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TRICO Titan: How To Install Opposed Wiper System Blade


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    • By Harley M
      Hey there, I am curious if anyone knows where to locate the “plug” to INSTALL a block heater in my 2013 Chevy Equinox LT 2.4L.
      I have not been able to find anything online about where a block heater can be installed and if it even has a plug to slide through. Am I better off getting a magnetic block heater?
       
      Thanks in advance. 
    • By Dorman Products
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    • By Counterman
      Once hated and touted as “power robbers,” we’ve learned over the years how emission-control systems not only protect our environment, but also how they contribute to the overall performance, economy and longevity of today’s engines as an integral part of the combustion process.
      Emission-control components are high on the list of parts you sell, because they affect vehicle operation, and if they’re not working properly, they result in the dreaded “Check Engine” light. There are many ways that the various emission systems on a vehicle tie together, but a look at the main players can help you develop a base understanding of how the overall system works.
      Positive Crankcase Ventilation
      Any internal-combustion engine produces blowby gasses, which are gasses from the combustion process that are forced past the piston rings into the crankcase. These gasses must be vented to prevent pressure buildup, which would cause oil to be forced past gaskets and seals. These gasses also combine with the oil vapors in the crankcase to form sludge and dilute the oil with unburned fuel.
      From the early days, we knew that blowby gasses had to go, so we got rid of them – right into the atmosphere. At least that’s what we did until the 1960s (hello smog).
      To reduce air pollution, auto manufacturers began to utilize positive-crankcase-ventilation (PCV) systems. PCV was a simple system to draw the vapors out of the crankcase using engine vacuum. The vapors and unburned fuel were then drawn back into the cylinders and burned, eliminating them as a source of air pollution.
      But there was another benefit to it. Normal system operation pulled fresh air through the crankcase, which removed moisture – extending oil life and reducing sludge. Since PCV is more or less a controlled vacuum leak, the flow rate is important, and even on older vehicles, the fuel systems are calibrated to work in conjunction with it.
      PCV systems still are utilized on modern engines, and engine-management systems are able to monitor their operation by checking the flow rate. The efficiency of modern PCV systems not only reduces emissions but also drastically extends oil life. PCV components range from the simple valves on an older vehicle to more complex integrated PCV orifices/oil separators found on or as part of the valve cover on many new engines.
      Other PCV-related components include crankcase-ventilation filters and breather hoses. Don’t forget that these components are designed and calibrated to each engine and fuel system, even on older vehicles. Just because it fits doesn’t mean it’s correct, and also beware of aftermarket “catch cans.” Many people think this is a performance upgrade that traps oil vapor and contaminants before they’re drawn into the intake. This is true on some older vehicles, but on most modern engines the PCV system is so refined that it cannot be improved upon. Installing a “catch can” on these engines will most likely only result in a drivability issue.
      Exhaust-Gas Recirculation
      Exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) is an emission-control technique designed specifically to reduce the formation of nitrogen oxide (NOx), a very unhealthy and dangerous gas that’s formed during the high temperature and pressure of combustion. It works by recirculating exhaust gas back into the cylinders and cooling the combustion process.
      In reality, it doesn’t actually “cool” the combustion process, but by displacing oxygen, it prevents the air/fuel mixture from burning hot enough to form NOx. EGR can offer advantages to the combustion process, and modern engine-management systems are designed to maximize this, with the efficiency of gasoline engines often improved as a result. Not only is it illegal, but disabling any type of EGR control also will result in a loss of performance.
      On diesel engines, EGR is again an effective emission-control device, but becomes considerably more complicated. Since diesel fuel ignites with the heat of compression, higher temperatures promote efficiency … but unfortunately also the formation of NOx. To combat this, many modern diesel engines have EGR coolers that allow a larger mass of recirculated exhaust gas into the intake.
      But, this reduces the efficiency of the combustion process, which creates excessive soot. To combat this, a diesel-particulate filter (DPF) is installed in the exhaust to capture and store the soot, which must be burned off periodically to regenerate the filter.
      Since EGR systems are critical for emissions and performance, they’re closely monitored and controlled by the powertrain control module. Common EGR components include everything from the common EGR valve to pressure sensors, EGR tubes, EGR coolers, control solenoids and pressure sensors.
      Exhaust and Catalytic Converters
      Catalytic converters need no introduction. Since the 1970s, they’ve been the major emission component that chemically converts the harmful pollutants in the exhaust into harmless gasses. On todays’ vehicles, they work in conjunction with oxygen and/or air/fuel ratio sensors, also well-known emission-control components.
      Before the converters (pre-cat), the oxygen sensors report the air/fuel ratio to the engine control module so it can adjust the fuel mixture based on operating conditions and ensure that an improper mixture will not damage the converter itself. After the converter, a post-cat sensor again sends a signal to the engine control module, from which it determines the efficiency of the converter.
