Sunday, February 28, 2010

DIY Tune Up & Oil Change Corolla 93 - 97

This is a DIY for a complete tune up with a oil change .

First you make sure you wires are numbered or that you remember where you took the wires off the spark plug and the distributor cap . Putting these back on wrong will lead to your car not functioning correctly .

First you remove the spark plug wires and lay them above the cylinder so that you know the order that they are in . In this case we are gonna remove all the wires and change them out but if your wires are still good then you can do one spark plug at a time , remove and replace .

The spark plugs I used are the Denso K16R-U ( 3119 ) . Some auto parts stores don't carry them and they will try to sell you another brand or type of plug . Tell them to order them . Advance is the auto part store that carries the Denso plugs . Then you gap them at .032 . Make sure you find the gap for your vehicle . I looked in my manual and this is the plug that my car calls for .

Once I have gap my plugs then I put some anti seize so that they can be easily removed next time or else your plugs might be a little tight comming off . Then in this case I only put the plugs back in the proper cylinder and do not connect the wire to the plugs just rest them in so that you know the order of your wires to the distributor cap .

Then I removed my PCV and put a new one there . If it doesn't rattle then the PCV is clogged if it does rattle then it is ok .

Then I remove the cover for the air filter so that I can get to the distributor cap screws . Plus I can put a new air filter too .

Then you can remove the 3 screws that hold down the distributor cap .

Then with a flat head screw driver you remove the rotor button . It might feel tight but it does slide off . Becareful you don't lean on the cover inside and break it .

I recommend that you put a little bit of anti seize in the center so it won't be so tuff to take off the next time .

Then before you put your wires and yoru cap on put some dielectric grease on the spark plug wires so that they won't stick to the spark plug the next time you remove them and the distributor cap so that no moisture builds up in them . There is a rubber seal that the distributor cap should come with that goes on the bottom . Make sure you have that cause sometimes you have to replace your old one .

Make sure you take off the spark wire clips off the end for the distributor cap cause you are gonna need them and reuse them on your new wires . Then you put everything back in order . The distributor caps have numbers on then and sometimes the new plugs will too .

Then you go to the bottom of the oil pan and remove the oil pan drain bolt .

You might have to lower your car a little because the oil drain plug is facing the front and you need to even the car as much as you can with out squishing the plastic oil catcher . Let that drain until you see no more oil comming out of it .

Then keeping that oil pan catcher still underneath you remove the oil filter . Some cars you can remove it from the top or the bottom . Once you remove the oil filter you clean up all that area before putting your new filter on .

Then with some oil you put a little around the new rubber gasket area before putting the new filter on . You put the new oil filter on hand tight only . Then you make sure your oil drain plug is hand tight . Wipe up the area so that when you start your car you can look for any oil leaks .

Once you are completed then you start your car to make sure it is running correctly . Look for any oil leaks . Check your other fluids such as brake fluid , radiator coolant , power steering and transmission .

Saturday, February 27, 2010

DIY Front & Rear Sway Bar Links Corolla 98 - 02

If the boots on your end links are torn or you can wiggle the end links then you should replace them. Here is how!

Tools Needed:
14 MM wench
Allen wench socket set
Anti-seize grease

To replace the front end links:

1)Jack up your car and put the front wheels on jack stands. You don't have to remove the wheels, but it makes it easier to give you access and leverage to take the bolts off and on.

2) Make sure both your front wheels are off the ground and on jack stands to take tension off the swaybar. Trust me, it is a lot harder to take the swaybar off and on if there is tension on the bar.

3) Stick your Allen wrench into the center of each end link bolt to keep the bolt from turning as you loosen it with your 14MM wench. Out comes the end link.

4) Repeat for the other side.

5) Then use anti-seize grease on the threads of your new end links. Installation is the reverse of the steps to take them off.

To replace the rear end links:

1) Jack up your car and put the rear wheels on jack stands. Make sure both rear wheels are off the ground to take the tension off the swaybar on the end links.

2) Take off your rear wheels.

3) Take the Allen wrench and stick it into the center of the bolt in the end link to keep the end link from turning and use the 14MM wench to loosen the nut.

4) Do this for the other nut and out comes the end link.

5) Repeat the above steps for the other side and installation is the reverse of how you took it out. Make sure you use anti-seize grease on the threads of your new end links.

Friday, February 26, 2010

DIY Coolant Flush & Maintenance Corolla 93 - 97

This DIY is for replacing the radiator hoses , thermostat and flushing your coolant . Especially if your hoses been on you car for at least 5 yrs and you haven't flushed your system out or you haven't been using proper coolant and using water . Plus check your heater hoses to .

First you should remove the distributor cap so that you can have more room to get to the thermostat . You do not have to remove the wires .

After that then you can remove the air filter box completely . While you have this off it's best that you clean the inside before putting this air filter box back on .

Then you put a oil pan under the radiator drain plug and then unscrew the plug and let the radiator coolant drain into the pan .

Then remove the pan, Do not close the drain plug yet . Now if you weren't gonna replace the hoses or thermostat then you would put your water hose in the radiator and start your car and put the heat on inside the car and flush the whole system out until you see clear water flowing out the drain plug . The reason you have the car running is so that the thermostat can open up and the reason you have the heater on is so that the heater core is opened up and you can flush the heater core at the same time . Once you see clear water draining then shut your vehicle off and your hose and just let the rest of the water run out completely . Then see below on how to fill up your radiator .

Now with your pliers you then remove the hose clamps around the upper and lower hoses . Some people might have the one's with the screw driver then you would unscrew them . Some people replace the OEM hose clamps to the screw one's and some people reuse the OEM clamps . In this case I will reuse the OEM clamps cause there not rusted and they look fairly new .

