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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Way too many Chefs' before me there were!!

Many automotive technicians have a type of vehicle we dread repairing. It's the one that has already been diagnosed by the owner. This is evident by the numerous amounts of new parts sprinkled in the engine bay. You know it is going to be fun when you see all those new parts. But for grins add that another shops been there before you. They performed their diagnostics with assistance and input from the vehicles owner.

And now it's your turn at what appears to be a fairly simple fix. All hope fades away when you're told about what has been done by another shop and by the owner too. As more and more information is remembered by the owner, you stand there rubbing your head wondering what you've gotten yourself into. This vehicle is well-known for a myriad of problems. It came to you stinking of soot, gas and all the money someone dumped into it in hopes they could get just a few more miles. Man, I mean really!

Using diagnostic tools; one of which is experience, I proceed. I should've said no after discovering that the owner thought someone had stolen one of their tires. This being due to its color difference; should have been a red flag. Actually the rim and tire by the tailpipe had been cleaned. This vehicle ran so poorly 40% of the fuel it was supposed to burn was coming out the tailpipe instead. Oh, what other surprises lay ahead. I include a photo of the first or second KOER string of codes.



Another flag was the fact that the catalytic converters, all four of them, had been gutted.

(There are Federal Laws that prohibit this from being done....)

The engine oil was so chock-full of carbon I was surprised it hadn't seized! The front heated 02 sensors were completely covered with carbon or soot. We can be sure that the pre-cat sensors do not function just by their appearance. I really need to know how to put a time frame; an estimate; a price on diagnostic time after seeing and hearing just the above?

Let us not forget the fact I have connected a breakout box to monitor, test and diagnose PID data. And the holiday season is quickly approaching. Enough for now.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

“…and the 4runner waits patiently for snow to fall, and winter to begin again.”


Okay, I know these pictures are six-months old, but everything is winterized for the 2011-2012 season. The truck w/o snowplow was in two car shows this year. Photos of the ice/slush covered 4runner from last seasons dusting of snow and are here too. Temperatures have dropped to freezing at night for the past week, who can say when IT WILL snow next? The 4runner gets the plow attached again this weekend and takes its position backed into the carport.