Thursday, December 3, 2009

2007 - 2009 Mazda CX9 Power Seat - Recall

Mazda Is Recalling 30,600 My 2007-2009 CX9 Vehicles Equipped With Power Adjustable Seat With Position Memory Function. The Seat Harness Routed Underneath The Seat Cushion May Interfere With The Front Cover Bracket Which Is Attached On The Front Side Of The Seat Cushion. Due To This The Covering Of The Seat Harness May Be Damaged, The Core Wire Of The Harness May Touch With The Bracket And Result In Short Circuit.

Consequence Summary: Drivers Will Experience Certain Functions That Are Uncontrollable Which Will Cause Serious Difficulties In Driving Increasing The Risk Of A Crash.

Corrective Summary: Dealers Will Inspect The Seat Harness And Fasten The Seat Frame With A Cable Tie. The Harness Covering Will Be Repair Free Of Charge. The Recall Is Expected To Begin On Or Before March 9, 2009. Owners May Contact Mazda At 1-800-222-5500.

2006 - 2007 Chrysler Dodge Rear Evaporator Core

The 2006 and 2007 Chrysler Minivans, including Town & Country, Caravan, and Grand Caravan, have had a huge problem with leaking rear evaporator cores. For the past 2 summers, we've not been able to keep them in stock.

Well, there's great news; Chrysler has extended the warranty for the rear evaporator to 7 years, 70,000 miles. Even better, we've heard that they are even reimbursing for repairs already done, but I have not confirmed that. If you have your repair receipts, call Chrysler and see what they can do.

If you're outside the warranty, we do have a replacement evaporator available for a fraction of dealer cost here:

Good luck.

Dodge Truck - No A/C (and other problems...)

2006 and later Dodge Trucks have a Totally Integrated Power Module, TIPM. This module is used instead of a fuse box, and there is no relay controlling the A/C as in previous generations. This TIPM has been very problematic for Dodge, particularly with the 5.9 Diesel trucks. The TIPM controls not only the air conditioning, but also brakes, lights, and various other items. There are several flashes and updates available from the dealer for this module. If the vehicle is experiencing erratic or no A/C clutch engagement, it is necessary to examine the TIPM. Keep in mind, the clutch coil on this compressor has an embedded diode which also commonly fails, many times in conjunction with the TIPM, so don't forget to test resistance.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

What is Vacuuming the A/C system, and why do I need to do it?

When you vacuum an A/C system, you're not cleaning it, you are removing AIR and MOISTURE. A vacuum pump is connected to the yellow hose of a manifold gauge set. The pump pulls all of the air out of the system. Also, water 'boils' in a vacuum, so all the moisture is removed from the system. Air and moisture are harmful to an A/C system, because they react with refrigerant, and create an acid that can damage or destroy seals and o-rings.

A vacuum is pulled AFTER all the components have been replaced and the system is sealed up, but BEFORE refrigerant is added. Typically, the vacuum pump should be left running for about 1 hour, longer in especially humid climates, or when the A/C system has been left open to air for an extended amount of time. A vacuum must be pulled anytime the system has been exposed to air, or had a toal loss of refrigerant.

Most vacuum pumps will only pull a vacuum of 28 psi max. 26-28 psi is fine. I normally let the vacuum run for about 15 minutes, then I shut the valves on the gauges and watch for a minute or so. If the needle on the low (blue) side starts creeping back towards zero, I know something is not correctly sealed. If it holds solid, I will re-open the valves and let the pump run.

While vacuum pumps are pretty expensive, many retail parts stores rent or loan them to the do-it-yourselfer. There are less expensive, but less efficient models that run off of shop air, and those will work fine for the ocassional odd repair.

For more information, visit

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

General Motors Compressors - Locked Up Out of the Box

You just bought a brand new, or remanufactured, General Motors type compressor (HR6, HT6, R4), and it's locked up staight out of the box! ...Or is it?

GM compressors have Teflon piston rings on the end of each piston. R4 Radial compressors have 4 pistons, and 4 Teflon rings. HR compressors have 3 pistons, with a Teflon ring on both ends, so 6 Teflon rings total.

These piston rings are pressed onto the end of the pistons with a die, then quickly installed in the compressor cylinders during assembly. Quickly, because these rings expand or 'flex', trying to return to their original shape.

Once installed in the compressor cylinders, these Teflon piston rings will expand, and form a kind of positive seal. While very tight, the compressor is not locked up.

Another way to think of it is with a jar or, say grape jelly. While very tight, the lid is not locked onto the jar. You just need some assistance to open it the first time, maybe a rag or your shirt tail. Once opened, the lid is forever easy to remove.

The same goes for your new General Motors A/C compressor. With the use of a tool called a 'spanner wrench', available for sale or rent at most auto parts stores, you'll have the extra leverage to get that compressor rotating in no time.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Why do I need A/C in the Winter?

The quick answer is this: defrost.

To explain further, the A/C system doesn't just cool the air, it 'conditions' it. Whether you want cold or warm conditions is your choice. The A/C system is also a dehumidifier, removing moisture from the air. Most defrosters run with the A/C system these days.

Also, because most engines have a single serpetine belt driving all the accessories, a locked up compressor can cause further problems, including a broken drive belt, resulting in a stranded motorist.

If you are not going to replace your locked up compressor, do not turn on your A/C or defrost.

Friday, December 28, 2007

1996 - 2002 Chevy ~ GMC Replacement AC Compressor

The General Motors HT6 compressor, used on 1996-2002 Pickups (Silverado, Sierra), Suburban, and Yukon is one of the most troublesome compressors ever. With 4 'free-floating' sections, meaning the pieces are not internally pinned, the compressor tends to twist, creating a leak point.

TechChoice Parts has the solution. Our 10601N (Here) replacement compressor is manufactured by Sanden-Behr. Internally, the compressor is similar to a Nippondenso compressor; with 5 pistons, 10 cylinders. Not only does this operate quieter and more efficiently, but it has internal locating pins to keep the compressor sections aligned, so it will not leak.