• ABS light on • Traction control light on • Brake Warning light on • Codes C1248 – C1255 • No communication with electronic brake control module (EBCM) I always try to keep the diagnostic side as simple as possible: do the basics, get the codes, do the research and do it all as fast
I try to attend the Vision Hi-Tech Training & Expo every year, take some classes, browse the Expo, and meet up with some old friends. Classes range from hybrid service, scope and scanner reading, diesel and gas engine driveability, to shop management. Some of the top instructors gather at this convention and put together some of the best classes I’ve ever attended.
You’d think a service light would be the first indicator of a mass air flow (MAF) sensor problem, but there are times a problem develops with the MAF and no service light comes on. Scott “Gonzo” Weaver explains how poor idle, loss of performance, sluggish performance and even stalling are all associated with a failing MAF sensor.
It was a picture perfect day at the auto repair shop until two new jobs showed up at the same time. A nice, clean 2007 Ford F-350 4WD diesel with an ABS light on, and a really dilapidated 1997 KIA with charging system problems and no light on. You’ll never guess how these two stories end.
Being under the dash or hood of the modern car is my comfort zone, but it doesn’t hurt to get out of my comfort zone from time to time. You can take those average days in your own little comfort zone for granted and forget there is more to what makes the world go around besides the next car you’re working on. Sometimes, it might take a little nudge from an outside source to get you to realize it.
Leave it to the manufacturers to take a simple thing like heat and air conditioning and turn it into an electronic jungle of wiring, sensors and computer components. HVAC units have come a long way from when I started in the business. Not that I want to dwell on the past, but it might be a good idea to make sure we understand the basics before diving into the problem of today’s systems. I always feel that if I understand a system fully before doing any repair work, I’m more likely to get it right the first time.
These days, the demand for the expertise of a practicing doctor and a technician on the job continues to accelerate. While a technician doesn’t need a degree to repair cars, he might as well have one with the speed at which the automobile has evolved and the vast amount of knowledge that’s required to fix today’s vehicles.
Have you noticed how many automotive reality programs there are on TV these days? I take the time to sit down and take in a few of them here and there. But from my side of the wrench, I have a completely different perspective when watching them.
On one of many slow days at the shop, I had a small job come in from one of the local tire shops. This rather young girl brought the car to me from the tire shop that’s just a few blocks away. She told me she was the owner and that the tire shop was rude and wouldn’t help her, so I called the tire shop to find out what was the deal.
One day, one of my customers called and said he just purchased a car from the police auction, but it had some sort of strange noise coming from the driver’s-side electric seat. It seems that every time he moved it, there was a strange electrical sound. He thought there was something wrong with the seat motor. He asked me, an auto electric technician, if I would take a look at it.
I like to take full advantage of the codes the manufacturers offer. One of the ways to do that is to understand what all those letters and numbers represent that are in a diagnostic trouble code. Each of the five digits actually has a purpose and can make the job of diagnosing a vehicle’s problem much easier for import technicians if they understand the breakdown of the code’s letters and numbers.
Hardly a day goes by when I’m not changing oil in a car. It’s a simple task to perform, but, today, you must also reset the oil reminder system. The procedure varies from model to model and year to year. Sometimes, I figure that since I’m right there by the car, I might as well find the owner’s manual and look up the procedure myself. But, for some reason, not one manufacturer can come up with a method of putting the information in one convenient spot.