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A Mechanic's Life - Tales From Under the Hood

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Comments

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,634
    Think about what you just said - "...that then had to be taken to a shop to be properly diagnosed and repaired".

    I know exactly what I said. You have to speculate to try and find fault with it while you have no facts to support your argument. Meanwhile, you gotta love what can be done with a carefully scripted use of "percentage". :shades:
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,634
    Edit] This is good timing. Check out this cry for help over in Edmunds Answers. A 2005 Ford Five Hundred throwing P0442. Place your bets.

    I bet a properlly trained and equipped technician taking a disciplined approach to this repair event would prove exactly what the failure is, the first time so long as nobody disturbs the cars present condition.

    The correct approach is to connect the scan tool and command the onboard test to run in the bays and confirm that a leak is present. Then, command the vent valve closed, and the purge vlave open to start pulling a vacuum on the system. Then try to tighten the cap, if you make a difference in the leak, it was loose and you have legitimate proof. If that made no difference, then you clamp the filler neck hose off and see if the leak is still there or not. Then you clamp off the vent valve hose and see if the leak is still there or not. You would continue to isolate different parts of the system until the exact location of the leak is proven and repaired. Then you repeat the onboard test to prove that the problem has been correctly addressed.

    It isn't wrong, to do the job correctly.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    I know exactly what I said

    But, did you say what you meant :blush: ?

    You really have no idea how many code P0442 problems are solved by a simple gas cap replacement, do you? Of course you can't, because you have no idea how many of those vehicles never made it to your (or any other) shop.

    I'll stick with my 90% number.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,935
    I bet a properlly trained and equipped technician taking a disciplined approach to this repair event would prove exactly what the failure is, the first time so long as nobody disturbs the cars present condition.

    Getting down to nuts and bolts, how much are we talking here? $60? $120?

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    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,673
    It isn't wrong, to do the job correctly.

    Absolutely not. And I applaud your OCD habits. I'd be happy to let you work on my cars.

    Its just that my easier and quicker approach works for me so often that I have no reason to do otherwise.

    As you've pointed out in so many posts, it seems that cars come to you AFTER other avenues have failed. So I'd also suggest that your real-world personal experience is skewed toward the more difficult cases.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,634
    edited December 2012
    I know how many that I see that have both had the gas cap attempt, and those that have not prior to their visit.

    If there was any truth to your claim, then I would be seeing 90% of the cars that did not have the gas cap touched leaking at the cap and then I'd get to prove it by the repair routine. The problem is the real numbers just don't line up with your assertion. It does happen that a loose gas cap makes it in the door, and that's about one out of thirty repair events where the cap hasn't been touched that it really is loose. Bad caps (we have emissions testing) are far less frequent.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,634
    Do you yahoo? It might be time to try something else..... :shades:

    http://autos.yahoo.com/news/what-that-dreaded--check-engine--repair-will-cost-yo- u-011350043.html?page=1

    Make sure you have time to read some of the comments.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,967
    Where's he getting his repair cost estimates? You can't even get an Audi in the front door for $95, much less have someone open the hood.

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  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,634
    The estimates are from CarMD. That's part of how they advertise their toy tool. They get peope to write "articles" and throw numbers around with no real explanation of how they were arrived at, nor provide any real correlation to another consumers vehicle issue.

    Then they turn around and do everything they can to try and promote their tool as a savings device when it really can't do any more for the consumer than take the same blind guesses similar to the gas cap debate that we just went through.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,967
    Well you know how anecdotal evidence works---when the person guesses right, he brags about it and gets a reputation as a problem solver---when he guesses wrong, nobody's counting the "misses", only the hits.

    Fact is, if you're right 50% of the time, that's the same as coin-flipping!

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  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,634
    edited December 2012
    Well you know how anecdotal evidence works---when the person guesses right, he brags about it and gets a reputation as a problem solver---when he guesses wrong, nobody's counting the "misses", only the hits.


    Well if that doesn't sum up the battle that we are fighting, nothing does. Time and again we have to deal with the results of a lucky guess that cannot be duplicated, nor relied on when a customers time and money is really at stake. We have to take a professional approach each and every time, no matter how much we are pressured to do otherwise. When we give into the pressure that rewards the guesses, we quickly lose and then look like we don't know how to do our jobs, (justifiably). When we insist on doing the job correctly from start to finish we get treated like we are rip-offs while someone else who allegedly guesses correctly is a god compared to us.

    That all get's summed up in these two lines.

    We cannot be wrong both ways.

    (There has to be a correct routine and its professional application is the one that I support.)

