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2003 Chevrolet Impala – ABS Wiring Harness Replacement

Chevrolet Impala

Our latest featured post delves into an ABS Wiring Harness Replacement on a 2003 Chevrolet Impala, brought to us by a client from UBC, Vancouver.

Chevrolet Impala

2003 Chevrolet Impala. A full size GM car that first came into production in 1958.

ABS brakes have been pretty much standard equipment for a decade. While there has been some argument over whether they are truly effective and offer better better braking than a seasoned, skilled driver, the fact that they are found on almost all cars and especially on all high end cars indicates that they are a worthwhile safety feature.

Sophisticated electronics make ABS brake operation possible. There are sensors at each wheel informing the ABS computer of each wheel’s exact speed. From this data the computer can adjust the vehicle’s braking in fractions of a second.

Obviously inaccurate data creates problems. The ABS computer also monitors the sensor’s circuit voltages and resistances and if something is out of range, it will switch on a dash warning light and usually shut down ABS brake operation. This doesn’t mean that your brakes won’t work: they will operate just like normal non-ABS brakes.

Our featured Chevrolet Impala came to us with some strange brake operation at low speed stops and the ABS  and TRAC warning lights on intermittently. Diagnosis found a trouble code for the right front wheel speed sensor. The sensor had been replaced recently at another shop but this had not solved the concern. We tested the sensor with a lab scope and verified that it was good.

Looking further at the wiring we found that the wiring harness to the sensor had been repaired with a butt splice connector. Butt splice connectors usually make a very poor wiring repair and one that can lead to many problems. They are ill-suited for repairs on sensitive electronic circuits. Good wiring and proper connections are essential to flawless ABS operation. This was the cause of our client’s concern. Fortunately a replacement wiring harness to the right front wheel speed sensor was readily available. After repairs the light stayed out and the brakes worked flawlessly.

For more about the Chevrolet Impala please view this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Impala

For more about ABS brakes click here http://goo.gl/zMKPbH

Chevrolet Impala

Damaged ABS wiring harness. The red arrow points to the butt splice connector. The blue arrow point to the plastic sheathing over the wires, this was cut back for the repair. The plastic was also very hard and would not allow flexibility. This may have caused the wires to break in other places.

 

 

 

2001 Chevrolet Corvette – Oil Pan Gasket Replacement

Chevrolet Corvette

Wednesday’s featured service is oil pan gasket replacement on a 2001 Chevrolet Corvette, brought to us by a client from Marpole, Vancouver.

Chevrolet Corvette

2001 Chevrolet Corvette. Oil leak and lower oil pan

Oil leak repairs are a frequent service at our shop. Engines are especially prone to leaks from their many seals and gaskets. In all fairness, gasket and seal technology has improved incredibly over the years with most manufacturers having relatively leak free engines. However all good things must come to an end and sooner or later all gaskets and seals will fail; they just last longer than they used to. On the downside, engines are much more complex than they once were and this often makes seal and gasket replacement an expensive repair.

Our featured 2001 Chevrolet Corvette had under 100,000 kilometers which is relatively low mileage. At this time only the oil pan gaskets were leaking. After doing a diagnosis we found most of the leak, about 80%, coming from the lower oil pan gasket. This is a relatively easy and low cost fix. The upper oil pan gasket was leaking enough that it also warranted replacement: a much more complex and expensive repair.

Occasionally we find something interesting in the course of our services and what we found on the Corvette’s upper oil pan qualified as such. There was a crack in the pan’s gasket surfaced caused by a bolt that had been installed incorrectly. The bolt attaches the transmission cooler lines to the oil pan and a previous technician had installed too long of a bolt which cracked the pan’s surface. Fortunately we were able to repair the crack for no extra cost to our client.

Removing and reinstalling the upper oil pan involves first removing the front suspension cross member and supporting the engine in place.

The Corvette seems an anomaly for the Chevrolet line. While most Chevy cars are low to mid end cars the Corvette stands out as a unique high performance sports car. It has obviously worked well for GM as the car has been offered and sought after since it’s introduction in 1953.

