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Posted: 12/29/2005 9:33:09 AM EDT
What happened to the good old days of being able to slap on some sponged parts and make it run like a top?

Now everything is black box, proprietary closed system hardware computer module controlled, and the dealership is the only one who can read the codes for a nice fee of $78 to plug the dang thing in to read it.

Of course they will kindly credit you the $78 against the $2000 repair bill.

I am in the wrong damn business. I need to buy an auto dealership.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 9:37:32 AM EDT
Hate to say it but ALL service is pretty much going that direction. Remember when you used to be able to change a thermostat in a refrigerator? Now its all sensors and computer boards... WARMING OVENS now have computer boards in them!!!

I remember when service calls were 49.95 and I thought they were expensive... NOW service calls run @ $110.00 just to show up!!

Now for the good news... Service is one industry that cannot be outsourced!!
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 9:38:05 AM EDT
Depends on the car also...

Link Posted: 12/29/2005 9:51:34 AM EDT
The car in question is my 2002 Escape XLT Sport. I've been contemplating rolling it for something else. We maintain it meticulously. I took it in for brakes and what I thought might be the idle pully hesitating... nooooo.... EGR valve and the power steering.... needs a whole new rack... sweet...
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 9:52:23 AM EDT
It's worse since everything now is smaller and packed tighter. That causes unexpected secondary problems. Because electronics are getting smaller, customers have unrealistic expectations that everything should be able to be made smaller.

Here's two good examples. I have two great-nephews with 2000 Corvettes. The parts in those cars are packed tightly. It's next to impossible to even run wires for the stereo and very difficult to put a new head unit in the dash due to lack of depth. One of them had his battery leak, and the main computer in the car is just under the battery. That ruined the main computer, and I think it cost him $2k to buy a new one from a junk yard. The dealer quoted him over $4k to fix it. The other one had his heater core start leaking a couple of weeks ago. The secondary computer and fuse box is just under the heater core, and the leak ruined it. The list of parts (dashboard, airbags, seats, parts in the engine compartment, etc.) you have to remove from the car to replace the heater core is very long. A local Corvette shop has 50 hours in it as of last Friday and still hasn't finished. Even buying parts from a junk yard, he's still looking at over $5k worth of parts and labor. The car also stinks so he'll have to buy new carpet. I'm sure GM charges an arm and a leg for that. You just shouldn't put a computer under a battery that often leaks acid or under a part that can fail that contains water. It's all in the name of making products smaller.z
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 12:11:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By zoom:
I have two great-nephews with 2000 Corvettes.
One of them had his battery leak, and the main computer in the car is just under the battery.
The other one had his heater core start leaking a couple of weeks ago....



This just tells me not to buy GM or Corvettes.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 12:17:05 PM EDT
I don't know what it is either, but it seems to be in newer vehicles and not limited to brands. I had an '89 Ranger for 10 years that never needed anything brakes, tune-ups, a starter, and a clutch, and it went 200,000 miles before I traded it. I got a '97 Isuzu Hombre and it's been more in the shop in the last 6 months than the Ranger was in 10 years (1 reason being it's a lot more difficult for me to service, other being multiple electrical problems that nobody can diagnose), and I'm not saying that as a Ford vs. GM thing, I think it's just the whole mass produced, cheaper, smaller mentality, because I hear horror stories about ALL of the manufacturers.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 12:25:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By zoom:
It's worse since everything now is smaller and packed tighter. That causes unexpected secondary problems. Because electronics are getting smaller, customers have unrealistic expectations that everything should be able to be made smaller.




Tell me about it...try replacing the heater core on a Mitsubishi Diamante.

I swear, the engineers were given a heater core...and were told " Build a car around this thing".
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 12:31:52 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 12:40:12 PM EDT
it almost seems as though they're working to make cars disposable...


Link Posted: 12/29/2005 12:45:01 PM EDT
I have over 20 years experience working on all brands of cars and they have all gotten way too complicated. Why, because the consumer is brainwashed into thinking they need every litte gadjet that comes along. The majority of people are too ignorant to drive a car that doesn't think and do everything for them.

