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Quick Fixes

35359 Views 134 Replies 31 Participants Last post by  VOYAGER2003
How about telling us about some quick fixes. I have three to share in Post #2, #3 and #4.
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Rear Hatch Wiper - Clean Sweep

The wiper may not do a very good job of clearing the rear hatch window. In fact it may only do half a job. You've replaced the blade, bent the arm and lubricated the spring, but to no avail. You are thinking the arm needs replacing and about the $ and work associated with installing a new arm.

Bring out the dental floss and floss the areas around the pinned connection (near the end of the spring). The adjacent surfaces there can bind some (friction) due to dirt and corrosion build up. A good flossing will clean that out and voila - a clean sweep by the wiper blade. Spray some lubricant (something heavier than WD-40) in that area and the wiper will work well for a long time.

These tools are handy - Dental Picks: 7 pc Coloured Dental Picks | Princess Auto
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Rear Hatch Struts - Quiet As A Mouse

You open the rear hatch and a loud bang greets you just as you start to lift the hatch. New struts needed, you're thinking, that's a pretty bad noise.

Wait a minute. Clean the corroded area (half inch +/-) at the end of the rods to get rid of the rust and crud that has built up there. Sand the surface a little to smooth it. Add some lubricant. Also clean the area where the rod slides into the cylinder. Add lubricant there as well. Now put you ear real close and see if you hear even the slightest noise associated with the struts binding.

Use something heavier than WD-40 for the lubricant and the struts will be quiet for months. My favourite these days is Fluid Film which I use for rustproofing and lubrication. It hangs in there real well.
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Leaky Boots - Take Advantage Of The Hole

Leaky CV boots or ball joint boots? Use the hole to your advantage to install the proper lubricant on a regular basis, like with every oil change possibly. Or, in the case of the ball joint, one can also install a zerk and lubricate with every oil change.

Needle nose grease gun adapters are available at auto supply stores. Needle Nose Adapter:

When installing the lubricant, take note as to if any water is forced out. I've had a leaky ball joint boot for years. I lubricate it with every oil change (zerk). Never any water present. An experienced Mechanic told me this is totally effective as long as regular lubrication is done.
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Power Window Won't Work - Give It A Shock

Close/slam the door while pressing the window button at the same time. This should shock (jar) the motor (and other parts of the mechanism) enough to get it working, at least for the time being. This has worked for me and many, many others. Picked up that tip on this site actually.
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Transmission Fluid Level - Quick Cursory Check

Keep in mind that your 41TE transmission contains about 9 quarts of fluid and you drop about half of that during a pan drop and filter change. So, being down a quart/liter of fluid is no big deal with all that other fluid available. Being overfilled is a worse situation.

There are three ways to check the fluid level in your transmission: Check your Owner Manual (OM) for two of them.

- when fluid is "hot" (OM), like after 15 miles of driving. Keep in mind that transmission fluid and motor oil take longer to warm up than your coolant so a warm engine doesn't necessarily mean the transmission fluid is at operating temperature i.e. "hot". Checking the transmission fluid when "hot", even though following the instructions in your Owner Manual, doesn't always lead to a correct reading. The level on the dip stick can be all over the place for some unexplained reason. Be careful. Done on a level surface and in Park.

- when fluid is "cold" (OM), a couple minutes after cold startup. Most dip sticks contain a cross hatched area for a "cold" reading. This reading seems easier to take than when "hot" for some reason - much more consistent. Done on a level surface and in Park.

- when fluid is cold and not flowing (quick cursory check) . This is a "quick check" to determine the amount of fluid in the transmission in case you have concerns. With vehicle on a level surface, engine not running, engine stone cold, check the level. It should be above the full "hot" mark. For my 2002 GC, it is at the crook in the dip stick, which is 5/8" above the full "hot" mark.

As additional information, the full "hot" mark is 1 1/16" above the full "cold" mark.
The cross hatched area for the "cold" reading is only 1/2" long, which is shorter than the cross hatched area for the "hot" reading by quite a bit. Go figure.

Note: The Moveras site referenced above has some interesting reading re training the transmission.
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Warped Rotors - Maybe Not - Burnish The Brakes

Warped rotors seem commonplace, we hear about them a lot. I haven't had one in over 10 years, and that's with nothing fancy "white box" rotors. I have had rust build up on rotors that I had to remove, but no warped rotors. Go figure. Maybe warped rotors aren't really warped, just in need of some cleaning/burnishing.

So your vehicle has been sitting around for awhile unused and now the brakes are pulsating when applied - warped rotors you're thinking. Maybe not, maybe there is a rust buildup on the rotors from sitting unused for an extended period and the brakes need to be burnished. Burnishing is also used to remove the glaze on squealing pads.

Here's one procedure for burnishing:
Drive the vehicle to a speed of 70 - 80 kms/hr (45 - 50 mph) and then brake to a stop with medium to firm brake force. Repeat the stop about 10 times allowing a full 1 minute cooling off period in between stops to avoid overheating the brakes.

