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.”
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.
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!
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.
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!
When I arrived at the shop I noticed that the vehicle had multiple warning lights illuminated on the instrument dash panel. There was a light for the antilock brakes, stability control, collision avoidance, lane keep safe and the eye sight control systems.
Every job isn’t interesting, but in our line of work, challenges are the spice of life, and it feels good to be a problem-solver. It feels even better to be appreciated, and usually we are, but that isn’t always the case.
We use wiring diagrams in many of our diagnostics, but if we are not careful, they can sometimes lead us to make decisions that are not accurate, which can lead to wasted diagnostic time, unnecessary parts costs for the replacing parts that are not defective, and sometimes even missing a simple repair.
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