In many cases, no abnormal symptoms may be noticed
Hard starting/no start
Engine hesitation or stalling
Engine dies and will not re-start
A customer brought the car in complaining that it’s difficult to start the car and is afraid that it’s going to die on him soon. Surprisingly, the guy was right, and when I pulled the car inside the bay, and attempted to start it up - It didn’t work, unfortunately. So we hooked up the scanner tool and started the diagnostic process to see what kind of codes we could pull out of the ECU that belonged to the vehicle.
I pulled two codes: PO322 and PO321. When I positioned the car on the hoist and raised it into the air to inspect it, I noticed that there is coolant residue on the oil separator and on the crankshaft positioning sensor. When I pulled the plug off the crankshaft positioning sensor, I spotted that the coolant got into the plug housing and shorted the sensor out. I recommended to the customer that we change the crankshaft positioning sensor first and see if that will fix the problem of not being able to start the vehicle, or hard starting issue. The customer agreed.
So, the final diagnostic was that the sensor needed to be changed. After replacing the sensor, the car immediately started and ran like a swiss watch. Fair price for this repair should be from $175 to $250.
The other problem was the leak. I recommended to the customer that it’s better that we spend some more time and find out more about the leak and fix it first, otherwise he’s going to have the same issue soon since it’ll still be leaking coolant. Customer agreed to proceed with leak inspection to see what is causing the coolant to actually leak. I inspected the leak further and found out that the water pump ($230 to $350) was leaking from the inside housing seal. I suggested that we change the water pump, and the customer agreed to do so.
I replaced the thewater pump assembly and finally fixed the issue. When you put it all back together, make sure that all the hoses are properly connected and there is no vacuum leak anywhere after the air-flow meter. If there is, you’ll get a DTC code # P0101. The car will not run at all. It’ll die and stop functioning. Believe me, one hose leak will become your nightmare if you attempt to find the problem. Fair price for this fix is $900 to $1000.
Note: Be very careful when you tightening the water pump-gear bolt. Do not overtighten it, the bolt will break easily. If you do break it, then this job will become an even bigger problem for you. If this bolt does break, you’ll have to take almost the entire engine apart to fix it.