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A Mechanic's Life - Tales From Under the Hood

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,012
    I thought I felt a little ground tremor this morning. :shades:

    My wife took the van an hour up the road this morning. First real drive she's had in it since the timing belt adjustment and throttle body cleaning. I'm hoping she has a good drive. If not, that 200k goal of mine may fade away.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    You guys should spend a few days in the Edmunds' ANSWERS section and just see some of the "diagnoses" people receive from...ahem..."technicians". Doc would choke on his sandwich.

    Things like (paraphrase)--"he put a screwdriver on the valve cover and said I needed new camshafts"

    OR

    "the mechanic replaced the throttle body, the MAF sensor, the 02 sensors, the coils, the crankshaft sensor, new fuel pump and filter, and the car still stalls.."

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  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,608
    I am contemplating returning to my roots(I came from a "Ford family") and picking up a Focus ST. What is your opinion of the EcoBoost motor installed in that car? I'd probably drive it for several years before I flipped it to my son.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,522
    Don't know that much about them as far as if there are any issues with them to be concerned about. Plus with the free pre-paid maintenance and longer warranties, it will be at least two years before I'm likely to see one in the shop and five years or more before I get to diagnose and fix anything on one of them.

    Ford has done some things a little different from the other manufacturers. There are more fuel system components that can be reused if they must be removed during servicing. Ford has elected to reduce the reversion tendencies which should tend to keep the intake valves cleaner than other manufacturers.

    If you have specifics as to what you are interested in knowing I can do some research, but otherwise have to leave them at no-news is good news.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116

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  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,608
    edited June 2013
    If you have specifics as to what you are interested in knowing I can do some research, but otherwise have to leave them at no-news is good news.

    Thank you for your help; the only complaint I've run across on the ST forums is an issue with the rear motor mount allowing too much engine movement- but Ford already has a TSB which addresses the issue.
    Thanks again.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,608
    So far the engine used in the ST appears to be relatively problem free, but-like any new car purchase-you can get a bad one or a good one.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    That's good to hear. I haven't heard all that much about the car other than that it is way fun. I bet, too, that it would remind me of my MINI, because I hear it has some serious torque steer. But gee, 252 HP, that's a "hot hatch" all right! :)

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  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Not only are Escapes and Fusions selling well despite the recalls, but Ford also is adding a 1.5-liter four-cylinder that it makes elsewhere to the lineup because it canÕt make enough 1.6-liter EcoBoost engines to keep up.

    Does this statement from that article make sense to anyone?
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,522
    I'll add more to this a little later but scanning through the recall TSB I found the labor time that it will pay the tech to be .3 hrs. A little further down as the reflash process was being detailed as to how the the steps were to be performed was the line, "This process can take up to one hour"....... :sick:
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,251
    Does this statement from that article make sense to anyone?

    Translation:

    Even in spite of Ford having to recall Ecoboost engines because of certain problems people are still buying the cars like hotcakes.

    To keep up with demand, Ford will put an old plant into action to produce more engines. For some reason, they can't duplicate the 1.6 - litre engines, so will just make 1.5s and hope nobody notices or cares.

    How is that gimme...or do you want it in Canadian?

    Well, eh, those Ecoboost are selling like poutine these days.

    To fill demand Ford will do a switcheroo play, kind of a Mike Duffy-Pamela Wallin rip-off move, and they will quietly give some consumers a 1.5 engine instead of a 1.6. No one will notice half a litre missing anyway. Ford will advertise it as being better on fuel..maybe sell it at a premium price.

    Gimme, hope that explains it.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,522
    To keep up with demand, Ford will put an old plant into action to produce more engines. For some reason, they can't duplicate the 1.6 - litre engines, so will just make 1.5s and hope nobody notices or cares.

    You make it sound like building a different engine is as easy as baking a wheat bread instead of a white bread.

    I wouldn't be surprised to find that there are significant changes going into building the 1.5 as compared to the 1.6.
  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,329
    My Dad had a bakery and making good bread that had consistent quality was far from easy. Those who do it right are true artisans having to deal with variations in ingredients, temperature, humidity and ovens.
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,251
    You make it sound like building a different engine is as easy as baking a wheat bread instead of a white bread.

    Different bread is difficult to make, apparently - thanks Jay. Actually I thought it was an older design engine that Ford was bringing back just to meet demand.

    However, you are correct, it is a much improved engine, one advantages of the new engine is consumers can get tax breaks in certain countries where 1.5 is the cut off point.

    The engine is more efficient and quieter too. Full details at;
    New Ford 1.5 litre engine

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,522
    LOL, I love it.. :shades:
  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,329
    You've been asking for it -- glad you enjoyed it. :P
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,522
    A technician on another forum has been going through a tough time. In the last month, he has lost four family members.(all separate incidents/issues) His boss had been out of the country for about six weeks and got back to work yesterday. He called this tech into his office to find out why he missed so much work. Upon hearing the explanation his only response was people die in his country everyday and the tech was left in shock over the owners attitude.

    How would you react if you were that tech?

    The consensus form the people who responded to him is that it's time to grease the wheels on his tool box. BTW. This tech is a real top gun and can handle anything that comes through the door, plus support the other techs working in that shop.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,012
    edited June 2013
    His country? Sounds like it's time for some sensitivity training.

    Careers are kind of like interstate driving. You always need to have an exit plan so you don't get hit if something happens. When you are in a financial position to give notice and leave a job when someone goes Dilbert on you, it lessens your stress and ironically, can make you a better employee.

