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A Mechanic's Life - Tales From Under the Hood

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Comments

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,286


    Demeaning? Nobody deserves that title as much as you do.

    Someone had to step up and start putting a stop to the kinds of abuse that people who choose this career have had to deal with. You obviously aren't ready to walk away from that and want to keep bullying, no different than the very first post I ever noted from you some seven plus years ago.

    Bullying? For pointing out that some shops/techs have made inexplicably boneheaded mistakes? As usual, the term is being thrown around to label someone who expresses an opinion you don't want to hear.For your information, last year two shops I use DID make mistakes- but they were quickly rectified when I politely brought them to their attention. Further, I still continue to patronize AND recommend both shops.

    "Step up" all you want, but I will continue to call out shops and techs who have no business working on a tricycle-never mind a modern vehicle-whether they have opposable thumbs or not. Defending incompetent and/or lazy techs does nothing to improve the reputation of your profession.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,117


    You obviously aren't ready to walk away from that and want to keep bullying, no different than the very first post I ever noted from you some seven plus years ago.

    Bullying?
    Yeah Bullying. I'm not surprised that you aren't able to accept that is all that you are really doing.


    For pointing out that some shops/techs have made inexplicably boneheaded mistakes? As usual, the term is being thrown around to label someone who expresses an opinion you don't want to hear.For your information, last year two shops I use DID make mistakes- but they were quickly rectified when I politely brought them to their attention. Further, I still continue to patronize AND recommend both shops.

    Let's start with your word "inexplicably". You're so smart but you can't understand how well trained and intelligent people can still make simple mistakes. What's worse is instead of making it a learning experience you can only see fit to have it result in a chance to be insulting and demeaning. That's bullying plain and simple and you deserve no less than to have someone give it right back to you.

    When the abusers like you finally go away and we get to help the younger techs learn from the mistakes that they are going to make, then maybe we will get to keep them in the trade long enough to learn to be good at it. That will get you and every other consumer a better chance to have qualified techs who make fewer mistakes servicing their cars. It won't happen as long as there are people like you who continue to try and make the career not worth the effort it demands.


    "Step up" all you want, but I will continue to call out shops and techs who have no business working on a tricycle-never mind a modern vehicle-whether they have opposable thumbs or not. Defending incompetent and/or lazy techs does nothing to improve the reputation of your profession.

    More of the same BS. You want to pat yourself on the on back with a few obscure posts about doing some basic maintenance on a car that allegedly resulted in an improvement, you are free to do that. But don't try and suggest that reflects even the slightest talent towards the work because in a real shop you would quickly be the incompetent hack in someone else's story that the shop would have to be apologizing for. Then you would have to hope you would have someone who could explain to you what happened and why so that you could learn from it and grow.

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 124,821
    While its ok to have a difference of opinion, we do need to remember to keep things civil. If you can't, we mods will step in.

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and let us know! Post a pic of your new purchase or lease!


    MODERATOR

    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6R / 2014 MINI Countryman S ALL4

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,286
    If relating stories of inept maintenance and repair attempts makes me an abusive bully I will wear the title with pride. Of course I do realize that this whole exchange could have been avoided had I simply taken my car to a “professional” and paid 2-3 times what I actually spent in order to achieve the same result.
    If I found myself constantly complaining about how terrible it is to be a member of my chosen profession I would simply have to find another line of work. Life is too short. 

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,117
    edited January 20

    I would simply have to find another line of work. Life is too short.

    And that's one of the reasons why its difficult to find great technicians, far too many quit. I'll never get you to understand, but maybe others will. You dont solve any of the problems doing what you do, you only make them worse.
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 817
    edited January 20


    If I found myself constantly complaining about how terrible it is to be a member of my chosen profession I would simply have to find another line of work. Life is too short. 

    I have worked in science and IT. The environments I have worked in and managers that I have reported to have been about a 50/50 split of toxic versus decent. The odds are so bad in business today between all of these factors, toxic management, toxic customers, and to your points, being surrounded by buffoons. Unfortunately, in our current environment there is no other "line of work." If one does not join the park service and hang out at the river doing environmental studies, then chances are they are dealing with a whole lot of negatives at work. Since this is our reality, the only thing one can do is what Doc is doing, educating and fighting it with words.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,117
    One of the young guns that we are helping grow.

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,286
    edited January 20
    guitarzan said:

    Unfortunately, in our current environment there is no other "line of work." If one does not join the park service and hang out at the river doing environmental studies, then chances are they are dealing with a whole lot of negatives at work. Since this is our reality, the only thing one can do is what Doc is doing, educating and fighting it with words.

