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Sometimes I wonder...

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Today I had an interaction with a dealer shop that was quite interesting. Recently a indy dealer brought in a 06 dodge with a glow plug light issue and a brake light. Upon determining the ebcm was faulty and would required replacement we serviced the vehicle and pulled it out and called the customer for approval. The next morning, we had approval and started the truck to pull it in. No oil pressure on gauge, lots of other lights on. Checked base oil and verified pressure was present and called the customer. Of course he's had no problems with the truck or cluster issues so we dig in. When the truck originally came in it was found to have a aftermarket turbo , big injectors, double disc clutch and a belt driven fuel system, gauges etc. It was also determined that the engine fan had been damaged by the pulley on the fuel system. The more we looked we found some pretty horrific wiring modifications from hot wires wrapped around the ignition switch feed and the wire twisted together. Hot wires with no fuses everywhere. Gauges each wired independently to various light sources and ground/hot sources. Tipm connector locks broken, communication (bus c) wires pierced all the way into with a test light. I eventually through process of elimination found that if I wiggled the ecm c2 connector that I could replicate the intermittent cluster issue followed with a failure of a/c function and a host of ecm communication codes, I also found a connector that would replicate some of the symptoms. I determined that the engine wiring harness should be replaced, the main reason being the X2 connector appeared to be a sealed unit and would require a complete resplice and coupled with the locks damaged and pierced wires I just felt it would be a much less stressful situation for all involved. Well after 3500 for injectors, diag, fan, fuel system removal the customer bucks and ask that we try any possible budget fixes and I know in a real bad place lol. We found that by tightly pulling up the ecm harness that most problems stopped, so we disclaimed it out the butt, tied the wires up and tightened the pins in the other connector as much as possible. After pickup the truck was sold and the problem returned. I said all that to say this, it went to another indy dealers because we were to busy to take it in the needed time frame. The indy dealer charged $250 with the fix being a reflash. When the driver picked it up it was still not repaired. The owner asked dodge to diagnose it and repair it, I was told the estimate was $300.00 to diag. (Mind you then dealer supposedly showed both shops invoice documenting our findings.)

The customer calls and ask about finding a used ecm, that dodge says the ecm has failed. I asked if I might be able to speak with the technician for to make sure he understands what I had found. After speaking with a service advisor who was one of the meanest and rude individuals she informs me they don't allow their technicians to speak with other technicians from other shops. I informed her I just wanted to help and felt the information might help the technician be more efficient at fixing the issue quickly she got him on the phone. I explain our findings, and that one of the key elements of my theory was the fact sensor grounds were all showing erratic high voltage when the problem occurred. And the the a/c clutch signal from ecm to tipm was erratic when the problem occurred and that grounds z902 appeared to be the problem. The dealer tech says " well, I've not really had time to look at it, and we've had ecm problems and when I tap the ecm with a hammer its malfunctions... and you said something i wanted to straighten you out on" I said absolutely. "There can't be voltage on a ground circuit, but since you're so committed to the fact it needs a wiring harness to we'll make sure he buys that and the ecm" I asked what methods were used to find the failed ecm he said "I hit it with a hammer and the lights came on"



I known it shouldn't bother me but this poor guys paying $300 for this kind of service? I've tried so hard to expand my knowledge and learn at every corner but its just offensive that the dealership who's supposed to have the best of the best techs would act this way, regardless if I'm right ( i might be completely wrong who knows) . No wonder no one trust shops/mechanics.

Sorry for the rant I just wonder how you guys deal with situations that go south like this. Probably should have mined my own business and went about my way.


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I've been a tech for 15+ years, master a.s.e. certified + L1. This is not my job. This is the gifting that my creator endowed me with and as such I take it as serious as I can. It is my career. I normally have a few guys under me who I am training. Some of that training is nuts and bolts, other bits of that training is how to respect themselves, their customers and this business. We need to ingrain in our techs that this "job" is every bit as serious and important as being a lawyer or a doctor etc. Our culture and our actions have dumbed down this business to make us out to be knuckle dragging grease monkeys. That must change.

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I've been a tech for 15+ years, master a.s.e. certified + L1.  This is not my job.  This is the gifting that my creator endowed me with and as such I take it as serious as I can.  It is my career.  I normally have a few guys under me who I am training.  Some of that training is nuts and bolts, other bits of that training is how to respect themselves, their customers and this business.  We need to ingrain in our techs that this "job" is every bit as serious and important as being a lawyer or a doctor etc.  Our culture and our actions have dumbed down this business to make us out to be knuckle dragging grease monkeys.  That must change.   

agreed 1000%.

Its a must that we change this perspective. Folks like Paul Danner are starting a revolution and if folks will listen they can change the mentality of techs everywhere.


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The tale of the dealer tech needs to be explained to every customer that comes in the door. For some reason they all think these guys and gals at the dealership were molded from some space age machine and cloned so that every dealership in every part of the country have the same caliber of employees.

That's a line of Bull.

The truth of it is... any mechanic out there who wanted to work at a dealership just has to fill out an application...just like any other job. If you're hired in you're given the small jobs to see how you fit in. If... and that's a big IF... you do well they will send you to their choice schools to learn a certain part of their manufacturers cars. This will allow you to work on the new vehicles that are under factory warranty. Even the factory doesn't want some yo-yo working on their stuff unless they have passed a few tests.

If you are at a dealer and you don't go to the schools you're just one of the flunkies they keep around to fill in the gaps when the other guys are busy.

There is NO WAY to know who is going to be assigned to your car at the dealer. It's up to the service writer... and ya hope it gets it to the right person.

They are NOT super techs, they are just techs. A good independent mechanic can walk circles around them. OH, they may know a few extra tricks with the manufacturers stuff they work on everyday...BUT, throw another manufacturers car in front of them and watch how quickly dumbo is stumped. Seen it before.


Basically, some how some way... the general public needs informed that the dealership isn't always the best choice for car repair. My advice, if the car is under factory warranty... go to the dealer... otherwise, save your money and find a decent independent shop.

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