Brake Burnishing Procedures for New Brake Pads or Shoes is a little different according to Bendix @ I will include it anyway while on the topic.
30/30/30 Burnish Procedure

• Perform 30 stops from 50 kms/hr (30 mph) with a 30-second cooling interval between stops. These stops will be performed at a decelerating rate of 12 feet per second or less. This means that it should be a gentle easy stop.

• The 30/30/30 Burnish Procedure beds the pads and shoes into the rotor and drums. It also deposits the necessary friction transfer to the rotors and drums for optimum brake performance.
Burnishing to remediate pulsating brakes is mentioned in this Post by ChryslerCares:
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When Engine Is Hot - Better Stop

When the Engine is hot, delay doing the following:
- removing the radiator cap, for obvious reasons.
- removing the oil drain plug or oil filter as the hot oil can burn the skin.
- removing the oil filler cap as it tends to stick when hot and the ratchet effect inside will break
- removing the oil dipstick as the plastic portion may stick and ultimately break off inside the tube. See Post #7 above for a solution. This problem is fairly common with the "O" shaped handle versus the "T" shaped handle. You may have to remove the tube to get the dipstick out.
Never Rains But It Pours - Serpentine Belt Slipping in the Rain

It's slipping in the rain,
Just slipping in the rain,
What a terrible feeling,
It's happening again ....

So you are driving through a down pour of rain in your 4th Generation. You have replaced the belt, the tensioner and said a few prayers. But the experience is happening again, engine temperature is going to hot, lights are flickering from lack of power and you have to pull over. You have lost confidence in the van for sure. A few minutes later you start the engine and all is well. You are stumped, but happy to get going again. You will never buy another Chrysler vehicle after these experiences.

The problem is a slipping belt as you know, but why? You have used Mopar belts and tensioners and the problem persists. Aftermarket parts are anybody's guess as to how they will work. Those parts are ruled out.

The solution could be this simple. The wiper tray has two fairly large drains (over 1" in diameter), one on each side, that connect to flexible hoses, that direct the water to the ground. If the connection to the hose is dislodged by a careless Mechanic, or other means, (passenger side) water can be dumped on the serpentine belt from above. Reconnect the hose to the drain. Haul up on the flexible hose when doing so to ensure the connection will last. The OE hose is loosely strapped to the chassis by a plastic fastener. Make sure that is in place.

See this Thread for some hands on experience:
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Your Compass is Off - Why So?

So you have a overhead computer in your vehicle or a rear view mirror with a compass in it. It's off by several degrees when compared to the one in your fishing tackle box. Poor Chrysler quality you say.

Wait a minute, give the compass a chance. It was likely set for the place of manufacture and not your local area. Factory default is likely Zone 8 and you live in California (Zones 4 or 5) or Maine (Zone 12).

There appear to be 15 possible variance settings in North America. Yours may have been set per the factory default, as mentioned, or where the vehicle was previously used - you lived in the East, now live in the West for example. I have had to reset the ones on my vehicles. When parked side by side in the driveway, one compass may have read South while the other read South East.

Your Owner Manual gives you the procedure and a variance (Zone) map.

A world wide Zone Map looks like this:

The North America Zone Map looks like this:

From a 2004 Caravan Owner Manual:
Compass Variance
Compass Variance is the difference between magnetic North and Geographic North. In some areas of the country, the difference between magnetic and geographic North is great enough to cause the compass to give false readings. If this occurs, the compass variance must be set.
NOTE: Magnetic materials should be kept away from the overhead console.

To set the variance:
Turn the ignition switch ON and set the display to Comp/Temp. On vehicles equipped with a Compass/Mini Trip Computer press the RESET button for approximately 5 seconds. On vehicles equipped with Compass/Temp press and hold the C/T and US/M buttons for 5 seconds. The “VAR” symbol will light and the last variance zone number will be displayed. Press the STEP button on vehicles equipped with a Compass/Mini Trip Computer or the US/M button on vehicles equipped with Compass/Temp to select the proper variance zone as shown in the map. Press the RESET button on vehicles equipped with a Compass/Mini Trip Computer or the C/T button on vehicles equipped with Compass/Temp to set the new variance zone and resume normal operation.
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Shimmy No More

Your vehicle has a slight shimmy at highway speeds and gets worse on some of the rougher road surfaces.

I had that problem with the Jeep all summer, could feel it in the steering wheel, so in November decided to switch the front tires from side to side. Shimmy is totally gone.

Must be something to do with direction of rotation of the wheel. I suppose when they balance tires they rotate in one direction only.

Had the same problem with the 2002 GC Sport this past couple of months. I swapped the front tires and the shimmy is barely noticeable. I think I need to swap the rear tires as well and see what happens.