    I've been very fortunate; since 1986 I've never been in a job I truly hated. I spent 32 years in the legal profession and then retired. I next spent a bit of time in the car business(a LOT of fun, but I hated working weekends and holidays). I ended up being coerced back into the legal field, where at least-in my current position, anyway-the buffoons are(mostly) on the other side.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,286
    edited January 20
    Profiles in tech education; no comment necessary.

    1. This week the owner of a well-regarded indie BMW shop posted this picture on his local chapter's FB page:

    And this wasn't the only unforced error, the large o-ring that seals the cap/canister was also improperly installed with the result that the cap was barely hand-tight.

    The only surprise was the lack of Channellock gouges on the cap. A cautionary tale for anyone tempted to take their car to Billy Bob's Hi-Teck Auto Repair.

    2. A member of my local chapter advised that his new car's low coolant light illuminates every six weeks like clockwork, so he brought it to the dealer(not my old store, BTW). According to the tech, the coolant loss is due to the owner using the car's heater a lot. Not to worry, the tech refilled the expansion tank- after unscrewing the cap and allowing hot coolant to spray all over the engine compartment.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,117
    guitarzan said:


    I have worked in science and IT. The environments I have worked in and managers that I have reported to have been about a 50/50 split of toxic versus decent. The odds are so bad in business today between all of these factors, toxic management, toxic customers, SNIP Since this is our reality, the only thing one can do is what Doc is doing, educating and fighting it with words.

    And not until that toxic enviroment is muted will we ever see fewer incidents like the photo's above.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Pride in your work is a very individual thing, and I suspect instilled in an individual at a very early age. If I had used channel locks on a nut, my Dad would have knocked my head off.

    I can't do a lot on modern cars, because I don't know enough. But what I can do, I do well.

    Doc, why don't you fly out here and help me fix the air bag light on my Mini Cooper? We're having a devil of a time with it--part of the problem being that some long time ago, some monkeys got into the wiring and by-passed various connectors. The scanner gives a code for side air bag. I'd hate to have to tear into the seat as a last resort.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,117
    I don't have to fly out there to help. I can easily figure out a routine for you and the shop to follow. BTW, it's important to point out that I've never worked on the airbag system on any Mini. But then that's the point towards all of the discussion, being able to deal with something first hand that you have never seen before is the true measure of one's talents/skill. It takes no knowledge/skill/talent at all to repost a picture/story referencing something that someone else encountered and worked through.

    What code is setting? Model/Year? Since you referenced a particular device, one of the side air bags, the first thing I would do is force the opposite code and see if the module recognizes the change in the circuit. This is a routine that I created, use and teach.

    That first step does several things. It first proves that you haven't misidentified the code. There are lots of reasons that can happen not the least of which can be mistakes in service information. It also allows you to test the module and the harness up to the test point that you choose without doing a lot of extra work.

    So, when you try to force the opposite code what can happen is:

    You get a code for a completely different circuit/component. That means of course the one that actually has the issue isn't the one you accessed.

    You succeed in forcing the opposite code. That means everything is fine from that point back towards and including the module. Choose another point to repeat the test moving away from the module towards the airbag.

    The module still sets the same code. That means the problem is towards the module from the point that you chose to do your first test.





  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Hmmmm.....clever...let me ponder this for a moment....

    So how do you force an opposite code. This is a 2003 Mini Cooper S. You may recall that the first code was for driver's side pre-tensioner. I took a working one out of another car and that just caused a new code--driver's side air bag. I have heard of one code blocking another.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,117

    Hmmmm.....clever...let me ponder this for a moment....

    So how do you force an opposite code. This is a 2003 Mini Cooper S. You may recall that the first code was for driver's side pre-tensioner. I took a working one out of another car and that just caused a new code--driver's side air bag. I have heard of one code blocking another.

    One code blocking another occurs in other systems such as the OBDII controls, that doesn't apply to airbag systems. They treat each key cycle as it's own event.

    Now let's break down the details, first what code exactly is setting right now, give me both the number and the description that you have.

    If the code description is high resistance or open, then disconnect the wiring to the airbag anyway that you have to and jumper the module side of the harness, shorting it. Cycle the key off and back to on. If the module now shows that the circuiit is shorted, then that confirms everything is fine with the module and harness to that point. Restore the circuit and move towards the airbag.

    If the code description is that the airbag circuit has low resistance/shorted. Simply open the circuit any way that you have to, cycle the key and see if the module now displays an open circuit code.

