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Is Change always a Good thing


Gonzo

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Is Change always a Good thing

 

A body shop dropped off a 2005 Nissan Titan XE for a trailer light problem. It was hit in the rear and had folded the bumper under the body. This particular body shop I have known for years, and they pride themselves on doing a top notch repair on every vehicle that they are associated with. This truck was being a problem though. All the systems were working except for the trailer turn signal lights. To be thorough, they went back thru each and every part that they had replaced or disturbed. Nothing, not a thing… 2 days of checking it out led to a dead end.

 

That’s where I came into the picture. As always, the first thing I want to see is the wiring diagram. You know, I’ve always said change is a good thing… this time, I should rephrase that to… it’s a good thing that “things change”… and I hope this does real soon, because, this was about the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. It’s not the first time I have ran across trailer lights going thru computer systems but it’s the first time I ran across only the trailer turn signals running thru the BCM (body control module) not the trailer park lights, not trailer brakes… nope, just the turn signals. Right there on the print… plain as day… R-trailer turn and L-trailer turn… oh please… what were you dudes thinking? (Referring to the engineers)…What was the reasoning behind this?

 

I checked the rear wiring and all the circuits involved along the underside of the truck… all of which were in impeccable condition. I couldn’t help but stare at that BCM on the wiring diagram… I said to myself, “You mean to tell me I’m going to have to change an expensive BCM just for trailer lights… come on… guys?” (Engineers)

 

The BCM is attached to brackets just above the gas pedal. Once I managed to get into position to see the BCM, I moved the wire harness out of the way to get a better look at it. All of which looked great. Another glance at the print showed that pin 51 and 52 were the trailer turn signal wires, one yellow/black and the other green/black. Using a test light I checked the leads output signal directly at the BCM connector… I was so glad to see the test light flashing with the turn signals… what a relief… at least it’s not the BCM… it’s wiring in between the BCM and the rear connector. Another long stare at the print with my head under the dash, all wedged in between the driver’s seat and my feet dangling out the door, one hand holding the wiring harness out of the way… flash light by my right ear, the test light and the wiring diagram all getting cramped in what little space that’s provided… but I still couldn’t see the problem. Since I already checked the wiring running into the truck and the signal was coming out of the BCM I had to be close… real close. I was starting to understand why the body shop spent two days looking for the problem and couldn’t find it.

 

I knew what I had to do… start hand tracing the two leads again from start to finish… one-more-time. At this point anything would be better than spending another minute “sardined” in this truck. As I moved my arm out of the way and was about to slide out from under the dash I noticed right where I had my hand holding the harness out of the way were two small in line fuse holders… almost opaque in color right on the green/black and the yellow/black wires leading away from the BCM. AHA! THERE IT IS! Two in line 10 amp fuses to the trailer lights… Wowser!!! Fixed, done, works perfectly … the prints did not show any fuses in the circuits… it only showed the wiring leading from end to end. Unbelievable, no wonder the body shop couldn’t find the problem… I even missed it till I move my hand out of the way and knew the correct wire colors. It’s not the sort of thing I’d expect to find … factory fuse holders in-line with the BCM… but there they were, you can be guaranteed that I made a note about this one. I won’t forget next time.

 

It doesn’t help that the prints were wrong, and it doesn’t help that the manufacturer ran the trailer turn signals leads thru the BCM… so I guess I can officially change my status from “change is a good thing” to “good thing it changes” now do me a favor there engineers… Change it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Crazy, I think it's nuts....! ! If it isn't the customer not wanting to pay for a tough repair, it's the engineering, or the company that prints the schematics. There are so many different pitfalls everywhere you turn.... it's a wonder I don't keep safety lines attached to the roof beams to keep me from falling over everytime I get into one of these situations.

 

Oh, I charge them, I give them the option before I start and if they say YES, I'm going to go for it.... .... .... yea I know, I'm still going to get an argument... "Why does it cost so much." It never ends....

 

I'd like to back charge the engineer

 

 

Doesn't stuff like that just drive you crazy. That poor design caused the body shop and you to take all of that time to find what I call a "Mickey Mouse" problem. Who winds up paying for all of those hours? It is hard to convince a customer that it took four hours or $200 or whatever it was to find a blown fuse. We recently had a car that drove us mad with a very intermitten running problem. When the issue was finally solved it was with the battery.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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