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A Publication of Sam Giammalvo's Auto Sales & Service
Vol. 8 No.1.........Winter  2002

Goodyear Creates New Corn Tire.
2001 Chryslers Get A Lot More Complicated.
My Turn.
Have A Broken Windshield?
Web-Site Helpful To People Across The Country.
In Passing.

Our E-mail Address:

Our Phone Number Is 508-999-3213


    Goodyear Creates New Corn Tire. 

 BMW and Ford have announced that they will equip some vehicles with new environmentally friendly Goodyear tires which contain a corn- derived compound. 

Goodyear expects sales to soar for the GT3 BioTred. According to Goodyear, the new tire causes less pollution when produced; is quieter on the road; boosts fuel economy 5%; and stops faster on wet roads.  BMW has agreed to install the BioTreds on their 3-series models. Ford has approved the tire for the Fiesta model. 

Goodyear's new tire uses a polymer derived from cornstarch or corn flour. The polymer is mixed with synthetic rubber, replacing the soot-like carbon black used in the old tire making process. Goodyear has been selling the BioTreds as replacement tires in their tire stores in Europe. 

2001 Chryslers Get A Lot More Complicated.

  (By Mark Giammalvo)

Recently I read a Chrysler Technical Service Bulletin about "new cooling fan strategy." After reading that bulletin, I was motivated to write this article in an attempt to convey how complicated automotive technology has become. 

Traditionally cars were rear wheel drive, meaning that the engine turned the rear wheels to power the vehicle. Back then, the engines were mounted in the car "in line" with the drivetrain, meaning, from front to back. The fan belts were on the front of the engine and the belts spun the engine cooling fan, which cooled the coolant in the radiator. From the 1980's and on, front wheel drive cars started to dominate the marketplace. On front wheel drive cars, the engine is mounted transversely, meaning that the engine is mounted "sideways" under the hood. Due to this configuration, the drive belts are now behind the right front or left front wheel and not anywhere near the radiator. As a result, a belt driven engine cooling fan cannot be used. Since then, front wheel drive cars have had electric fans mounted on the radiator. The engine computer senses when the engine coolant is getting hot, (about 225F), and powers on the cooling fan. When the coolant temperature drops, the computer shuts the fan off. This cycle repeats itself as needed while you are driving. Typically the fan never comes on above 30 MPH since at those speeds there is sufficient airflow passing through the radiator, so fan operation is not required. The fan will normally come on at low speed, stop-and-go, or idle type driving. 

Well, that old strategy just got a lot more complicated thanks to Chrysler. Recently we came across Chrysler service bulletin # 07-003-01, which explains new cooling fan operating characteristics on some of their 2001 model year vehicles. Now fan operation will also depend on windshield wiper speed operation. What you ask, do the wipers have to do with the engine cooling fan? Well I'll let you read it in their own words. The copy of the bulletin follows: 

"Owners may complain that the engine cooling fan runs constantly, coming on just as the vehicle comes to a stop, or that the cooling fan may be intermittently running under cool weather or cool engine conditions.  Technicians performing routine diagnostic procedures may notice that the cooling fans are running under conditions that would not normally require cooling fan operation.

Just before the 2001 model year launched, a radiator steaming condition (water vapor rising from the front grill opening) was detected following a drive in the rain. The water vapor is a result of moisture (rain) build up on the radiator under certain specific conditions and not the indication of a vehicle overheat problem. To prevent owner concern over this water vapor, the cooling fan strategy in the Powertrain Control Computer was revised to command on the cooling fans under the following conditions:

1.  Ambient air temperature is greater than 25F.
2.  The engine coolant temperature is less than 195F.
3.  Windshield wiper motor speed and vehicle speed is above a certain threshold.
4.  Under these conditions the cooling fan will turn on at vehicle speeds less than 20 MPH.

This strategy will turn off if any one of the following conditions are met:

1.  The vehicle must travel more than 100 miles without the windshield wiper motor on.
2.  The engine coolant temperature drops below 100F. 
3.  There are 10 minutes of accumulated time with the engine coolant above 220F."

