Motor Age Garage

  • Gathering data and sorting it out requires a sharp-minded clear thinker, and everybody who’s in the know will agree that a really good troubleshooter in our field needs to be just a bit smarter than the average bear on a number of levels.
  • There are times when we exhaust every resource and troubleshooting trick and hit a dead end, after which we have to back up and re-think the problem.
  • The MIL has been on for some time now on my 1999 Ford Ranger. The 3.0 liter V6 bucks and runs horribly for the first few minutes of operation, then settles down and runs fine until the next overnight soak.
  • When I think of the word "restriction," the first thought that comes to mind is resistance. If there is a restriction in the air intake system of a 4-cycle engine, isn’t that a resistance to the incoming airflow?
    David DeCoursey
  • Tackling a 1999 Ford Ranger with a 3.0 liter V6, automatic transmission, 4WD and 175,432 miles that runs rough and has the MIL on.
  • Sometimes procrastination is the best teacher for customers who want to delay necessary repairs.
  • A customer’s vehicle was failing a state inspection because not all of the engine control module tests had run to completion and passed. 
  • This article is a discussion of a vehicle operating “impaired” due to an excessive amount of alcohol in the fuel system of the vehicle. With the blended gasolines commercially available to the consumer, what type of vehicle do you think would be most affected by excessive alcohol, a flex fuel vehicle or a non-flex fuel vehicle?
    David DeCoursey
  • This Lincoln’s driver had driven it bucking and jerking with the Check Engine light on for about three months until her father drove the vehicle one day, felt the problem and told her something needed to be done about it, and so it wound up at my shop.
  • This month’s story revolves around a Dodge Dakota that had developed an oil leak between the passenger side cylinder head and the engine block, and the driver of the vehicle picked it up as an oil smell. 
  • In this particular instance, a tech called to tell me they had a 2012 Mitsubishi that had an Antilock Braking System (ABS) light illuminated on the dash and they couldn’t seem to find the problem. I arrived at the shop thinking that the vehicle in question was a car, but it turned out to be a medium duty truck, 2012 Mitsubishi Fuso FE160!
  • Smooth and straightforward repair jobs are the ones most of us like the best. Those are the routine work orders where there are no surprises on either side – simple “Condition, Cause, Correction” flow.
  • This story is centered on a PT Cruiser that came to us from a regular customer who has owned several of these curvy little rides. The problems the PT had were not so cut and dried, and the last thing I want to do is dump a bunch of high dollar work into a vehicle before I know for sure what’s needed.
  • The vehicle arrived at the repair facility with an illuminated MIL for two failed tests (DTCs) and a P1000. The failed tests were: P0171 and a P1100 failed test.   
    David DeCoursey
  • That being said, we all have known of (or owned) vehicles that seem to survive for many decades, having been mollycoddled and maintained by gentle, loving owners until they become something of an oddity, like an aged person who is still living and functioning well for years after all of his or her children have died of old age.
  • For me, anyways, the hardest diagnostics are for the ones that another person created when fixing an original concern. 
  • No vehicle is immune from this kind of neglect. The amount of work we put into repairing them for their owners is what makes the difference.
  • In this last of three videos, Motor Age Director of Training Pete Meier tackles the P0455 EVAP emissions Diagnostic Trouble Code found on this 1999 Ford Ranger XLT. 
  • In the second part of our "Driveway Diagnostics" series, we tackle the P0302 Diagnostic Trouble Code found in part 1.
  • Well, not all professional techs do, but I did. After spending 5-6 days a week working on other people's cars the last thing I wanted to do was work on my own! But now I have no choice.