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Well, you can ask your question here. I seem to receive a lot of questions for auto repair and I am only one person so please leave me as much information as possible. Vehicle year, make, model, engine size, automatic or manual transmission, drive train type and anything else you’re aware of. I understand if you don’t have answers to all of these just leave me what you know and your question will get answered more quickly and accurately. I tend to ignore questions like: How do I flush my transmission? I would need more information here, see. Thanks in advance.
Martin Hand

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This way other people can benefit from the question’s and advice. Question’s posted here are answered in the same manner as asking me directly. Neither method is going to be quicker and I would rather you post them unless you don’t want too and that is fine also. I know longer accept direct questions. Contact us directly for appointments only. Remember – please be specific as possible otherwise questions will not be answered.
Thanks Again 🙂


  • john sawyer says:

    any ideas on getting used auto ransmission..2002 subaru out back ll bean 3.0,,,what years interchangeable…where to look for one..etc..thanks john

  • Megan dawson says:

    Hi, I have a 1998 dodge stratus 2.4ltr that has 92,000 miles. Has new heads and just put on new water pump timing chain and belt. Now it has been acting like i was having a starter issue,(noted),also the air conditioning that works great was suddenly jumping from from facing fan to the top defrost and going back and forth ,back ,and forth. More annoying than anything(noted). Now those two things noted,I was in my car pulled up a.c. on and put it in park and sit there for about 2 minutes when there is an incredibly Weird sound coming from my car like a cross of something had got eaten by a garbage disposal under hood and a steaming fire hydrant blowing. So after that point on it has been nothing but noise. And VERY hard to start,a.c.. runs nice ice cold air and when turned on the noise is actually quieter than with it off. But it’s now draining battery I have to jump start if I want it to start and it sounds like a diesel pickup from the cab when I do start. The oil was changed about 1500 miles ago (last month) and it was about home dry. No signs of leakage and not thick or black… not overheating at all, rpm seem a little low ,but doesn’t seem to lack power, the breaks which were replaced 6 moths ago still have a squeak sound but just noticed it’s not necessarily when I’m applying the brakes and they seem to stick. But may not be related. Put in New oil. Seems to be fine and put a new hose on that I noticed was bad but nothing changed it sounds horrible. Help me please? Some friends seem to think it’s the bearing in my a.c.. compressed clutch

    • Martin Hand says:

      Megan sorry but I really cannot help you by comment response. This type of problem really needs to be diagnosed in person, lot of different stuff going on there. If your not in the Portland Oregon area I would take it to your local mechanic, good luck.

  • David Worth says:

    General SVX 4EAT transmission question: Is there a later automatic that will fit the SVX and be a better option than rebuilding the original?

    • Martin Hand says:

      Been a long time since I’ve worked on an Subaru SVX. I believe the transmission are pretty much the same except for the gear ratio. I would rebuild the one you have there is not much that ever really goes wrong with those trasnmissions.

  • Rob says:

    I would like to know what is the easiest and fastest way to remove the alternator on a 1988 Acura Integra.

  • Justin Townsend says:

    I have a 1993 Subaru Legacy with the AWD 5speed. Trans has a LOT of miles on it, and shifting has become more of a “gear search” than anything, shifter is loose (wiggles around, etc). I’d really like to repair this thing but I’m not sure what parts are needed to fix the loose shifter and to solid the trans back up. Any advice/help would be appreciated. Alternatively, I would be interested in getting a replacement trans for the car while I work on rebuilding this one.

    • Martin Hand says:

      There is a u-joint linkage for the shifter (external of the transmission, underneath car) this usually wears out causing a loose shifter as your explaining. Also a rubber bushing for shift linkage on the underside of the car that can get worn but most likely the shift linkage u-joint will fix this problem.

  • John Davis says:

    I have a 07 Outback and it is consuming oil at a rate of 1 gt per 100 miles or so. No external leaks, no smoke. It has 141 K now . Consumption has been increasing over the past year to where it is now. Runs great. Reportedly, head gasket was done at 125K.what to do???