It's obvious that diagnosing the cooling fan circuit of these cars is not going to be as easy as it used to. As these vehicles age and develop problems, we will have to look at the wiper motor and vehicle speed sensor as possible trouble when diagnosing the cooling fan circuit. Who would have ever thought cars would have become this complicated? 

My Turn.

Mark GiammalvoI wish to again thank all the wonderful 
customers that have expressed appreciation 
for my recent articles in this newsletter. 
It has proven to be a conduit for me to voice 
and share my personal thoughts on automotive and other issues. 

Recently a customer came to me with a complaint of poor fan performance on his Buick. When the customer would turn on the heater/air conditioner, the fan would not always blow any air. I tested the 2 wires going into the heater fan motor. The power and ground wires tested good, yet the fan would not run. If I smacked the fan motor itself, the fan would turn on for a short period of time. It was obvious that the fan motor was faulty and required replacement. I figured I would save the customer some money and order a fan motor from an aftermarket supplier, as opposed to getting a fan motor from Buick, which would be more costly. Besides, the warranty on both is the same, so why install  the more expensive Buick one? I ordered the aftermarket fan motor and had the customer come by the next day. 

Just an aside to my story here; The fan motor is mounted on the engine firewall under the hood. The replacement fan motor does not come with the fan blade, which in automotive parlance, is called a "squirrel cage." The squirrel cage does not look like a traditional house-hold summer fan blade. If you've ever had a hamster or seen a lab rat, they often will play on a little wheel that they run on like a treadmill. This looks very similar to the fan blade in a car, hence the name squirrel cage. (Although, I've never seen a lab test with a squirrel running on one of these. Perhaps it should have been named "hamster cage.") 

Anyway, I swapped the cage from the old motor to the new motor and installed the assembly back into the car. After bolting everything together, I gave the customer the keys and was onto my next job, or so I thought. The customer came back in and said that although the fan now worked, there seemed to be a problem with the fan's performance. He said that the fan did not seem to blow as much air on the high setting than the old one did and that it seemed to vibrate now when on high speed. I removed the fan to recheck my work. Other than a small crack in the cage, I could not find a problem. I knew the crack was the most likely cause of the vibration, but I could not account for the complaint of the fan not blowing as forceful on high speed. Not knowing whether or not I had cracked the cage, I offered to order a new cage and replace it free of charge. The next week the 
new cage came in and I had the customer come by for installation. Again, I removed the fan motor and cage assembly, put the new cage on the motor, and bolted the assembly back into place. Bringing the customer out to the car, I let him check the operation of the fan. He agreed that the vibration was gone, but still felt that the fan did not blow as much air on the high setting as the original fan motor did. Not finding any other problem, I decided to order a genuine Buick fan motor. Now, here's  where the fun began. When I called Buick to order the  motor something interesting happened. The Buick parts counterman wanted the stamping number off the old motor. Well, that was not possible since I had thrown the original motor out two weeks ago. When I asked why he needed the number, he said that there were two different fan motors and that he needed the old motors stamping number in order to get the correct one. Well, I wasn't about to go to the dump to search for the old motor. Needless to say, I told him to order both. They both came in that week, so I called the customer and had him stop by. I installed the fan motor that, by my memory, had most resembled the one I had removed two weeks prior. Sure enough, when it was installed, it performed much faster on the high speed setting. Not only that, it even came with a new cage. The customer was happy. I was happy. 

Needless to say though, this whole incident left me a little bitter with the automotive aftermarket parts industry. Yes, the aftermarket motor was cheaper in price for the customer, but look at all the time and effort I had to go through. I wound up removing and installing the assembly three different times. In addition, what about the two different designs? How come the aftermarket fan company only makes one "fits all" fan motor for this car? Perhaps they are unaware that there were two different ones on this model Buick. Although I attempted to save the customer some money, I sure did not look all that professional in the process. It makes me wonder if I should just order factory parts from now on and forgo the possible savings. Well, put it this way, I sure won't be ordering any aftermarket fan motors anytime soon. 

What did you think of this article on the aftermarket parts industry? Any comments or ideas? Or perhaps a comment on one of  my past articles. Let me know, give me a call or send me an email at:

Have A Broken Windshield?

