Car Culture-Tip of the Month

Strange Daze! Some weird things start happening this time of year. Soon ghosts and goblins will be knocking on our doors exclaiming “Trick or Treat!”

Strangely, some weird stuff shows up in the cars and trucks we are working on. Vehicle lights are one of the goblins I’m referring to. One little demon haunts Hyundai vehicles with four and five speed automatic transaxles. A short in the taillight circuit will back feed into the reverse light range sensor circuit.

The TCM is programmed to go into failsafe neutral when a signal of Reverse and Drive are detected simultaneously. Because there aren’t any codes, we’ve seen a few of these cars come into our shop with the owner expecting they’ll need a transmission!

Ford trucks can be pretty spooky also. If the truck originally used a factory incandescent bulb in the taillight, and that bulb is replaced with the newer, light-emitting-diode (LED) bulb, the PCM thinks the brakes are being applied. This causes the the torque converter
to cycle on and off.

If you want to keep the ghost and goblins out of your life, and your vehicle… follow these guide lines in transmission diagnosis:

  • Fluid Level
  • Battery Voltage (12.4V minimum)
  • Battery ground
  • Battery cables and terminal ends
  • Body grounds
  • Interior light function
  • Exterior light function
  • Instrument cluster gauge function
  • Instrument cluster warning lamp function
  • Diagnostic trouble codes stored in all modules
  • Range/inhibitor switch function (check for start in each detent)
  • Any aftermarket accessories installed (interior and exterior)
  • Manufacturer and any aftermarket technical bulletins or recalls





Ford 5R55W transmissions hold 10 quarts of oil. A service dropping the pan and replacing the filter will require about 4 quarts. Always check levels a second time!




Why do witches use brooms to fly on? Because vacuum cleaner cords aren’t long enough.

Why don’t skeletons like parties? They have no body to dance with.

What is a vampire’s favorite mode of transportation? A blood vessel

What kinds of streets do zombies like the best? Dead ends

What kinds of dogs do vampires like the best? Bloodhounds