    You can clear codes at will as you try each step too, that can help with keeping the strategy in focus.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    OK. I'll get back to you later on this. Not going to mess with it today. I'm a bit burned out on it. Thanks.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,286
    edited January 22

    OK. I'll get back to you later on this. Not going to mess with it today. I'm a bit burned out on it. Thanks.

    The internet is a wonderful thing; back in the early to mid '90s I was the east coast tech advisor for the M Register(owners of the gray market and US spec E24 M6 as well as the E28 and E34 M5). All communication was either by USPS or phone- I spent a few evenings on a land line talking guys through various service and repair procedures, usually by standing by my own M6 for reference(I really miss that car; the S38 engine sounded glorious- especially after the catalytic converter accidentally fell off in the garage and was replaced with a Jet-Hot coated track pipe. B) )

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Finally fixed that damned Mini airbag light. The problem was a totally random and intermittent signal from one of the sensor wires under the seat. So ripped the seat out (again) and started tracing and.....there it was...a fraying wiring. So cut that out, spliced in a new piece, and we're good (so far). This was made more difficult by someone many years ago who changed some of the wiring under there, and obviously routed things incorrectly.
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 124,821

    Finally fixed that damned Mini airbag light. The problem was a totally random and intermittent signal from one of the sensor wires under the seat. So ripped the seat out (again) and started tracing and.....there it was...a fraying wiring. So cut that out, spliced in a new piece, and we're good (so far). This was made more difficult by someone many years ago who changed some of the wiring under there, and obviously routed things incorrectly.

    Congrats on your patience and perserverence on this.

    Will it be going back onto the market?

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and let us know! Post a pic of your new purchase or lease!


    MODERATOR

    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6R / 2014 MINI Countryman S ALL4

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Yep, got it on craigslist. What happened is that someone in the distant past changed the wiring and didn't use braided wire--more like cheap bell wire. Naturally this is brittle when flexed. The wire was broken inside the insulation, so the two ends would sometimes touch, sometimes not. Maddening.

    Just drove it around. It's a lot of fun, but I have to say the Volvo C30 is more comfortable, quiet and less jittery. When you threw the Mini into a turn you never knew exactly where it was going--LOL!.

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,117

    Finally fixed that damned Mini airbag light. The problem was a totally random and intermittent signal from one of the sensor wires under the seat. So ripped the seat out (again) and started tracing and.....there it was...a fraying wiring. So cut that out, spliced in a new piece, and we're good (so far). This was made more difficult by someone many years ago who changed some of the wiring under there, and obviously routed things incorrectly.

    Nice. So did my routine help you get a direction?

  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 11,028
    1) If you ruin your car doing things you "read or saw on the internet" who do you sue when things go wrong? Anyone ever see a video that would surely "sabotage" you?

    2) So I think I mentioned before that Pep Boys (the last time I used them to mount tires - and will be the last time) got 3 tires on correctly, but mounted one of the directional tires backwards. The tire even said "inside/backside" on it. The inside was placed on the outside, and the outside on the inside.

    3/4 is a 75% and mediocre C grade in school. However, for a paying customer, I considered this an F, unless of course they only want to be paid 75% of the bill.

    Should this have been a teachable moment, or was I right to consider them incompetent.
    '16 Audi TTS quattro 2.0T, '15 Audi A4 quattro 2.0T, '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion AWD
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,117
    What would the world be like if everything was one strike and you're out?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490

    Finally fixed that damned Mini airbag light. The problem was a totally random and intermittent signal from one of the sensor wires under the seat. So ripped the seat out (again) and started tracing and.....there it was...a fraying wiring. So cut that out, spliced in a new piece, and we're good (so far). This was made more difficult by someone many years ago who changed some of the wiring under there, and obviously routed things incorrectly.

    Nice. So did my routine help you get a direction?

    In a way it did, yes, thanks. Got me to thinking in isolated sections rather than the big picture--the latter not making too much sense.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 13,153
    Doc and/or @0patience have probably come across this in their exploits: The vehicle requires a computer system sync/process when a new battery is installed. Why is this necessary? Isn't control of the charging system just a matter of voltages and amps? I just don't quite get how *not* doing this process can put things awry, or why the manufacturer would even want to set up their vehicles for potential failure in this way.

    Also, what is a battery tender compared to a trickle charger. Someone told me that I can put a "battery tender" on the cables when changing out the battery, and this will keep me from losing the vehicle's memory settings, etc.