    AND

    It is't wrong to do the job correctly.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,972
    09 Escape is suddenly hard to start and when it does, it turns over slowly.
    Tried it out, remote works fine.
    Turn key to start, nothing for a couple of seconds, then turns over slow and starts.
    I shut off climate and radio.
    Took a 1/2 mile drive to my mother's to drop something off.
    Got back in to drive home and it started a bit easier.
    Taking it to work tomorrow and bringing my jump box.
    I'm thinking battery.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,972
    Took the Escape to work today and it had a tough time starting when I first started it this morning and again after I started it after putting some gas in it a few minutes later.
    Went to the dealer around 11 am to buy a new battery and it was still reluctant to start.
    After the 15 minute ride to the Ford dealer to buy a new battery, it started right up when I left to go back to work.
    After work, it started right up and after stopping at a store on the way home, it started right away again.
    After letting it sit in the garage for an hour, it was hard to start, so I replaced the battery with the new one, and drove it according to the battery replacement procedure in the owner's manual.
    Parking it outside tonight and should know if the issue is the battery tomorrow morning.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,967
    If this occurs again in the next few days, you'll probably have to check for a parasitic drain and for a weak alternator.

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  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,972
    It started fine this morning, but I'll have to keep my eye on it.
    Hopefully, the battery is it.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,634
    Another shop towed a car to me that they have been trying to get to start. It wa cranking fine, and occasionally when first cranked it sounded lie it was going to start, and then simply stayed only cranking.

    Testing showed that it was losing spark.
    The codes that they said the car was setting were P0340, and P0011. Both have camshaft to crankshaft timing implications. The cam and crank sensors themselves were replaced during the past year and had for a while resolved a hard starting issue. When the car came back with the same codes, the sensors were replaced again but this time it didn't fix the car.

    The reason that didn't fix the car is because the timing chain has jumped and the sensors are reporting the timing of those components for exactly where they are, out of sync.

    This owners driving habits, combined with his oil change history have caused this engine to sludge up, and that starved the timing chain for lubrication and it has stretched. The car loses spark because the PCM is seeing the cam and crank "out of time" and it's trying to prevent further engine damage. Now it needs torn down to identify just how bad the damage is, and it may need to be replaced. He's obviously upset at this expense and can't understand why his engine has failed. Afterall he did what he was told by "experts" and he stopped changing his oil every 3000 miles. The problem is his habits should have had him changing his oil in the 3000 mile range, and he still needed a much better product than one that only met API and ILSAC.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,935
    Did you pull the valve covers or the pan to look for sludge? Or both?

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  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,634
    I have only diagnosed the failure, and used my borescope to look inside the valve cover. It's cleary sludged up and after talking to the owner he's admitted to about six oil changes in the time he has owned the car.

    That's neglect, and the failure is a direct result of that.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,935
    I've been wanting one of those for years for peering into wall cavities and the like. The consumer ones have gotten pretty cheap.

    Back in the Toyota gel days, Toyota tried to blame the owners for not changing their oil, although many swore they did exactly what the manual required. Last I heard, Toyota redid a bunch of oil passages in the engine. My memory is foggy but seems like there was something about the overall design that starved oil to the upper part of the engine during a cold start.

    Some cars do seem to be more affected by sludge than others.

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  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,528
    > foggy but seems like there was something about the overall design that starved oil to the upper part of the engine during a cold start.

    IIRC, they also changed the PCV system to be more effective along with changes in the oil flow to or from the heads. There were hot spots in the heads.

    >Toyota tried to blame the owners for not changing their oil, although many swore they did exactly what the manual required.

    If the car company says to follow the oil service indicator system for oil changes, then is a customer at fault for following it? IIRC, toyota ended up honoring repair/replacement costs for oil sludge gel problems if the customer had changed once per year as indicated in their manual.

    Another factor is the quality of the oil used. It was my suspicion that because several of the toyota sludge victims had the oil changed at the dealer, that the dealer was using bulk oil that not the correct quality as required by toyota's standards for oil.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,634
    Another factor is the quality of the oil used. It was my suspicion that because several of the toyota sludge victims had the oil changed at the dealer, that the dealer was using bulk oil that not the correct quality as required by toyota's standards for oil

    The API and ILSAC ratings do not meet the needs of most of the engines built since 2004. That's why manufacturers have reponded with their own specifications, such as GM's dexos1 specification. Toyota took it on the chin because the oils being used didn't meet the engines needs. They easily could have voided the warranties but chose to take care of the customers instead.

    Toyota did in fact revise the PCV system which resulted in lower flow, and that in turn allowed condensation of the blow-by gasses under cold operating conditions. That condensation results in crankcase acid production which attacks and breaks down the oil as soon as the oils ability to control the crankcase acids fails. That causes the gelling, or sludge.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,935
    I'm still not convinced; can't imagine GM has better tribologists than the API or Exxon/Mobile. Dexos1 certification still smells mostly of marketing to me, like Top Tier gas.

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    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,673
    what's the make, model, and mileage?

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,967
    How did you determine a slipped timing chain, for certain?

