By on January 2, 2013

Flashes and pulses.

I was staring at an archaic diagnostic system on a 1992 Volvo 940 wagon.  It was located underneath the hood, inside a plastic cover, with six little holes for each one of the six digits, along with a cheap plastic wand.

What came out was morse code. Three little reds, stop. One little red, stop. Two little reds, stop. Code 312. Time to visit the brickboard, where the code could be translated to about fifteen different potential issues.

21 model years later, and we’re still not quite there yet.

(Read More…)

By on April 18, 2012

 

Bryan writes:

Sajeev,

I bought a salvage-title 2007 Honda Fit with 73k miles. Since then I’ve put 10k miles on it.

The owner’s manual has no maintenance schedule. Instead, everything is driven by the “maintenance minder”. A small display shows alphanumeric codes when certain conditions are reached. For example, the “1A” service is oil, filter, and hose/boot checks. Other codes like “1C” and “2C” are more rigorous things like belts & plugs, trans fluid, etc. There is an infamous oil life monitor which, if followed, has me draining blackstrap molasses at enormous intervals.

I’m stumped as to the mileage or conditions that prompt these. Without any previous service history I don’t know when to change plugs (are they 30k or 100k plugs?), transmission fluids (either on a normal or severe schedule) or serpentine belt (it was nearly dust at 74k).

Is there a database that reveals the mileage behind these reminders? I’d like to keep the car as long as possible. I love it and I love car maintenance. How can I be a maintenance hypochondriac with a maintenance minder? (Read More…)

Recent Comments

  • Re: Toyota May Kill V6 Camry

    50merc - Big (2.5 or so) four-bangers historically have had much more NVH than modern V6′s. Are the new little (1.6 or less) turbo Fours as smooth and quiet as a good six?...
  • Re: Junkyard Find: 1986 Buick Somerset

    Featherston - Now we have “touchscreens good/knobs bad.”
  • Re: Piston Slap: The Express’ New Mission?

    DenverMike - Check the lower control arm ball-joints. Often overlooked, but creates havoc when they go. I’d replace them both, and not look back. Check...
  • Re: Junkyard Find: 1986 Buick Somerset

    28-Cars-Later - I agree the Pontiac was more popular, but you’ll still see a fair amount of Buicks, mostly H/C/G, an occasional E-body Riv or Reatta, or a 3800...
  • Re: Junkyard Find: 1986 Buick Somerset

    CoreyDL - That is truly gauche. “We gave the Somerset a truly distinctive touch by attaching an umbrella pocket to the back of the front seat and then fitting it...
  • Re: Last First-Gen Volvo XC90 Rolls Out Of Torslanda

    Chicago Dude - What exactly are you scared about with the new engines? Volvo has been boosting engines since just about the beginning of time. The...
  • Re: Toyota May Kill V6 Camry

    28-Cars-Later - Because that sort of behavior p*sses off customers, GM has been guilty of such stuff for decades. So say Toyota does this and disenfranchises the 15% or so of the...
  • Re: Toyota May Kill V6 Camry

    bomberpete - The V-6 is a great engine and I doubt the Highlander or Avalon will lose it. Toyota’s strategy is to make the cheapskates pay for the privilege, whether in...
  • Re: Junkyard Find: 1986 Buick Somerset

    ChiefPontiaxe - The C5 Corvette also spells it this way
  • Re: Toyota May Kill V6 Camry

    Astigmatism - @jc130 This wins. EVERYTHING.

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India