There are some things that get you way better mileage, performance, and stopping. Fuel injection, electronic ignition, and power disc brakes. But do you really need climate control, power antennae, power seats, heated seats, power windows, etc. All this stuff just complicates the car excessively.

ABS brakes and Air Bags? Learn to use your brakes and buckle your seat belt. Is it really that hard to remember to turn your lights off when you park your car? Why can't you put you put your foot on the brake when you put your automatic transmission in gear? Why do you want a lock out that gets full of Pepsi and sticks so you can't shift out of park?

Pay attention to your driving. For goodness sake, pull that cell phone out of your ear, put out that cigarette, turn down that radio so you can hear the engine blowing up.

I'm ranting again, must stop! Have a happy new year, Craig!
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 12:45:29 PM EDT
Trade the Vettes in for VIPERS.....
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 1:48:41 PM EDT
Spend a $100-$200 and by a code reader from one of the local part stores and save yourself some money. Most electronic and emission oriented problems are easy fixes , just difficult to diagnos without the right tools. Also helpful to buy the factory repair manual for your vehicle if you plan to keep it awhile. Then again if you are not mechanically inclined your screwed bigtime.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 2:05:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TequilaReseva1800:
Spend a $100-$200 and by a code reader from one of the local part stores and save yourself some money. Most electronic and emission oriented problems are easy fixes , just difficult to diagnos without the right tools. Also helpful to buy the factory repair manual for your vehicle if you plan to keep it awhile. Then again if you are not mechanically inclined your screwed bigtime.



Or even easier, stop by your local AutoZone or Advance Auto Parts. They read your codes for free. I've owned my Mustang for 5 years now, and it has never seen the inside of a dealer's garage, except for a parking brake recall, and suspension problem that was taken care of under warranty! Fuck paying the dealer 78 bucks for something that AutoZone does for free!
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 2:23:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By craigsar15:
I have over 20 years experience working on all brands of cars and they have all gotten way too complicated. Why, because the consumer is brainwashed into thinking they need every litte gadjet that comes along. The majority of people are too ignorant to drive a car that doesn't think and do everything for them.

There are some things that get you way better mileage, performance, and stopping. Fuel injection, electronic ignition, and power disc brakes. But do you really need climate control, power antennae, power seats, heated seats, power windows, etc. All this stuff just complicates the car excessively.

ABS brakes and Air Bags? Learn to use your brakes and buckle your seat belt. Is it really that hard to remember to turn your lights off when you park your car? Why can't you put you put your foot on the brake when you put your automatic transmission in gear? Why do you want a lock out that gets full of Pepsi and sticks so you can't shift out of park?

Pay attention to your driving. For goodness sake, pull that cell phone out of your ear, put out that cigarette, turn down that radio so you can hear the engine blowing up.

I'm ranting again, must stop! Have a happy new year, Craig!



Amen to that. I miss my older vehicles because of their simplicity. Due to some unusual circumstances, I had to trade in my previous truck for a model with all the power goodies, and to be honest, I hate them. I constantly find myself wishing I had my other truck.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 2:27:13 PM EDT
It is all luck, even old cars go, me with a timing belt now needs a valve and head job estimated at $2500, called the Salvation Army, took the plates off and cried like a baby after seeing my 1985 BMW originally owned drive off...bad luck
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 2:29:48 PM EDT
I really miss my 70 Chevrolet C10, 250 6-cyl with 4 speed. Tough as nails and simplest vehicle I have ever had to work on.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 2:32:37 PM EDT
You know what's most fun? Removing an engine mount to change a serpentine belt.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 2:33:03 PM EDT
I am convinced that the guys that engineer these new cars all had a wife or girlfriend that left them for a mechanic because they make it so hard to do anything on these damn cars now!!


Link Posted: 12/29/2005 2:38:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DeltaAir423:
Or even easier, stop by your local AutoZone or Advance Auto Parts. They read your codes for free. ......... Fuck paying the dealer 78 bucks for something that AutoZone does for free!


I did not know that, thanks! I use to pay the mech-a-neck to read codes and then I'd fix it myself. Now I'll save even more!
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 2:47:40 PM EDT
Dr Fridge:

Service is one industry that cannot be outsourced!!


