We all rely on the 12 volt auxiliary power outlet (formerly know as the cigarette lighter) in our cars. They charge our phones, power our GPS, run our kids video games. When the power goes out it can really be frustrating. Most of the time these auxiliary power outlets are easy to fix and get back into service quickly and easily.
Sometimes its as simple as a fuse
The car auxiliary power outlet was designed in the early 1900’s for lighting cigarettes in automobiles and though we have a profound new view on smoking the outlet itself has not changed much since then. The shape of the outlet opens itself up to issues simply because small metal objects can become lodged in the socket causing short circuits. In all honesty, there have been quite a few times I had a penny fall into the auxiliary power outlet and caused a blown fuse.
In the case of my 2014 Dodge Charger I’m not exactly what caused the fuse to blow, but its a simple fix none the less.
If you have read my blog before you would know that I’m a DIY kind of guy. I love to fix anything and everything including my own cars. Since the mid 90’s car computers and systems have become increasingly complex. Though it would be quite simple for most modern cars to display any errors and trouble codes on their numerous screens, the manufactures still love to light the check engine light! This is where the BlueDriver comes into play. The BlueDriver can help you scan your cars computer and not only read the trouble codes, but it also suggests common fixes for your issue.
A little history – Why the BlueDriver exists(or scan tools in general)
In the 1990’s the world was becoming more aware to the global warming crisis and how automobiles were contributing to the problem. Governments were trying to help by passing more stringent emissions standards. The problem was how could we insure the new emissions systems were properly working? The solution came in 1996 with the ODBII system On-Bard Diagnostic System 2. Prior to 1996 there were other more rudimentary systems, but ODBII was the standard for them all and still the standard today.
When an emissions fault was detected by the ODBII system it would light the MIL (Malfunction Indicator Lamp) also know as the check engine light. You would then take the car to your local dealer and they would use a scan tool to pull the error code to diagnose the malfunction. At first in the 90’s all cars had the same codes to diagnose emission issues, however as time went on manufactures started to add manufacture specific codes which required a manufacture specific scan tool.
If you have been mandated by the government to work from home due to the Covid-19 outbreak and would like to be a bit more productive, it may be time to look in the basement or attic for that old monitor you just couldn’t throw away. I personally find it way more productive to work on two or more displays at a time and hopefully you will too.
The portable usb monitor
The simplest way to add an additional screen to your laptop or desktop computer is to plug in a USB portable display. This type of display is easy to install, easy to move from computer to computer, easy to travel with and reasonably priced.
Washing machines are just like any other durable good we buy for our home, eventually they will wear out and break down. Once this occurs we have three choices. 1. Replace the Washing Machine with new, 2. Call the repair man or 3. Just fix it yourself. According to an article I read in Consumer Reports once the machine hits 5 years you may consider tossing it for new, and at 10 years its a dead man walking. Mine had a leaky pump.
I currently have a Maytag MAV4755AWW that is around 15 years old, during a recent load of laundry water began leaking from the bottom of the machine. Was this the beginning of the end for my reliable Maytag washer? After a quick inspection it appeared that the leak was coming from the washer pump.
The big question is it worth while to replace the pump or simply replace the washing machine. In this case the pump is under $50 so well worth the time it takes to do this DIY repair!
If you have read my blog in the past you would know that I picked up my first classic car about six months ago. A 1985 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS! So far it has been a blast to drive and I have been enjoying it every chance I get. However through the month of November I was away for a couple weekends and the weather was poor for the rest so my SS went unused for about 6 weeks. Finally in mid December I had an opportunity to take the car out only to find the battery was drained and not enough juice left to turn her over. After talking to a few friends that also own classics they recommended I keep the battery topped off with a Battery Tender!
My 2014 Dodge Charger threw a check engine light last week while my wife was driving home from work. After a brief read from my scan tool it was revealed that the error code is was P0128. Most likely culprit, the thermostat!
What is a P0128 error code?
The official meaning for the P0128 error code is “Coolant Temperature Below Thermostat Regulating Temperature” In plain English the car is basically saying that after a predetermined amount of time the coolant temperature has not come up to normal operating temperature. In other words the car is to cold! Modern fuel injected engines like to run at their specified operating temperature, and in the short term this is mainly a nuisance check-engine light, in the long run it could damage you engine and should be addressed. Continue reading “2014 – Dodge Charger – How To Fix P0128 Error Code”
In my previous post I went though the procedure to change out my Monte Carlo SS blower motor resistor Unfortunately that did not fix the issue and I moved on to the next component in the circuit. The blower motor relay. Again this is an inexpensive part and is worth the investment to repair my classic car.
I have to say that I now believe that Amazon carries everything or at least put you in contact with a vendor that has what you need.
Here is a link to the RY20 relay from Standard Motor Products that is an exact replacement to the existing relay. Under $14.00 at Amazon!
As you know I enjoy writing about my projects and things I work on in the hopes this will help someone else in the world. Recently I purchased a 1985 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS and though its in great condition as with any 35 year old automobile there are lots of maintenance items that need looking after. While out for a cruise I noticed some issues with blower motor speed control and decided to give a go at repairing it.
Blower Motor Works, but only on high!
The blower motor works well, however it only runs on the highest setting. Any other speed other than high will cause the motor to shutoff. I had this same issue on a 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix GT and had determined the blower motor resistor to be the issue, so I figured I would replace the same in my 85 SS
It’s midlife crisis time and I picked up a 1985 Monte Carlo SS. It’s in great condition for a car that’s 35 years old and runs like new. However with any car this old there are always little things that break and will need repair. I will be posting articles on items I repair maybe to help others in their quest. In this article I will be explaining how to easily repair a loose vent in your old Chevy.
In my Super Sport the air conditioner vents roll either to the left or right as soon as the blower fan turns on. This is quite annoying especially while I’m out cruising on a hot Summer day.
In the office we tend to buy Dell Desktops and Laptops. In my opinion they are no better or worse than any other brand and are priced competitively. Normally we have a 3-4 year cycle moving old equipment out and new equipment in. This one E5550 has been hanging around for whatever reason and was feeling slow. I originally popped the back cover to upgrade to a SSD and noticed the battery was in bad shape and needed to be replaced.
E5550 Battery Replacement
From the looks of it, two of the cells out gassed and have a belly. This is very bad since the battery capacity is obviously reduced. It is also dangerous to the hardware since the added pressure from the battery could damage the system board or cause the case to crack.