Common BMW 3 Series E46 Problems: 4th Generation (1997 to 2006)

BMW 3 Series E46 Problems

The BMW 3 series is a popular car that has existed for many generations. Also known as the E46, the 4th generation 3 series contains models like the 323i and 325i. While there is nothing necessarily wrong with the 3 series, all cars have their common faults. This article reviews common BMW 3 series E46 problems, years 1997 to 2006.

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Common Ford Expedition Problems: 3rd Generation (2007 to 2017)

Ford Expedition Problems

Every vehicle has its typical issues owners can expect to run into. Here are the 5 most common Ford Expedition problems of the 3rd generation, years 2007 to 2017.

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Vehicle Lighting and Electrical Problems?

Diagnosing Vehicle Lighting and Electrical Problems

Diagnosing problems with vehicle lighting or electrical is not usually an easy process. Sometimes you can get something back up and running by banging on it a few times. This is especially true if you have a loose component that needs a bit of shaking to fix it. Other times, it’s not always that simple. 

Unlike the ’60s and ’70s, vehicles today have just about everything electronically regulated and controlled. This means that in addition to the radio, vehicle lighting, and fans, there are more parts that need an electrical connection to run, but the good news is that your car’s electricals are designed to last a very long time without any problems. If your car has electrical problems, this article reviews the basics for diagnosing them.

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Car AC Squealing When Turned On?

Diagnosing car AC Squealing and Whining

Learn to Diagnose Squeals and Whining From Your Blower Motor

Do you have an annoying high-pitched squealing or whining noise while running the AC or heat in your car or truck, especially at low to medium speeds? Sometimes it’s because of debris in your blower motor, but other times it could be the blower motor or cage itself! In this post, we’ll discuss the difference between an old blower motor with a worn bearing, and a brand new blower motor, to see how an old one can make that awful noise.

What is a Blower Motor?

A car’s blower motor is an important part of its cooling and heating system. If it goes bad, you’ll have difficulty adjusting the temperature inside the cabin. This will not necessarily affect how the car operates. However, it will determine the level of comfort you and your passengers have especially when driving under extremely high or low temperatures. That annoying car AC squealing sound could be more serious than you may think.

If you notice any symptoms that show your car AC system is going bad, like whining and squealing sounds, it’s important to have it checked by a professional. There could be a problem with the blower motor. In some instances, it might fail completely and stop working. Here are some of the signs you can look out for before this happens. 

Car AC Squealing and Other Signs Your Vehicle’s Blower Motor is Going Bad

  1. Unusual Noises

One of the more common symptoms of a bad blower motor is hearing unusual noises coming from the car’s HVAC system. This can be caused by foreign objects like sticks and leaves that get pulled into the engine compartment and find their way into the blower motor. 

If they get to the fan, they can damage the blades and snap them off easily. You’ll most likely hear slapping or popping noises coming from the vents. Another symptom would be hearing an ear screeching or squealing noise caused by wear and tear in the blower motor. 

The pitch changes as you adjust the speed of the motor. The bearings tend to age with time and start to produce sounds. You’ll need to have the blower motor replaced to fix the problem. 

  1. Smoke or Smell

Sometimes, you may see smoke coming out or notice a burning smell when driving. This could be caused by a blower motor that’s burning. It’s advisable to stop the car immediately as this is often never a good sign. You should inspect your vehicle to confirm where the smoke is coming from. Once done, be sure to take it to a technician for a diagnosis and quick fix. 

  1. Weak Airflow 

Blower motors tend to wear out over time. As such, it’s not uncommon for the airflow coming from the vents to weaken and diminish. This is often a sign that the motor is unable to push much of the air out of the HVAC system. You may start to notice less and less air coming out and even have a fan that doesn’t work at some speeds. 

This does not only cause poor airflow but also reduces the ability of the defroster to do its job. The defroster uses the blower motor fan to send air towards the windshield. Since several other parts could be causing the issue, it’s best to have your blower motor and HVAC system diagnosed by a technician to confirm that the problem is indeed with the blower motor. 

How to Check a Bad Blower Motor That’s Making Squealing Sounds

Checking for a bad blower motor

The very first step to diagnosing a bad blower motor in your car is to check the electrical system. Sometimes, failure can be caused by a bad fuse. Do a visual check to confirm that the fuse is not blown out. You can also swap it with a similar fuse that’s working well to confirm your suspicion. 

If the blower motor fuse is in good working condition, there could be a problem with the electrical wiring. Plugs could have gotten loose over time or they could have been accidentally knocked out. You may need a multimeter or probe to check the wiring once you confirm that everything is well put together. 

The next step would be to remove the motor and inspect it for any debris or junk. It could have stopped working physically due to foreign objects. Other than that, you may need to confirm that the motor spins freely without any noises or hiccups. If it does, this is a sign that you need a new blower motor. 

Replacing a bad blower motor is fairly easy. All you need to do is swap the old for the new. You can carry the old one as you head over to buy a replacement. This helps you to confirm that you’re getting the same part number for your car. 

Related Articles About Car AV Squealing Sounds

Car Pulls To The Right or Left?

