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Refine your game plan with a logical process to diagnosis

Saturday, June 1, 2019 - 07:00
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They decided that they were in over their head and called us, asking if they could tow the vehicle back to our shop and get it running. Bill explained that there would be another diagnostic fee along with a programming fee to get the Audi running. Once the vehicle arrived, we looked it over, paying special attention to the steering column area. Bill noticed that the used car lot did not follow directions of only removing the module. Instead, they totally removed the steering column. As a result of their removal process of the steering column, there was more noticeable damage - including a "click" noise from the steering wheel that was due to a damaged clock spring.

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Figure 3

Bill called the used car lot to inform them what we uncovered before proceeding to do anything on the Audi. Their response was don’t worry about the damage just get the Audi running. Since they gave us our marching orders, we proceeded first with a full vehicle scan. The results of the scan uncovered (Figure 3) the following DTCs; P1674 Databus Drivetrain Implausible Message from Instrumental Cluster and FAZ1225E error with serial number, (Figure 4) Error: MSG serial no. is not associated with VIN.

Figure 4

Our next step was to try and clear the DTCs then insert the correct VIN in the module. After the programming process was completed the engine came to life and ran well. We followed that up with another complete scan of all the vehicle system making sure there were no other issues. It always good practice to make sure all vehicle modules are clear of DTCs before returning the vehicle back to the owner. With the Audi now starting and running it was time to collect our diagnostic and programming fees and return the vehicle to the customer.

Next - A weak Chevy

2009 Chevy Impala 3.9L 54K came in with a complaint of low power, poor stopping and the Check Engine light illuminated. The customer told us this only happened after her son was driving over 95 mph with the police in pursuit!

She said that her son had to make a rather quick stop as the police had blockaded the road ahead. After absorbing what the vehicle owner provided us with, we concluded that a good visual and mechanical inspection was the first place to start. My tech, Franklin, was given the job and thought he would take the vehicle for a short test drive. After Franklin started the engine up and discovered that it was barely idling along with the brakes feeling bad, he thought that a test drive was out of the question. The vehicle was barely driven from the front of our shop into his bay.

Figure 5

As Franklin was driving the vehicle into the bay, he noticed that it was very difficult to stop. He thought that the poor idling and stopping could be caused by a massive vacuum leak resulting from a very lean condition. He decided to connect the Snap On Zeus scan tool since it performs a full vehicle system scan rather quickly. As a result of the Zeus scan (Figure 5), he found all of the vehicle systems to be DTC free except for the engine that had a DTC P0171 stored. Take a look at the scan data (Figure 6) that Franklin uncovered as the engine stalled from a high rpm. Anything stick out as being a problem?

Figure 6
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