    • Martin Hand says:

      You will have to remove the engine, teardown and inspect. Probably a combination of stuck piston rings and bad valve seals +/or dropped valve guide which knocks off the valve seal. It will be hard to find a shop that will even perform this service they will just want to sell you an engine. Unless your in the Portland Oregon area?

  • Landon Henderson says:

    I have a 2017 Subaru WRX with the 6speed manual transmission and semetrical AWD. When I got it I had the transmission synchros for 3rd and 4th replaced along with the forks under warrantee. Currently I’ve started to notice a slight slipping sensation on heavy acceleration, as well as the car tends to pull side to side on the highway(in a rhythmic back and forth type of way that makes me think it’s related to power delivery shifting not tires). I’m thinking it’s differential related, but don’t know enough about the AWD system to tell if it’s front or rear. The car feels as though it’s not evenly applying power to all wheels anymore. I’d appreciate any advice as to what part or system is most likely so I can start looking for affordable replacements for that part. Thanks

    • Martin Hand says:

      I would have to drive the vehicle to understand what your talking about. There is nothing that will slip except the clutch unless there is something going on with the center differential, does it have center differential control switch like the older ones? Try messing with that if so to see if you can dupliucate the issue that way.

  • Kyaw says:

    I have recently changed the compressor for my Toyota Belta 2010 model (1300 cc) due to excessive noise. The workshop replaced it with a new compressor which they told me is of Toyota Fielder 2009 model. The problem now is that the magnetic clutch is not disengaged after a long time of A/C operation. I understand it should be engaged/disengaged within a time interval. I also feel that the cooling is not as good enough as compared to other normally working vehicle. Could you give any advice for any potential fault or any troubleshooting tips? Thanks much in advance.

    • Martin Hand says:

      If the ac compressor stays on all the time it could be low freon pressure or stuck open expansion valve. It cycles on and off as the pressures and presure switch cuts the circuit. pressure switch is usually fine.

  • danny lee says:

    2007 cobalt interference motor?my chain broke while trying to turn engine was not running when it you think my valves were bent?

    • Martin Hand says:

      Its possible they got bent but I would guess that they’re going to be okay. A chain is a lot more labor then a timing belt so you may want to roll each cylinder to the top and move camshaft(s) to close valves and leakdown test the cylinder with air pressure.

  • K-Y Su says:

    I bought a 1990 Loyale 4WD 5-speed stick recently – tried it in 4WD a few times on rainy and semi-dry roads (misty Seattle weather), and the drivetrain would lock up (car wouldn’t roll more than a couple inches even in neutral, seemed somewhat like auto transmission park engaged). Engine ran ok in neutral. It cleared itself with a loud clank after anywhere from 5 minutes to 24 hours. I read online to don’t use 4WD except on very slippery surfaces where the tires can slip easily (mud, snow, etc, not sure about heavy rain), and that the locking-up might be due to wheels turning at different speeds on turns (differential-like effect), but didn’t find info on how to avoid or clear this locking-up. Car seems fine in 2WD, been a year since I’ve tried 4WD. Grateful for your advice on how to avoid or how to clear it, thank you for this forum.

    • Martin Hand says:

      The 4wd may not be fully engaging or there is something binding in the drive line or rear differential. Put the vehicle in the air on jack stands and test it that way so you can really see what’s going on.

  • Carlene Domangue says:

    I have a 2004 Chevy silverado ls extended cab 6.6l V8 diesel turbocharged.
    I bought the truck used. The last owner had problems with the a/c. So he hardwired it.
    I have replaced the:
    climate control module
    the high side pressure sensor
    the high and low service valve
    orifice tube
    and added freon.
    But we cannot get volts at the compressor. We have checked voltage at the fuse box, relay and climate control. All is good. The only way to get the compressor to kick in is to hard wire it. Please help. We are exhausted from trying and we are leaving tomorrow nite to pull 5th wheel to Tenn from Louisiana for the grandbaby’s bday. I do not want to have to take 2 vehicles so my grandson and me can have a/c while my husband pulls the rv.