Diagnosing why my Car Pulls To The Right or Left

Learn to Diagnose Why Your Car Pulls to One Side.

Struggling to drive a car that pulls to the right or left can be daunting. This is especially if you have to keep constantly adjusting the steering wheel to keep it moving in a straight line. There are plenty of reasons why your car could be pulling to the left or right. However, it can always be narrowed down to a few possibilities. Here are six of them. 

6 Reasons Your Car Pulls to the Right or Left:

1. Uneven Tire Pressure

Checking tire pressure.

Driving with one or more tires that are over or under-inflated is one of the most common causes why a car pulls to one side. Fixing the problem could be as easy as adding some air into the tire or releasing it out. Ideally, all tires should have the same pressure both front and rear. 

You can always check the manufacturer’s specification to confirm what tire pressure is ideal for your vehicle or like in most cars, take a look at the sticker that’s placed on the door. If you find out that one of your tires has low pressure, there could be a leak that needs to be fixed. 

2. Stuck Wheel Components

checking to see if tires spin freely

A stuck brake caliper or a frozen wheel bearing are also common problems that could be a reason your car to pulls to the right or left. To check whether your wheels are sticking, rotate each of them while the vehicle is raised. The direction that your car is pulling in is usually indicative of the side with the malfunction.

Your brakes are a critical safety component that should be inspected and fixed if there’s a problem. You’ll need to have the hydraulic system and wheel cylinders checked as well to ensure there’s no additional damage. This is especially if you notice a burning smell every time you brake. 

3. Worn Steering and Suspension Parts

checking if faulty suspension parts could cause the vehicle to be pulling

Suspension parts that are critically worn out could be shifting their position as you drive. As a result, you’ll have a car that pulls to one side when applying your brakes. You’ll be able to notice quick pulls to the steering wheel every single time you step on your brakes. 

However, the pull subsides when you release them. To check for worn suspension or steering components, grab the tire while the vehicle is raised and wiggle it from side to side and top to bottom. If you notice excessive play, your suspension, and steering components may need to be replaced. 

4. Uneven Tread Wear Can Cause your Car to Pull to One Side

Uneven tread wear could your car to pull to the right or left

Slip belts and uneven tread wear are also possible culprits behind a car that pulls to the left or right. When the belts in your tires begin to slip, they pull apart and separate from the tire frame. This then causes the sidewall to weaken. If you take a look at your tires, you may notice bulges or bumps on one of them. This occurs due to a defect in the manufacturing process. 

Abnormal tread wear could also be causing the pull. It’s often characterized by areas on the tires that are more worn than others. You can always swap your tires and drive the car to confirm whether this is the cause behind the pulling. If you notice a shift in the car’s pulling, then you have a problem with one of the tires. 

5. Wheel and Tire Alignment

Showing tires are straight on vehicle.

When you’re driving your vehicle down the road, your tires should be as straight as possible. Professional technicians carry out different adjustments to make sure your tires stay straight while driving. The first adjustment is the camber adjustment. It ensures none of the tires has an outward or inward tilt. 

A toe adjustment ensures that the front part of the wheel is not tipped in or out. While this may not be a direct reason why your car pulls to one side, it will cause your steering wheel to be off-center and lead to uneven tire wear. The technician will either tighten or loosen the tie rods to fix the problem. 

Lastly, the caster adjustment ensures that the suspension components and steering axis meet the wheel at the right angle. It is one of the least understood adjustments mainly because you can’t see it. You’ll need an alignment machine to see how it works. 

Ideally, all of the wheel adjustments mentioned above require an alignment rack. However, you can always use our string alignment guide to see how you can do it yourself. It will help get you by for a while before you take your car for a proper fix. 

6. Road Crown Can Cause Your to Pull to the Right or Left

Your car could also pull to one side due to road crown. Most roads are constructed to tip to the right or left for drainage purposes. If you’re driving on either of the farthest lanes, your vehicle could pull to either the left or right. This is often never a reason for concern as the pulling goes away as you continue driving.

Shop Parts to Fix a Car That Pulls to the Right or Left:

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Dirty Air Filter or Bad MAF Sensor?

Mechanic showing dirty air filter

Learn to Diagnose Why Your Car is Stalling or Sputtering

When the car is running, it needs to be able to bring in air through the air intake and expel air out through the exhaust. If the engine is stalling, sputtering, or slowly accelerates even with the gas pedal pressed down, the airflow might be restricted. Bad or blocked parts like a dirty air filter or a clogged air inlet tube can cause engine performance issues like hard starting or rough idling. Checking the air intake system doesn’t take long. This article explains what to check if your engine isn’t performing as well or if a check engine light came on for the air intake system.

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How to Diagnose a Bad AC Compressor

How to Diagnose a bad AC Compressor

When your car has a problem, one of the many ways it can communicate it is by a distinctive noise. It’s often your job to figure out what’s causing the noise and where it’s coming from. For example, if your car has a grinding noise that is coming from under the hood, the source could be a bad AC compressor. 

Diagnosing your AC Compressor is often an easy job that you can do yourself. It only requires a long pry bar or stethoscope. In this post, we’ll show you how to check your AC compressor and provide important tips about servicing and repairing AC components. 

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