  If your windshield has a "star" break or is cracked, fear not, we do authorized windshield replacements on the premises. Also remember, if you have auto insurance in Massachusetts, there is no deductible to have the glass replaced, so the whole job will cost you $0. Please call Mark if you have any questions about glass replacement.

Web-Site Helpful To People Across The Country.

 This past summer we received quite a few "thank you's" from several automotive do-it-yourself people,  (DIY). These DIY's find our "Motor Age Garage" technical articles especially helpful when the article features a car with a similar problem that they are trying to resolve. Below is a recent email from someone out of state. 

Subject: Escort/TPS/idle speed control 
           Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2001 09:19:44 -0700 
           From: "Craig Pelkey" <> 

 Hi there, I just wanted to express my appreciation for you posting your findings on the web about the 90 escort bucking at acceleration.  I found exactly the same symptoms and solutions including the TPS {Throttle Position Sensor}. What research time you had to put into it.  I hope you don't mind me taking advantage of your findings but it really helped me and my sons (first car) pocket book.  Great detail and explanations of the problems.  I am giving a copy of your posting to my mechanic because he didn't think the idle speed control would create that bucking.  I think your write up will convince him.  I know it did because after I replaced it stopped except for the mild 
hesitation which was the TPS.  Thank you so much. 
Craig Pelkey 

In Passing.

(Obituaries Courtesy The Standard Times)

 Gordon Ansel Refuse born in New Bedford, lived in this community all of his life. He summered on Sconticut Neck where his family owned Wigwam Beach. He attended New Bedford High School, New Bedford Vocational School and New Bedford Textile School. Mr. Refuse was a water inspector for the city of New Bedford until his retirement. He served in the Army and received the Purple Heart. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3260 Poirier Post, American Legion Post 459, Disabled American Veterans Chapter MA7 and the American Association of Retired Persons. In younger years, he was an avid duck pin bowler, bowling for several teams and winning many trophies. 

E. Kyle Ten Eyck, born and raised in Austin, Minn., he lived in New York City, Minneapolis, Needham and Chelmsford; he lived in Marion since 1982. He was a communicant of St. Anthony's Church, Mattapoisett. Mr. Ten Eyck received an engineering degree from New York University, and was an engineer with Honeywell Corp. for many years until his retirement. During World War II, he served as a captain in the Army Air Corps. 

Pearl E. Rubin, born in New York City, she grew up in Fall River and lived in New Bedford most of her life. She was a member of Tifereth Israel Congregation and its Sisterhood, from which she received the Sisterhood Light of Torah Award. Mrs. Rubin graduated from Durfee High School and received a bachelor's degree in music education from Smith College in 1941. 
She was a mentor to Hebrew school students and tutored dyslexic students in public school. She was a certified Braille transcriber and received many national awards; she transcribed 120,000 pages. She and her husband cofounded a center for the visually impaired in New Bedford. She served on the Jewish Family Service Committee with the Jewish Federation. She was past president of the Jewish Professional Women's Club of New Bedford, served on the board of directors of Child and Family Services of New Bedford and was the volunteer coordinator for Tifereth Israel Congregation.

William T. Doyle, was a lifelong resident of New Bedford, he was a communicant of St. James Church. 
Mr. Doyle was formerly employed by New England Telephone Co. for many years and retired from Lucent Technology. An avid golfer, he was a member of the Country Club of New Bedford. He served in the Army during World War II, participating in the D-Day invasion and serving under Gen. George S. Patton. He later served in the Navy. Mr. Doyle was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Andrews-Dahill Post 1531 in New Bedford. 

Charles A. "Bill" Morgan, lived in Mattapoisett most of his life. On April 1, 1937, Mr. Morgan joined the Army and played trumpet in the Army Band. During World War II, he served in the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment as captain of Company F in the Pacific area, and he participated in the battles and campaigns of New Guinea, Southern Philippines, Luzon and the Central Pacific. He retired from the Army on April 30, 1958, after 21 years of service.  After retirement, he returned to Mattapoisett and worked as a part-time police officer, an accident and health life insurance agent and in production control at Cornell-Dubilier, before serving 20 years with the Town of Mattapoisett Water and Sewer Department, first as clerk and then as superintendent, retiring in 1981.


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New Bedford, MA 02740
Phone: (508) 999-3213
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