music box

Monday, February 9, 2009

Wira Stopping With Engine Running

My Proton Wira Atomatic year 1995 has served me well despite heavy petrol consumption. Two months ago, when I was travelling along the North-South Highway at 115km per hour, there was a very loud humming sound. I later changed the automatic transmission oil, and the sound dissapeared.

But three weeks ago, the car came to a stop with the engine still running. I switched off the engine for a while, and it has not given any trouble since.

I took the car to two mechanics, but they could not find any fault. But after what I told them, they agreed that the auto gearbox is faulty and recommended that it be changed.

1. In your opinion, is the gearbox faulty?
2. Are reconditioned gear box reliable?
3. What will happen if I just leave it alone as it has not given any trouble since?

The beauty about automatic gearboxes is that they give you plenty of warning before they die. I think you have a transmission problem that is serious enough to entail a strip down because the warning signs are there. If you continue, it will fail completely and then it may cost you an arm and a leg to fix.

Personally, I do not like to use secondhand automatic transmissions unless there is some form of warranty on the used parts because one never knows the condition of theinternals. I would prefer that the transmission be stripped down and rebuilt. Overhauling an automatic is easier than doing a manual (if one know what he is doing), and if properly rebuilt, will give you many more years of good service.

RM83 A Spark Plug!

I recently bought a used Perdana V6 Year 2000. I want to change the spark plug, but to my horror, it costs RM83 each (meaning RM83 X 6). An authorised Proton service centre could not tell me how frequent should Perdana V6 spark plugs be changed, other than saying the plugs are made of titanium. A friend said the plugs can last between 5-10 years. Can a Perdana use the normal spark plug, other than titanium made?

The plugs are a specialised product, and similar plugs are used in other cars. They last about five years or more, and when they fail, the whole module needs to be replaced. Sometimes one can get used units, but like all used parts one can never be sure of the lifetime remaining.

Civic's Grinding Sound

My Honda Civic 1.5 Ferio has a gearbox problem. There's a grinding sound when I put it into "reverse", and it jerks when I put it into "drive". If I slow down to turn, I have to wait for the gears to initiate before pressing the acceleration pedal. If not, the car will jerk.

It is a second hand re-cond car of 10 years, and I bought it last year. My mechanic it is very hard to find a second hand gearboxfor this particular model. The car is still running.

I think what you are saying is that the shifting is harsh and it jerks when the gear engages. It does sound like you have a transmission problem and the best thing is to get someone who knows automatics to take the car out for a run and check it out.

I am not too familiar with this model, but I am sure that if you look around, you would be able to get a complete engine transmission unit second hand for your engine compartment. You will need to look for the guys who do such conversions as they are very familiar with this work. The average mechanic would not have the experience to do such conversion if he has not done it before.

Musky Smell

I bought an Avanza auto a month ago. Whenever I switch on the aircon, it emits a strong musky smell. The smell lasts a few second. What's wrong?

Secondly, is it usual for my car to have a "tick tick" sound after I switch off the engine? The sound last for a while.

1. Get the service technician to check if the drain hose from the aircon evaporator is clogged or the tray is not angled properly to let the water drain completely. If so, there will be water collection in the drain pan and when you start the engine/air conditioner, this gives the musky smell. After a while the water condensation dries up and the smell dissappears but when the car stops, the water condensation from the evaporator drips into the drain tray where it collects.

2. The "tick tick" sound may be just the exhaust system cooling down and as it does so, it contracts and you get the clicking noise. Nothing to woory about!

Windscreen Woes

Since getting a replacement front windscreen, I haven't been able to get water to bead on it. Water just spreads out evenly, making vision difficult. I've tried Jiff, dishwashing liquid, soap, Autosol, petrol, etc, but to no avail.

A lot depends on what caused the condition, and if it is from the wrapping plastic, either petrol or kerosene would clean it off. If that does not work, you will have to start experimenting with different solvents. Try paint thinner as that usually take off most paint-based films. Do not use Autosol or manyabrasive cleaners, as they will leave scratches on the glass.