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Car problems...Any thoughts?

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I dunno if this is bad karma from the rain or if it's just hit that point in its life where everything just wants to go wrong.

As many of you know, there was a huge rainstorm last weekend in the New England area. We had driven around in my car to take pics of the river and stuff, and later my friend came over. That night when I was taking him home...(I think this was Sunday)...I noticed my blinkers weren't working at all...not even the inside flasher arrows. Of course, when I put the hazard lights on...everything works fine.

I have tried replacing the flasher relay with no luck.

Now, if there is one thing that this car has had major problems with...it's electrical. Until about a year ago it was fine, but within the past year there's been all kinds of electrical problems. First the dome light/vanity lights stopped working, then the trunk light, and then the hood light wouldn't turn off. Fixed the dome light, replaced the hood light unit(works fine now). Of course there was the corrosion on the wiring harness connected to the HVAC controls that lead to overheat and meltdown. Fixed that...and now this. I have no idea what it is...

The other problem…which just started today...is a knocking sound. My friend locked his keys out of his running car, a Cavalier, and so I gave him a ride to his place to get a spare key. Close to his house I started hearing a knocking sound from the engine. When I revved it the knocking got faster, but when I was in park it stopped. On the way back to my friend's house that we were all at, it sounded pretty bad...I was afraid to go past 25 mph. We hung out at the house for a while, and hours later I went home...and the noise had stopped. Later in the evening I took it out for a drive and the sound wasn't there either...so I'm baffled.

A friend of mien suggested bad sparkplugs...but I dunno. I'd hate it to be a warped piston head...but if that were true wouldn't the knocking sound occur all the time?

So...for the moment I'm stumped. Mechanically the car hasn't had any problems before this in a few years...so I dunno. If anyone has any tips or thoughts I'd appreciate it greatly. Remember, it's a 1989 Dodge Shadow 2.5 liter 4 cylinder with a 3-speed auto.

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So... you are saying the knocking sound was there, but then went away? Well... don't ask me why, but with my GA, the knocking sound never went away. However, it sounds the same as you described it... not very noticeable while idling, but the higher the revs, the louder and quicker the knocking. At first, we thought it might have been a spun rod bearing, but later on a blown headgasket was the conclusion. Upon tearing it down, we couldn't find anything wrong with either, so I don't f@#king know... :lol:

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So... you are saying the knocking sound was there, but then went away? Well... don't ask me why, but with my GA, the knocking sound never went away. However, it sounds the same as you described it... not very noticeable while idling, but the higher the revs, the louder and quicker the knocking. At first, we thought it might have been a spun rod bearing, but later on a blown headgasket was the conclusion. Upon tearing it down, we couldn't find anything wrong with either, so I don't f@#king know... :lol:

Nothing wrong with the rod bearings? How do the top of the pistons look? How about the condition of the spark plugs?

There has to be SOMETHING wrong. The cause of the knock in the Camaro was a rod bearing which, in turn, ground down the connecting rod and crank, setting the crank imbalanced and causing a few other bearings to wear a little more than they should at only 55,000 miles.

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dodgefan, I'd do the same with your car as I did with mine: I'd say a rod bearing. I just blew my rod bearing and it knocked a little bit at idle but not a lot.. with a slight raise in idle (even just a low revv) it slapped much more rapidly. But it was a real loud knock.. how loud is yours? And where does it sound like it's coming from?

As for the blinker problem... do the blinkers turn on and just not flash.. or do they not turn on at all unless you hit the hazards?

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Nothing wrong with the rod bearings? How do the top of the pistons look? How about the condition of the spark plugs?

There has to be SOMETHING wrong. The cause of the knock in the Camaro was a rod bearing which, in turn, ground down the connecting rod and crank, setting the crank imbalanced and causing a few other bearings to wear a little more than they should at only 55,000 miles.

As I said, the rob bearings were fine, as were the pistons. The only thing we've found wrong with it was that the head was warped from it overheating. Otherwise, I haven't had a chance to personally look at the spark plugs, but their getting replaced, regardless. IDk... a headgasket makes the most sense since it had overheating issues that came with the knocking. Even though the headgasket looked fine, maybe it wasn't and the replacement will fix it. When it's finally put together, we'll see.

One thing I'll still trying to figure out is the ticking. It wasn't the timing chain, as we thought. It was replaced back before I started driving it, trying to fix it. The guy I bought it off it said it started doing that after he put a $400 coilpack in.... Sounds like BS, especially the price, but nothing else has worked... :unsure:

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dodgefan, I'd do the same with your car as I did with mine: I'd say a rod bearing. I just blew my rod bearing and it knocked a little bit at idle but not a lot.. with a slight raise in idle (even just a low revv) it slapped much more rapidly. But it was a real loud knock.. how loud is yours? And where does it sound like it's coming from?

As for the blinker problem... do the blinkers turn on and just not flash.. or do they not turn on at all unless you hit the hazards?

The sound I heard was loud enough that I could hear it even with the A/C on (medium-high), with the radio on at the volume i usually have it it's barely noticeable ( again, medium-high volume). When I was driving back I had teh raio off and was listening at the sound...it was bad enough that I was afraid to rev the engine passed 2k rpm, since the higher the rev the faster the knocking got. But the strange thing was is that when in park, I could rev the engine all I wanted and there was no knocking sound. Stranger still is that that night the sound was gone. Today I had to drive about an hour to and from UMass Lowell to take my final...going 45-55 mph most of the way and it never happened. So it baffles me.

