Dodge Ram – Common Repairs

Whilst the Dodge Ram is one of our all-time favourite off roaders and a cult classic, like all popular vehicles there are a number of issues to keep on top of. Overall, the Ram is a robust and reliable truck, yet there are a few common issues which all owners should be aware of to

Wheel Bearing Replacement

This Discovery 3 was booked in for some major works. The front wheel bearings needed replacing, we also changed the timing belt kit and oil pumps, then carried out an auto gearbox mega flush. What is a wheel bearing? The wheel bearing is located in the wheel hub and is a crucial part of the

Dodge Ram – Common Repairs

Whilst the Dodge Ram is one of our all-time favourite off roaders and a cult classic, like all popular vehicles there are a number of issues to keep on top of. Overall, the Ram is a robust and reliable truck, yet there are a few common issues which all owners should be aware of to

G4 Land Rover Discovery

Discovery 2 G4 Edition

Dodge Ram – Common Repairs

Whilst the Dodge Ram is one of our all-time favourite off roaders and a cult classic, like all popular vehicles there are a number of issues to keep on top of. Overall, the Ram is a robust and reliable truck, yet there are a few common issues which all owners should be aware of to prolong the life of their vehicle.

Here we describe the most common problems with Dodge Ram trucks, so you know what look out for.

Transmission issues –   2012/2014 RAM 1500

Owners of the 2012 and 2014 models reported a variety problem as a result of transmission issues including:

  • Engine running rough
  • Jerking when changing gear
  • Slow starts
  • Stalling at slow speeds
  • Slow acceleration

Leaking Coolant – 2015 RAM 1500

Owners reported hard to trace coolant leaks. Leaks occurred when the engine was cold and when the coolant was low. Due to the difficulty in locating the leak, which could stem from the heater hose/coolant line, water pump seals or gaskets, many leaks went undetected. In turn this causes the engine to overheat allowing more damage to take effect.

Cylinder head failure – 2015 RAM 1500

Leaking coolant can also result in cylinder head failure if the engine overheats due to coolant loss. If overheating is not addressed cracks can appear in the cylinder head resulting in terminal damage to the entire engine.

Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM) issues – 2009-2017 Dodge RAM Pickups

When a system is fully integrated a fault can have a knock-on effect to the rest of the vehicle, causing multiple issues throughout. The TIPM is the central power distribution centre for Dodge RAMS – so if it fails, other vehicle systems also fail. In the 2009-2017 models TIPM issues resulted in a variety of problems:

  • Airbags deploying at random or not deploying in an incident
  • Pump fuel failing to shut off when vehicle is shut off
  • ABS faults
  • A/C failure
  • Radio cuts out whilst driving
  • Coolant fan issues
  • Doors randomly locking/unlocking
  • Electric window failure
  • The starter may crank, but the truck won’t start
  • Hazard light failure
  • Horn going off randomly
  • Vehicle stalling

To resolve the issues owners have tried re-flashing and re-configuring the modules, or replacing the relays, however complete TIPM replacement is often the most reliable resolution.

Cam and lifter failure – 2011 RAM 1500

A commonly reported fault for the 2011 model was cam and lifter failure resulting in the vehicle stalling when stopping, stalling at idle, or seizing up unexpectedly.  Whilst all cams need replacing due to wear over time, 2011 Ram owners reported issues with well under 75,000 miles on the vehicle.

The reports found that cylinder misfire combined with lifter seizure was common with the cam showing premature wear. Failure to address the problem in time can result in total engine failure.

Dead battery – 2019 RAM 1500

New owners reported inexplicable dead batteries, unusual for a modern a new vehicle.

Body issues – 2017 RAM 1500

An avoidable yet common problem 2017 Ram owners suffered were structural body issues.  Owners reported that simple errors such as bumper holes being drilled too large and paint work with bubbling led to further issues of rotting and rust around bolt holes and the outer wheel housing and wheel arch, which weakens the stability of the vehicle’s frame. The 2017 model was even reported to have faulty lock mechanisms resulting in the tailgate falling open.

