There are times....
Another shop called me, and asked if I could look at a Subaru for a power outlet problem. I said sure. The car is a right hand drive Subaru Legacy that the lady uses for a rural mail delivery vehicle. She needs the power outlet for operating her yellow revolving light, and a few other things on occasion as part of her job.
She showed up without an appointment, just after we had started eating our lunch. To top it off, I had pulled every car that was dropped off inside because of an incoming thunderstorm where large hail was reported. I shuffled the cars around a little bit and made enough room to get hers in to, just before the storm hit. The hail was 1/2 golf ball size!
Getting started on it I was told by the other shop there was no fuse for the power outlet. To me that made no sense, it had to be fused, something made it hard to determine what or where it was. Checking the schematic I saw that the power mirrors were operated by a fuse that also controlled a relay to "the rear power outlet" As I was looking at the schematic she kept talking to me, and told me her car does not have power mirrors. Oh well, there went one quick check. I go to the car, locate the fuse block on the passengers side, oops, I mean the RH drivers side (VBG) and start checking all fuses, they are all OK. I check underhood and they are all OK. Meanwhile she is hovering over me like a worried mother, the "do this, and you can do that's" clearly made me feel like she didn't think I could test a fuse let alone figure her car out. Checking the fuse cover, I saw that there was a fuse for "cigar" listed, and the fuse block was empty at that spot. Now remember she said she didn't have power mirrors? Well she does have power mirrors, sure enough I put a fuse into the holder and then check the mirrors and they worked. But still no power to the power outlet. The next step has me needing to make a diagnostic decision, either pull the power outlet out far enough to test for power there, or go to the relay that controls it. The problem is, I have no way of knowing exactly where that relay is, my information is decidedly for a LH drive car, and I cannot be positive about how many things are the same with a RH. My service information showed the relay in the RH kick panel. Pulling it back I found the original fuse, checked it it was OK, so I put her fuse back in and kept mine.
Now the relay turns on and off with the key. So I very carefully turn the key on and off several times and listen for the relay. Silence is all I hear, it's not tripping, or at the least it's not loud enough to hear if it is. But thats enough of a reason for me to go after it for my next step.
Then she says, what did you do to my radio? The lights were on in my radio, and now that you messed around under there they went out?
I hope I looked as disgusted as I felt, I reached up to the key and turned it on, and the lights came back on. I then proceeded to collect my tools and laptop, pulled her car outside, gave her the keys and sent her away. I was within 10 minutes of finishing the diagnostics. The dealer is some fourty miles away, she can take a day off work and drive there if she wants this fixed.