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A Mechanic's Life - Tales From Under the Hood

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Comments

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,526
    Well nobody said running an auto repair shop was easy.

    That's for sure. The problem is nobody is really talking about just what it takes today. Well almost nobody ;)

    I would say that ultimately, the greatest challenge for the shop owner might be one of maintaining a balanced view of the customer and not being soured by the small percentage of them who are chiselers, law-suit happy, ungrateful, cheap and all the rest.

    That's why we try and attract the first group and simply allow the second one to hopefully be happier elsewhere than we can make them.

    Auto repair is by nature definitely not a "touchy feely" business, like dentistry or chiropractic or a hair salon. No one really expects you to be a caring sensitive person

    That has a physically demanding, highly technical career......

    The "front man" is pretty unflappable. He's a guard dog, a diplomat, an accountant and a service provider.

    The right counter person can make a big difference.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,673
    edited February 2013
    Only when someone needs it.

    Based on your responses, it would appear that you think 100% of the people you encounter "need it."

    Well you did, didn't you?

    Again, I never said that the tech should automatically assume that the filter housing was the culprit. Once again, here is what I wrote:

    "I had a friend with an E83 X3 as well as another gentleman with an E46 325xi both advise me that their dealers told them that their vehicles had leaking oil pan gaskets and recommended that they be replaced. That is a somewhat complex and fiddly job on an AWD BMW because an axleshaft runs through the oil pan; both dealers wanted over $1,000 to do the work. I asked the owners where the leak was located and both said that it was coming from the left front corner of the oil pan. I told them both to take their cars to another shop, because BMW oil pan gaskets rarely fail- but that the oil filter housing gaskets can be problematic as the cars age. Both cars were taken to a good indie BMW tech, and the leaks were found to be originating at the oil filter housing gasket."

    I didn't say, tell the indie shop to relace the housing gasket, I told them to get a second opinion. And my analysis was spot-on.

    It isn't enough information to do anything with. Few if any of the readers here have ever looked at one of these engines and have no idea how obscured the area in question is. Given the chance, without prior knowledge of the pattern failure I doubt that you would have gotten this same test right the first time either. The difference is, I wouldn't trash you for that like you have done to them here. Said another way, if you had been either one of those techs and it was the first time you saw one of these leaks you would have made the same misdiagnosis, especially if you were rushed and not allowed to take enough time to examine the situation correctly.

    You conveniently forget that while two BMW techs missed the call, two BMW techs nailed it. I'll add that when one of the owners called the indie shop he only told them that the dealer said his oil pan gasket was leaking. The shop owner replied, "Well, I'm going to inspect it closely before I start the job, because the oil pan gaskets on BMW engines seldom fail; it's much more likely to be some other component."(emphasis added) If the techs lacked the knowledge or experience to make the correct diagnosis, then there should be someone in the chain of authority who does possess that knowledge and experience- and who can prevent the wrong repair from being undertaken. Even if the techs' errors were understandable due to their inexperience, the owner would have still been out over $1,000- and he would still have an oil leak.

    By the way, the M54 in my son's also exhibited a small oil leak, but my dealer diagnosed it correctly the first time.
    Hmmmm...

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

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,778
    My Indy BMW shop told me that my valve cover gasket was starting to leak and that it was over 300.00 to change it (!). He also told me it might need a new valve cover and then it would be over 500.00!

    How can a valve cover go bad??

    I had no leaks in the garage but he told me I would probably start smelling burning oil and sure enough, I'm starting to.

    Some leary people would have accused him of loosning the VC bolts.

    I'm just wondering why it costs so much...WAIT... it is a BMW!

    Breaks
    More
    Wallets
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    "How can a valve cover go bad?? "

    Mighta been over-torqued/torqued outta sequence at some point in its life.

    But I'm not defending it..

    Is it cast aluminum? If so, it would be a little more forgiving to an over-torque, but probably not by much. A thicker gasket design might have helped, but then they wouldn't get their baby back to momma for repair$ as soon..
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    The right counter person can make a big difference.