  • Bubbling & cracking paint
  • Rust & corrosion

Dodge RAM Repairs

At Alton 4×4 we are fully equipped to help diagnose issues with your Dodge RAM, whether you need welding, a full respray or simply a replacement gasket, call our friendly Dodge mechanics on 01420 259015

ECU Remapping

This Land Rover defender was booked in for an Empire ECU remap. At Alton 4×4 we provide a variety of upgrades including custom car remapping with Empire Tuning.  The process makes the vehicle more driveable, eliminates flat spots and smooths the torque curve out.  Once complete you can expect to increase your BHP which will lead to a higher MPG rate for both diesel and petrol engines.  Remapping will transform they way your vehicle drives and reduce the your fuel pump visits.

We remap all makes and models, calibrated and modified to suit your specific vehicle. Get in touch with our team today on to book in for car remapping: 01420 259015

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EGR Replacement

This Range Rover booked in for oil cooler and oil cooler gaskets replacement, EGR replacement and oil and filter change.

What is an EGR valve?

The EGR system (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) in engines is used to help regulate vehicle emissions.  EGR recirculates a fraction of the exhaust gases back to the engine cylinders and lowers the oxygen concentration in the combustion chamber. 

In internal combustion engines, air is drawn into the engine (approx. 80% nitrogen and 20% oxygen) and combines with fuel to ignite in the combustion chamber. The temperature causes inert nitrogen to burn creating oxides of nitrogen (NOx). NOx is regarded as a pollutant and has been linked to respiratory issues. In many countries emission control is a legal requirement so the EGR is used to help lower the levels of pollution that are caused by vehicles by cooling exhaust gases before emitting them, which reduces the level of NOx emitted. Dirty exhaust gasses are recirculated back into the inlet manifold to be used in combustion again.

When the EGR is open exhaust gases flow through the EGR system, when the valve is closed exhaust gases can’t pass through the EGR system. When the engine is first started the valve stays in a closed position. As the engine reaches its optimum operating temperature the valve gradually opens. Throughout your journey the valve will open and close as you stop and start in line with the temperature of the engine changes – this enables recirculation, fuel efficiency and lower emissions.

EGR valves can become stuck ‘open’ or ‘closed’ when carbon deposits, soot and dirt build up. Diesel cars usually produce more soot which can contribute to clogging up the system – driving for longer distances allows the engine to heat up enough to clear out carbon deposits.  Constant stopping and starting in city driving can mean that the engine doesn’t have the opportunity to heat up to enable the valve to open enough and burn emissions which can contribute to higher pollution.

Signs of a faulty EGR

An EGR valve can get clogged up over time leading to performance issues, increased air pollution and decreased fuel efficiency.  Signs that your EGR needs replacing include:

  • Loss of traction, slow to start
  • Vibrations
  • Rough or uneven idling
  • Black smoke from the exhaust
  • Reduced fuel efficiency due to valve being stuck open.
  • Reduction in power/acceleration
  • Knocking sound from engine caused from fuel igniting too early when EGR valve doesn’t open.
  • Engine management light stays on.
  • Smell of fuel due to continuous flow of exhaust gases.

At Alton 4×4 our team of technicians use the latest diagnostic tools and equipment to pinpoint the issue with your vehicle – call us on 01420 01420 259015

Discovery 3 Off Road Preparation

The Alton 4×4 team love off roading – so we were delighted when this Discovery 3 was booked in for some off road preparation.

Three engine variants were developed for the Discovery 3 – 4.4 litre petrol V8, a 2.7 litre TDV6, and the 4.0 litre Cologne V6 petrol (US only). Along with an upgraded gearbox the Discovery 3 is thought to be one of the best all-round 4×4’s available –the Terrain Response drive modes which configures engine management, gear selection, differential control and ride height selection to suit the surface along with the fully independent suspension system makes off-roading accessible to all.  The owner of this Discovery wanted to add some upgrades and modifications to prepare it for some serious off road adventures.