    • Martin Hand says:

      You will have to obtain a wiring diagram and a component locator diagram to trace down the problem. If you don’t have this to help you understand the circuit you’ll be lost, like shooting in the dark.

  • Trevor Tunnicliffe says:

    Subaru Forester TCM
    I have a 2000 SF5 Turbo, auto, 2 litre, Japanese import (into New Zealand), Subaru Forester. The transmission type is TV1A3YB2AB and it has a EJ205DXXKS engine. The car has 175K kms on it. I have owned it from 2006 and the only New Zealand owner. This car is a little different to the standard car and has a lot of top spec changes that cannot be identified in the standard manuals.
    My issue started some months ago when the TCM light would come on and stay on after about 150 meters. The local agent ran the scanner over the car and came back with 58 pressure switch and 59 pressure switch faults. There advice was that this was unusual and went to Subaru for advice. The recommended fix was to replace the brake light switch. This was done and the problem went away for about a month. Now the light comes on after about 20 minutes of continuous driving but will reset if the ignition is turned off then back on. If the car is still hot the light comes back on after a few minutes if left to cool it goes back to the 20 minutes. Short trips the light stays off.
    The road surface, uphill or downhill, turning or straight, seems to make little difference. Almost always when I travelling at about 50Kms or slower.
    I drive on suburban paved roads and paved main high ways. We do not get snow but do have a lot of rain. There is no change in the way the car drives when the light is on, no apparent loss of traction on wet roads on corners. There are no noises from the gear box. The auto has recently had an oil change and all the filters changed and no metal or material found on the sump plug or in the filters. I have removed all of the halls sensors (wheel turning sensors for the ABS) on the wheels and cleaned them and checked their clearance. All maintenance is done regularly and most probably exceeds the manufactures recommendations. All warning light check okay at the start and there are no other warning lights on.
    My question to you is;
    • Is ignoring the light going to risk the gear box?
    • Is this issue likely to be the “AWD’ clutch or pressure switches?
    • Or is it likely to be a wiring fault?
    Thank you for your great web page, I have been a long time searching for some real help.


  • Peg says:


    I just received the following from my Subaru dealer service department and I don’t know what I should do or what to ask. It’s a 2012 Outback with 76,000. Could anyone give me advise?

    “We had a chance to look at your vehicle today and have determined that on the #4 cylinder, the valve guides have pulled out of the cylinder head and hit the piston.

    To repair this we will need to send the head to a machine shop to determine if it can be repaired. At this point we believe it can be.

    The vehicle is beyond the manufacturer’s powertrain warranty, but we can offer you some assistance towards the repair under a one time goodwill offer.

    At this time we can offer to repair the vehicle at cost of $500 plus tax, up until a repair total of $2000. Any dollar amount $2000 before assistance will be your responsibility.

    I just need you approval to go ahead start this process.
    Please feel free to ask any questions when you respond to our offer.”

    • Martin Hand says:

      If you can get it fixed through the Subaru dealership for $2000.00 go for it. That is a good price, we charge about $2500.00 for head gasket repair which basically includes the same repair procedures. I would verify they are doing both cylinder heads and not just the one side with the bad valve guide.

  • jerry says:

    I have a 99 jeep xj 70k 4 speed automatic it backs up fine in reverse and performs great thru all gears fine when cold. when warmed up if you put it in reverse it winds the drive train and acts like its in both 1st and reverse. but driving it down the road all four forward gears shift as they should. a transmission shop said its a bad relay in the trans. they want $1600 to fix this problem. what do you think is wrong

    • Martin Hand says:

      I’m not aware of a relay that would cause that problem. The transmission probably has something wrong with the valve body or shift solenoid circuit possibly. Have you checked the TCM for codes? That’s where you should start, then remove the pan to check for excessive clutch material or metal shavings.

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