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20 Years of OBDII Connection

In 1994, select Toyota, GM and Ford models were sold with OBDII emission systems. To the amazement of many technicians, all of these models came with the same ­diagnostic connector called the data link connector or DLC. In 1995, 40 percent of vehicles...

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Chevrolet: Navigation Information Not Displaying Accurate Location

Customers may complain the navigation radio is not displaying the correct vehicle location icon on the map accurately after a radio or battery has been replaced or after battery power has been removed from the radio. The vehicle location icon accuracy...

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What’s a Battery?

  The first documented battery that used two dissimilar metals with an electrolyte between them was invented in 1800. Known as the voltaic pile after its ­inventor, Volta, this early battery consisted of copper and zinc discs piled on top of...

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Electric Power Steering: Past, Present and Future

Electric power steering is fast becoming a standard feature on new vehicles, but it’s not an emerging technology, as it’s been in the field for the better part of two decades. One of the first domestic applications that almost made it to production...

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Are You Chasing Weights?

It has happened to all tire techs, probably more than once. You balance a tire, put the weights on, drop the hood again for a check spin — and the balancer comes up asking for more weight. Fine. You add more weight, drop the hood and...it asks for...

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Cadillac CTS Alignment Spec

The first-generation Cadillac CTS was introduced in 2003 and ended production in the 2007 model year. The Cadillac CTS was built on GM’s rear-wheel drive Sigma platform. The CTS for years 2003-’07 came with two suspension packages­ — standard...

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Honda: Easy Fix for Engine Noise

We often encounter engines that have a cold-start knock or ticking noise. In this case, the 3.5-L V6 engines installed in various Honda models can make a knocking or ticking noise at idle and only when warm. The cause of the problem is that the rocker...

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Toyota: Rough idle, surging between 500 to 800 RPM

Model: 2005 Toyota Avalon and some models with similar system configurations, such as 2006 Camry models. Condition: The customer ­complains that the check engine light is on, rough idle and engine idle surging between 500 and 800 rpm. The technician...

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Volkswagen: Engine Does Not Start

Vehicle: 2001 Volkswagen Passat GLX, 2.8L Complaint: The customer says the vehicle will not start. Cause: Confirmed the customer’s complaint and found the vehicle did not start. Connected a scan tool and found the following codes: • 17978...

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K-Tool International Chosen As Master Distributor For The Ford Tools Brand In The U.S. And Canada

K-Tool International (KTI) has been chosen as the master distributor for the Ford Tools brand in the United States and Canada. Already successful in South America and Europe, K-Tool International plans to launch a full line of Ford Tools in North America...

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Midtronics Launches Informational Microsite

  Midtronics, Inc. has launched an informational microsite — or mini website — to provide customers with detailed information about the company’s newest diagnostic platform — the DSS-7000 Battery Service Diagnostic System. The microsite...

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Snap-on Offers Special Pricing On Tool Storage Additions

Snap-on customers that have been waiting for the right time to make some additions to their tool storage units don’t have to wait any longer. Snap-on is offering its loyal customers 15 percent off the price of its tool storage add-on units for Snap-on...

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Tech Tip courtesy of Timken.

Signs of a worn wheel hub bearing vary in severity. Some may be difficult to detect, leading to damage before corrective action can be taken. The time frame in which damage occurs is linked to driving conditions and/or the mechanical practices that were followed at installation. Noise is a classic sign of a bad wheel bearing or wheel hub bearing. Here are some indicators of a worn wheel hub bearing or other wheel-end damage:

Snapping, clicking or popping.
This can indicate a worn or damaged outer CV-joint. However, it also can be related to excessive bearing endplay, usually associated with inadequate clamping. This noise is typically heard when cornering or making sharp turns.

Grinding when the vehicle is in motion.
Typically, this means there is mechanical damage in a wheel-end system. Related to a bearing, it means a loss of integrity such as roller or raceway damage. The noise is normally heard when turning or when there is a shift in load.

Knocking or clunking.
This can signal excessive play in the CV-joints or U-joints. It also can be caused by excessive backlash in the differential gears. This is not generally associated with bearings and is normally heard either when shifting from changing directions, such as from forward to reverse, or transitioning from accelerating to coasting.

Humming, rumbling or growling.
These noises are normally associated with tire, electrical or drivetrain components. If bearing-related, the noise or vibration is present when driving in a straight line, but intensifies when turning the steering wheel slightly to the left or right. Typically, the side opposite the rumbling is the defective side.

Wheel vibration and/or wobble.
This is generally associated with a damaged or worn tire, wheel or suspension component or severe chassis misalignment. When related to the hub or bearing, this normally indicates the loss of clamp or a bearing with extreme mechanical damage. It also can occur when lug nuts are not properly torqued.

Shudder, shimmy or vibration at a constant speed.
This is normally associated with worn or damaged suspension components or tires that are out-of-balance or out-of-round. It is not normally indicative of hub or bearing damage.

Abnormal side pull when brakes are applied.
This is normally indicative of a defective caliper or equalizer, but it also can be a sign of worn brakes or rotors. However, severe looseness related to a bearing can also cause excessive runout, which may cause the brakes to pulsate or pull. The most common cause is a warped rotor due to the caliper not retracting.

Uneven rotor or brake pad wear.
This is normally indicative of a bad caliper and/or a bad equalizer, which is not bearing-related. Severe looseness related to a worn or damaged bearing can cause excessive runout, which can cause uneven wear on the brake pads and/or rotor. The most common cause is a warped rotor due to the caliper not retracting.

Abnormal or uneven tire wear.
There are many causes of abnormal tire wear. The most common are worn or damaged suspension components, misalignment, improper inflation or tire selection. While extreme bearing wear or looseness can cause abnormal tire wear, it is typically related to other failure modes.

ABS failure, which could be internal or external to the bearing or hub bearing assembly.
In extreme cases, internal and external sensors can be damaged from excessive movement caused by too much end-play. This indicates a lack or loss of bearing clamp. This normally results from severe mechanical break up or damage. (Additionally, in designs where the sensor is mounted externally, sensor damage can result from corrosion, stones and other hazards.)

Note: When any of these symptoms or signs are present, take immediate action. Failure to act may result in severe damage, including loss of steering control, throwing a wheel or causing property damage or personal injury.

Warning: Proper maintenance and handling practices are critical. Failure to follow installation instructions can result in equipment failure, creating a risk of serious bodily harm. This tech tip is not intended to substitute for the specific recommendations of your equipment suppliers.

Maximizing bearing performance and life remains an objective throughout The Timken Company, from design teams and manufacturing associates to our field sales team and distributors. For more information regarding Timken automotive products and services, visit www.timken.com or contact your local Timken distributor.

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