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#2166 of 4850 Re: Here is just one of the problems we face [thecardoc3]
Mar 30, 2013 (1:19 am)
Try and picture how it feels on my side when at 9AM this morning I'll be having a long lost customer come in for a evaporative emissions diagnostic. (It's already had the gas cap replaced, four times and no I'm not kidding). It's also had the cannister assembly replaced, the filler neck, and the cannister vent valve somewhere else.
This one tested out quite normally, it clearly had a leak, and the P0440 means its a large leak tank area on a 2000 Camry. It was a bit troublesome after that because using the smoke machine, the pressure being delivered was clearly dropping, but the smoke wasn't visible. So out comes the head phones and the ultrasonic microphone. The leak could be heard at the filler cap. Close examination of the new filler neck showed damage that looks like it was dropped at some time before it was installed. It isn't real obvious until you really study it but it is bent and the cap simply can't seal the system.
So now it goes back to the other shop to have it replaced again.
#2167 of 4850 A blast from the past. 1992 Park Avenue Misfire
Mar 30, 2013 (1:30 am)
I didn't get to fix this, the guy only wanted to know what was wrong. He only agreed to one hour of diagnostic time and while I actually went a bit over the hour we kept the price exactly as quoted which is quite common. To get the scope captures, the right hand cooling fan had to be removed for access, and specific circuits had to be identified and then the circuits measured. All told there were some twenty odd scope captures, but only the most valid ones are on the blog.
The owner had replaced the ignition module, coils, plugs and wires. In fact he had changed the module and coils several times with used parts. The trap when that happens is people often add a problem on top of the original one.
When you look at the scope captures, the red trace is the coil current through the module taken with the low amps probe. The on time, and the timing of the coil command events are erratic and that is his misfire. The rest of the diagnostic is to find out why that is occurring.
Mar 31, 2013 (1:44 am)
The last two posts so far have gotten no responses, and that made me think about these two sites. One is a lawyer's site who is a lemon law expert, the other is an ex-mechanic.
Having made an entire career repairing cars when I look at what is said on those two sites I know that there is even more to the story than just what you see on them. Back when we had to fight through problems like that 92 Buick Park Avenue misfire, and we weren't paid diagnostic time, a tech like myself could spend several hours working to find out exactly what the problem was, only to then have the customer do what that guy did and say he was going to fix it himself. Even if I had gotten to repair it back then, the repair only paid for the replacement of the computer. The time spent cleaning and tightening the ground connections wouldn't have been paid for either.
Today, not only isn't there proof that any of the labor times in the books have been created by a legitimate time study, many of the labor times are nothing less than fraud. Something that really needs to be done is a real time study for specific repairs and then get the manufacturers to explain why the times that they quote are wrong. You want consumers to have quality repairs? Help to expose and fix all of the problems that the trade faces and progress will be made towards that goal.
On a recent repair that I did, a heater core in a Mazda B3000 (Ford Ranger) a warranty company was involved and they claimed that the labor guide quoted the whole repair at 7 hours. Meanwhile Mitchell showed 7.1 hours, and was very explicit that the time did not include the recovery, evacuation and recharge of the AC. When this was pointed out the warranty company representative tried to claim that the AC didn't need to be discharged to replace the heater core. Well, since he had Alldata I made him look up the procedure and then he saw that the evaporator core under the hood did need to be removed to access the bolts that held the plenum assembly to the firewall. He tried to go from one old flat rate cut the time trick to the next. In the end I wrote the entire exchange into the statements on the work order explaining to the customer why the bill was different than what the warranty company was going to pay. The customer accepted the fact that any help paying for the repair was still help.
#2169 of 4850 Re: A couple links [thecardoc3]
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Mar 31, 2013 (4:45 am)
I wonder if the situation described by the lawyer will be any different in the Tesla situation where the factory owns the dealership and hires the techs. As noted in the flow chart, the real reason for the mess is money, money, money.
Here's my nomination for quote of the day:
"It is amazing the time and effort Chrysler went through to make sure these vehicles could not be serviced." (link)
#2170 of 4850 Re: A couple links [steve_]
Mar 31, 2013 (5:23 am)
It is amazing the time and effort Chrysler went through to make sure these vehicles could not be serviced."
Having replaced a couple of those steering racks, they aren't any more difficult than most any other. My normal routine is to connect the steering shaft, then the lines, and then you bolt the assembly to the K-frame (sub-frame) or cradle. That is not how its described to do in a service manual. His problem is that he's probably has it bolted to the K-frame already so yea, he's struggling to attach the steering lines. I might be able to look up the labor times, in fact I'll try to do that in a little bit. Off hand I expect to find that the customer pay rate for that job will be about 2.5 hours, allegedly including adjusting the toe-in angle. (That's NOT an alignment) The warranty time for the exact same job is going to be about 1.5 hours. My average time for a steering rack, without the alignment is right about 1.5 hours.
You can tell him what he needs to do to connect the steering lines, which is unbolt the rack and connect them first. Then see how reacts to the suggestion that the whole job should have taken less than two hours.
#2171 of 4850 Re: A couple links [steve_]
Mar 31, 2013 (5:25 am)
As noted in the flow chart, the real reason for the mess is money, money, money
A former NAPA ASE Tech of the year Greg M. is quoted as saying money broke this trade and its going to take money to fix it.
#2172 of 4850 Re: A couple links [thecardoc3]
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Mar 31, 2013 (5:49 am)
That is not how its described to do in a service manual.
Techs are always finding better ways of doing repairs that save them time and money. That motivation isn't there for the manufacturers - they want the parts designed for fast assembly on the line. So we're back to the money issue - how do you motivate an engineer to design for ease of repair after the sale?
#2173 of 4850 Re: A couple links [steve_]
Mar 31, 2013 (5:54 am)
I like the line that came after your quote:
"Lucky for them I love my 96 Caravan. But, I curse this design! I had to replace my steering rack on my '93 Caravan and it only tool a couple of hours. So, I do know what I am doing. Please help"
This job, repairing cars, will find ways of making anyone look like they "don't know what they are doing" all the time. It simply comes down to the number of chances someone has. I can say that no major league pitcher ever managed to strike me out, and I never made an error at shortstop. Both are true statements, but neither of them actually describe my athletic abilities. They only attest to the lack of sufficient chances. (that would be none BTW) That posters claim of knowing what he is doing would be the same as me using my two baseball statements as if I was some kind of a baseball superstar.
#2174 of 4850 Re: A couple links [steve_]
Mar 31, 2013 (5:56 am)
how do you motivate an engineer to design for ease of repair after the sale?
I can't think of any that would be seen as ethical, moral, or humane....
#2175 of 4850 Re: A couple links [thecardoc3]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Mar 31, 2013 (6:27 am)
All designs are compromises...so the engineers and the stylists and the accountants all fight it out....unfortunately, the consumer is not in the room when final decisions are made.