    After the tech quits, suggest he take some time off before jumping into the next full-time job. Have him take over your shop for a couple of weeks - you need a vacation too. :)

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  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Don't know all the details (how long he's been with the current shop, where he lives & what the job market for techs is like in his area, what his salary requirements are, ...), but the best time to look for a new job is while you still have one.

    Don't know how easy it would be for him to just ignore/avoid his boss.

    That said, I've never had an immediate supervisor/manager with that sort of attitude.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    I'd tell him.."Well of course people die everyday. Everywhere. Maybe if you had had to travelled back to your country FOUR times in as many weeks to bury FAMILY members, then maybe you'd have some inkling the mental state I've been in lately. Now go %&^#$ yourself".

    Of course that is the "comeback" reply...I'm reminded of Seinfeld..years ago...in fact the episode was called The Comeback. Throughout the episode it was centered around George always thinking of the best comeback, but long after the fact...

    It's the ol' hindsight being 20/20 thing..

    Without the benefit of time for his insensitivity to sink in...I'd have been in shock too I think..
    Sounds like the boss is none too bright to boot.. and worse...probably bosses the wife around and kicks the dog when home.. :sick:
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,522
    When you are in a financial position to give notice and leave a job when someone goes Dilbert on you, it lessens your stress and ironically, can make you a better employee.

    This is a trade that is dominated by the attitude that has shop owners afraid to pay the techs enough that they could some day afford to move out and go into business for themselves and compete against the original shop owner.

    After the tech quits, suggest he take some time off before jumping into the next full-time job. Have him take over your shop for a couple of weeks - you need a vacation too

    Looks good on paper, until you write down the real numbers that it would cost to do that. I'd be on the hook for $8500 in workman's comp fees the day he moved his tool box in, and that's just the beginning.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    I wouldn't react to it, just quietly start looking for another job. Like it or not, he may need a good reference for his new job.

    Beyond the age of about 12, it's very hard to change the ingrained behavior and attitudes of people--it's POSSIBLE but it's an effort we usually reserve for those friendships we wish to keep.

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,012
    edited June 2013
    It is an area with a few land mines, but you may be able to do an independent contractor deal and avoid having to pay workers comp. You'd need some local advice since state laws vary. But a lot of mechanical trade workers don't have workers comp (which is a bit ironic, since a lot of those trades involve some risk of injury).

    You could even let him run his own books while you are enjoying the beach or mountains for a couple of weeks (link - Example 3).

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  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    I would use your approach.

    There are jerk bosses everywhere, in every business and trade.

    My first job out of college was in a company that, looking back on it, was run more like a fiefdom. The sales group were the princes, and the duties of everyone else were to fulfill their desires and correct their mistakes.

    What the company president did right was to insist on hiring really bright individuals across the board. What he did wrong was to not realize bright people could figure out the two-tier treatment company employees were getting, and then act in their own best self-interest.

    This wasn't a small company, BTW. In the mid 1980's it was ranked in the top 5 largest privately held employers in SC (Milliken Industries was number 1).

    By the early 1990's, these bright individuals started leaving in droves, taking huge chunks of customers as they left. I made my exit in 1989. The company entered into a "forced" merger in the mid 1990's in order to survive.

    Even the sales organization started feeding on itself and self-destructed before it was all over.

    I learned so many valuable lessons from that experience that were never taught in any business school I attended.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,522
    was run more like a fiefdom

    That's a really good word for what life is like for many techs.

    What the company president did right was to insist on hiring really bright individuals across the board. What he did wrong was to not realize bright people could figure out the two-tier treatment company employees were getting, and then act in their own best self-interest

    How many times have you seen me say that we can't attract the people that we need?
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,860
    Find another job and get hired, then tell the "boss/owner" where he, his wife, mother, kids, etc can stick it, on the last day. Bridges can be burned, but always wait til the right time.

    Or a good reply would be something like "your country is a marginally developed hellhole that doesn't value human life, you obviously came here to escape it, nobody will complain if you go back permanently".
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    I'm not surprised the behavior I experienced and described earlier is spread across the entire employment spectrum. In fact, it was surprise me if it wasn't.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    Saw this question in ANSWERS, (see below) and I can't figure out what would cause so much pressure in the canister to cause this, since as I recall the purge solenoid is on top of the box. Any ideas? Defective canister?

    "I have a 2000 GMC Sonoma that leaks gas from the purge solenoid. What causes this? When I loosen gas cap leak stops."

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  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,522
    There has to be more than just one problem for this to occur. The vapor separator at the top of the tank has to be stuck open to allow raw fuel to make it to the cannister. The cannister will be damaged by raw fuel, if he checks he will probably find bits of charcoal through the entire system. I'd be blowing the lines out to make sure to try and get all of the loose bits out if this has occurred. From there the vent valve (that's the one near the cannister) has to be stuck closed to allow the tank and cannister to pressurize sufficiently to end up pushing fuel all the way up to the purge valve, which is mounted on the right hand side of the engine if this is a 2.2l or right on the RH side of the intake manifold if this is the 4.3.

    So at the least he has a leak at the purge valve, otherwise the fuel wouldn't come out there. He must have a clogged vent valve assembly, its a wonder why he isn't reporting that its difficult to get this to take fuel. The cannister has to be saturated and it is actually supplying the raw fuel. The vapor separator has to be failed.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    Ah, that makes perfect sense---MORE than one problem---of course!

    I'll pass that along and thank you very much Doc!

    Shifty

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