Interesting glovebox finds

When I bought my car I knew it had problems. As I’m slowly working through the issues I’ve begun to wonder what the previous owner (and those before him) had known about what the various bits and pieces of the car needed attention. This is not to say I think the PO was hiding anything or being dishonest. The car was represented as needing attention, and indeed¬†that was a big part of the reason I bought it as well as why it was priced the way it was. I’m sure happy with the car thus far. It’s been a blast figuring it out and learning how it’s put together. But then I looked more closely at what was in the¬†glovebox.

I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to look through the box before I started working. I knew there were some original items in there like the owner’s manual and such, but I guess I didn’t think to much further than that. Having been the owner of a glove box or two in my day I know that they can be sort of a garbage dump. I’m glad I took the time to look yesterday because amongst all the old receipts for tires service and window tinting I found a list of what I assume were pre-identified issues.

Potential Problem List

The list was hand written, presumably by a mechanic. Among these were some I was already familiar with like the broken odometer and overdrive solenoid. Others weren’t. They included:

  • Throttle position switch
  • Fuel pre-pump
  • Fuel pressure regulator
  • Front passenger side ball joint
  • Blower motor

I’m a little surprised to see the TPS on the list. It’s a simple potentiometer device that limits a 5v input signal. 0 to around 1.5V indicates to the ECU that the throttle valve is closed and a value of ~5v that it is wide open. That should be pretty easy to test if not a bit expensive to replace. The fuel in-tank pre-pump sounded like it was working but that’s not always a 100% indictor of good health. Given the idle issues I’ve been seeing there is a chance it is functional but underpowered and might merit replacement sometime soon. The fuel pressure regulator is also a bit of a surprise. The limited tests I did on it suggest it’s working fine. It’s easy to replace, but as it’s a $30-$50 part I’ll hold off until I’m sure it’s no good. Ball joints are not expensive to replace but require a bit of effort and a torque wrench. The blower motor I more or less know about as I was told the AC did not work. Replacing that is complicated and was always towards the bottom of the to-do list.

Overall I’m glad I found this paper as it gives a bit more of a handle on the list of known issues I’ll have to solve. Plus it doesn’t list anything horrible or insurmountable, even by inexperienced, shadetree me.