Tag Archives: fix it

How to inspect flex plate for cracks using a borescope – 2001 Toyota 4Runner

transmissionWe started having a clicking sound coming from beneath our 4Runner, somewhere between the engine and the automatic transmission. After doing a lot of searching online to figure out what it might be, I concluded that it might be a cracked flexplate. Replacing a flex plate is a big job, since it requires removing the transmission. Before paying a lot of money to get it checked before even knowing if that was the problem, I decided it would be best to first inspect the flex plate myself to verify that it was broken/cracked. Continue reading How to inspect flex plate for cracks using a borescope – 2001 Toyota 4Runner

Fix: Samsung Galaxy S3 not charging, charges slowly or charge toggles on and off

s3-charging-smallPretty soon after I bought my brand new Samsung Galaxy S3, it began to be erratic charging behavior. It would often not charge, charge slowly or rapidly switch/toggle between charging and not charging. Searching on the web didn’t yield any good solutions, with most sites arguing about whether the cable, phone, or software was to blame.

The charging cable seemed suspect, since it would work better sometimes if I manually held it at a particular angle. However, even if I used a brand new cable, our car’s USB cable or my wife’s cable (which was still working for her S3), my phone had this problem. After a few months, my wife’s Galaxy S3 started having the same problem. Continue reading Fix: Samsung Galaxy S3 not charging, charges slowly or charge toggles on and off

Fix: Vim not scrolling, coloring or displaying text correctly when using GNOME Terminator

Terminator and vimI recently installed GNOME Terminator as a replacement for the default terminal emulator on my Linux installation, due to its great ability for easy and quick screen splitting (among other features). However, when I would try to use vim from within one of the terminator screens, vim would not function properly. It would either not display the file’s content at all, or when I would scroll it would exhibit very bizarre behavior, not updating the screen with the correct content (like getting stuck at the bottom or showing an incorrect line offset), or coloring the text incorrectly (e.g., black text on a black background). Searching online suggested that the problem had to do with ncurses and .terminfo, but this was not the case. The problem was with one of my configuration settings in my .vimrc file. Continue reading Fix: Vim not scrolling, coloring or displaying text correctly when using GNOME Terminator

Fix: “My Computer” window always opens during Windows startup

My Computer pops upFor the past few days whenever I have turned on my laptop, a "My Computer" window has popped up at startup once Windows has finished loading. There weren’t really any good answers online until I came across this page at www.sevenforums.com, which suggested that Adobe CS6 might be the culprit (more specifically, the Adobe Bridge utility). Well, I had just installed CS6 at about the same time that this problem started occurring, and indeed it was the problem. Here is the more thorough description on how to fix it. Continue reading Fix: “My Computer” window always opens during Windows startup

Replacing engine thermostat: 1998 Saturn SL2

Thermostat and gaugeAfter purchasing a used 1998 Saturn SL2, one of the first things I noticed was that once the car had warmed up the dashboard temperature gauge was always pointing slightly less than the 1/4 mark and never went any higher. The coolant temperature sensor was malfunctioning, so I replaced it. However, whenever replacing the temperature sensor it is also a good idea to replace the engine thermostat. It is a cheap part and is very easy to replace. Since you have to drain the coolant for both repairs, you may as well get both parts replaced at the same time to save some time and money. Continue reading Replacing engine thermostat: 1998 Saturn SL2

Replacing engine coolant temperature sensor (ECTS) – 1998 Saturn SL2

ECTS and gaugeI recently purchased a used 1998 Saturn SL2, and one of the first things I noticed was that once the car had warmed up, the dashboard temperature gauge was always pointing slightly less than the 1/4 mark and never went any higher. I thought this was a bit odd, since all my previous vehicles would usually stay just below the 1/2 mark, but then I figured that maybe the SL2 engine just stays cooler. Not so. Doing a quick search online uncovers the fact that one of the most common problems with the SL2 is a cracked coolant temperature sensor and/or a stuck-open engine thermostat. Continue reading Replacing engine coolant temperature sensor (ECTS) – 1998 Saturn SL2

How to change car air conditioning valve core (Schrader valve)

Valve core replacement toolI recently purchased a used car. The only problem it had was that the air conditioning did not work – it would only blow warm air. After recharging the A/C system (see that blog post here: mike-thomson.com/blog/?p=1240), I could see that the Schrader valve core on the air conditioning low side port was leaking very badly. This blog post describes how to replace the Schrader valve core without losing your A/C system charge in the process. My car is a 1998 Saturn SL2, but this repair can be used as a reference for most vehicles. Continue reading How to change car air conditioning valve core (Schrader valve)

How to recharge car air conditioning and find leaks

R-134a rechargeAfter purchasing a used 1998 Saturn SL2, I needed to recharge the air conditioning system with R134a refrigerant because the A/C would only blow warm air. This blog post describes how to recharge your vehicle’s air conditioner, and the instructions here are general enough that they will apply to practically all vehicle makes and models. If you find yourself needing to replace your A/C system’s valve core (Schrader valve), then see my other blog post describing how to do that: mike-thomson.com/blog/?p=1234. Continue reading How to recharge car air conditioning and find leaks