Progress Thread Therapy Car--Working on the shop and some on the car

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Olivethefet

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May 17, 2018
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I am so pissed off right now. I took my car to a local shop to have the frontend aligned and a general checkout. Picked this place because I drive by their billboard every day. Their catch phrase is "Our goal is quality service and customer satisfaction." They also have great reviews.

The alignment went fine. My wife went by during the day to pay and get the keys. She took me over this evening to get the car. First thing I noticed was no floor protector. They just flipped my brand new floormat over instead. It was covered in greasy crap. Then I look over and see that my carpet by the gas pedal and where you rest your left foot is also f'ed up with grease. Then I see where the guy drug his nasty boot across my speaker grill. My driver's seat is ripped, but it's super clean. Now it has grease on it! Apparently it also took between an 8th to a quarter tank of gas to check the alignment.

No offense to all the professional car guys on here but this is why I hate taking my stuff to shops. Maybe I'm expecting too much but my old shop back home put paper down to protect stuff and acted like they cared. This is the second time I have taken this car to a shop and the second time the interior has been damaged.

I'm going to call tomorrow, but will probably just get the standard "we try not to let that happen", "we're sorry". At this point I feel like they owe me money but that will never happen.

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Olivethefet

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May 17, 2018
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That aside the car tracked straight and felt a lot tighter. The steering is much quicker with the new SN rack and direct with the MM steering shaft. The rear is still a little squishy, but its next on the list. This is just to cruise in for the moment anyway. It will be nice to have all the suspension updated.

The power steering quit whining and is nice and tight.

It had a squeak coming from the alternator or tensioner but that went away as well.
 

Rdub6

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Dec 29, 2017
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I’m pi$$ed off just reading that! It just sucks that nobody cares or has any pride. I’m sure there are some good shops out there, but you hear more and more of this all the time. Turn and burn. Don't look back, just get to the next car!

I’m gonna go off here a bit..... but when I just had my 02 F150 in for a tranny rebuild, it got side swiped sitting in front of the shop. Real minor stuff, and most of the damage was to fender flare, which I can replace. But I’ve owned it since new, and it still looked new. Now it’s scratched with paint missing! Now it wasn’t the shop’s fault, and he felt horrible, but it just seems like any time your stuff is in someone else’s hands, things happen that shouldn’t! Sorry, had to vent..... back to you @Olivethefet
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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The shop I hang at always make me test drive the cars after service work is done. Why me? Cause I never get dirty! the only things I allowed to use is the phone or a broom! And I am always on them about the little things like replacing the valve stem caps when working on tires, and always, always check the oil if you lift up the hood! Make sure your hands are clean and no grease on you when you get in a car.
It's the little things that matter.
 
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Olivethefet

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May 17, 2018
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I know there are great shops out there. I've ran across a couple and when I find the they become the only place I will take my car to. Theis is my first shop experience in this new home location for me. This shop is probably good. I just usually get the guy that doesn't care.

I'll reserve finall judgment for after I talk to the manager tomorrow. If they handle it right I might come back.

I've always been the "its OK" kinda person, but I've got to the point where I guess I've just got to be that person that needs speak with the person in charge cause I'm tired of it all.

Again, AT LEAST IT DRIVES BETTER!
 

Olivethefet

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May 17, 2018
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Sorry about the lack of progress or updates. We've been busy moving into the new house. The car is in the new shop. Only problem is the fact that the shop has no power or lights. I take that back, I have a breaker box, so I guess I get to become an amateur electrician for a while and put being an amateur car fixer on hold. Still haven't closed on the house. I've moved all over the place. This is the most trouble I've had closing on a house. It's OK. It's worth it.
Car in shop.jpg
 
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Olivethefet

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May 17, 2018
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At this point we are vested in this thing up to our eyeballs. Delays on the shop is what has caused most of the issues. We couldn't finish the house until they finished the shop. We didn't want to poor the drive then bust it driving heavy equipment over it working on the shop. The builder wouldn't finish the sod until the drive was down and we couldn't get the appraisal done until all that was done! Everything is done now and the lender is just finishing up the paperwork. Normally I would advise anyone strongly against moving into a house before closing. This has been a "unique" experience to say the least. On top of all that we have already committed to move out of the rental house and the only time we could arrange for good help moving was two weekends ago.
 

stanglx2002

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Yeah I went through the "building" a house before and it is defiantly a very interesting experience. You are already invested at the beginning of the process and the paperwork is absolutely stupid and picky at the end. What was the timeline on the house 6 months?
 