Wanna Bet?



How long until he is conrolled by wireless internet connected to India?
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 2:54:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Boom_Stick:

Originally Posted By DeltaAir423:
Or even easier, stop by your local AutoZone or Advance Auto Parts. They read your codes for free. ......... Fuck paying the dealer 78 bucks for something that AutoZone does for free!


I did not know that, thanks! I use to pay the mech-a-neck to read codes and then I'd fix it myself. Now I'll save even more!



Yeah after having my brake incident, I had my check engine light come on and I thought "Great what the fuck is wrong now!" I made it down to my local AutoZone, plugged in the computer and got code 3306, which on their computer crossed over to a number 6 dead cylinder, wasn't running rough or any thing, but a new set of plugs and wires, and I was as good as gold.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 2:56:26 PM EDT
One more reason why old iron is king.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 3:01:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/29/2005 3:08:02 PM EDT by VoodooChile]
Not my car but the same model..mine actually has turbos, intercoolers and the plumbing that goes with it..its a real knucklebuster to work on...I'd swear I'd pour a cup of water on the motor and not a drop would touch the ground. I read my own codes. The computer in the floorboard will flash a red light and if you have a list of codes you can tell what's wrong...I guess the more recent OBDII cars can't be read at home easily?



Link Posted: 12/29/2005 3:05:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BenDover:
.... needs a whole new rack...





A new rack and pinion?!?! Thats hard to believe unless your offroading alot or it had been wrecked prior. Id get a second opinion.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 3:11:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By VoodooChile:
Not my car but the same model..mine actually has turbos, intercoolers and the plumbing that goes with it..its a real knucklebuster to work on...I'd swear I'd pour a cup of water on the motor and not a drop would touch the ground. I read my own codes. The computer in the floorboard will flash a red light and if you have a list of codes you can tell what's wrong...I guess the more recent OBDII cars can't be read at home easily?


img.villagephotos.com/p/2004-9/832380/engine_bay.jpg



Codes can be read at home pretty easily, the problem has always been scanners. Domestic scanners are now reaching the sub 100 mark for a decent one. Import ones range from 200-350 depending on country of origin. The jack of all trades, mac daddy scanner runs in the 1100 range, and it does everything (emissions, airbag, transmission, etc) from every country.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 3:17:23 PM EDT
don't want service issues? buy a lexus.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 3:32:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DeltaAir423:

Codes can be read at home pretty easily, the problem has always been scanners. Domestic scanners are now reaching the sub 100 mark for a decent one. Import ones range from 200-350 depending on country of origin. The jack of all trades, mac daddy scanner runs in the 1100 range, and it does everything (emissions, airbag, transmission, etc) from every country.




I see...sounds like something that could come in real handy
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 4:06:45 PM EDT
Work on this?! In my backyard?!
Naw. No way. Most everything important is shrouded with plastic, and impossible to get to without the right (read: proprietary) tools.

Link Posted: 12/29/2005 4:11:56 PM EDT
My '95 civic is only slightly harder to work on than a '69 Charger.

Very logically laid out, mostly easy to get to, and not stuffed with electronic do dads.

I'm sure most of that doesn't apply now.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 4:14:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ArtyZ:
Work on this?! In my backyard?!
Naw. No way. Most everything important is shrouded with plastic, and impossible to get to without the right (read: proprietary) tools.

img.photobucket.com/albums/v354/ArtyZ/Engine.jpg




Acutally, that doesn't look much more convoluted than my '95 Civic.

There aren't too many "proprietary" tools I need for most stuff, unless you get into drive axles and transaxles.

Does OBDII allow for reading codes from a blinking check engine light once the computer is properly jumpered?
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 4:15:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DrFrige:
NOW service calls run @ $110.00 just to show up!!

Now for the good news... Service is one industry that cannot be outsourced!!



Wait until ovens have IP numbers and are on the internet.

(My parents had some problems with their stove. The tech on the phone told them to unplug it and plug it back in. First time I've ever heard of rebooting a stove.)
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 4:33:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BenDover:
What happened to the good old days of being able to slap on some sponged parts and make it run like a top?