    Just for context, I'm starting to have reliability issues with my stock battery in the Q7, so I will probably change it out within the next few months.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,117
    edited January 24
    xwesx said:

    Doc and/or @0patience have probably come across this in their exploits: The vehicle requires a computer system sync/process when a new battery is installed. Why is this necessary

    There are functions that the car has to perform that need to be trained that don't go into non-volatile memory. Some things crank the crank sensor pick-up profile are often like that and that is important for the computer to accurately measure crankshaft accelerations in order to detect misfires. (different manufacturers have different names for that process)

    There are thousands of articles and quick guides like this one for a 2012 Toyota for retraining vehicle systems after a depower.
    http://crrtraining.com/CRR2/assets/pdfs/QT611C.pdf

  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 817

    There are functions that the car has to perform that need to be trained that don't go into non-volatile memory.

    There is no reason to not put this data into a persistent memory, or use a CMOS battery to power the memory. For goodness sake there are home alarm clocks that keep their time while the battery is changed.

    I just learned this lesson when I replaced the battery on my wife's Mazda 3. She went shopping and stalled just as she got into the lot and began idling. Seriously?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 13,153
    edited January 24
    Okay, so that leads me into the second question I had.... Also, what is a battery tender compared to a trickle charger. Someone told me that I can put a "battery tender" on the cables when changing out the battery, and this will keep me from losing the vehicle's memory settings, etc.

    The impetus for asking that question was to know whether retaining memory during the battery change would prevent me from having to do a retrain on the system after the swap.

    I'm planning on investing in a RossTech unit in the near future, but I'm not sure that my planned purchase timeline for that is going to sync up with my need to replace the battery if it keeps going downhill.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,286
    I can only speak to my experience with BMW/Mini vehicles, but the battery registration requires entering the AH rating of the battery as well as whether the battery is an AGM or not. You might look into the Carly for VAG app; my Carly for BMW app lets me register a battery in just a few minutes.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,117
    I wonder if Don Lee knows that the GM he installed in his Toyota store nixed the training group that used too be held there. The group found another venue for the classes and is still active, but none of their techs are involved anymore.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    So why was it nixed?
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,117
    xwesx said:

    Okay, so that leads me into the second question I had.... Also, what is a battery tender compared to a trickle charger. Someone told me that I can put a "battery tender" on the cables when changing out the battery, and this will keep me from losing the vehicle's memory settings, etc.

    A battery tender regulates the output voltage to the float voltage once the battery has reached full charge. If left on indefinately, it will cycle off and back on ensuring that the battery does not get overcharged. A trickle charger like any battery charger will overcharge the battery if left on too long, potentially destroying it.
    xwesx said:


    The impetus for asking that question was to know whether retaining memory during the battery change would prevent me from having to do a retrain on the system after the swap.

    A back-up battery is a better choice for this than either a tender or a trickle charger. That's not saying that they won't work but there are traps. For example if one of the doors get opened during the battery replacement, the tender won't put out enough current to support the vehicle when the interior lights come on and you will lose the memories. The trickle charger outputs more power, but it is a pulsed power like any other battery charger and sensitive electronics could be damaged by the voltage spikes that would normally be absorbed by the battery.
    xwesx said:


    I'm planning on investing in a RossTech unit in the near future, but I'm not sure that my planned purchase timeline for that is going to sync up with my need to replace the battery if it keeps going downhill.

    One of the best things about VCDS is Ross-Tech Wiki http://wiki.ross-tech.com/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

    I do need to update to the newer pass through https://store.ross-tech.com/shop/vchn/ but for now my Autel 908S Pro and my ISCAN WT2 fill in when needed.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Doc, you'll love this I think:


  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,117
    Looks like I'd make about 20.......
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 13,153
    Thanks, Doc; info much appreciated! An easy and obvious thing to slap a backup on the system while swapping out, and very simple to do on the Q7 since it has auxiliary posts in the engine bay (battery is under the driver seat).

    Weather was warmer this week, and the battery made it a full week without causing me issues. I put the charger on it this afternoon.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,117
    Saw this today, need to have this on a T-shirt.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Doc, have you ever used Identifix?
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,117
    Not in the practice of servicing vehicles. I am familiar with the service, I have taught some classes that emphasized it's use so I had to become familiar with it. But, professionally I have always had a problem with how it is usually marketed and used. If it is used as a silver bullet source, it effectively results in the user guessing what is wrong with a car and that normally results in someone throwing parts at a repair. If someone uses it to find out how to test and prove what is wrong with a car, that's fine, but with the right training and skills a good technician simply doesn't need it. The only thing that is needed is accurate service information and the tech will find his/her own way.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I have heard of some shops using it as a way to show customers that the recommended repair is legitimate and logical, and that some cars have such common faults that the Identifix list is a mile long.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,117
    edited February 1
    Taking the last half of that first it's more of a case where the reported issues are just that numerous than common. As far as using Identifix as some kind of justification as to whether a given repair is logical or not on any given vehicle that could be accurate and on the next one completely inaccurate.  I have said many times that each car needs to be diagnosed on its own, and the process not be tainted by what was wrong with some other car. Every attempt to try and draw some level of similarity is almost always done to only try to subvert the diagnostic process towards  someone elses desire, the most common of which is rooted in the cost one way or another. 
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well I could a case for using Identifix say, as an example, for putting a new engine in a car as a "solution" to an engine that is completely sludged up. If the customer says "a new engine? Why not just take the sludge out?", you could see on Identifix that few, if any, shops chose to repair the problem that way and also that your particular engine shows pages and pages of sludge problems.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    DOC--ever see THIS PROBLEM?

