Motor Age Garage

  • I was recently called into a mechanical repair shop because a vehicle's battery was unintentionally discharging so quickly that the vehicle would not restart if it sat overnight without a charger.
  • When working on a friend’s car, I don’t want to let them down. It is a lot of pressure to ensure my diagnosis is accurate the first time!
    Timothy Jones
  • You will never forget the tough diagnostic dilemmas, whether won or lost. Let me share a few of my most memorable with you.
  • There was a local repair shop that had an oil change go wrong on a 2011 Kia Optima with a 2.4 L engine (Figure 1). The shop mechanic had an easy task of simply replacing the oil filter and removing and reinstalling a drain plug to drain and refill the engine with oil. The oil filter was installed properly and the correct oil type and quantity was put in the engine but the drain plug was never secu
    John Anello
  • I had (have) been writing for Motor Age since May 2000, and so, when I submitted my application for the college instructor’s job in December of that year, I included copies of Motor Age that featured my articles, and to this day, I believe my position as a contributing editor for this magazine was one of the determining factors in landing the job that a whole lot of other guys had applied fo
  • No one person can be expert in every area of automotive repair. Expand your skill set through networking!
    Brandon Steckler
  • I think we have all been in the situation as a shop owner, mechanic, technician, handy man or whatever you like to be called where we are approached by a family member or a close friend because they know one thing. They know you can “fix things.”
    Eric Obrachta
  • A friend of mine brought his son’s 2006 Jeep Commander, 4.7L V8 with a 5-45RFE transmission and 187,854 miles on the odometer, telling me he believed water was making its way into the #8 cylinder, because the vehicle had overheated a few times and now it was misfiring on that one.
  • We usually do our best and most efficient work on vehicles with which we’re familiar, but there are times when even the ones we know the best can smack us around – particularly if we make the wrong choices.
  • We never stop learning, and the tough ones put iron in our souls. And for those who are just getting started in this business or are reading these words as a consumer, this, ladies and gentlemen, is what we do.
  • The intermittent nature of terminal connection problems make them extremely hard to diagnose since they often occur so fast and also so randomly. One technique is use an oscilloscope to help pick out quick glitches in a circuit that would be hard to locate with other testing methods.
  • As technicians, we are faced with jobs or situations that challenge our abilities. Do you have the right strategy, tools and attitude to tackle them?
    Brandon Steckler
  • Many drivability concerns are related to engine mechanical conditions. Check for these first before you spend too much time playing with ignition or fuel issues!
    Eric Obrachta
  • How hard could it be to figure out a headlight problem on a 15-year-old domestic? Well, we hadn’t tackled one of these S10 headlight issues before, and this one was a wakeup call.
  • If you’ve been around a while, you’ve seen cases where fluids would travel up wiring harnesses to other components – often well away from the source of the fluid. Bet you’ve never seen one like this, though!
    John Anello
  • Time and chance work both ways — customers need us, and we need them. Here's series of vehicles — and their owners — in need of help and repairs.
  • We begin the saga at Assured Autoworks in Melbourne, Fla. This reputable shop is owned and run by my good buddy, Brin Kline. Like many times before, he acquired the subject of this month's article as a “tow-in” from another local shop.
    Brandon Steckler
  • I started out my diagnosis on a 2003 Ford Escape with an automatic 3.0 VIN 1 24 Valve V-6 with the customer interview to gather the information and the complaint — with just shy of 200K on the odometer, the MIL light is on. Then I gather some codes and data, come up with a plan, repair and verify. Little did I know my plans were about to be derailed!
    Eric Obrachta
  • This ’07 Navigator had a misfire. Follow along and see if you would have taken these same diagnostic steps.
  • One recent (and also our first “cold”) morning, my wife headed off to work as she normally does but on the way there, experienced a severe “shudder” when she came to a full stop in her 2014 Scion tC.
    Pete Meier