Project details:

  • Snorkel fitted
  • Terrafirma winch fitted with isolator
  • Light guards front and rear
  • LED light bar
  • Raised suspension for more ground clearance
  • Oil and filter and a 28 point check
  • New front disks and pads
  • New rear brake calipers and pads clean and re-adjust inboard handbrake shoes
  • New centre prop shaft bearing
  • Lightbar fitment

If you are considering buying a Discovery 3 there are a number of things to be aware of.

  • Engine: Check the service history – ensure that the TD6’s EGR valves have been replaced.
  • Electrics: Check doors, tailgate and latch mechanisms, air-con compressor, crankshaft positioning sensor and infotainment.
  • Gearbox
  • Brakes
  • Suspension

If you do need assistance once you have purchased a Discovery 3 get in touch with our team – we offer Empire Tuning remapping to boost power and torque and can carry out service or repairs.

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Discovery Air Suspension Fault

The Discovery 4 utilises the modern airbag suspension system. EAS (Electronic Air Suspension) allows the user to control the air springs by inflating and deflating according to the terrain and conditions.

This Disco was booked in with an air suspension problem. Our technicians found that the fault code indicated an issue on the offside rear height sensor. We checked height sensor was working, and followed up with an investigation to the wiring harness back to the nearside rear multi plug.  On inspection we found that found three wires had corroded through.

Air Suspension Fault

Air suspension in modern cars has replaced traditional coiled steel springs (or leaf suspension). Air suspension is powered by an air pump or compressor and allows improved handling of your off road vehicle (and can make it easier to access too!). If you want to take your Discovery off road, the driver just needs to increase the ride height, and for a smooth drive with improved handling on road, the driver can simply lower the drive height.  The reduced vibration that air suspension provides also results in added the benefit of less wear and tear on the suspension system and components, and the ability to adjust suspension to road driving conditions and load can also help improve fuel economy.

With more components there in as an increase in mechanical issues and areas of diagnosis and when you experience a suspension fault

Air suspension components comprise of:

  • Air bags
  • Ride Height sensors
  • Air Struts
  • Air Springs
  • Air Suspension Compressors 
  • Storage tank
  • Air Suspension Solenoid Valve blocks
  • Electronic Control Unit

Common Signs Of Air Suspension Fault

  • Suspension fault error codes 
  • Individual sensors not receiving the right voltage 
  • Air suspension rising slowly
  • Air suspension rises noisily
  • Vehicle riding lower than normal
  • Compressor wont turn on
  • Vehicle sagging on one side

Common Air Suspension Faults

Air Bag Fault

Over time air bags can deteriorate and perish causing leaks.   If this happens the air bag is unable to fully inflate.

Height Sensor Fault

Due to the amount of wear and tear a typical 4×4 endures it is unsurprising that sometimes sensors can become damaged when they are exposed to rough terrain. If there is a fault with the height sensor the ECU will be unable to determine whether to fill or release air from the air bags and can result in the suspension becoming stuck at one height or even sag.  On this Discovery 4 the wiring had become corroded over time (and use!) which caused the height sensor to fail.

Solenoid Valve Block Fault

Valve blocks distribute air from the compressor to air springs (or struts).  The valve block o-rings can rot and corrode over time resulting in damage to the solenoids electrical components through moisture via air leaks.  The leaks can also cause the compressor to be overworked due to low pressure.

Electronic Control Unit

A fault with the ECU can be as simple as an issue with loose or deteriorated wiring which can happen over time.  If you experience an ECU fault it is advisable to contact a professional with the appropriate diagnostic equipment to identify the issue.

At Alton 4×4 our team have the experience and knowledge to diagnose an issue at the early stages which avoids unnecessary costs.  If you have a suspension issue with your off roader get in touch today on 01420 259015

Diagnose it first time every time.