Motor Age Garage

  • 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.
    Pete Meier
  • 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.
  • When one of these vehicles comes to your shop, it could be for something as simple as a routine brake job or as complex as a Controller Area Network (CAN) communication problem. Regardless of the problem, you have to have several tools in place to repair these issues.
  • Successful fault-finding — without swapping parts.
  • 2003 VW Golf 97,000 miles 2.0L (AVH) 01M (4 speed automatic) Complaint: Won’t go into fourth gear and has a lack of power at highway speeds when in cruise control after driving for 15 to 20 minutes. The speedometer seems funny at times, too. The used VW that was just bought and had a surge during cruise control. As a child, I used to love t
  • To the technician who wrenches on 30 or 40 cars a week, that car is just another machine in need of a field fix. But to the person whose fanny keeps the driver’s seat warm, that ride is their best friend.
  • How many times have we looked at a vehicle’s mileage and said to ourselves that this vehicle has not been driven enough to have anything wrong with it?
  • 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. 
    Pete Meier