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.
Whenever we get a vehicle in for one simple service and find a lot of other stuff that needs attention, any well-trained, reliable technician will make a list of the needed repairs for the customer, putting the safety-related ones at the top.
I encountered a stubborn apparition-infested 1998 Ford Explorer, 4x2, 5.0L. This vehicle, which had an automatic transmission, California emission, “believed” it was a four-wheel drive, but it had a two-wheel drive powertrain!
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