    I'm assuming you probably work in the back office then? Someone who is confrontational, lacking in appropriate social skills, and engages in power struggles is not someone you want on the counter. Most of the service writers at dealerships and small shops I've patronized were pretty good. Only one comes to mind with who I thought had a bit of an attitude. Sarcasm also not a trait to use with customers.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,673
    edited February 2013
    I haven't heard of M50 valve covers needing replacement(although I'm sure that the true experts on this board will quickly correct me if I'm mistaken :P ), but at 120,000 to 130,000 miles the gaskets usually do start to leak- almost always from the right rear corner. Replacing the gasket isn't too difficult- This is an excellent how-to.
    BMW only charges $35 for the gasket set(about the same as the set for a Honda V6), so the rest of the bill is labor. I'd tackle it myself if I had the time(and an in-lb torque wrench). In the case of my son's X3 I had the latter but not the former.

    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: 6,673
    I thought that, but I wasn't going to say it...

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

  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    TWe have the chain stores that sell tires and do alignments, and quick lubes that are putting who knows what in the car

    Who is making baseless assumptions now? If you know something we don't about the quickielubes, let's hear it. They using maple syrup instead of oil? :sick:

    I think the Valvolines Instant Oil does a pretty good job. At least you can sit in the comfort of your car and see that the job is done properly, and with a quality oil.

    Plus, the competition keeps dealerships from overcharging on oil changes. ;)
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,065
    I think the Valvolines Instant Oil does a pretty good job. At least you can sit in the comfort of your car and see that the job is done properly, and with a quality oil.

    You're kidding right?

    Plus, the competition keeps dealerships from overcharging on oil changes.

    I noticed dealers today advertise two prices. The elcheapo with who knows what kind of oil and another price for "synthetics". The dealer who not so recently tried to stick you with ADM is the dealer you want to service your vehicle? What differentiates sales from service? Same upper management.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    You're kidding right?

    Not really. You at least know which items are being checked, unlike at dealership. You are in and out quicker. Comfort is debatable, as no a/c or heat. And Valvolines a quality oil. I only use if in a pinch. Usually dealership is running oil change specials about 10 bucks cheaper.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,526
    Based on your responses, it would appear that you think 100% of the people you encounter "need it."

    You are the only one that seems to never be wrong, at least from your point of view.

    You conveniently forget that while two BMW techs missed the call, two BMW techs nailed it.


    You have two completely different scenarios, one is check for an oil leak. The other is they have an oil leak and were told that it is a pan gasket and someone else said that it might be the oil filter adapter leaking. Go find out which one it is.

    Under those circumstances the techs would be allowed to take more time, the kind of time that should have been taken the first time but everyone loves to assume that the job is "so easy".

    What you haven't figured out is that you and many others appear to feed off of the failures, but don't really do anything to solve them. I've watched you say things like "for now on they should call me first" and now you have to write things like "I'm sure that the true experts on this board will quickly correct me if I'm mistaken".

    You'll keep taking slaps at me now because I won't let you stand on the pedestal that you put yourself onto, after all I'm just a mechanic, what could I possibly know compared to you? It must really disturb you to think that someone who fixes cars for a living actually thinks they know anything without you telling them first.

    If the techs lacked the knowledge or experience to make the correct diagnosis, then there should be someone in the chain of authority who does possess that knowledge and experience

    There should be, but there isn't. Since you don't actually do the work you don't know what's been happening. For one there is simply too much for any one person to know and everyone wants everything all so fast and cheap the techs are running on the limits of their abilities all of the time, and it doesn't matter who's marquise is out on the street.

    - and who can prevent the wrong repair from being undertaken.

    Learning often means you don't know that it was wrong until you still have a problem after the first attempt.

    Even if the techs' errors were understandable due to their inexperience, the owner would have still been out over $1,000- and he would still have an oil leak.

    That's your assumption, and in some cases it could be partially accurate, emphasis on the word "partially". In many cases, the oil is found to still be leaking and the second repair is done no charge. In others, the second repair is done and it is charged for, and the oil pan repair not charged for since by that time everyone would "assume" that it wasn't actually leaking in the first place. The trick now comes down to what does the tech get paid? The answer lies closely to what was billed to the customer. Most would assume that the tech gets paid no matter what, but they don't. If the shop charges for everything which wouldn't be ethical the tech likely gets paid for all of the work. But should the shop choose to not charge for any portion, the tech also does not get paid and this is where it gets to be a problem.

    Everything that you are writing focuses on the pan never leaking, but you condition it with it being rare. In this job, you cannot assume anything, because the moment you do fate will jump right in and make you regret it. So picture a vehicle coming in the door that actually did have both the pan and the oil filter adapter leaking. The tech fixes the easy leak to see, the pan only to find that there is still a leak and now has to fix that. The assumption get's made that the pan wasn't leaking and so to "be fair" to the customer they don't charge for the oil pan repair and only charge for the filter adapter leak. That means the tech actually gets taken advantage of and also didn't get paid to learn about the oil adapter condition.

