Old Accident Causing Problems On Truck With Towing Package


Dear Doctor: I have a 2001 Ford F-350 with a factory-towing package. Last year, another driver hit me in the rear. The accident destroyed the factory-towing connector. I replaced the harness and connector. I noticed the center terminal on the round connector has no voltage. Also, the trailer brake deactuator (Blue Wire) is dead when the transmission is put into reverse. How do I locate where the Blue Wire connection is made to the truck’s reverse light system? Darryl
Dear Darryl: Whenever there is an electrical problem, due to an automobile accident or blown fuses, there also can be wiring breaks in the harness. I have seen overlooked broken wires at the terminal end on many vehicles. Even a poor ground circuit that powers up a relay to apply voltage to a circuit can be an issue. I suggest you sign up with alldata.com. You will be able to print out the wire harness, multiple fuse box locations and anything else you will ever need for do-it-yourself truck work.
Dear Doctor: I have a 2002 Toyota Sienna with 188,000 miles. The “check light” for Vehicle Stability Control and Traction Control went on simultaneously. The mechanic has replaced two oxygen sensors and one catalytic converter. After these repairs all the lights came back on within two weeks. Now he tells me the vehicle may need a second catalytic converter and a new computer. Is it normal for this to keep happening? Eric
Dear Eric: Before additional parts are replaced you need to find a technician who has knowledge of emissions repair. I have yet to replace a computer in a Sienna for emission reasons. The catalytic converter that usually fails is the converter mounted at the manifold on the radiator side. You must use the factory Toyota brand. The y-pipe converter replacements vary in quality and price. A good technician can connect a factory equivalent scan tool and in a few minutes know what’s going on and the repair action that is required.
Dear Doctor: I am the original owner of a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee with 142,000 miles. Every 30,000 miles I get a front brake job when I notice chatter through the steering wheel. When the brake job is done the rotors are resurfaced. At the next 30,000-mile brake job the rotors are replaced. But about two brake jobs ago, I had to have my rotors resurfaced between brake job intervals. This happened when I had put only 15,000 miles on a new set of pads and rotors. Recently, I had a brake job at 137,000 miles (pads and rotors replaced). So now I’ve only put 5,000 miles on since the last brake job and the rotors require resurfacing. What is going on? Frank
Dear Frank: Brake pulsation (chatter) is not a new problem, but cases vary. Jeep vehicles have a history of brake pulsation issues.

Small diameter and thickness rotors, combined with less than ideal quality metal, will result in brake pulsation. Another cause is rust that develops in the hub, rotor and actual rim. There are some great aftermarket brake companies that offer a heavy-duty brake rotor and pad set. I have used them on my own Chevy truck with great results.
Dear Doctor: I own a 2006 Cadillac STS with 36,000 miles. I am the second owner. The current tires on the Cadillac are P235/50R17V in the front and P255/49R17V in the rear. When I replace the tires do I have to use tires with the “V”? I don’t race the car and I’ve been told the V-rated tires are very expensive. Carmine
Dear Carmine: I get this question often from owners who want a softer ride or less expensive tire with no speed rating needed. The answer is yes, you can replace the tire with whatever will fit on the rim and retain the same outside diameter.
Dear Doctor: When I activate the left turn signal on my 1998 Nissan Altima it flashes at a faster rate than the right turn signal. The front left signal light doesn’t flash while the left rear signal does, although at a faster rate. What is the source of this problem? Steve
Dear Steven: Indeed, the fast flash indicates the bulb is not working. The cause could be that the bulb is bad or power is not getting to the socket. You can remove the right side bulb and see if it works in the left side. — Junior Damato, Motor Matters

Junior Damato is an ASE-certified Master Technician.

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