- The Washington Times - Friday, November 14, 2008

Q: I own a 2004 Suzuki XL-7 with 30,000 miles. The brake pedal is soft and low. I’ve had the pads changed, the system flushed, and adjusted. The pedal is firm for a while, but becomes soft again. Does anyone make aftermarket parts that could firm the pedal?

A: There are no companies I know to recommend that make aftermarket performance brake parts for your vehicle. I suggest you ask the technician to check the adjustment from the master cylinder rod to the brake booster. There might also be an adjustment rod under the brake pedal to master cylinder. If the brake pedal is truly better after a bleed service, then air could be entering from a weak seal on either a wheel cylinder (if equipped) or caliper, without the loss of brake fluid. Sticking caliper slides are also a possible problem source. Rear drum brakes could also be out of adjustment, if equipped.

Q: My grandparents have a 1987 Buick Skylark with a 3.0-liter engine. The car stopped running. They have put in a new in-tank fuel pump, modulator, coil, and two new relays on the passenger side firewall. They have also tried two airflow sensors. The car will run without the airflow sensor, but it runs rich. When they put the airflow sensor in, the car stops running.

A: As with any computer-controlled vehicle, information from the on-board computer and sensor values are needed to find the fault areas. I recommend that the technician check the spark fuel pressure and injector mili-second when cranking the engine over.

Q: I used to be a mechanic. I would like to stay updated with all the new electronics in the industry. What is the best way to do this?

A: One company that comes to mind is Delmar Cengage Learning in Albany, N.Y. (800-730-2214). I have read a lot of their publications and all are excellent. There are some great jobs waiting for you.

Junior Damato is an ASE-certified Master Technician. E-mail questions to [email protected] or mail questions to: Auto Doctor, 3 Court Circle, Lakeville, MA 02347


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