I see Murphy is practising law again

kaliningJanuary 29, 2008

It is now 37 below with a 51 below wind chill. Wife phones and says battery light is on. I'm 60 miles from her ( so ).

I tell her the alternator is bagged. You have about half to 3/4 of an hour to get it to " mom's place ". Do not turn on your lights, run on the driving lights and put the heater on just enough to keep the windows clear. When the battery gets below 8 volts the fuel pump and the ignition says " by - by ". this is fine with her. She then phones back and says she has the engine running but can't turn the steering wheel. Well the belt blew off. Thanks for telling me this on your first call. My brother

picks her up and takes her to mom's. She leaves the car.

She works for the " general " so they will bring it into the shop tomorrow. She then phones me back and says she heard a loud bang, snap sound, and a " flap, flap, flap

sound when she first started the car. Why didn't she say that in the first place ? My point being and i know all

you good techs and John know what i'm talking about. I can't get proper info over the phone from my wife, which

has been with car guys most of her life and you poor guys

are tring to fix cars over the net with clueless nut cases

that have no idea of how a car works. What is the point ?

Let me clarify that. 25 percent are us. We fix cars for a living. 25 percent know what they are doing but don't have the tools. 25 percent have some idea but need some help

with just figuring out how a car works. The other 25 percent go to this site and think they can get a free fix

for free and all they need is a screw driver. Sorry for that. Nut case was a bad word. I take that back, to a point. My original point was i can't get proper info and

all info over the phone from my wife's car problem and you guys are tring to fix cars over the net ? I can tell you how to check a H.O.T. and do a probe to ground and by pass

the B+ and get the power supply to fire up but if you have no idea of what i'm talking about,what's the point. we've

had over 1 month of this weather so i guess i'm just getting a little fed up. Just my in put. Please disregaurd

this post if i offended anyone. Nut case was not the best

choice of words.

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I think most people are just trying to find out what to expect when they have a problem. Or are looking for some kind of outside confirmation to how the shop they're taking their vehicle to is addressing a problem. As you say, most don't have a clue how their car works, and don't like being at the mercy of a stranger who's charging them $100 per hour plus parts.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 8:18AM
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Ewwww,, Loud bang, snap, then flap, flap flap when starting the car.... Is the neighbors cat missing????

As sad as that sounds, it actually is not all that uncommon of a "diagnosis". Of course it could be just a straight mechanical problem, locked up accessory pulley, bad belt etc. But many times it is the result of an innocent animal climbing up to "something warm" and going to sleep.

For the most part what Kalinin is saying is unfortunately way too accurate. At least 50% of our phone calls today are not about someone wanting to bring a car in for repair, they are solely about taking the knowledge of the technician while saving themselves every penney they can. Again, THAT'S AT LEAST 50% OF THE CALLS. Strange as it may seem, for me half of those calls anymore are other shops that have suddenly found the 2004 (or newer) car they have in their stall does not communicate to their scan tool. Or there is no information in their repair information system. I do make it a point to assist other shops, they will likely be my client some day provided they don't abuse what I will share. Some shops I have cut off from that help and they can either step up and make the investment to get up to speed, or fail. Their choice.

Saturday I had one appointment. An inspection. The vehicle had a severe gouge in the sidewall of the RF tire. That would be a "It just blew out without a warning" if left unnoticed. The RR tire just passed at 3/32, the RF inner tie rod was worn plus various lamps were inoperative/broken. All of this was about a $600 repair, and the car would give normal service to it's owner through-out the year barring any suprises. The vehicle's owner's father called me and started trying to wheel and deal on the price say "his mechanic" would do the repair for much less than the estimate. I only have one response to that strategy, "Let him fix it then". I'll cancel his sons appointment for this coming saturday. You see, I don't pull any punches when it comes to investing in training, and equipment necessary to be ready for whatever shows up at the door. No-one in the four state area is keeping pace with me when it comes to those two areas. While I have been keenly focusing on being the very best that I can be I have had to put pricing where it has to be in order to do that. Because of that I'll never be the cheapest, that's a tug of war I cannot win. But lets play who's the best, (at electronics/diagnostics) and who can keep pace with the dealer on the majority of the cars on the road all the way through current model year, 2008. (over 97% of the new cars on the road I have a current O.E. scan tool for)

Oh, one thing changed from a few months back. Honda heard our(my) complaint about the scan tool turning off. They released a new laptop based version, for which I was able to have my Ford IDS laptop sent out, the hard drive partitioned and installed into the same laptop. Instead of some $7000 just for Honda, I was able to take my $6000 Ford tool, and add about $3000 to it to make it also the Honda O.E. tool. One win for the little guy.......

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 8:53AM
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Neighbor's cats are all fine and accounted for. She phoned this morning and said the tech said the P.S. pump " pulled
away " and the belt flew off. WHAT ? I called the service
department back and it sounds like the P.S. pump seized
and the pulley spun off. They are replacing the pump and they had better replace the pulley. She shut the engine off immediately so hope not too much damage was done.
I know these techs, i was one for years, and they will not
do anything or check anything that is not on the work order. I've told them to check the belt and all idler
pulleys. She gets staff discount so with everything and
labour is only $210.00. So far. That's pretty good. i have
every thing here but it's no good to her 60 miles away.
Those Ford pumps were no good from the get go. The only time the pump is quiet is when the engine is off. The water line is frozen this morning so i think i'll have another good day. I have lots of fire wood and lots of
beer so it's not that bad and my car still runs. Tires are
frozen square but they go round in a few miles. I just
did her car's 30 day inspection. How do you predict a seized P.S. pump ? Murphy's law, i guess.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 12:58PM
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Yeah, Murphy comes around my place a the most inopportune times. The temperature dropped to 0 F (-17.8C) last weekend. My son decided to visit me before he goes out of the country next week. He was a little late in arriving. he explained that he had to get off the expressway at every exit to clean his windshield. The fluid pump quit working even though the tank was full of fluid. (LOL)

He has an older Ponitac with spray nozzles on the wiper arms. Yep - you guessed it - these were frozen. He said, "But I put in stuff good for 15 below." I drew a can or warm water (not hot - I didn't wish to crack the poor boy's windshield). Warmed up the nozzles and they began flowing again. I drained the washer tank and refilled with the good stuff, good to -35 F.

Murphy helped me in a way. While working in the dark, I accidently drained the tank. When I pulled the hose off the little pump, the tank proceded to drain through the pump and by the time we noticed it, it was nearly empty. That was probably needed anyway. Thank you Murphy!

Murphy usually shows up in the worst of cold weather. But this event is the only one this cold spell. Hark! Why don't I hear the furnace running?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 3:37AM
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