Now everything is black box, proprietary closed system hardware computer module controlled, and the dealership is the only one who can read the codes for a nice fee of $78 to plug the dang thing in to read it.

Of course they will kindly credit you the $78 against the $2000 repair bill.

I am in the wrong damn business. I need to buy an auto dealership.



Funny thing, I thought of you the other day. My wife and I are discussing different vehicles and the Escape came up in the conversation. I thought, I should ask BenDover what he thinks of his Escape today.

Bob
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 5:40:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By zoom:
The other one had his heater core start leaking a couple of weeks ago. The secondary computer and fuse box is just under the heater core, and the leak ruined it. The list of parts (dashboard, airbags, seats, parts in the engine compartment, etc.) you have to remove from the car to replace the heater core is very long. A local Corvette shop has 50 hours in it as of last Friday and still hasn't finished. Even buying parts from a junk yard, he's still looking at over $5k worth of parts and labor. The car also stinks so he'll have to buy new carpet.




That's typical for heater cores. On my old 1989 Supra turbo, the heater core or so I thought was leaking. I saved some $ by removing the piddly shit myself: glove box, ash tray, trim panels, A pillar trim, steering wheel trim covers and had a Toyota specialist do the rest. Bought the core myself at 25% off dealer's price, think he charged $400 or so for the labor.. Here's the kicker wasn't the core at all, but the outlet tube that connects to the core and goes thru the firewall, regardless, you have to remove all that stuff to get to the outlet tube anyhow.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 5:41:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By livefreeordieNH:
it almost seems as though they're working to make cars disposable...





hybrids are pretty much along those lines, Toyota ones come with 8 or 10 year warranty, and if the battery packs go out after that, not worth it to fix a 10 year old car
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 5:59:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TequilaReseva1800:
Spend a $100-$200 and by a code reader from one of the local part stores and save yourself some money. Most electronic and emission oriented problems are easy fixes , just difficult to diagnos without the right tools. Also helpful to buy the factory repair manual for your vehicle if you plan to keep it awhile. Then again if you are not mechanically inclined your screwed bigtime.



Also a good electronic volt meter. Sometimes you have to test voltages to relays and sensors. Another fun thing is you have to apply voltage to a relay to see if it works. On my old supra I was diagnosing a air flow meter code but the manual said it would be other things like the throttle position sensor, etc. To apply voltage to a relay I went to radio shack and got some heavy duty wire, some aligator clips big enough to clamp to the battery terminals, and some small alligator clips to clip to the relay prongs. Was kind of fun actually to rig up the harness with clips and everything.

Also, it pays to pick people's brains, either in a car forum, usenet group, web board. I had two situations on the Supra that if I went by the factory repair manual I would never had diagnosed the problem.

First instance was my car stopped dead while coming home from work, thought it was the igniter so drove back to the side of the road with new igniter in hand replaced it at night even using a flashlight thinking it'd solve the problem. On my old 1985 truck the igniter just quit and died, so figured it'd be an easy fix. It didn't do the trick so hopped in the truck and went back home and had the car towed to my house the next morning. Hell it was worth the shot.

Checked for codes and found a code for the crank position sensor, so by the book removed the CPS, scrounged a used but working one, replaced it, and ...nothing. Still got the CPS code. OK after dicking around, trying things, tried to start the car one last time and the timing belt pully literally fell off. WTF? what happened was there's a pin in the cam shaft, the supra had 2 cam shafts, sheared so the cam shaft pully would turn because of the timing belt, but the cam shaft wouldn't. You wont find sheared cam shaft pulley pin in things to look for in the factory service manual.

Next one was devious, my cruise control stopped working. Oh shit. Well this was actually fun to diagnose, the Supra had it's own cruise control computer with it's own codes and you'd check the codes by holding down the CC button while turning the ignition key to on. Then the CC light would blink giving you a code. Well the code wasn't very specific, so I had to go through testing all the sensors, test the diaphram on the CC actuator etc. Wasn't getting anywhere and was bummed.

