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Dorman's automatic wire strippers are automagic


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    • By NAPA
      Is your car not shifting gears like it used to? An automatic transmission makes driving much less complicated than the manual gear (stick shift) alternative. But that convenience comes at the price of complexity. When an automatic transmission equipped car won’t shift gears, there could be several potential issues. These issues can range from a simple fix to needing a complete transmission rebuild. Below is technical expertise on “Why is my automatic car not shifting gears?” 
      Low Transmission Fluid link hidden, please login to view
      Your automatic transmission relies on hydraulic fluid pressure to operate. The pump pulls
      link hidden, please login to view from the transmission pan reservoir to actuate different components. If the transmission fluid level gets low enough, the pump will be unable to push fluid where it needs to go. Even worse, the pump will pull air into the system, which could lead to a lack of lubrication that damages parts.  If you are lucky, your vehicle has a transmission fluid dipstick so you can easily check the fluid level according to the instructions in the owner’s manual. If your vehicle does not have a transmission fluid dipstick but is “
      link hidden, please login to view”, that doesn’t prevent you from checking the fluid level. In most cases, the fluid can be checked via a fill plug, but the transmission has to be at a certain temperature and the vehicle must be level. This isn’t an easy task, so it might be best to have your local link hidden, please login to view do it for you. Faulty Shift Solenoid
      We just mentioned how an automatic transmission relies on pressurized fluid to operate, but that fluid also needs to be routed to where it is needed. In a modern, electronically controlled automatic transmission, shift solenoids control the flow of transmission fluid. If the shift solenoid is faulty, then the fluid won’t be routed to the desired shift actuator. In older non-electronically controlled transmissions, shifting was controlled by shift valves, but the idea is the same. Shift solenoids can wear out or get stuck, leading to a no-shift condition. Fixing a faulty shift solenoid usually requires removing the transmission fluid pan to access the transmission valve body.
      Low Transmission Fluid Pressure
      You should be seeing a pattern of how important hydraulic fluid is to the operation of an automatic transmission. If the transmission fluid level is fine, there may still be a problem with the fluid pressure. Low fluid pressure can be caused by a worn out pump, clogged fluid passages or a clogged transmission fluid filter. A lack of shifting car gears due to low fluid pressure usually means it is time for a
      link hidden, please login to view. If the problem is with the pump itself, then you are probably looking at a transmission rebuild. Bad Transmission Control Module
      Most modern automatic transmissions have an electronic
      link hidden, please login to view (TCM). The control module takes input from various sensors, and decides how the transmission should react. Depending on where the control module is mounted, it can lead a very hard life. Extreme temperatures, vibrations, leaking fluids and sometimes even how the circuit board is built can all lead to failures of microchips and other electronic components. If the check engine light is on while you are having shifting problems, the TCM may be the issue. Broken Shift Cable
      Each time you drive, the shifter is moved at least twice, once for driving and again for park. That movement adds up over the years. While an automatic transmission doesn’t have the complicated shifting mechanism of a manual transmission, there is usually a physical connection between the shifter and the transmission. Modern
      link hidden, please login to view usually have plastic components that can break down over time. There may also be bushings that get worn out. The shift cable itself is usually metal and rarely breaks, but the pieces connecting it to the transmission can possibly fail. Shift Lock Engaged
      If the car is not shifting into gear from park, then the issue might be the gear shift interlock. Most modern vehicles have a lockout on the automatic gear shifter that requires the brake pedal to be pressed first. If the brake pedal isn’t pressed, the shifter won’t move. It is possible that the brake pedal sensor doesn’t read that the pedal is pressed, or a break in the shift interlock circuit interrupts the connection. The shift lock can be
      link hidden, please login to view. Worn Out Bands
      Just like how brake pads can wear out, so can the friction materials inside the transmission like the bands. Transmission bands hold certain components in place, while others are allowed to rotate. When this happens, the transmission won’t go into certain gears. Unfortunately worn out bands usually mean a complete transmission overhaul. Material from the worn out bands can make their way into sensitive fluid passages, clogging them or causing accelerated wear
      Failed Throttle Sensor
      This one may seem odd, but gauging how much throttle input the driver is giving makes a big difference in how the transmission acts. Whether the input is from a
      link hidden, please login to view or a cable, if the driver pushes down the gas pedal, the transmission needs to change gears. But if that input isn’t received, the transmission has no idea what the driver wants to do. If the transmission doesn’t know the driver is hitting the gas, it might not shift into the next gear. Even worse, on some older transmissions, if the transmission isn’t linked correctly to the throttle input, severe damage can be done. If your transmission isn’t shifting like it used to, simply head to your local
      link hidden, please login to view center. Our team of ASE-certified technicians have the expertise and training to diagnose your automatic transmission issues. As a bonus, your repair is covered by our free 24-Month/24,000-Mile link hidden, please login to view (parts and labor on qualifying repairs and services), which spans across the entire nationwide NAPA Network, including 17,000+ NAPA Auto Care center locations. Photos courtesy of
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    • By Dorman Products
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    • By Counterman
      Volkswagen HVAC systems have come a long way in the past 20 years. While the basics of heating and cooling may be the same, the controllers and sensors have improved dramatically. No longer does a driver have to worry about dealing with fogged-up windows or bad smells driving behind a semi-truck.
