Brian Manley, Author at Transmission Digest
Intermittent No Start Camry Woes

Baffling ‘irresistible situation’ involving stalling Camry results in the wielding of detective skills.

A Misfiring Mustang

Our customer arrived at our door with a beautiful, black Mustang shaking and rattling at idle and running poorly on acceleration. My test drive revealed that the car ran smooth with no codes and no noises until it warmed. I also heard and felt a probable throw-out bearing issue, as the sound changed with clutch pedal pressure.

Super Sleuth

This vehicle was recently dropped at my door with the daunting “intermittent” concern. Power windows, radio and wipers would work for periods of time – sometimes for full days – and then fail, only to resume for no apparent reason.

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.

Give ’Em an Upgrade

This half-ton carryall came to us with an illuminated malfunction indicator light (MIL), accompanied by P0300 (random misfire) and P0304 (cylinder 4 misfire) codes. During our test drive, the MIL also flashed.
With 180,000 miles, a plethora of possibilities existed for the root cause, so I began with a GM original: the Strategy-Based Diagnostic Chart.

Cracking the Codes

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 inspection that forces vehicle owners to have their evaporative emissions systems inspected.

Data-Driven Decisions

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 – but we need the most effective repair path.

DIYs or Bunnies?

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 experience with a 1992 Acura Vigor simply underscored this fact.

Age-Related Issues Call for Alternative Measures

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 intermittent concerns.

Taking a Short Trip Back to the 1970s

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 and a concern that his dash lights did not function. I was excited to accept this repair because I hadn’t had my hands on one of these in quite a while! Besides, how hard could it be to find out why his dash lights weren’t working?

Oh, the Joy of Being a Technician!

One recent adventure involving intermittently inoperative headlamps on a 1996 Ford Explorer had me accessing multiple resources en route to the repair. Our customer reported that both headlamps would go out now and then, often for long periods. On occasion, a bump in the road would “jar” them back to life.

Craigslist ‘Deal’

For reasons I am still unclear of, my customer purchased a non-running 1997 Subaru Impreza for $1,500, and he had it towed to my shop. First impressions confirmed my suspicion that I was not the first person to work on this car (darn it!). The “Nationwide Productions” badge on the front grille, and the cold-air intake/K&N air filter combination (Figure 1) destroyed any hope that I’d have an unmolested car (darn it!).