Get dealer to VIN-dicate problem with downshifting

  • Article by: PAUL BRAND
  • Updated: September 28, 2013 - 5:08 PM

Q: My 2009 Hyundai Sonata has an ongoing shifting problem. When I am slowing and the speedometer is crossing the 20-mile-per-hour mark, it “surges” as though I can feel the downshift. First we tried a transmission fluid flush, but that did not help. A second mechanic said it is just the way the car is and there is nothing functionally wrong. What do you think?

A: I’m not sure the transmission is the issue. Sensing or feeling a “surge” as the transmission downshifts might indicate an electronic control issue with the ECM (engine control module) and/or TCM (transmission control module). My ALLDATA automotive database pulled up several Hyundai service bulletins addressing shift quality issues. TSB #11-AT-003 addresses deceleration downshifts and TSB #12-AT-023 identifies an “improperly functioning transmission oil temperature sensor” that might affect shift quality and generate DTC fault codes D0711/P0712/P0713.

Hyundai has issued several programming updates for the ECM and TCM to address these issues. I’d suggest having your dealer check the VIN of your car to see if any of these updates have been done. If not, a scan tool might pull up specific DTC fault codes and the updated programming may smooth out the downshifts.

 

Q: I have a 1999 Mercury Grand Marquis 4.6-liter with 135,000 miles. It has a Gold Diehard battery that is about a year and a half old. On cold starts, no problems, but if I drive several miles and then turn the car off for a few minutes to an hour, when I start it the battery light comes on. After a few miles or a few minutes, it goes off. The battery and alternator test fine with my multimeter, but I can’t re-create the “light on” scenario in the garage while testing. It just comes on at start-up and then goes off.

 

A: By definition, the battery warning light illuminates when system voltage does not increase above battery voltage, indicating that the charging system isn’t recharging the battery. When the engine is started, the alternator’s “field” circuit must be electrically energized with battery voltage to create the magnetic field necessary to generate current.

On a restart where the “batt” light stays illuminated, try leaving the car in park and gently raising the engine rpm to 2,000 or so. If the warning light goes off, it means the voltage regulator built into the alternator has recognized the need to charge the battery.

With the key on but the engine not running, check fuse 3 (5-amp) and the “gen” fuse (10-amp) in the power distribution block to make sure they’re clean with solid connections, and check for battery voltage at the “F” (field) terminal on the back of the alternator.

Keep an eye out for a good deal on an alternator; you might need a new one in the near future.

 

Q: I own a 2005 9-2 Saab. It is due for new brake rotors. I understood there are four main types of replacement rotors on the market: flat (the usual OEM rotors), drilled, slotted and the combination of both. I’m looking to increase stopping power and reduce stopping distance while keeping the rotors from warping. Is there really a benefit to any these aftermarket rotors?

 

A: The different styles of rotors won’t really affect stopping “power” or distance. As long as the brakes have the “power” to lock the wheels and tires, it’s the tires that influence stopping distance the most. Better stopping power would require larger brakes and higher-grip tires. Look at it this way: Brakes are engines that work in reverse, so to speak. Brakes convert the energy of motion into heat. The bigger the brake, the more efficient the engine.

Slotted, drilled and vented rotors do offer one major advantage — they dissipate heat better, thus allowing more frequent and harder braking without overheating/fading/warping in high-performance and racing applications.

In your case, higher-performance brake pads would have a greater influence on stopping power than different style rotors.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 14 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: E. Jackson 5
Boston - WP: J. Tazawa 5 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: D. O`Day 3
Milwaukee - LP: J. Broxton 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Holdzkom 4
Toronto - LP: M. Buehrle 3 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: H. Kuroda 5
Washington - WP: D. Fister 3 FINAL
Miami - LP: T. Koehler 2
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Quintana 4 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Hellickson 3
NY Mets - WP: Z. Wheeler 5 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: J. Teheran 0
Cleveland - LP: K. Crockett 4 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: J. Burton 5
Detroit - WP: J. Verlander 10 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Vargas 1
Seattle - WP: T. Walker 10 FINAL
Houston - LP: B. Peacock 5
Arizona - LP: C. Anderson 3 FINAL
Colorado - WP: J. Lyles 15
Cincinnati - LP: D. Holmberg 1 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: J. Lackey 2
Philadelphia - LP: D. Buchanan 1 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Lester 3
Texas 10 Top 8th Inning
LA Angels 3
San Francisco 0 Top 9th Inning
San Diego 5
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
(5) Auburn 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Colorado 1 FINAL
Real Salt Lake 5
Toronto 33 4:21
Brt Columbia 16
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close