Well it turns out CC will be canceled if one of any 4 things happens: brake pedal pressed clutch pedal pressed, cancel button pressed, CC off button pressed. So one of these 4 things had to be going on. So on a flat level surface (couldn't use the parking brake or regular brake to keep the car from rolling so it had to be on a flat surface, a mechanic told me to yank up on the brake pedal then the clutch pedal to see if CC engaged.

When I yanked up on the clutch pedal CC kicked in! What happened as as the clutch disk wore down the clutch pedal sank a bit, activating clutch cancel switch. Yanking up on the clutch pedal wasn't in the factory service manual either.

Sometimes you just have to think outside the box
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 6:02:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 6:07:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/29/2005 6:15:48 PM EDT by Dave_A]

Originally Posted By KA3B:

Originally Posted By zoom:
I have two great-nephews with 2000 Corvettes.
One of them had his battery leak, and the main computer in the car is just under the battery.
The other one had his heater core start leaking a couple of weeks ago....



This just tells me not to buy GM or Corvettes.



Oddly enough, the Chev 350 is probably the easiest auto motor to work on.... IF you can find the room in the engine compartment to get a wrench on anything (spark plugs are a PITA to change, for sure)...

As for the heater core, I know what they're talking about - I did my own core on a '91 Firebird - and for a while I was driving a dashless car... It took me about a week of on-again-off-again work to get it done, but I wasn't about to pay $600-800 to have a $35 chunk of brass pipe & aluminum vanes replaced...

The most expensive repair I've ever had was a short circuit in an aftermarket alarm (again, the 91 'bird) - $400 for the dealer to tell me my alarm was FUBAR and it had locked out the car...

AS FOR THE CODE READER, CHECKER AUTO PARTS WILL LOAN YOU A CODE READER FOR FREE (LOAN-A-TOOL), OR USE IT ON YOUR CAR FOR YOU - AGAIN FOR FREE

Some genius in the auto-parts biz figured out that if you tell people what is wrong with their cars for free, they will probably buy the parts & tools they need from you...

WRT computers, the OBDII is actually nice in that it can tell you where the electronic BS (especially the emissions crap) is failing, rather than you having to pick thru it all yourself...

Link Posted: 12/29/2005 6:09:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BenDover:
What happened to the good old days of being able to slap on some sponged parts and make it run like a top?

Now everything is black box, proprietary closed system hardware computer module controlled, and the dealership is the only one who can read the codes for a nice fee of $78 to plug the dang thing in to read it.

Of course they will kindly credit you the $78 against the $2000 repair bill.

I am in the wrong damn business. I need to buy an auto dealership.



for $78 you can buy your own code reader. Or go to Autozone and they will scan them for free.

Avoid the stealership at all options.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 6:09:47 PM EDT
You can finda scanner to read that... Just have to look. But, What a scanner really does is give you the edge. No more paying friggin BS cost to read in 3 minutes. And you can say just fix this..... Trust me I do it alll the time on my ford. A Mechanic told me to get one and save money. And It has paid for itself time and time again.


Originally Posted By ArtyZ:
Work on this?! In my backyard?!
Naw. No way. Most everything important is shrouded with plastic, and impossible to get to without the right (read: proprietary) tools.

img.photobucket.com/albums/v354/ArtyZ/Engine.jpg

Link Posted: 12/29/2005 6:12:58 PM EDT
You alkl want to see hard to get at stuff... Porsche 911... Either from the ever so small backseat.... Or you have to drop the entire motor out the bottum of the car. Now work on that in your back yard.... LMAO.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 6:32:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/29/2005 6:35:35 PM EDT by NavajoGunOwner]
FORD -Fix or repair daily.
Two 1995 Windstars

195,000 miles One has had three transmissions, computer, axle, eats a front tire every year. Three alternators, waterpump, AC Compressor, rotors, ABS system. Battery every two years, Serpintine belt every year. $9,000 in repair

Second Windstar- 177,000 miles Blown head gasket and a rebuilt Engine later &Transmission, Struts, Shocks, rotors, drums, Sub frame, Sliding door, Dashboard assembly, numerous power motors, and power switchs, paint job. $14,000 in repairs

VS.