To get to the bottom hose clamp for the lower hose you have to remove the water shield first . It's like three bolts holding it . You do not have to remove it completely just unbolt it enough to see the bottom hose clamp .

Then you can remove the thermostat housing . First you have to unplug the temperature switch wire . Then with a 10mm you can remove the two nuts . Be careful don't lose these nuts .

Once you remove the thermostat housing it is important to remember how the thermostat sits . The deep part goes inside the block . You can reuse the rubber gasket for your new thermostat but inspect first . As long as the gasket isn't pinched or cracked you can reuse it . That's why when they sell you the new thermostat it doesn't come with the gasket .

Since you remove the hoses now you can put your water hose in the upper part and flush out the block . Do not run your car for this . Flush until you see clear water coming out of the bottom of the block . Then of course you flush out your radiator . Try not to wet your distributor since the cap is off and the inside will be exposed .

Then with your mini wire brush you can get any corrosion that is around the thermostat housing and around the all the areas that the hoses will be replaced .

Some people don't and you really don't have to but I put just a tiny bit of water pump/thermostat silicone only on the housing part . Make sure the thermostat area is dry before putting your housing back on . Very important when you tighten the nut for the housing that you DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN . This is only hand tight . The stud will break very easily if you over tighten .

Then with a pack of hose grease that they sell in the auto parts store you put some on the inside of the hoses you are replacing . This I recommend because the next time you replace your radiator hose or ever have to take it off to work on something else it will be so much easier to remove your hoses and your hoses will not stick around the areas you clamp . Then you can put your distributor cap back on and air filter box .

I use water wetter because you can use this in any type of climate or vehicle and in the summer when you use your A/C or if you run hotter spark plugs in your car this product is awesome . This is product is used for all water cooled vehicles . This will make your car run up to 20% cooler , improves heat transfer and lubricates your water pump seals and reduces rust . Can be used with all antifreeze coolants .

Once you put all your hoses on and then you tighten up the radiator drain plug . Then you can add your water wetter in first , Then your antifreeze coolant you can either buy the premix 50/50 or you can buy the one that you mix yourself with water . Do not pour straight antifreeze coolant into your radiator . Best if you have another jug or bucket when you mix the coolant with the water . Then as you are pouring your antifreeze coolant turn your vehicle on and put the heater on and keep and eye on the opening of the radiator for bubbles . Run the car for awhile and keep refilling until you see no more bubbles and the radiator is full . With the rest of your coolant put some in the over flow tank.

Then with in a few days of driving your vehicle check the over flow to see if you need to add any more coolant in your over flow tank . Now you are ready for long distance driving with out over heating or hoses bursting .

Sunday, February 21, 2010

DIY Shift Lock Control System Corolla 98 - 02

This is a DIY for automatic transmission with a OEM shifter handle not a aftermarket . Because a aftermarket handle if not adjusted correctly will act as if the shift lock control system isn't working .

This shift lock control system prevents you from taking your car out of park while it's running and prevents a child from accidently putting the car in gear unless you step on the brake pedal . Plus it will prevent you to take your key out of the car unless your vehicle is locked in park to prevent it from jumping out of park and rolling down the road .
How would you know if it's your shift lock control and not your transmission ? A simple test will determine that . You have a over ride button above the P . You stick a flat head screw driver and push the button down and see if your car comes out of park . If it does then your shift lock control system is not working . Spilling coffee or water or soda over time will short this out as in my case .

First you remove the frame around the shifter and the two screws on each side that hold the center console cover .

Then you put your parking brake on while doing the rest of the DIY . You carefully put the car in L3 by using the over ride button so you won't need the key in the ignition in the on position and then remove the center face but carefully pull it out slowly cause your lighter is still connected . Then you unplug your lighter and remove this . It's best to put black wire over your expose lighter wires cause when you test the shift control you do not want these wires to be exposed and hit any metal .

Then you open your glove box up and remove the three screws across the top . Make sure you put all your screws some where that you wont lose them .

Then with your 10mm socket you remove the bolt on the bottom left of the glove compartment box .

Then you pull the glove compartment box down and you will see another screw holder the center console . Again keep all your screws and bolts some where so you dont lose them .

Then you go to the drivers side and remove the bottom bolt above the gas pedal which holds the panel .

Once you remove that bolt then you unsnap the panel cover to expose the screw that is holding the center console .

Then you unscrew the middle compartment box because the screws are screwed to a metal brace and this will prevent you from taking that whole center piece out .

Then with a 12mm socket you remove the two bolts holding that back park of your center console . At this point you cant seperate the front piece from the back piece . Then you slide that over the parking brake . Remember your car is still in L3 so keep your brake up .

Then you can pull the center console towards you . It might give you problems but be patient look to see where it gets hung up .

Then you unscrew the two screws that hold the shifter cover . You can remove the handle to take this off completly but in my case all I did was raise it up and twist it out of the way to get to the shift lock system .
Then you unplug the shift lock control system and unscrew the two screws holding the unit down .

This is a very important reminder . Yes you can drive your vehicle with out this unit . But you are taking a chance your car can pop out of gear , you can shut your car off while in gear and remove the key , you can think you have your car in park and not know it , a child can easily change the gears , you can accidently hit it out of gear . So in my opinion your life isn't worth taking a chance not having this . This unit I have I removed from a geo prizm so they interchange . One is white the other is back thats the only difference .

Keeping your car still in L3 now you put back and screw down your new shift lock system and then plug it in . Once you have completed that then put your car in park . It should automatically lock .

Now you can put your key back into the ignition switch and turn the vehicle switch on but DO NOT START THE CAR . Only in the on position then with your hand push down on the brake pedal and then you should be able to take your car out of gear with ease .
Once you have completed your test remove the key and then you can put it all back together again .