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#648 of 2788 Re: It isn't wrong to do the job right! [thecardoc3]
by steve_ HOST
Dec 11, 2012 (7:49 am)
The moment someone touches the cap once the light has come on, the only thing that they really accomplish is make it impossible to prove if the cap's being loose caused the light to be on. To a technician it ends up being an intermittent failure condition and you can only assume the cap must have been loose, you don't actually know for certain if it was or was not.
Heaven forbid if I need to get to your shop and I'm two hours away and my fuel light just came on too.
The Escape recall was interesting to me because the only other reflash fixes I remember had to do with driveability issues, like shift points. Being able to reduce the risk of an engine fire with software is a pretty good trick and illustrates how the new cars aren't your father's Oldsmobile.
#649 of 2788 Re: Chevrolet Cobalt, large evaporative system leak [thecardoc3]
Dec 11, 2012 (8:23 am)
Our diagnostic/electrical labor rate is $115/hr. People often gasp at that
Hell, that's cheap compared to a BMW dealer.
I didn't get to answer your question originally, but I did just go through this on my volvo. Its a '98 and I've already had extensive experience with another '98 some years ago. Code was the massive evap leak. First thing I did was go to the dealer and buy a gas cap because, in my experience with this car, it is what was stated above: the most common issue.
Cleared the code and drove for about 5 days before it came back. There are 2 more common things on this car. One being the purge valve and the other being clogged vent. Before testing the valve, I decided to get underneath and inspect the vent. No clog. But then I inspected the canister and after removing some brackets in the way, I found a split air line. Removed, trimmed, reinstalled, and cleared the code again. So far so good, but I'll want to see a couple of weeks without a light before I feel I've solved it.
Now, I know you aren't happy with my process. Should I have jacked up the car and gone through the whole troubleshooting first? Maybe some people should. But if $24 for the gas cap saved me the 30 mins I spent on fix #2, it would have been worth it to me. And, certainly, $24 total spend is a helluva lot less than a professional shop diagnostic fee. And, no, I'm not returning the cap because I know it to be such a common failure point that I might as well keep this one and know I'm good for about 4-5 years.
#650 of 2788 Re: Chevrolet Cobalt, large evaporative system leak [thecardoc3]
Dec 11, 2012 (11:05 am)
he was out the door with the car working correctly for about $185.
That's a great deal for him. Plus, he's a happy customer that will be back (but only when another problem comes up that stumps him). If I could have found a local mechanic that could solve my '96 Outback's issues a decade ago, I would have stumbled over myself trying to get to that place! As it was, I spent around that same $400 for no resolution at all.
Also, thanks for sharing more information on the process - it's very interesting stuff and clearly illustrates the investment required (time, tools, and education/training).
#651 of 2788 Re: Chevrolet Cobalt, large evaporative system leak [qbrozen]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Dec 11, 2012 (11:10 am)
Where I live common labor rates are at $140/hr now. I'm fine with that, if they are efficient AND correct.
#652 of 2788 Re: Chevrolet Cobalt, large evaporative system leak [thecardoc3]
Dec 11, 2012 (11:50 am)
...to actually repair the wiring harness damage that I found ...
So, what caused the damage to the wiring harness?
And didn't you tell us about another problem (SUV liftgate?), that people were throwing BCMs at and that turned out to be a wiring harness issue?
#653 of 2788 Re: Chevrolet Cobalt, large evaporative system leak [qbrozen]
Dec 11, 2012 (3:39 pm)
Cleared the code and drove for about 5 days before it came back
Now, I know you aren't happy with my process. Should I have jacked up the car and gone through the whole troubleshooting first? Maybe some people should
If there is something that I'm not happy about it's the fact that there are those who keep claiming that all someone has to do is tighten or replace a fuel cap for an evbap issue when what you have here is the reality, the caps rarely fix the evaporative system problems. .
#654 of 2788 Re: Chevrolet Cobalt, large evaporative system leak [thecardoc3]
Dec 11, 2012 (4:02 pm)
As we talk about the complexity of modern cars and all these systems they have, I still can't help but appreciate how "clean" cars operate today. Last night, I used my plow truck ('76 F250) for about an hour clearing mine and my neighbors' driveways along with our cul-de-sac. I had my coat, boots, gloves, and hat donned at the time.
This morning, when I put on my coat to go to work, it still smelled like "old truck." You know, that mixed fume smell that only an old vehicle can create.
#655 of 2788 Re: Chevrolet Cobalt, large evaporative system leak [thecardoc3]
Dec 11, 2012 (4:13 pm)
the caps rarely fix the evaporative system problems
I can't speak for all makes models. I only know what I know, which is a cap solved exactly the same code on my last '98 S70, as well as the same code for dozens of other owners.
I would never claim that to be the fix for any other make/model unless I knew it to be a common problem for that car.
#656 of 2788 Re: Chevrolet Cobalt, large evaporative system leak [qbrozen]
Dec 11, 2012 (5:18 pm)
The cap has been the problem on my leSabre 3 times over 8 or more years. Each time cleaning the o-ring and the mating surface, lubing same, and reinstalling then waiting for the car to have the requisite conditions to run the check for leaks showed the problem had been solved.
#657 of 2788 Re: Chevrolet Cobalt, large evaporative system leak [thecardoc3]
by steve_ HOST
Dec 11, 2012 (5:54 pm)
Even if the cap is the problem in only 1% of the cases, with 300 million cars on the road, that's still pushing two million cars (even after throwing out ~100 million older ones that may not be OBDII cars - like Xwes's lol).