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Old 06-29-2022, 07:39 PM   #1
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doyle524 is on a distinguished road
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Location: Ohio
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2003 L-Series 2.2L Wagon
Post 2003 LW200 nearing 200k - a few issues, and looking for what to change preventatively

Hey guys, new to the forum. I picked up a 2003 LW200, runs well with over 190k miles and most things work well. However, I do have some issues, and some were hard to find answers for on this forum and elsewhere.

First, I’d really like to know what I should check and replace with this car. I’ve already done the oil and filter plus the spark plugs (was developing an intermittent misfire), and plan to flush the coolant and brake fluid as well as the air and fuel filters. The belts seem decent, as are the tires. Are any of those hard to reach, or do any of them have any then to get hung up on? Is the automatic transmission sealed, or should I be looking to replace the ATF as well? Are there any other items that may need done preventatively before 200k?

Now to the issues I’m facing, and I’ll just list them here:

The car has a bit of a stutter when accelerating from a stop - it feels a bit like a misfire but only directly upon acceleration. This is most noticeable when the engine is cool and the air is hot - I’m planning to clean the throttle body and idle control valves with some carb cleaner, because I’m thinking it’s possible the throttle is a bit gunked up and slow to respond, but I’m curious if there are any common issues that could cause this.

The parking brake doesn’t appreciably slow the car - I had the front up on stands while changing the oil, and while I of course chocked the rear wheels and left it in park, the handbrake was fully pulled and had zero effect on the car, which rolled hard against the chocks (to the point of breaking one of the bricks I was using); plus I’ve pulled it at highway speed to minimal effect. This could be related to a creaking sound from the rear brakes upon pedal application that I hope to fix with the brake fluid change and a closer visual check on the pads and rotors.

There’s a small coolant leak I discovered while changing the oil, it runs down the back of the block and drips (slowly) further back than the oil pan, right around the heat shield. There is never a puddle under the car, but every few weeks the dash light comes on and it needs topped off. The oil I removed from the car was dark (and nonmetallic), so I highly doubt it’s the head gasket leaking - it’s seemingly more an annoyance than a problem, but I couldn’t trace it up, so if anybody has a list of places coolant might be leaking from where it would run down of the rear of the block, I’d love to stop it.

The HVAC is stuck on the defroster, while the other HVAC controls work. I found this post that seems to diagnose it as the mode actuator, so I’ll be checking that and looking for one from a junkyard:

The air conditioner doesn’t work - I believe the most likely cause would just be that it needs recharged, but again, if there’s a common issue, let me know.

And a final minor irritation (which seems to be common on these cars if the Regular Car Reviews episode is something to go by), the hinges in the interior seem weak and both the center console lid and one of the wings on the spare tire cover panel have broken off. Has anybody found a good way to fix these, or should I just trawl the junkyards or live with it?

Sorry for the huge post, and I appreciate all help!

Last edited by doyle524; 06-29-2022 at 07:40 PM. Reason: Typo
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coolant leak, lw200, maintenance, parking brake

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