      The diesel side again can seem more complicated. They too have what appears as a catalytic converter, but on a diesel, they contain not only a catalyst but also the DPF. They’re sometimes referred to as aftertreatment devices, and overall design can differ between vehicle makes. The process that occurs is referred to as selective catalytic reduction (SCR), during which the catalyst works in conjunction with injected diesel-exhaust fluid (DEF) to convert NOx into nitrogen, carbon dioxide and water vapor.
      The DPF traps the soot, which is burned off through passive or active regeneration, and in some situations the process must be performed by a service technician. NOx sensors monitor the entire SCR process.
      In addition to catalytic converters, exhaust-related emission components include oxygen, air/fuel ratio and NOx sensors; DEF and DEF-related components; and diesel aftertreatment devices.
      Evaporative Emissions
      Evaporative emissions refer to anything that helps keep fuel vapors in the tank and out of the atmosphere. This requires very strict monitoring of the pressure in the tank, and when venting is required, filtering of the fumes. EVAP canisters – sometimes referred to as charcoal canisters – store fuel vapors to prevent them from reaching the atmosphere until they can be drawn in by the engine.
      The entire process of evaporative emissions requires multiple components, including the EVAP canister, hoses, lines, canister-purge solenoids, canister-purge valves, canister-vent solenoids and leak-detection pumps. The design of these systems often differs between manufacturer, so it can take some time to get used to all the different components.
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    • By Dorman Products
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    • By Counterman
      If there ever was an auto part that could sell itself, this could be it. People put up with broken windows, loud exhaust, rusty body panels, oil leaks, broken air conditioning and a plethora of other problems. But, take away the windshield wipers and they’re beating a path to the closest auto parts store.
      Luckily, there are only a few options, and you can quickly point them in the right direction. But, before we get to that, we’ll address the question of diagnosis. Many people may ask: Do you think it’s the motor or the switch? Honestly, you can’t give them the answer without performing a professional diagnosis, which is not what you’re there for. That takes time and a wiring schematic, but there are a few factors in your favor.
      There’s a lot you can tell by just looking and listening, even if you can’t see the wiper motor or transmission, which often is hidden in the cowl. When you turn on the wiper switch, do you hear the motor? You also can hear it when it changes speed, so this is an initial way to eliminate the basics of the wiring and switch.
      If the motor runs but nothing happens, you likely have a linkage that has fallen off due to a worn bushing. In some cases, the bushings are available separately, which becomes a less expensive repair. But, it takes additional time to remove the linkages and install new bushings. This is a common repair and perfectly acceptable, but there also can be a downside to it. In some cases, the linkages or ball studs where the bushings attach can be worn, and while they may seem like they install OK, they can fall off after short use.
      This usually only ends up with a frustrated customer, so if a complete assembled unit is available with motor, transmission and linkages, it’s a good idea to recommend this option. Let them know the individual bushings are available, but suggest the complete unit. This way, if they go with bushings and they don’t last, you can’t be to blame.
      Wiper motors are far more advanced than they used to be, with built-in computer circuit boards and electronics. This is another common source of problems, often causing erratic or inoperative wipers, but again, you only can say what you know is common and recommend a professional diagnosis.
      If a wiper motor gets stuck, it can cause the fuse to blow, and it’s not that uncommon – especially in areas that see a lot of ice and snow. Also keep in mind that some wiper arms can loosen where they connect at the wiper shaft. Everything sounds like it’s working, but nothing happens. In these cases, the wiper arms often need to be replaced because material in the arms has been stripped off by the splines on the wiper shaft.
      Upselling Opportunities
      Luckily, problems with wiper motor and linkage usually are obvious, and overall, they’re easy to replace. It’s a job most people are willing to tackle. The opportunity is with the upsells you
      can offer.
      Wiper arms are a good one. Even if they’re not the cause of the problem, the spring tension in the wiper arm keeps the blade seated against the windshield. These springs can weaken over time, affecting the performance of the wipers, especially at higher speeds where the wind can lift the blade. Also important to look at is the pivot point of the arms. These are often rusty and worn, and this too will affect the ability of the arm to keep the blade properly seated against the glass. If the wiper motor has failed, it’s seen plenty of use and the wiper arms probably have seen better days.
      Wiper blades are an easy upsell, and the next thing that comes to mind with wipers are washers. Since they’re focused on the system overall, do they need washer fluid? Are their washers working? Maybe they need a new washer pump or hose. Some washer hoses are located in the cowl area, and when you’re already in there, now’s the time to do it.
      Another recommendation you can make is glass cleaner. New wiper blades work better and last longer on a clean windshield. It’s also good to mention checking the cowl drains. They’re often plugged up, and while there are no direct sales here, it’s nice to point out. Now that you have someone in wiper mode, what about that rear wiper? At a minimum, I bet it needs a blade and arm too.
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