    We now have the stage set, with enough mistakes eventually the tech loses his job, or else simply quits to do something else and the experience that was built in him is lost. That means the whole routine has to play out all over again with another new person and the failure string stays intact.

    I'm all about breaking that string and changing the way shops actually run, and that isn't going to happen until everyone see's the issues that cause the problems completely.

    You conveniently forget that while two BMW techs missed the call, two BMW techs nailed it.

    You are "assuming".

    I'll add that when one of the owners called the indie shop he only told them that the dealer said his oil pan gasket was leaking. The shop owner replied, "Well, I'm going to inspect it closely before I start the job, because the oil pan gaskets on BMW engines seldom fail; it's much more likely to be some other component

    You add that now, I'm wondering if you would have said it at all without my questioning your story.

    By the way, the M54 in my son's also exhibited a small oil leak, but my dealer diagnosed it correctly the first time.
    Hmmmm...


    Hmmm indeed. Why aren't you doing all of the work yourself? Most likely if you tried to you'd quickly find out that you don't know as much as you think you do. But hey as long as you don't actually do the work then no one will ever suspect that you actually can't do the work, right?
    But I'm just a mechanic and not even a BMW specialist, what could I possibly know.....
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,526
    Who is making baseless assumptions now?

    I'd reccomend doing some research as to oil specifications, O.E. requirements, and what the ACEA ratings are all about to start. Once you are more familliar with that I'll give you the next areas to study. Then you can decide who is making any assumptions yourself, prior to right now that is.

    If you know something we don't about the quickielubes, let's hear it.

    I can't buy the correct products for my customers cars for the prices some advertise for the whole service. Neither can they. So are they intentionally taking a loss or what?

    I think the Valvolines Instant Oil does a pretty good job. At least you can sit in the comfort of your car and see that the job is done properly, and with a quality oil.

    Plus, the competition keeps dealerships from overcharging on oil changes


    Did you ever hear of Lubes 'n' Greases Magazine?

    http://www.lngpublishing.com/lngmagazine/index.cfm

    I'd reccomend back reading for a little bit more than the last two years. (Oct 2010 iirc)
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,526
    I'm assuming you probably work in the back office then? Someone who is confrontational, lacking in appropriate social skills, and engages in power struggles is not someone you want on the counter

    We all have our crosses to bear. No I don't have a counter person, I do everything myself. The social skills issue is one that goes hand in hand with the fact that I cannot write with a pen or pencil at a reasonable level. You can speculate on that all you want. I've never been one to let my handicap define my limits.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Thanks for the link to Lubes and Greases Magazine. Christmas has come early. :)

    Not all Quickie Lubes are built the same. You are assuming the quality of their oils suspect. WELL, BASED ON WHAT? Dealerships and shops use Valvoline and Pennzoil, same as a lot of quickie lubes. Dealerships don't use highly trained mechanics to do a simple oil change. They use the same type of guys the quickie places do. So?

    Menieke might be a place to stay away from an oil change. Recycled synthetic blend. Blah.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    edited February 2013
    All I'm trying to say is many here started out trying to be friendly and respectable towards you. Myself included. But you seem not to want a friendly exchange. Maybe I'm wrong. That's how it appears to me.

    I enjoy reading your posts and you certainly know cars. But ease up a little bit will ya. ;)
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,526
    edited February 2013
    All I'm trying to say is many here started out trying to be friendly and respectable towards you. Myself included. But you seem not to want a friendly exchange. Maybe I'm wrong. That's how it appears to me.

    I've never been one to have a lot of tact, I strive to work on that.

    I'm all for friendly exchanges, heck thats what I would love to have. But I'm not going to sit on my hands all of the time when the trash gets started. I've lived through the results of way some people talk down to techs, they are so used to doing it, they don't even think there is anything wrong with it.

    The attitude in RB's posts remind me of certain people through the years. He may praise his favorite BMW guy, but rest assured someone else is treating that guy like RB wants to do to all of the rest. His exchanges remind me of a Buick Service rep that we had.

    Back in March of 85, I had replaced the diode bridge in an alternator. GM was clamping down on the warranty expenses and he came in and tested the part with an ohm meter and declared that it was not bad and he was voiding the claim. That meant that the dealership was losing the part as well as the labor and that meant I was going to be back-flagged and not paid for the repair.

