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Ferrari F1 Transmission Pump Issue

By | troubleshooting

As the beloved 360 is aging, so are the components responsible for its smooth operation. In this article I’ll be running through a fault with the F1 transmission in the 360, causing issues with gear changes.

This issue can be intermittent or cause full failure of the transmission, leaving you unable to select gears. See our symptom list below to see if this is what you experience, instead of aimlessly replacing parts.

Symptoms

  • A flashing red transmission light on dash, accompanied by problems engaging gears.
  • Intermittent issues with getting into gear, can be permanent depending on the type of failure.
  • When you first open the driver’s door, you will hear a loud whining noise – this is the pump priming the transmission system. You will want to listen out whether this happens every time you come back to the car after it’s been sitting a while. If you don’t hear this noise, and face problems shifting it’s associated with a failed transmission pump.
  • When changing gears even stationary, no sound from the actuator can be heard.

Things to also check

Before throwing parts at your vehicle, some basics to check are:

  • Transmission Fluid Level: A slow leak may develop leaking fluid over time, this can lower the pressure rendering your F1 transmission unable to engage gears.
  • Bleeding: If any components have been replaced that can introduce air into the system, check the fluid has been bled correctly. If air is present in the system, you will have issues selecting gears.

 

It’s also worth fixing

  • The relay which drives the transmission pump. This relay can get stuck open, causing the pump to run for longer than required causing premature failure. As the pump is much more expensive than the relay, it’s worth replacing both as it’s a common point of failure.

 

The F1’s transmission relies on a pump to provide pressure to the system. If the pump fails, so does your ability to select a gear. Fortunately, this isn’t a difficult issue to fix, nor particularly expensive.

Before we get started, it’s important to note the pump is two separate sections; the pump itself and the motor. The point of failure is the motor in most cases, fortunately you can replace the motor without having to bleed the system. If you replace both the pump and motor, you’ll leak coolant everywhere and air will be introduced into the system.

[Link]

Tools Needed:

  • 1 x 10mm
  • 1 x Torx T30 Bit

 

A great video walkthrough can be found here, documenting the whole process.

 

The pump and motor assembly can be purchased from the dealership for around $1,000, alternatively a near identical part, still manufactured by Magneti Marelli can be purchased for around $250.

There are a few subtle differences in appearance, however both serve the same purpose of driving a pump.

Here are links to both – try and spot the differences between them both!

What’s the difference between a Moonroof vs Sunroof?

By | Library

You may have heard moonroof and sunroof used synonymously, however there is a distinct difference between both. It can be hard deciphering the difference on your new cars option sheet, so let’s get straight into it.

Sunroof

A sunroof includes two types of panels, the first being a retractable panel mimicking the headliner. Once fully retracted will expose the glass panel above. The second is another panel made of glass which can be tilted open or fully open, essentially serving as an open window in the roof.

You’ll commonly see wind deflectors or wind nets used with a sunroof, otherwise you will hear whistling and air passing over the gap when travelling at speed.

Interestingly, there are different types of sunroof:

  • Pop-up: A manually operated panel which tilts open.
  • Spoiler: A panel which tilts up and slides towards the back of the car, providing an opening in the roof
  • Top-mount sliding: Mounted to rails, the panel will slide open on the vehicle’s exterior.
  • Inbuilt/Moonroof: Generally electric, this slides between the vehicles metal roof and interior headliner revealing the glass.

 

Moonroof

Technically a type of sunroof due to it letting air and light through the top of the vehicle. However, the moonroof earned its own name due to its functionality, and ultimately demand on vehicles.

A moonroof will commonly have an interior sliding shade matching your headliner so you can open/close when needed. However, the glass doesn’t retract or open, it’s just a fixed structure within the cabin.

The idea is to let light into the vehicle when desired or using the shade to block light out.

Can I Mix Different Weights of Oil?

By | Maintenance

Using the correct engine oil is imperative to a trouble free, long life from your engine. Sometimes you may need to top off your oil, choosing the correct weight and type specific to your engine ensures no issues further down the line.

But what happens if you don’t have the exact weight of oil needed for your engine. Can you mix different weights of oil?