This won't work for directional tires.
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Alternator and Battery Checks

Testing a BAD alternator - no tools method:

Diagnosing a car battery that runs down:
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Testing a BAD alternator - no tools method:

The link is broken, here's a direct link
Testing a BAD alternator - no tools method

BTW, this test (while good for what it is) will not detect an alt. that's producing a ripple or has a bad diode or two. Neither will their multimeter method..
Thanks, fixed it.
Do you have to remove the arm to do this? I took the dental floss out to do this and the area you've mentioned, pinned connection, is not obvious to identify. Springs are spaced that floss would not work. I truly tried all things you've mentioned on your first paragraph and was not successful. Bit more information would be greatly appreciated.
As sent in PM this evening:
The spring is likely okay as long as there is tension in it. Try a toothbrush or a wire brush, the size of a tooth brush, to clean it.

The binding is actually at the vertical pin (when in "park" position) that connects things together near the motor shaft. That binding is caused by dirt & rust between the horizontal surfaces and keeps the spring from doing its job. Floss around the pin with some dental floss to clean out dirt and rust between the horizontal surfaces there, top and bottom, and then lubricate after all is working freely.

There will be a big difference in mobility at those surfaces once you clean them up and apply lubricant
Hopes this helps. It's the pin connected joint that has arthritis, not the spring. Cleaning the spring some and lubricating it (to resist corrosion) is secondary to having free movement at the joint.
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ATF+4, Oil, Coolant, Brake Fluid, Gas - Transfer it for Quick & Cheap

These inexpensive squeeze bulb siphon transfer pumps, with built-in check valve (a big plus), work real well to create a siphon or actually pump fluids.

I have 3, or more, of them, with hoses modified to suit the purpose like pumping differential fluid from my Jeep (connected in a piece of copper tubing to get to the bottom of the differential better).

Available at Canadian Tire here for $5.00.

I have used them for;
- removing coolant from radiator and reservoir
- removing fluid from differentials
- removing brake fluid from the master cylinder
- removing ATF+4 from the power steering reservoir

Beats taking the turkey baster out of the kitchen drawer and using it secretly. Then again, an ATF+4 basted turkey sounds delicious now, doesn't it, lower in calories too. :)

Here's what they look like:

Here's some practical experiences using them:
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@jeepman, i bought the same siphon as yours, but in winter it's useless because the plastic becomes too hard and the check valve doesn't work.

In summer it's a great tool though.

Sent from Free App
Hair dryer time. :) Works for a cold cranky snow blower engine too, hot air right into the spark plug hole is a quick fix as well as putting in a warmed up spark plug.

You made a good point. Plastic and cold temperatures can be a challenge. I wonder how the motorized pumps do in the cold, the ones using a drill attachment should be okay.
Windshield washers weren't working - now they are

Had this happen recently on the 2002 GC. Pressing the windshield washer button didn't operate the wipers or the washers, otherwise the wipers worked normally.

So I put my signal light on and then pressed the button .... it worked and now all works normal again. Must have been dirt in the multi-function switch messing things up. Could have done the low to high beam movement and that might have worked as well.
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P0456 Code...(small evap leak, caused by "gascap")

I got this a number of times and found that if I spread a thin film of Rust Check Coat and Protect around the lip of the filler neck and on the rubber gasket on the gascap itself, it solved the problem. I suppose any thicker greasy material would do the trick. Saves buying a new gascap. I haven't had the error code in many, many months.
If you got a P1684 code with the P0456 code, then it was likely a glitch. I get that combo about once a year on the 2002 GC, have gotten it once on the Jeep about 2 years back as well. Other than clear the code I don't do anything, except maybe retighten the gas cap.
Wipers have a mind of their own?

So you are driving along and the rain has stopped. You turn your windshield wipers off and guess what, to your surprise, they keep wiping. Turning the switch off and on doesn't make a difference. They just keep wiping until you get to your destination and turn the ignition off. Even then they keep wiping.
- immediate fix: lift the hood and disconnect the electrical connection to the wipers

- might try fix: find the wiper relay and horn relay in the IPM box. Put the horn relay in the wiper relay slot and check the wipers for operation. If wipers now work normal, the problem is likely the relay. Putting the wiper relay in the horn slot may confirm that by having the horn blow on its own.

For understand how relays work and why used:

Basically, a relay allows a low power circuit (your ignition/wiper switch circuit) to connect up (energize) a higher power circuit (your wiper motor circuit). You have two separate circuits, with different power draws, interfaced via a relay. There are lots of relays in the IPM box or wherever they may be in your vehicle (older vehicles may have two or more locations. Generation 4s up are integrated to one location for the most part.
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Jeepman, what do you recommend for occasionally (cold weather) reversed directionals (turn signals)? It always struck me odd that some drivers signaled opposite of what they intended to do, until recently I noticed that while the turn signals never fail to work on the van, if you watch the dash indicators closely on rare occasions they do just the opposite of multifunction switch position..

I suppose I should check NHTSA complaints and see how common or not this is.. (que TMC SUA music?)
So that's why Drivers keep giving me the "you're #1" finger. :biggrin: Just joking around.

Sounds like a multi-function switch issue.
I wonder if a bad socket could redirect current to that extent. Don't think so. Does this happen when the park lights are on or does it make any difference?
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