    I told him, let me put that part in your car and we will see if its bad or not. Nobody else would stand up to the guy. He agreed and watched me pull his alternator off and I handed him his diode bridge. He gave me the one I had taken out of the other alternator and he saw it go back together.

    I told him keep that bridge because he was going to need it.

    When it was assembled it was charging of course and he was so sure of himself. The diode that was failing broke down when it was hot, but he didn't understand that. By the time he got to the next dealership the alternator light was on and it was only charging at 13v. When they checked it, it was draining the battery exactly as was described on the previous R.O.

    I didn't get paid to do that exercise, I only succeeded in preventing him from bouncing that one warranty claim.

    What you see is the fact that I don't cave in and give people like that Buick rep a free ride, RB included. I've seen him criticize too many times and the little bit of praise that he may put out there doesn't balance the ledger.

    BTW. I looked at his link to R&R that valve cover. First while some people do need a detailed step by step, there are many who don't. Beyond the torque specs, that repair is something that should be intuitive for a person who is a prospect to be a technician today. Plus it is adviseable to not only replace the plugs, but the plug boots as well. Oh, BTW, did you read the comments below that article?

    My average price for that entire job is under $400 including the plugs and the boots, and the oil change. The oil when it leaks from the cover hits the exhaust manifold and creates quite an odor and results in the owner knowing that something is wrong. That repair is as simple as any that come through the door.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,526
    Not all Quickie Lubes are built the same. You are assuming the quality of their oils suspect. WELL, BASED ON WHAT? Dealerships and shops use Valvoline and Pennzoil, same as a lot of quickie lubes. Dealerships don't use highly trained mechanics to do a simple oil change. They use the same type of guys the quickie places do. So?

    It's been a nightmare getting the consumers to learn the facts.....
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,526
    It's been a nightmare getting the consumers to learn the facts.....

    We even have to overcome atricles like this one, which is part of a series BTW.

    Articles like this one all follow the same guidelines

    1. Bash the shops/techs to raise credibility for the author
    2. Tell the story the way that someone wants it told
    3. Bash the shops/techs again to reinforce authors credibility

    Learn the facts, and then revisit all of those "stories". Then ask why!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,266
    edited February 2013
    Soooo....what's your problem with any of these statements in the article?

    1."Experts agree that the oil in today's cars should be changed at the designated intervals in the owner's manual or when the car's oil life monitor light appears."

    2." Nearly all cars should be serviced under the "severe" maintenance schedule. This oft-cited rule is a myth the quick oil-change industry (including Jiffy Lube) uses to bolster more-frequent-than-necessary oil changes, experts tell Edmunds.com."

    Doc, I don't see "techs being bashed" at all---or do you call the guy at Jiffy Lube twisting oil pan bolts a "tech", or the service writer at same?

    Is this the person in The Brotherhood you really want to protect?

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    thecardoc3-

    Most of us here respect your experience and level of expertise.

    All many of us ask of an automotive technician/shop is that they be honest and upfront with us when we bring our vehicles in for service. If we bring it in with the P0442 CEL code (Evaporative Emission Control System Leak Detected (small leak)), for gosh sake tell us that for $20 you can replace the gas cap and that has a 90% (or whatever percentage you’re comfortable with) probability of fixing the problem, or for $150 you will run a more exhaustive set of tests and pinpoint the problem with more certainty (but not 100%), then let the consumer make the call.

    If we bring a vehicle in with the MAF sensor code stored, again be honest and upfront with us and tell what the options and outcomes are (ie – remove and clean the sensor for $100, or replace the whole MAF for $300). Again the cost numbers may not be accurate, but you get the drift.

    But, if we bring a vehicle in with a P0442 code showing (having read it ourselves), and you come back and say the MAF is also bad should be replaced (not cleaned), then you have some explaining to do.

    Is that too much to ask?
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    I agree with Shifty.

    Would like to hear what exactly you think is "wrong" with the major points the article made.

    Also, I did not pick up on a lot of shop or tech bashing, other than to question the recommendation of those shops to change oil every 3,000 miles.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,673
    You are the only one that seems to never be wrong, at least from your point of view.

    I've never said that either.

    You have two completely different scenarios, one is check for an oil leak. The other is they have an oil leak and were told that it is a pan gasket and someone else said that it might be the oil filter adapter leaking. Go find out which one it is.

    So one scenario excuses a bad diagnosis? OK...

    There should be, but there isn't.