Weights Explained

Mixing oils isn’t a straightforward yes or no answer, as there are many variables. The first is the weight of oil, identified by “0w30” for example. The first number represents the viscosity in winter, the lower the number indicates thinner oil when cold.

The second number indicates its viscosity at 100C. This is a standard measurement across all manufacturers. The higher the number indicates how thick the oil is, therefore 0w40 is thicker than 0w30 at 100C.

When you mix two different oil weights, its viscosity changes depending on the mixture. For example, if you have a 50:50 mix of 0w40 and 0w30, you’d expect the mixture to end up around 0w35. The issue lies if there is a large discrepancy between the mixed oil weights, altering the viscosity outside of manufacturers specification.

For a quick top off there shouldn’t be any issues if the viscosities are close like our example – providing the manufacturer is the same. Be aware using an extremely thick or thin oil can cause irreparable damage. Using your best judgement here is key.

 

Oil Types Explained

There are two types of engine oil used, Mineral and Synthetic. Mineral oil is used on older vehicles as it was the standard until more performance was required from combustion engines. A solution was needed to the increased temperatures and strain on oil, so a purer and better performing solution was required.

Synthetic oil has 5 main benefits:

  • It’s resistance to breakdown under higher temperatures is better, ensuring proper lubrication in hot climates or performance cars.
  • Performance in low temperatures (-40C) ensures protection despite being below freezing.
  • Better protection from degradation. Synthetic oils resist shearing much better, maintaining it’s viscosity over the life of the oil.
  • Lower consumption of oil as synthetic blends experience less boil off compared to traditional blends. According to Total, a quality synthetic oil will only lose 4% of it’s weight when exposed to 400 degrees for six hours. Mineral Oil will experience 30% loss under the same conditions.
  • Cleaner engines as synthetics don’t sludge up as fast. This means short trips or driving in winter results in better lubrication and protection.

Is it okay to Mix Different Brands of Motor Oil?

You can mix the same type (synthetic or mineral) from the same manufacturer. Different manufacturers use different additives to achieve the best performance from your engine oil. The issue lies in how these interact with each other inside the harsh environment of an engine – potentially causing failure.

Be careful you’re not mixing different types of oil, only ever mix synthetic with synthetic, and mineral with mineral. If in doubt don’t risk it, you can get oil the next working day from X.

Clicking Noise when Trying to Start Car

By | troubleshooting

Everyone’s been in the same situation, running late in the morning for work when disaster strikes. Your car won’t start, potentially leading to big repair bills.

If your lights come on, radio works, but you hear a clicking when trying to start the car, you’re in luck! This can be narrowed down to either the battery or starter motor in 99% of cases and is easy to diagnose.

 

Battery

Visual Inspection

First on the list is your battery. Most commonly located under the bonnet in plain view, and in the boot in BMW’s. This is the main culprit for starting issues, commonly caused by a worn-out battery from age. Batteries can last anywhere from 3 years to 10 depending on climate, cold weather is harsh on batteries and will shorten their working lifespan.

Remove any covers to expose each terminal and check for a blue/white crystal substance on each terminal. If you see this do not touch, as it’s battery acid that’s leaked from the cells and will cause chemical burns. Corrosion will look like the image below:

Battery acid leak

Instead mix 16oz (500ml) of hot water (not boiling!) with 1 tspb of baking powder, and slowly pour over the terminal. The mixture will bubble up and fizz, neutralising the acid.

Slowly pour clean water to remove the residual baking powder and dry off with a lint free cloth.

Swelling

Check the rest of the battery for swelling or visible leaks. Inside the battery is a mix of distilled water and battery acid, if this mixture leaks you will see a blue/white crystal substance. Swelling isn’t a good sign either – replace immediately ensuring proper disposal of your old battery.

Terminal Connectors

If there isn’t anything visibly wrong, you now want to check the connections to each terminal are securely attached. To check this, give them a slight wiggle to check for play. You shouldn’t be able to move these connections – if they are loose go ahead and tighten them up.

Check the terminals and connections for dirt and grime, as this can prevent a circuit being formed. An old toothbrush with a diluted baking soda mixture will clean up the connections perfectly.