Olivethefet

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May 17, 2018
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When we got involved at the end of last December the house was dried in but no sheetrock was up. Of course we made some changes, but that wasn't really a big deal. The timeline was to close on March 29th. We blew past that without checking up! We have moved all over the southeast, but I'm in a more stable job now and the plan it to settle down here for the long haul. That's why I bit the bullet and perused the shop. Everyone was on board for it but getting someone reliable to build it was a challenge. The first guy to commit to building it just disappeared. Literally, no one has heard from the guy in months. Then the second shop builder has obviously followed through, but he wasn't able to stay anywhere close to the agreed upon schedule.

So, yeah. It should have been about 6 months total, but its stretching out to more like 8 or 9. In the end it's going to be awesome, so I'm not complaining too much.
 
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Olivethefet

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May 17, 2018
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Got a chance to mess with the car a little last night. The goal was to pull engine codes, KOEO, and start working out any issues there. The car currently runs super rich, and blows a blue cloud big enough to kill an elephant in a confined space when you start it up. I suspect a few things, but thought the best approach would be to check codes and see what the computer had to say about things. I couldn't get it to dump codes. I bought one of the inexpensive code readers off of Amazon. I let the car warm up before trying to read codes. When I hook it up and hit the test/hold button you can hear things click and make noise for a second, but then nothing. It was dark and I was using a headlamp to see, so I didn't check any of the grounds. I just though it was odd that it acted like it was doing something then didn't. Any ideas? I read though the tech guide on dumping codes and saw where someone else was having a similar problem. I will ohm the test ground tonight just to make sure that isn't the issue.
 

Olivethefet

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I guess I have a short in the system. Is that what would cause the high ohm reading? It would help to explain some of the issues the car has when running. The computer was re-manufactured by A1 Cardone last year. I'll do more research when I get a chance. I've got no internet at the new house, so I have to read what I can on breaks at work.
 

lemosley1973

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Feb 18, 2019
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A short would generally result in a low ohm reading assuming whatever was shorted was always shorted. A short just means you have a direct path to ground or around whatever it is the voltage/current should flow through, with little to no resistance. What did you test exactly? I imagine the EVTM manual will tell you what a given reading should be for a given condition (ie, it should be 7K ohms or it shouldn't be).
 

Olivethefet

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May 17, 2018
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I removed the negative lead from the battery and tested resistance between the lead and the single ground wire near the firewall that is used to put the computer into test mode. I did this based on what I read in a tech post by jrichker, where he talks about trouble shooting issues with getting the computer to give codes. According to what was in the post the ohm read should have been 1.5 or there about. The meter that I have is a Southwire model 16020N from Lowes. I just got it a little while back and haven't used it much. When I did my test it was in the dark with a flash light. I'm going to do as you suggested and read up on the settings and see what the manual has to say about the reading I got. I might have had it set wrong.

I also read in another thread that if you have a short or ground issue in the test circuit or on the engine wiring harness it can cause the car to run poorly. When I got the funky reading it made me think that I have an issue in the system and it could be one of the reasons the car runs the way it does. I have a lot to learn and a lot to do to the car. Thanks for the input!
 

lemosley1973

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Well @jrichker is a mster with this. If it's supposed to be 1.5 OHMs and is 7,000 ohms AND you did it right, then there some sort of problem there.

RE: learning your meter. Grab something with a known resistance value (for example, if you have some electronics with resistors you can easily probe) and use your meter to probe that to get an understanding of how it works in different modes.

I remember reading in some thread recently about the capacitors in the computer being a known failure point. Caps will dry out over time and lose their ability to hold a charge and will cause the car to run poorly. Wish I could remember the thread it was in.
 
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Olivethefet

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May 17, 2018
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Definitely got to figure out if I did it right! Hopefully I'll get a chance this weekend to work on it in the daylight.

You are 100% right on the capacitor issue. When I got my car it was running well then just wouldn't run at all. After testing all kinds of stuff I read about the capacitors on the board going bad. I pulled my computer out and took it apart. Sure enough all three capacitors were bad. They had leaked all over the board. I tried to fix it, but wasn't successful. At the time I couldn't fine a new or re manufactured one. I ended up taking it to NAPA and they sent it A1 Cardon where it was refurbished. Got it reinstalled and it seems to be working alright. I tried in the past to pull codes using the check engine light, but haven't been able to get even that to work. I took the gauge cluster out and replaced the bulb, still doesn't work. Then I found the code reader on Amazon thinking maybe that would work.

I'm actually surprised that I don't see more people having trouble with the capacitors in the computer. If your car hasn't ever been refurbished those 25+ year old capacitors are just little time bombs waiting to go off.
 
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