Now, there has for the longest time been a sound from the egine...it sorta sounds like a low knocking, but like I said, has been there as long as I can remember, you can hear it at idle but it is easily dorned out by the engine under any sort of acceleration...the rattling catallytic converter drons it out too. The knocking I heard yesterday sounded sorta like a severely amplified version of that...but it's hard to tell for sure since it hasn't made that loud knocking since.

As for the turn signals, they don't turn on at all, not even the arrows in the dash, there's no blinker clicking noise either. When the hazards are on...everything works fine. Let me tell ya it's been tricky driving without turn signals :lol2:

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As I said, the rob bearings were fine, as were the pistons. The only thing we've found wrong with it was that the head was warped from it overheating. Otherwise, I haven't had a chance to personally look at the spark plugs, but their getting replaced, regardless. IDk... a headgasket makes the most sense since it had overheating issues that came with the knocking. Even though the headgasket looked fine, maybe it wasn't and the replacement will fix it. When it's finally put together, we'll see.

One thing I'll still trying to figure out is the ticking. It wasn't the timing chain, as we thought. It was replaced back before I started driving it, trying to fix it. The guy I bought it off it said it started doing that after he put a $400 coilpack in.... Sounds like BS, especially the price, but nothing else has worked... :unsure:

Did you take out the retainers at all? Does it sound like a lifter ticking?

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There's always the old-fashioned way :P :

Posted Image

Yeah I've used taht on busy road...how many peopel do you think actually know/remember what they mean though? :P

Did you take out the retainers at all? Does it sound like a lifter ticking?

I'm not sure if it's the lifter ticking or not...cuz I'm not sure what that would sound like. However if it's a "ticking" sound then it's not the lifter...it was deffinitely a knocking sound.

Retainers?

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Yeah I've used taht on busy road...how many peopel do you think actually know/remember what they mean though? :P

I'm not sure if it's the lifter ticking or not...cuz I'm not sure what that would sound like. However if it's a "ticking" sound then it's not the lifter...it was deffinitely a knocking sound.

Retainers?

That was directed at BV, but yours sounds like a rod knock, but that wouldn't stop when it is in park. It's hard to tell without hearing it in person.

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That was directed at BV, but yours sounds like a rod knock, but that wouldn't stop when it is in park. It's hard to tell without hearing it in person.

Since the knocking I heard yesterday hasn't happened again so far...it's tough to tell as well. Tomorrow I'm going to bring it and have my dad take a look...so we'll see what happens. If it isneed the rod, or anything internal with the engine, the car will have to be taken off the road, and the van put on in it's place. I'm leaving on Tuesday so I doubt there's time to fix a major problem...that and money...and lack of experience ripping engines bigger than a lawnmower's apart.

I'm thinking of saving up for a "new car" and garaging the Shadow until I have time to play with it. I certainly won't junk it...but it really is at the point in its life where it needs considerable work...it's an old car with a lotta miles after all.

Still...for now this is the car I have, so I wanna get down to the bottom of these two problems.

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Why does hand signal guy have a Lemon shaped head? :blink::lol:

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Ticking? Ever check out the EGR valve?

Did you take out the retainers at all? Does it sound like a lifter ticking?

Heh... I'm no mechanic... I'm more or less relaying info from my dad, as I help out somewhat while he does most of the work. Anything I've said, is what I picked up from him or what we both noticed.

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Heh... I'm no mechanic... I'm more or less relaying info from my dad, as I help out somewhat while he does most of the work. Anything I've said, is what I picked up from him or what we both noticed.

Well, duh, ask him to check the EGR Valve. lol

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What? Mine only takes special Blinker Fluid... WD-40 is for squeaks, silly. :P

10w 40 is a type of engine oil...it's not WD-40 :P

Edited by Dodgefan

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Blah... misread. :P Besides, 10W 40 is for the engine, not the blinkers, silly!

10w 40 is a type of engine oil...it's not WD-40 :P

Fo' real? Damn...I nevver knew :P

Edited by Dodgefan

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::Update::

Well as it turns out, the flasher unit I initially replaced was also bad...bought a new one today and stuck it in...problem solved.

As for the knocking...I'm still not sure. The original knocking I heard that day hasn't returned. NOw because I'm sorta paranoid about it it's become harder to tell if i hear any knocking or if it's just the converter rattling around (cuz it makes like 2 different sounds).

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I think you have the Grand Am syndrome. When things starting going wrong, it was hard to tell exactly what was happening. First thing came a lack of power, then came a tinny sound, then came overheating, and at about the same time the tinny sound turned into the knocking which I could feel through the clutch when upshifting. Combine that with the alternater that would sometimes start sqealing and the overall roughness of the engine, as well as the ticking, and it took a while to understand what the problem was. Still not sure as to how to solve it... :lol:

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I think you have the Grand Am syndrome. When things starting going wrong, it was hard to tell exactly what was happening. First thing came a lack of power, then came a tinny sound, then came overheating, and at about the same time the tinny sound turned into the knocking which I could feel through the clutch when upshifting. Combine that with the alternater that would sometimes start sqealing and the overall roughness of the engine, as well as the ticking, and it took a while to understand what the problem was. Still not sure as to how to solve it... :lol:

:lol: that does suck. However this engine has never had overheating problems. Evene when that sound was being made, the oil pressure and temperature were fine. We took it to the mechanic...they so far haven't dound anything. It's gonna get a tune up Monday, so maybe if something is wrong it'll turn up when they look at it. But so far..nadda...been working fine.

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