    His F150 4X4 won't move unless he switches off the O/D button. Weird.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,117
    I haven't seen one act like this, but if I had one come in the first thing that I need to know is which transmission? The 4R70W or the 4R100? Then is this setting any codes? If so, what are they?

    When he says that it won't work in any gear. does the engine just flare like it is neutral or does it feel like the brakes are stuck on?

    The same goes for Reverse both with the O/D button pushed and with it released.

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,117

    Well I could a case for using Identifix say, as an example, for putting a new engine in a car as a "solution" to an engine that is completely sludged up. If the customer says "a new engine? Why not just take the sludge out?", you could see on Identifix that few, if any, shops chose to repair the problem that way and also that your particular engine shows pages and pages of sludge problems.

    Going with that specific situation, that isn't the kind of information that you would find with Identifix. You would find information on specific vehicles/engines if the manufacturer relesed a TSB or had a special policy to address oil sludging and what the remedy was and if there was a mileage or age restriction to the policy but not much else.

    Typical scenarios where a shop/technician was dealing with an engine sludging failure like that might start out as an issue with variable valve timing control problem or a loss of oil pressure that they may or may not have already attempted a repair. If they did try to fix it, then maybe they then discovered that the engine had another issue so now they go looking Identifix for quick way to solve the additional problem. Or, maybe the only thing they had done so far was to start searching through Identifix looking first for TSB's and reports of similar problems in order to plan out how they might want to try to "test" or simply suggest a repair attempt.

    That's really all Identifix is, an information system that was first created by a technical assistance help line that documented every call for help and they turned it into a searchable database that could be used by a tech without calling in and talking directly to someone. It quite often gets mis-used when someone only attempts to find out what the most common reported fix is (aka Google) and then turns and suggests doing that as a first repair attempt. When going for that quick fix works, it is praised for saving the shop time and the vehicle owner money but no one stops to evaluate what does to help a technician in regards to gaining more experience using critical thinking skills and learning how to really go about testing the right way on his/her own. Identifix does have lots of information about how to test the right way, but that usually isn't used by the weaker shops/techs until they have a problem where the "known fixes" failed to solve the problem. What makes things even worse since they usually don't test the right way they quite often now find that they don't have the skills let alone the tools to do it anyway.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490

    I haven't seen one act like this, but if I had one come in the first thing that I need to know is which transmission? The 4R70W or the 4R100? Then is this setting any codes? If so, what are they?

    When he says that it won't work in any gear. does the engine just flare like it is neutral or does it feel like the brakes are stuck on?

    The same goes for Reverse both with the O/D button pushed and with it released.

    I'll try to get more info on it. I suspect you're right, there's more to the story.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,286
    @Mr_Shiftright - refresh my memory; what is the year and mileage of your Mini Cooper? My Clubman daily driver has the N12 Prince motor and at around 6,200 miles per year I'm hoping to make it to 150k- which would coincide with the end of my last term. It's perfect for my daily commute and never returns less than 35 mpg- and sometimes hits 44 mpg or better. The PO and I replaced everything that usually goes south at 100k miles(timing chain/guides, thermostat, vacuum pump, VANOS solenoids, etc.), so fingers crossed...

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    My Mini has the earlier Tritec engine, which is quite robust but rather old-fashioned. Seems like you've already intercepted the problem areas in the Prince, so I'd say you're good to go. We think alike. When I first got the Mini, I found out all the common problems and intervened before they turned ugly. So I made it to 150K + without any breakdowns. I think if I'd had my Mini from new I would have had even better luck with it.

    My advice to used car buyers is if you are not mechanically inclined, or not very particular in your car maintenance, don't ever keep a Mini past warranty.

    I have no regrets.


  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,286
    Thanks- and I agree 100% that older Minis are not for the typical driver- that knows little about cars and cuts corners on maintenance.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

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