Acura Integra 1991 - 225,000 miles needed a new Clutch, distributor, alternator.$800.00

All three received very good maintenance, regular and quality.

What is going on? My next car is Toyota or Honda. Let some other sucker pay the repair bill on the piece of crap.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 7:05:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BenDover:
What happened to the good old days of being able to slap on some sponged parts and make it run like a top?

Now everything is black box, proprietary closed system hardware computer module controlled, and the dealership is the only one who can read the codes for a nice fee of $78 to plug the dang thing in to read it.

Of course they will kindly credit you the $78 against the $2000 repair bill.

I am in the wrong damn business. I need to buy an auto dealership.


I drive a budget-priced car. The less electronic sensors there are, the more I can do with my grease monkey tools.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 7:43:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/29/2005 8:03:08 PM EDT by jimtash9]

Originally Posted By Phil_A_Steen:
don't want service issues? buy a lexus.



That's about the biggest joke I've read in a long time. Take one Lexus LS-400, starter goes out. It took $1400.00 and about a month long wait due to having to have it shipped directly from Japan. I thank my lucky stars that it wasn't me who experienced it but my cousin and he ridded himself of it soon after. Come to find out the designers put it right in front of the passenger firewall on top of the transmission and underneath a pretty plastic cover where it can get and stay nice and warm. Just think of the labor involved just to get to it. So in other words, Lexus equals crap.

My other point I want to make is that newer cars are not that complicated. A good scanner is what you really need to diagnose the check engine light and a manual is definitely recommended. For example, I can easily work on this one and soon I plan on shimming the valves and changing the timing belt.



But I haven't tried to work on this one yet as it's not needed a thing. But I will tackle most of the minor issues on it for sure if and when the time comes.



BTW, SHO's rule.

Link Posted: 12/29/2005 7:46:32 PM EDT
Alot of stuff in my 95 Impala is a pain to get to, damn those plugs are hard to get to.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 8:04:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/29/2005 8:07:24 PM EDT by pointtarget]
Originally Posted By BenDover
What happened to the good old days of being able to slap on some sponged parts and make it run like a top?

Now everything is black box, proprietary closed system hardware computer module controlled, and the dealership is the only one who can read the codes for a nice fee of $78 to plug the dang thing in to read it.

Of course they will kindly credit you the $78 against the $2000 repair bill.

I am in the wrong damn business. I need to buy an auto dealership.


Not to be an ass but people like you don't understand that most mechanics have a small
Fortune in tools that they have to buy themselves, they don't get money from there employer
To cover that cost, it comes from there own paycheck, Just get on a Snap On truck one
Time and see for yourself what it costs, you complain about a $78 charge to check those
Codes, but that scan tool costs the mechanic $4,000 to $6,000 and he might get only
$15-25 of that charge, most mechanics that has been in the career field 15 years or so
Can have as much as $100K in tools. I have been paying those blood sucking tool trucks
For over 25 years and yes its costs us severely when those new little black boxes come out
Also, and it wasn’t $78 dollars, it was $1850 for the new updates for my scan tool to read your
Codes.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 9:12:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/29/2005 9:13:00 PM EDT by DeltaAir423]

Originally Posted By magnum_99:

Originally Posted By ArtyZ:
Work on this?! In my backyard?!
Naw. No way. Most everything important is shrouded with plastic, and impossible to get to without the right (read: proprietary) tools.

img.photobucket.com/albums/v354/ArtyZ/Engine.jpg




Acutally, that doesn't look much more convoluted than my '95 Civic.

There aren't too many "proprietary" tools I need for most stuff, unless you get into drive axles and transaxles.

Does OBDII allow for reading codes from a blinking check engine light once the computer is properly jumpered?




OBD II does not allow you to check codes via a blinking check engine light. Some manufacturers do include a psuedo scanner with the car usually in the Odometer (99 and newer Mustangs are one example), but you really need a real scanner with the code book to do it easily and painlessly.



