Intermittent No Start Camry Woes

Baffling ‘irresistible situation’ involving stalling Camry results in the wielding of detective skills. I just couldn’t resist. It was just the detective in me. “Yes, I will take a look at it,” I said to a new customer when she said her car would stall but only occasionally. Why would I do such a thing? […]

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A Misfiring Mustang

Many details, when brought together, create a comprehensive picture of the issues affecting this 4.6-liter engine. The Beatles said it best when they sang “Gonna try with a little help from my friends,” and the following repair saga came to its best conclusion with help from professional techs on iATN. 2008 Ford Mustang GT 4.6L, […]

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Super Sleuth – Electrical malfunctions give this diagnostic detective learning opportunities for repair possibilities.

Early on in my youth, I began wondering why things didn’t work as intended: my bike’s chain derailleur, our lawn mower, mom and dad’s Rambler wagon. Decades later, I’ve not lost my desire to dive into diagnostic challenges, and I still have to discover exactly why something does not work as intended. Two recent electrical […]

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Motivated to Mentor

Maybe it’s time you went back to school. Not for classes but to recruit quality apprentices. Here’s why it’s good for business. In a recent conversation with one of my industry partners, an independent shop owner located two miles from our high school’s automotive program, I invited him to come to our next Business and […]

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A Tale of Two CRVs

Case studies illustrate diagnosing a vehicle’s misfire and a customer’s misfire. If your shop is like ours, Honda CRVs make an appearance weekly. Mostly for maintenance, but sometimes they need to be diagnosed. We’ve seen several lately with around 200,000 miles and still providing reliable service. CRV No. 1 Our first CRV came to us […]

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Give ’Em an Upgrade

Your customers expect authoritative advice. So check out these examples for making their cars better than new. Our customers rely on us for our wisdom and experience, and this is of upmost importance when we have a chance to make their vehicles better than new. Two recent examples illustrate opportunities that I had to improve […]

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A Hard-Start Mystery

This 26-year-old Jeep Cherokee requires a bit of investigation, but if you follow the clues you’ll reach a solution. If you’ve been working in an independent shop for a while, you’ve seen your share of Jeep Cherokees come through your door. Throngs of four-wheel-drive enthusiasts love them, and the vehicles come to us in all […]

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Cracking the Codes

In Colorado, two cars with failed (I/M) 240 tests suggest the vehicles’ owners must seek help. In Colorado – and elsewhere, I’m certain – P0442 codes can be counted on to bring cars into our service drives. But in Denver and other heavily populated, pollution-producing areas in the state, we have an additional layer of […]

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Data Driven Decisions

Armed with smartphones, Google and Amazon.com, customers are repairing their own rides. Sometimes, experience-based information systems can help diagnose a vehicle. I said sometimes because these systems can lead a technician down the wrong diagnostic path. As independent repair professionals, we have an array of information systems to choose from – OEM to aftermarket – […]

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DIYs or Bunnies?

When fuses get “smoked,” don’t go bonkers. Instead, do a deep diagnostic dig. With vehicles staying on the roads longer than ever before, we’re seeing more age-related issues with our customers’ cars. With age comes the increasing probability for human intervention in the form of aftermarket alarms, stereos and exterior lighting. A recent multi-hour, hide-and-seek […]

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Age-Related Issues – Call for Alternative Measures

More issues call for more diagnostic ‘what-ifs’ With the average age of vehicles on the road hitting an all-time high of 11.4 years, I continue to revise my path of diagnostic “what ifs?” The preponderance of age-related issues creates the need for me to consider alternative pathways to identify the root cause, especially when diagnosing […]

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Taking a Short Trip Back to the 1970s

It’s fun to revisit old friends. In a service and repair world filled with CAN/BUS systems, scan tool diagnoses, and iATN archives, I found a recent repair interesting due to its lack of these technical needs. My customer arrived with a 1971 Chevy C10 long bed pickup truck, accompanied by a concern that his dash […]

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