If you need to remove the connectors, remove the negative terminal (indicated by a -) first, then the positive terminal.

When reconnecting the battery, the positive terminal needs to be connected first (indicated by a +) then the negative terminal.

Multi-meter

You can also test whether the battery has a charge by using a multi-meter. An extremely useful piece of equipment that should be in every DIYers toolbox. If you find yourself without one, I recommend the X.

To use simply turn the dial to X, then wait for the display to zero. Touch the negative and positive terminals to the corresponding terminal on the battery and wait for the number to stabilize.

 

Starter Motor

If your battery passed the above tests, our focus will move onto the starter motor.

If you can hear one loud click or no clicks when turning the ignition, this indicates a problem with the starter solenoid.

What is a starter solenoid?

A solenoid is a coil of wire wrapped into a tightly packed helix shape. This solenoid is then used as an electromagnet, as the device creates a magnetic field from the electric current passed to it when you turn the ignition.

This small surge of current from the ignition turn, creates the electromagnetic field which brings the two connections together, completing the circuit and providing the starter motor with power.

As this is a moving part it’s susceptible to breaking and will eventually need to be replaced. As we can’t provide specific tutorials for each vehicle, I advise you to grab a Haynes Manual which will guide you through the process of replacing starter components.

Why does my Car Smell like Rotten Eggs?

By | troubleshooting

Unusual smells and sounds from your vehicle shouldn’t be ignored, especially a pungent odor like rotten eggs. There are only a handful of reasons why your car will smell like eggs, fortunately this issue is easy to diagnose.

 

Cracked or Clogged Catalytic Converter

By far the most common reason for this smell is a malfunctioning catalytic converter. The odour is caused by Hydrogen Sulfide, which is a byproduct of combustion. This gas is converted inside the exhaust, to produce sulphur dioxide an odourless (and much less harmful to the environment) gas.

Symptoms

If your catalytic converter begins to malfunction or leak combustion gases, you will begin to smell this mainly at the rear of the car – specifically from the exhaust. (Note: Please don’t inhale your cars exhaust!).

Another symptom is rattling from the converter itself. Inside is a honeycomb like structure which can work loose or disintegrate. If you can remove this from your vehicle, try shaking or hitting with a rubber mallet to see if you can hear movement inside.

You may also see a check engine light on your dashboard, indicating a lack of efficiency from your catalyst. A code reader is a handy tool, which will tell you the corresponding tool – pinpointing the exact

Prevention

A major reason for your catalytic converter becoming clogged is due to an improperly functioning engine. Excess fuel being introduced into your exhaust can destroy the catalyst inside, resulting in foul smells.

If your engine burns oil, this can cool the catalyst preventing soot from being burned off. Generally these problems can be caused by a wide range of issues from faulty sensors, aging rubber parts or a failing engine – consider consulting a trusted mechanic to inspect your vehicle, or read our troubleshooting guides.

 

Battery Leaking Acid

A battery being overcharged will produce hydrogen sulphide, causing a rotten egg smell. This is due to the acid inside each cell escaping the casing, as most car batteries are sealed.

It’s easy to identify, as you will see a white crystal substance, typically seen around the terminals of the battery. You may also notice your battery swelling at the sides, due to increased internal pressure.

If your battery is leaking or appears to be swelling, immediately stop using your vehicle and get a replacement is installed.

You shouldn’t touch the battery without wearing proper protection, because the internal acid can cause serious injury to skin, even if it’s dried.

 

Transmission or Differential Fluid

Petroleum based oils can cause an unpleasant smell once aged or heated outside of the operating temperature range. In older vehicles it’s possible the transmission or differential is slowly leaking fluid, causing a bad odour once up to temperature.

A tell-tale sign of an oil leak is a small puddle in the morning, most commonly the drain/fill plug crush washers – fortunately an easy fix (and excuse to change your fluid!).

Another possibility is a crack in the metal casing causing the leak, carefully inspecting the trail of oil will quickly reveal whether you have a crack in the casing, or simply a leaking crush washer.