    It still boils down to the fact that two shops nailed the call and two missed it.

    But should the shop choose to not charge for any portion, the tech also does not get paid and this is where it gets to be a problem.

    Well, that should be an incentive for the tech to make a proper diagnosis, No?

    Everything that you are writing focuses on the pan never leaking, but you condition it with it being rare. In this job, you cannot assume anything, because the moment you do fate will jump right in and make you regret it.

    The techs made a wrong call- full stop. I guess I'm just spoiled; I use decent dealers and indie shops, ones that don't use my car and wallet to provide tuition for BMW(or Mazda) Repair 101.

    You are "assuming".

    Not at all. Two dealers diagnosed the problem incorrectly. Two other shops correctly identified the problem. Those are the facts.

    You add that now, I'm wondering if you would have said it at all without my questioning your story.

    You got me; in addition to committing the unpardonable sin of criticizing shoddy and incompetent work, I also fabricate stories.

    Why aren't you doing all of the work yourself?

    I do as much as I can, but my job keeps me on the road 10-20 days/1,000-2,000 miles per month. And maintaining every car in the garage in first class condition takes more time than I usually want-or have-to spend.

    Most likely if you tried to you'd quickly find out that you don't know as much as you think you do.

    Regardless of your evaluation of my ability, at least I know enough to take my car to competent dealers and indie shops when I don't have the time or inclination to tackle a job myself....

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

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    I guess you can add me to the list as well....
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,673
    edited February 2013
    The attitude in RB's posts remind me of certain people through the years. He may praise his favorite BMW guy, but rest assured someone else is treating that guy like RB wants to do to all of the rest.

    "BMW guy"? Wrong again. Let's review; I use:
    1. The service department of a BMW dealer
    2. An independent BMW tech
    3. The service department of a Mazda dealer(100 miles away, because the local dealers are not up to snuff)
    4. A small indie shop that primarily services my Wrangler TJ- and occasionally my 1975 '02 and Mazda
    5. A local tire chain(although I still do the summer tire&wheel/winter tire&wheel swaps myself)
    All provide first-rate service, and I know of at least two other local BMW techs that are exemplary. I won't comment on any domestic dealers, primarily because I never use them and probably never will. Although I know a real howler of a misdiagnosis a Ford dealer made on a co-workers Escape(all though in a honesty I think the dealer was guilty of fraud rather than incompetence).

    Once again, just exactly where did I trash "all the rest"? I did discuss several specific instances of shoddy/incompetent work, but I never implied that the majority of shops are bad- you inferred that.

    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: 1,526
    But, if we bring a vehicle in with a P0442 code showing (having read it ourselves), and you come back and say the MAF is also bad should be replaced (not cleaned), then you have some explaining to do.

    Is that too much to ask?


    I'll play but you need to answer all of the questions too.

    Of course a complete explanation is in order, nobody should expect anything less.

    So now let's go back to your first paragraph.

    All many of us ask of an automotive technician/shop is that they be honest and upfront with us when we bring our vehicles in for service. If we bring it in with the P0442 CEL code (Evaporative Emission Control System Leak Detected (small leak)), for gosh sake tell us that for $20 you can replace the gas cap and that has a 90% (or whatever percentage you’re comfortable with)


    Remember when you were in high school and had to sit in some of those classes that you were sure weren't making you learn anything that you would ever need in the future? Well....

    In Geometry we had to study Theorems and do Proofs. Lots of kids hated them, and there was usually a select few who actually enjoyed them.

    What did it mean for the theory if a false statement had to be used to prove it? Your argument relies on the statement that the gas cap and only the gas cap is a rational cause for the P0442 If it's true 100% of the time then you have a valid theory. So, is the gas cap what is wrong 100% of the time or is it not?

    So then we get to the honesty part of your paragraph. With the fact that it takes a false statement to prove your theory then the only way to be honest is to test the car correctly and let the car show you were the fault is.

    Honesty about guessing doesn't count aka" I have no proof that your cap is bad but if you want to guess here is one for $20 (or whatever). Someone could resort to doing it that way simply because they lack the tools, training and/or the self discipline to do it any other way and none of those should be seen as desirable attributes, should they?

    probability of fixing the problem, or for $150 you will run a more exhaustive set of tests and pinpoint the problem with more certainty (but not 100%), then let the consumer make the call

    Now we get to the second half, as if that was even necessary. You pulled a price out of thin air and made sure to suggest doubt about the end results.

