Author & Automotive Expert James D. Halderman



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Halderman newsletterApril 2013

Welcome to the April edition of the Halderman newsletter, who's ready for spring? I know I am.


If you've followed me on Facebook, you've seen I've done a lot of traveling already this spring. It's great to meet many of you and help share my knowledge with educators and students.


I'm excited to announce a few things that I've been working hard on. First, over 200 new videos have been added to my website in the areas of basic skills (A0) and light Diesel (A9). Secondly, Conference Power Points are now posted on the site under "Jim's Stuff". Now you can download the Power Points that Jim gave at conferences.



Look for details on a new textbook titled "Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair".

This new text will be out this summer and at 70 chapters and 1,000 pages it is designed to meet the new NATEF tasks for MLR and fits neatly before my big book (Automotive Technology-4th) at 1,600 pages and 130 chapters and the Introduction to Automotive Service which has 40 chapters and 400 pages.


Please continue to follow me on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.




ASE Sample Question
Tech Tip
Straight Talk
ASE Sample Question


A pickup truck equipped with a diesel engine has been towed to the shop. The engine speed increases when the driver depresses the accelerator pedal and releases the clutch pedal, but the vehicle does not move. Technician A says the clutch may be defective. Technician B says the dual-mass flywheel may be defective. Which technician is correct?


a.         Technician A only

b.         Technician B only

c.         Both Technicians A and B

d.         Neither Technician A nor B



The correct answer is c. Both technicians are correct. Technician A is correct because a defective or excessively worn clutch can cause the engine to increase in speed and not power the vehicle when the clutch is engaged (pedal up). Technician B is correct because a dual-mass flywheel consists of a primary section attached to the engine and the secondary section, which is attached to the clutch separated by springs and dampers. If these dampening devices fail, torque is not transferred from the engine to the clutch. Answers a, b, and d are not correct because both technicians are correct.



For FREE sample ASE test questions with answers, visit my website where you will find 15 questions for each of the eight ASE areas (120 total questions).

For an excellent resource for all eight ASE content areas, consider this test preparation book:


Tech Tip

TechTipA Quick-and-Easy Backlash Test


Excessive clearance (lash) between the drive pinion and the ring gear can cause driveline clash noise during a gear selector change. To check if the cause is due to the differential, simply hoist the vehicle and, while one wheel and the driveshaft are being held stationary, use your hand to move the opposite wheel. The maximum amount the tire should move is 1 inch (2.5 cm) measured at the tread of the tire. If backlash is greater than this, then further inspection of the differential assembly is required. Beside excessive clearance between the drive pinion and the ring gear, the wear may also be between the pinion and the side gears.

Straight Talk

From the March 6, 2013, Wheels section in the Dayton Daily News:


Reader asks about a flood-damaged vehicle 





Even though the circuit boards of the computers and modules are usually sealed, the connecting wires and terminals are exposed and can be easily corroded if the vehicle was flood damaged.

Wheels: Dike I. writes by e-mails: 

"Could you advise me please? My brother bought a flooded Audi S4, 2012 model. I need to know procedures or guidelines on how to fix a flooded car. Is there a manual or web site for it? I just don't want mechanics to mess up the car while fixing it. Thanks a lot in anticipation".


Halderman: Boy, oh boy. I hope he did not pay much for this car. When a vehicle is under water, even if it only came above the floor, many faults are likely to occur, mostly electrical.


If the water reached just the carpet, there are many electronic modules and wiring that are located along the side rails and under the center of the vehicle. These modules are not water-proof and are not designed to be exposed to water. There could be 30 or more of these electronic control modules in this vehicle. All of the electronic modules will have to be replaced because even though electrical devices, such as the radio and power windows, may work shortly after the car is dried out, corrosion will eat away at the wiring and the connectors.

If the water got as high as the top of the dash, or if it was salt water, then everything electrical in the entire vehicle is ruined. About the only thing that can be done to get some of the "investment" back is to strip everything from the vehicle and sell the sheet metal parts. Even the engine, transmission, and wheel bearings will likely need to be replaced or an expensive overhaul will be needed because water gets into these components through the vents.

The car should have come with a title that indicates that it is a flood damaged vehicle so selling it will be either impossible or illegal. Long story short; a flood damaged vehicle will never be right again.




Find more Straight Talk columns here 


Please let me know what you think of the newsletter. I would love to include any of your automotive news or any tech tips you might have. Send me your suggestions! 
You can email me here or visit my website. You can connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn too (links above). And I encourage you to visit this website for great car reviews and more of my Straight Talk columns.
Jim Halderman
James D. Halderman writes automotive technology textbooks for Pearson Education. He is an ASE-certified Master Technician with more than 20 years instructional experience.