard, he knows what he's doing.
A different way of approaching the same description is to crawl underneath the car, or turn first one way, then the other way and look inside each wheel to see how many threads are exposed on the two linkages. That is WAY easier to do than to describe. If you see nearly the same number of threads on both sides, toe is adjusted properly and just the steering wheel is installed wrong. You might also consider having a different shop perform a steering and suspension system inspection with the request to have them point out the toe adjustments to you. That is the threaded connection between the inner tie rod end and the outer tie rod end. On a typical car you will see perhaps " of exposed threads. You should see about the same on the other side, give or take, . . . oh, . . . ". What you don't want to see is no threads on one side and two inches on the other. That's about all there is, is two inches.
I worked at a Sears Auto Center in the '80s and they used to offer free front end inspections, obviously because they were hoping to sell you something, but regardless, it was free. I don't know if they still do that. If you need new tires and you go to a tire store, they are likely going to inspect the front end before they will give you the warranty on those tires. That inspection might not be as involved as one where they're looking for a specific problem such as a noise, but I would think they'd be willing to show you the tie rod ends. If no one will help you in that regard, I'll trot outside and take a picture of them on my old rusty trusty '88 Grand Caravan. It uses the same common rack and pinion design.
For your reference, turning one inner tie rod end turn is enough to make total toe out of specs and cause tire wear. That is the equivalent of threading a sewing needle when the total range of adjustment is the size of a basketball hoop. One turn on either adjuster won't move the tire enough to see with a tape measure but it will affect the steering wheel position and tire wear.
So, your mission for now is to turn the steering wheel from "lock to lock", (full left to full right), then place it half way in between and see where the steering wheel is. If it is off by exactly turn, remove it and put it back on correctly. If that's what you find, it almost certainly will have four master splines to allow it to be installed four ways.
If by some chance you find there are no master splines, like on those older Volkswagens, the steering wheel will be able to be installed in about 50 different positions. In that case you do the same lock-to-lock measurement, turn the steering wheel back exactly half way, remove it, hold it straight, then install it that way. An alternative method is to just set the removed wheel on loosely, go out and drive it, stop, (highly recommended), reposition it, drive it some more, and keep doing that until it's as close as you can get it. That has the added benefit that you can hold it up to show the driver in the next lane at the stop light while you have that startled look on your face, not that I've ever done that, . . . three or four times!
Finally, if you find the steering wheel is already straight when you turn it back half way, that is where is should have been locked while toe was being adjusted. Given the age of your car, and especially if it has had very few alignments in the past, the toe adjustments could have been rusted tight and real hard to turn. I've usually been able to free them up enough that I still worked up a sweat but at least they did turn. If that mechanic ever had one break on him from tugging too hard he might be a little skittish and just leave it with the steering wheel off-center. My main concern again would be that one of the adjustments is about to come apart, but regardless, he should have explained his reasoning to you. Even though he knows most customers won't understand what he's talking about, at least they'll remember he was polite and had a good reason for doing what he did.
As for your window, all manufacturers have gone to flimsy cable systems to save weight, and they break. The cable can fray or the plastic pulleys can crack. If you'd care to do me a favor, you can go here:
then click on the second item down for Rock Auto.com. Click through the brand, year, model, and engine size, then click on "Body Interior". It's a short list with "Window Regulator" on the bottom. They're pretty cheap for your car. I think you'll find a lot of the answers you're looking for once you have the new part in your hands. If it's like the few others I've worked on, you remove two bolts from the plastic piece that bolts to the center bottom of the glass, then be sure to hold onto the glass and push it up so it doesn't roll forward and fall down. There's usually a hole in the inner door sheet metal where you can stab a screwdriver to keep the glass up.
There's always some sideways play between the glass and tracks when it's part way down but you want the glass to be positioned properly to seal against rain and wind noise when it's all the way up. For that reason, leave all the mounting bolts a little loose until you run the glass up and down a few times. Then run it all the way up and let it center and level itself in the upper channel, THEN snug the bolts down tight. Pay attention too to how hard you have to turn the nuts on the glass to get them loose, then copy that when you tighten them up again. Usually one fist on a small " drive ratchet is way more force than is needed. Better to have them come loose later than to crack the glass.
If you find the glass goes up hard or sticks intermittently, spray the front and rear rubber channels with Silicon Spray Lube. I get mine from my friends at the Chrysler dealer's parts department but any hardware or auto parts store will have the same stuff. Spray it on liberally. It goes on like water, then evaporates and leaves a film of "slippery" behind. I use it once a year on the upper anchor of my seat belt too when it gets sluggish.