Solution

In this instance, changing the fluid will cure the odours source. Oil does eventually go bad with age and use, and is easy enough to change with simple tools.

Make sure you inspect the transmission and differential for leaks, to solve the underlying problem of smelling the oil. The leak will most commonly be from the drain and fill plugs, if this does turn out to be the source of the leak your local dealership can provide the correct parts extremely quickly!

A Haynes manual for your vehicle will show you the correct procedure to replace the fill plugs, as well as changing the oil itself. The manuals include pictures and manufacturer torque specs, and are easy to follow.

Why does my car AC Smell?

By | troubleshooting

When you turn on your AC, does it produce a weird odour? If this is the case, there definitely is a problem.

Fortunately it’s fairly common and is caused by a variety of issues, which we will address in our guide to bad air conditioning smells.

 

Mold and Bacteria Growth

The most common reason for foul smells produced by your cars AC is mold/bacteria growth. Air conditioning works by removing heat and moisture out of the air that’s already in your car, resulting in a nice cold breeze.

The side effect of this moisture removal is an ideal place for mold to grow, causing bad smells and potential health implications.

How to get rid of mold

Fortunately getting rid of the mold is straightforward. There are several methods of treatment, fortunately they aren’t too expensive.

Filter Change

Sometimes a dirty air filter can trap bad smells, pushing them back through your vents. Fortunately it’s a straightforward change, and cheap too. Using a Haynes Manual (https://haynes.com) will show you how to change your filter easily.

This filter should be changed according to your maintenance schedule, which you’ll find in the service book supplied with your vehicle or applicable Haynes Manual.

Anti-bacterial cleaning

Killing bacteria that’s grown in the intake ducting, or the condenser will eliminate bad smells. Condensation that builds up from cooling air is usually drained away, however if the system doesn’t get a chance to dry out, mildew can grow throughout the system causing unpleasant odours.

Turtle Wax Whole Car Blast is the product I’ve used to get results, which is an easy and cheap way to de-smell your cars HVAC system.

Step 1: First place the canister into the passenger’s foot well, nozzle facing upright.

Step 2: Next turn the car and air conditioning on, with the fan speed on full in recirculation mode.

Step 3: Depress the button on the can, which will release a continuous stream of spray. Shut the doors and windows on the vehicle and let the spray circulate around the HVAC system. This should take between 10-20 minutes.

Step 4: Keep the fans blowing full speed with the AC now switched off, for five minutes. Ensure the doors/windows are open – this is to dry out the whole system, preventing odours from re-establishing themselves.

 

Ozone Generator

An alternative to anti-bacterial spray is an ozone generator, which will kill all odours in the AC system. If all else fails this is one of the most effective way to eliminate the source of bad odours, and can get in every crevice ensuring complete cleaning.

Ozone isn’t safe to breathe in, therefore precautions should be taken to avoid contact with the produced gas.

To get started:

Step 1: Turn the car on, and ensure the air conditioning is set to full fan speed and recirculation mode, with the temperature as low as possible.

Step 2: Set the Ozone generator to work for 20 minutes, our generator outputs 5g/hr – if your machine outputs more, adjust the time accordingly. Overexposure can cause damage to interior rubber!

Step 3: Turn the vehicle off and allow it to ventilate for an hour or two. Be careful not to breathe any of the ozone gas in, as it can cause respiratory irritation.

 

Burning Rubber

Due to the complexity of a car’s HVAC system, there are multiple reasons why you may smell burning rubber.

Burning off Dust

If you haven’t used your AC in a while, dust and other debris can build up all over the system. When your HVAC system gets up to temperature, this debris will be burnt off releasing a burning odour.

If you still notice the smell after a few minutes, it may be a different problem and should be investigated immediately.

Clogged Air Filter

Despite being a maintenance item sometimes an excessive amount of particulate can build up in your filter, severely reducing airflow. This will put extra strain on the rest of the components, commonly producing a burning rubber smell.

To rectify this issue, changing your filter will immediately get rid of any unpleasant smells. In all cars they’re accessible and can be changed using tools you have around the house! I recommend using a Haynes Manual if you’re unsure how to get started.