Solving a P0449 Engine Code on a 2008 Chevy Impala (Evaporative Emission System Vent Valve/Solenoid Circuit)

About a month ago my car began showing an engine code, which appeared after I ran out of gas (that is its own story). Using DashCommand on my iPhone, and connecting to my car, I was able pull the following code:

Evap-Valve-Solenoid-00

Unfortunately I was unable to permanently clear the code. Every time I cleared it the code then reappeared a second later. So it wasn’t simply a left-over from running out of fuel, though I suppose that perhaps the event itself contributed to the equipment failure.

After doing some “research” via Google I determined that it was a relatively simple part to replace.

Read More

Cleaning a Vicks Vaporizer (Humidifier)

Humidifier-01
We bought a Vicks Vaporizer a few years ago. Last season we noticed that its performance had degraded and this week, when I filled it up and plugged it in, it didn’t appear to be working. I figured it probably needed to be cleaned but I wasn’t certain how so I located some posts in a few forums that described the basic process. Fortunately, it’s very simple.

Read More

Resolving Windows 8/8.1 Automatic Repair Loop After Windows Updates

This particular solution isn’t one that I discovered, though unfortunately in the course of seeking a solution I neglected to bookmark the post in which I read it.

There can be many causes for an automatic repair loop, so this solution may not fix the problem for everyone.

While working on a laptop for some friends I encountered a problem after applying some Windows updates. On restart the system went into a repair loop, which resulted in an inability to restart into Windows.

Read More

Replacing a Power Connector on an HP ENVY dv7t-7200 (with Beats Audio)

HP-Envy-DV7-678222-YD1

Some friends of ours asked me to see if I could repair an HP laptop that was suffering from power problems. The system was prone to lose power even when moved only slightly. In addition, the battery wasn’t able to charge properly and the power LED often flashed different error status codes.

After looking at a repair manual, and the system itself, I concluded that there were three likely causes of this problem: (1) a faulty power connector, (2) a faulty motherboard, or (3) a faulty power button.

The power button seemed to be the least likely cause. If it was bad I would expect it to only be a problem starting up or shutting down the system, but not a problem once the system was powered up and running.

The motherboard was a more likely candidate than the power button. However, since the system does have a separate power connector, which wasn’t soldered onto the board, I figured it was the most likely cause, and also the least expensive to fix.

Read More

Fixing a Window Lift on a 2008 Chevy Impala (Driver Side Window)

Note: I take no responsibility for any issues you may experience should you choose to follow this guide. You must completely read this guide in its entirety before proceeding as the final steps require some additional preparation.

When I left work this afternoon I approached my car and found this:

Impala-Door-01

Considering that an automotive windshield is typically rather transparent, as is most glass, it may be helpful for me to point out that the driver side window is down in the above photo.

Upon seeing this was I was so confused that, for a moment, I was actually stupid, which is generally uncharacteristic. Stunned, I entered the car and just sat there trying to remember if I had rolled down the window on my lunch break and simply forgot to roll it back up.

Read More

Press Any Key – Recently Updated and Top 10 Most Visited Posts (Quarter)

Recently Updated Posts

Top 10 Most Visited Posts (Quarter)

Using a Smartphone App to Verify Solar Panel Placement

Distant-Suns

Prior to installing the solar panel for an attic fan I selected two candidate locations for mounting the panel. The first location was up on the main roof of the house. Though this seemed like the natural choice there were a couple of issues with this plan. The first is simply that it would be a bit of a challenge to safely access that part of the roof. I was also hesitant to do anything that would potentially compromise the roof.

The second location was on the west side of our back porch roof. By placing the panel there it would be easier to install and it also wouldn’t be visible from the street.

Placing it on the back porch roof became the more desired location but I was uncertain whether or not the panel would end up being shaded by the house during most of the day.

How could I determine if the panel would be exposed to direct sunlight most of the day?

Well, it turns out that I already had an app that could do this. It’s an astronomy app called Distant Suns. Typically, I only use it the night of an annual meteor shower in order to determine where the radiant for the meteor shower is.

Fortunately, the app can also calculate positions of celestial objects, including the sun, at different times of the year. Using the app I was able to advance the time and also the date to find the exact position of the sun relative to where I was standing (and oriented). For example, I was able to advance the time to 11 AM and then hold the phone up and move it around until the marker for the sun was visible.

Sure enough, I was able to determine that the solar panel would receive direct sunlight most of the time when mounted on the back porch roof.

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 69 other followers