ETA: a '95 civic should still be OBD I
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 9:36:51 PM EDT
to force you to take it to a certified dealer and pay thier prices for service and parts
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 10:07:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/29/2005 10:10:19 PM EDT by loonybin]

Originally Posted By NavajoGunOwner:
FORD -Fix or repair daily.
Two 1995 Windstars

195,000 miles One has had three transmissions, computer, axle, eats a front tire every year. Three alternators, waterpump, AC Compressor, rotors, ABS system. Battery every two years, Serpintine belt every year. $9,000 in repair


Yikes. More than the van is worth. My m-i-l's 1995 Windstar has close to that mileage and has had a tensioner pulley replaced, power steering pump, and regular maintenance. That's it.


Second Windstar- 177,000 miles Blown head gasket and a rebuilt Engine later &Transmission, Struts, Shocks, rotors, drums, Sub frame, Sliding door, Dashboard assembly, numerous power motors, and power switchs, paint job. $14,000 in repairs

struts & shocks would be regular maintenance, just like brake pads and tires.

My 1998 Windstar with 120K miles: new power sterring pump, rack & pinion (due to my own fault in not getting the pump repaired soon enough & getting metal into the rack & pinion), new power mirror switch. That's it. Oh, and regular maintenance, including the 100K servicing. That was pricey, but worth it.

ETA: if you want a car that's easy to service, get a Saturn S-series (newest is 2002, though) spark plugs right on top, oil filter easy to get to, spin-off tranny filter easy to get to (easy as changing the oil), and generally well laid out engine compartment.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 10:18:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dave_A:

Originally Posted By KA3B:

Originally Posted By zoom:
I have two great-nephews with 2000 Corvettes.
One of them had his battery leak, and the main computer in the car is just under the battery.
The other one had his heater core start leaking a couple of weeks ago....



This just tells me not to buy GM or Corvettes.



Oddly enough, the Chev 350 is probably the easiest auto motor to work on.... IF you can find the room in the engine compartment to get a wrench on anything (spark plugs are a PITA to change, for sure)...

As for the heater core, I know what they're talking about - I did my own core on a '91 Firebird - and for a while I was driving a dashless car... It took me about a week of on-again-off-again work to get it done, but I wasn't about to pay $600-800 to have a $35 chunk of brass pipe & aluminum vanes replaced...

The most expensive repair I've ever had was a short circuit in an aftermarket alarm (again, the 91 'bird) - $400 for the dealer to tell me my alarm was FUBAR and it had locked out the car...

AS FOR THE CODE READER, CHECKER AUTO PARTS WILL LOAN YOU A CODE READER FOR FREE (LOAN-A-TOOL), OR USE IT ON YOUR CAR FOR YOU - AGAIN FOR FREE

Some genius in the auto-parts biz figured out that if you tell people what is wrong with their cars for free, they will probably buy the parts & tools they need from you...

WRT computers, the OBDII is actually nice in that it can tell you where the electronic BS (especially the emissions crap) is failing, rather than you having to pick thru it all yourself...




Hate to tell you this, but......OBDII is old news....All manufacturers are using CAN now.[Controller area network]
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 10:19:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By pointtarget:
Originally Posted By BenDover
What happened to the good old days of being able to slap on some sponged parts and make it run like a top?

Now everything is black box, proprietary closed system hardware computer module controlled, and the dealership is the only one who can read the codes for a nice fee of $78 to plug the dang thing in to read it.

Of course they will kindly credit you the $78 against the $2000 repair bill.

I am in the wrong damn business. I need to buy an auto dealership.


Not to be an ass but people like you don't understand that most mechanics have a small
Fortune in tools that they have to buy themselves, they don't get money from there employer
To cover that cost, it comes from there own paycheck, Just get on a Snap On truck one
Time and see for yourself what it costs, you complain about a $78 charge to check those
Codes, but that scan tool costs the mechanic $4,000 to $6,000 and he might get only
$15-25 of that charge, most mechanics that has been in the career field 15 years or so
Can have as much as $100K in tools. I have been paying those blood sucking tool trucks
For over 25 years and yes its costs us severely when those new little black boxes come out
Also, and it wasn’t $78 dollars, it was $1850 for the new updates for my scan tool to read your
Codes.



Amen!
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