June, 17, 2012 AT 3:45 PM
Hi caradiodoc, again, many thnaks. This thread is longer than I thought! I meant to tell you, I had installed both inner tie rods with locktite (and a universal tie rod tool), so they are about 6 months old. The outer tie rods are also new, and so was the right control arm with new balljoint and bushings. I was trying to explain this to the owner, and I honestly don't think he thought a woman could install these items, but I did. When the car came home from the shop, the steering wheel was off the same way as before.A guy came here (neighbor) and I think it's was on at 9 oclock crooked, that is whay I mentioned it to the owner. I didn't have a puller with me, otherwise I would have tried to center it before alignment. Like you said, maybe it only goes on one way.
The shop adjusted the Threads on BOTH tie rods = 1 and a quater inch from end of BOLT (Tie rod LOCKNUT)to ends of threads.I hope they don't fall out as I don't think there are many threads holding it.I'd say maybe 5 or so.
. So I hope I am driving safe. At any rate, I am also hoping the steering wheel is of a quater turn like you said. It has a nut holding it.I am trusting there are no airbAGS ON A 92 EXCEL! And YES, IT DOES NEED A PULLER AS YOU SAID AS IT IS SPLINED.
Excuse my caps. As for th ewinodw regulator, the cables did not break, but the handle stripped out. I got another regulator on amazon for only $6 and 6 to ship, but it wasn't for a hatchback, so the holes didn't line up; thus I knew it was three wrong one. The price was right, though! You know how us woman are. Lol
Okay, I will fill you in as to wether my tie rod ends come flying off. So far I am alive and well. Not to joke, but I'll let you know how the rest goes.
June, 17, 2012 AT 4:49 PM
For removing the steering wheel, it might not be necessary to use a puller.
Loosen the holding nut and back it off 1 thread or more away from base. Hold either side of the steering wheel and rock it forward and backwards. Do not use excessive force so as to damage the steering. If it does not work, some WD-40 to the splines and banging the steering wheel should loosen it. Use a towel to cover the steering wheel while banging to prevent damage to the steering and your hands.
Unless the steering wheel is very stubborn, if not the above usually works.
June, 17, 2012 AT 7:11 PM
Do the lock-to-lock procedure to find out if it's the steering wheel that's wrong or the toe adjustments.
June, 17, 2012 AT 7:52 PM
Okay will do. Right now it's a bit way too hot here in Florida. But will fill you in asap
thanks, you guys!
July, 11, 2012 AT 1:58 PM
Okay guys. Everything okay now. My one question is, BOth inner tie rods (from end of nut )including threaded area= on eand a quater inch.I hope they don't fall out. These are new inner tie rods.I triple checked the part # and they are supposedly the correct item for the 92 Hyundai Excel. The alignment with the camber bolts sounded a bit shady, but steers much better.
Now, second question, on my mom's 1998 KIA SPORTAGE, we had a check engine lite code (DOWNSTREAM 02 SENSOR BAD). Replaced it, then next day another check engine lite came on. Was A BAD UPSTREAM (LOW VOLTAGE 02 SENSOR). When you replce the downstream one, does it affest the UPSTREAM ONE? This was after mechanic installed new timing belt with tensioner and pulley.
July, 11, 2012 AT 5:26 PM
The two should not be related. First be aware the fault codes never say a part is bad or to replace it. That's only true about half of the time. Codes only tell you the circuit or system that needs further diagnosis. Corroded connector terminals and a wiring harness that fell down onto hot exhaust parts and shorted together are also real common.
A perfect air / fuel mixture is ideal for least emissions but that would give the catalytic converter nothing to do AND no way to do it when the mixture isn't perfect. Instead, the computer commands a too lean mixture, then a too rich mixture a couple of times per second, then watches to see how the upstream oxygen sensor responds. When the exhaust is too lean, extra oxygen is stored in the catalytic converter. When it's too rich, the extra fuel mixes with that stored oxygen and is burned.
When the catalytic converter is working correctly, the exhaust leaving it will be a little lean for quite a while, then it will go rich for a long time. The switching rate will be very slow. When the converter loses its efficiency and makes no change in the composition of the gases, the readings from the downstream sensor will look the same as those of the upstream sensor since both are measuring the same thing. That's how the computer knows the converter isn't working, and it will set the appropriate code.
It is odd to have both oxygen sensors fail at nearly the same time but when they do they will usually not both set a code at exactly the same time unless it's electrical-related such as a wiring problem. There is always a long list of things that must be met to set a code and some of those things are that certain other codes must not already be set. The computer uses various sensor readings and other known data to compare to each other and figure out when one thing is wrong. If one of those things it compares to has already set a code, it knows it can't use that to compare to other things, so it won't set a code. In this case it knows it can't rely on the upstream O2 sensor readings to compare to the downstream sensor's readings so it won't set a code for the downstream one until after the first problem is fixed. That happens all the time with anti-lock brake systems that have a problem that was ignored long enough for a second problem to develop. By reading the codes, the mechanic only knows about the first problem and provides an estimate for the repair, THEN once the repair is done, a new code pops up that no one knew about and he has to start all over. That can be frustrating for the mechanic and the car owner.