    Do you know how to play "3 Card Monte"? The dealer never loses (unless he wants to)

    If we bring a vehicle in with the MAF sensor code stored, again be honest and upfront with us and tell what the options and outcomes are (ie – remove and clean the sensor for $100, or replace the whole MAF for $300). Again the cost numbers may not be accurate, but you get the drift.

    Sure lets use a 2004 Mercedes Benz ML320 The codes are P2004, P2006, P2017, P2086, P2016 AND/OR p2085 (Don't worry I could do this with several hundred models spread across numerous manufacturers, I just decided to pick an easy one) Tell me exactly how I should proceed with that customers car as per the manufacturer.

    But, if we bring a vehicle in with a P0442 code showing (having read it ourselves), and you come back and say the MAF is also bad should be replaced (not cleaned), then you have some explaining to do.

    Now we are all the way back to this paragraph. I could write for hours explaining code set criteria and blocking conditions (codes or tests) . The problem at the moment is you chose to pick two codes (test failures) that potentially are very unlikely to have cross checking conditions to try and make your point. Someone who doesn't know how the systems work would look at that as a valid argument on your part. In the real world sometimes customers vehicles can have a condition with their vehicle where two other codes are highly interactive and one problem prevents the PCM from detecting the other. An example that includes a mechanical fault is a restricted exhaust on one side of a V-engine which results in a bank to bank fuel trim variation. The list of potential codes that could set include (but are not limited to) rich exhaust on one side, lean on the other, a MAF performance code, misfire codes, upstream O2 sensor voltage or performance codes etc. The trouble with this scenario is which ever code sets first can block any of the others from setting. Meanwhile none of them actually point at the cause (the partially restricted exhaust).

    As a tech approaching this problem I have to identify and solve the mechanical fault and then set about proving if any codes retrieved are false, or not. Then I still have to be sure if the false code blocked another test from running. In this event having to come back and explain why other work is required should be expected when the vehicles condition dictates it.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,526
    Also, I did not pick up on a lot of shop or tech bashing

    From the article:

    So we issued a call for oil myths, legends and lies, and gathered up a list of the top puzzlers.

    The 3,000-mile oil change is the credo of the quick-oil change industry and dealership service departments, designed to regularly get you into the service bay.

    When manufacturers say "severe," they mean situations in which vehicles pull heavy trailers, or cars race on closed tracks

    Really consumers race their cars on closed tracks?

    The rest of the fun requires you to follow the links to the related stories and videos.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,673
    edited February 2013
    Really consumers race their cars on closed tracks?

    Now that you mention it...

    image

    And UOAs of the Mobil 1 0W-40 I run indicates that a 8,000 mile OCI is perfectly fine. To quote Blackstone Labs:

    Your BMW's engine appears to be doing quite well at 125,244 miles. Our universal averages show normal wear for the M42 4-cylinder after 3,800 miles of oil use. You ran this 0W/40 oil well past that mark(8,200 miles), so it was nice to see all metals reading close to or below average. They were also in balance to one another and that shows normally wearing parts and no mechanical problems brewing. The oil's TBN was 5.7, meaning there was lots of active additive left.

    That said, I would probably recommend an OCI of 3,000 to 4,000 miles if someone wanted to run conventional oil in a turbocharged engine(those people should probably be sentenced to driving a Chevrolet Aveo, a Daewoo Nubria or a Ford Tempo for all eternity, but I digress).

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

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Like many others have said here, I have great respect for your knowledge of automotive operations and repairs.

    Now, having stated that... I have to say, I think this is one of those times you're grasping at straws to make your point.

    You're trying to take a literal interpretation of a sentence, when its seems clear to me that its the intent of the idea that's being laid out.

    We can debate from here to eternity about how "exacting" things should be worded, but really... If someone reads a single short article and then lets that extremely limited amount of information literally dictate their behavior, its doubtful (at least, IMO) that they would have the ability to comprehend the "literal details" of an exact explanation.

    You know...When my doctor tells me I need to "eat right", he doesn't have to explain to me that "eating right" doesn't include daily Big Macs, large pizzas and fried chickens, but it does include fish, fresh fruits and vegetables. I'm fairly capable of reading between the lines.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,371
    I just heard an ad for a Lousiville foreign car place that offeres drive through analysis. Free. They'll tell you what the problem is AND how much it will cost to repair it. NO CHARGE. I think they said some location on Shelbyville Rd., but I didn't get the name.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Will they also read your palm and tell your future?
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