      When a driver sets a temperature in the control head of an HVAC system, what does it mean to the vehicle? Seventy-two degrees could be captured at many different settings depending on the outside temperature, humidity and even the position of the sun. When a passenger then decides that 70 degrees is a better temperature for her zone, things get even more complicated.
      Automatic Temperature Control (ATC) systems require a complex array of internal and external sensors that look at the temperature, humidity and quality of the air inside the vehicle.
      TEMPERATURE SENSORS
      To maintain a preset air temperature, the VW HVAC system will typically have one or more interior air temperature sensors, an ambient (outside) air temperature sensor, and possibly one or two sunload sensors.
      Interior air temperature sensors are usually simple, two-wire thermistors that change resistance with temperature, but some are infrared sensors that detect heat from the vehicle’s occupants. This thermistor-type usually has an aspirator tube that pulls air through the sensor when the blower fan is running. Others use a small electric fan for the same purpose. A plugged aspirator tube or inoperative fan will slow the sensor’s response to temperature changes.
      Most air temperature sensors have a “negative temperature coefficient,” which means they lose resistance as the temperature goes up. A simple way to check this type of sensor is to use a blow dryer to heat the sensor. The resistance should drop as the sensor warms up.
      Ambient air temperature sensors typically have a slow sample rate to even out variations in readings that may be sensed at different vehicle speeds. When the vehicle stops moving, heat can build up quickly around the sensor and could mislead the ATC module into thinking it’s getting hotter outside. So, most ATC modules look at the ambient sensor input only every couple of minutes instead of continuously. On some applications, the ATC module may even ignore input from the ambient sensor when the vehicle is not moving.
      There are other temperatures in the various ducts. Also, most systems will have sensors before and after the heater and evaporator cores. These sensors measure the performance of the system.
      SOLAR LOAD SENSORS
      Many ATC systems also make use of a photodiode solar load sensor on the dash. This sensor allows the ATC system to increase cooling needs when the cabin is being heated by direct sunlight. On vehicles with dual-zone systems, there is often a separate sunload sensor for each side. Sunload sensors receive reference voltage from the ATC module and pass current when the light intensity reaches a certain threshold.
      Some ATC systems have additional temperature sensors located on the evaporator and/or compressor to prevent evaporator icing and to regulate the operation of the compressor. Some vehicles also have duct temperature sensors and heater core temperature sensors to further refine temperature control. These are usually found on the dual-zone ATC systems.
      HUMIDITY SENSORS
      Humidity sensors are capacitance sensors that measure the amount of moisture in the air. The information from the sensor both regulates the volume of air projected onto the windows to reduce misting and manages the humidity levels inside the car to enhance climate comfort. These sensors are typically mounted at the base of the rearview mirror.
      From the data delivered by the humidity and temperature sensor, the HVAC system calculates the dew point temperature of the air. Some systems use an infrared sensor that remotely measures the windshield and side window temperatures, as well.
      The performance of the sensor can degrade over time and cause the sensor to malfunction and give false readings. If this happens, you will see a code stored in the HVAC module.
      AIR-QUALITY SENSOR
      Air-quality sensors can prevent harmful gases and unpleasant odors that can get into the car cabin when the vehicle is sitting in heavy traffic, passing through congested areas or driving through tunnels.
      The sensor signals the fresh air inlet door/ventilation flap to close when undesirable substances are detected. Volkswagen, Audi and other import nameplate luxury car manufacturers are using this sensor. This sensor is typically mounted behind the grill. Just hot and cold? Not anymore!
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    • A-premium Auto Parts:5% OFF with Code GM5.
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