For more on the Chevrolet Corvette please view this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevy_Corvette

For more about the engines found in Corvettes and other GM vehicle view this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LS9

Chevrolet Corvette

Damaged surface of upper oil pan, caused by installing too long of a bolt into pan

Chevrolet Corvette

Oil pan surface after cold weld repair

 

 

 

2002 Chevy Cavalier – Fuel Pump Replacement

Chevy Cavalier

Wednesday’s featured post is Fuel Pump Replacement on a 2002 Chevy Cavalier, brought to us by a client from Burnaby, BC.

Chevy Cavalier

2002 Chevy Cavalier

The Chevy Cavalier was for many years the top selling GM car; and for around 12 grand it was a pretty decent car. For that price, though, the Cavalier was basic transportation.

Early Chevy Cavalier engines were prone to blown head gaskets however they rectified this concern on later models.

Our featured Cavalier was towed to our shop with a no-start condition. After diagnosis we determined that the fuel pump had failed (this was our second fuel pump replacement this week, the other being on a Dodge Ram truck).

As is the norm in 2000 and newer vehicles, the fuel pump is part of the fuel tank module: a unit which simply slips in and out of the gas tank (once the tank is removed from the vehicle). The module contains the fuel pump, the pressure regulator, fuel gauge sending unit and on some models, a tank pressure sensor and the fuel filter.

With the pump replaced the Cavalier roared to life and ran great. The new pump should last for another 10 or more years. At one time GM products had very poor quality fuel pumps but this is no longer the case.

For most vehicles you can expect to get 200,000 kilometers out of your fuel pump, however some die sooner but many will last twice that distance.

For more information about the Chevy Cavalier click this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevy_Cavalier

For more about fuel pumps, mechanical and electric check out this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_fuel_pump

Chevy Cavalier

Fuel tank module: fuel lines to engine run from the top of unit to the edge of the picture; the fuel pump is inside the plastic housing on the bottom; the black piece on the bottom is the fuel gauge sending unit float

2006 Chevrolet Uplander – M2 Maintenance Service

Chevrolet Uplander

Tuesday’s featured post is a M2 Maintenance Service performed on a 2006 Chevrolet Uplander, and brought to us by a client from Bridgeport, Richmond.

Chevrolet Uplander

2006 Chevrolet Uplander

Our Chevrolet Uplander, like all vehicles, requires maintenance to keep it reliable. At Pawlik Automotive our M2 Maintenance Service consists of a lube, oil and filter service along with a comprehensive inspection.

The comprehensive inspection includes: a lengthy road test to evaluate the vehicle’s operation; a thorough underhood visual inspection plus a cooling system pressure test and a battery and charging system test; a complete under vehicle inspection of steering, suspension and drivetrain components along with a detailed brake inspection. Tires are rotated if required. Door, hood and trunk latches, hinges and locks are lubricated.

The beauty of this inspection is the information gathered helps assess the condition of the vehicle and allows the vehicle owner to make plans on appropriate services needed now and in the future.

How often should this service be done? Every second to third oil change or every twelve to eighteen months.

The comprehensive inspection alone is a great tool to evaluate the condition of any vehicle and help you make decisions about the vehicle if you’re sitting on the fence.

Our Chevrolet Uplander was in very good condition. The owner takes very good care of this vehicle and it shows. I would also say that GM has improved this vehicle greatly from preceding models. The Uplander is the replacement vehicle for the Chevrolet Venture which was a very problematic vehicle. We had a client who brought a Venture to us at 50,000 kilometers needing $4000.00 worth of repairs. By the time they hit 100,000 kilometers the same $4000.00 in repairs were needed again. That was not a well built vehicle. This Uplander, at 90,000 kilometers has needed none of that work.

For more about the Chevrolet Uplander click here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Uplander

Here’s a review on the Chevrolet Uplander http://www.edmunds.com/chevrolet/uplander/

Chevrolet Uplander

Engine compartment of 2006 Uplander, featuring a 3.5 liter V6 engine.

 

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