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  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,634
    I'm still not convinced; can't imagine GM has better tribologists than the API or Exxon/Mobile. Dexos1 certification still smells mostly of marketing to me, like Top Tier gas

    And here is where the consumer has the biggest problem. Exactly what are you basing your perception on? Have you been to formal training with regards to the subject? How many engine repairs have you performed throughout your life? Have you demonstrated to the consumer that you have training and experience through something even as minimal of a standard as ASE certiification? (Which BTW this requires training well beyond that standard)

    Maybe I should word those questions another way. Aren't you really just parroting what someone else has said who claimed to have knowledge about the subject, who may easliy have just been parroting someone else, who themselves really at the least had no formal training, or heaven forbid had their own personal reasons for preaching as they were?

    Oil companies have an intertest in a one size fits all standard, it's cheaper for them to produce and creates a significant return on their investment.

    Vehicle manufacturers employ people who are experts at their own area of specialization. They definately do know what their products require and publish the specifications for their products to which the oil companies can choose to meet and certify their products requirements, or not. Just meeting the API and ILSAC ratings (which are controlled by the oil companies) does not guarantee that an oil will meet ALL of the requirements for any given engine.

    There are companies who make products that they certify to meet a manufacturers specifications. They also sell products that only meet the API and ILSAC ratings and correctly identify those as doing so. Why is this so difficult to understand?

    A statement like "Meets the warranty requirements for engine protection of GM4718M" means that the oil meets some of the requirements but fails to meet the full specification. If an oil fails to meet the full specification, then it's the wrong oil for the car you are trying to put it into.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,935
    edited December 2012
    Neither work in a vacuum and the engineers at GM talk to the oil guys, just like they talk to the tire guys and all their other suppliers. The car engineers hopefully aren't pulling stuff out of thin air but are relying on these people who have expertise in their niches.

    I just trust the certifications set by the oil guys more than the guys at GM. They work with most all the engine manufacturers and should know stuff that individual manufacturers may not. I don't want to see Honda oil or GM oil or Toyota oil on the shelf as my only option (especially since often that stuff is a mainline product with another label slapped on top of it, and they charge a lot for the label).

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  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,634
    I just trust the certifications set by the oil guys more than the guys at GM. They work with most all the engine manufacturers and should know stuff that individual manufacturers may not

    ACEA. In a word that's why you need to pay more attention to the manufacturers than the oil guys. The manufacturers in Europe (which includes GM, Ford, Toyota, and Honda as well as the major Euro's) long ago realized the only way to ensure that their customers got products that met their vehicle's needs was to have their own standards.

    A 5W30 that meets ACEA A1/B1 is a product that vastly exceeds anything that only meets API and ILSAC, but isn't a long life oil.ACEA A5/B5 is a long life oil. Meanwhile a 5W30 that meets ACEA A3/B3 A3/B4 is a "thicker" oil that meets the European manufacturers requirements, an A1/B1 A5/B5 is too thin for them.

    I don't want to see Honda oil or GM oil or Toyota oil on the shelf as my only option

    You may not want to see that, but the system that we have had in place has forced this to occur, and it started way back in 98 with BMW.

    Ford was the first North American company to have specific specifications that exceeded API and ILSAC, and they were follwed quickly by GM, and that was back in 2004. So not only are you still wishing for the past, your some eight years behind on the simple subject of engine oil, which if we refer back to some of the articles right here in Edmunds that are not correctly informing the consumer about today's vehicle requirements.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,935
    edited December 2012
    Another reason why I don't own a Bimmer. :P

    Consumers do pay attention to this stuff and that's one reason why oil change intervals have been extended. We don't want to go to the dealer every three months and we don't want to have to buy branded oil or coolant or whatever. Not to mention that the FTC frowns on tie-in sales, so the manufacturers have to be careful that consumers aren't too limited in their choices.

    Most of what we drive are appliances and we don't expect to have to treat them like aircraft or Formula One cars. Nor do we want to.

    And what was the sludged car?

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  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,634
    Consumers do pay attention to this stuff and that's one reason why oil change intervals have been extended

    Yea, the oil change interval thing is all about a consumers preferance and it has nothing at all to do with catalyst lifespan, and 35mpg cafe ratings....tic.

    We don't want to go to the dealer every three months and we don't want to have to buy branded oil or coolant or whatever

    That's easy, don't buy a car and you won't ever have to deal with any of those concerns.

    Not to mention that the FTC frowns on tie-in sales, so the manufacturers have to be careful that consumers aren't too limited in their choices

    That's why Toyota didn't force their owners to have to use an oil that exceeded the API and ILSAC ratings, and do you see what they got for doing that? The problem was never with them or their engines, it was the oil not meeting the engines requirements.

    Most of what we drive are appliances and we don't expect to have to treat them like aircraft or Formula One cars. Nor do we want to

    Well that's where the automobile is headed. They aren't going to get 50mpg and still have safe relable cars without significant jumps in technology. Car's were never an appliance and it didn't do any consumers right by pretending that they are. Car's are machines, and machines need regular service.
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