How many of you have a pit? ... and how many of you wish you didn't?
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Down the Hatch The crazy stuff I’ve found in a gas tank. Never fails, boyfriend dumps girlfriend, girlfriend pours sugar in boyfriend’s gas tank. Girlfriend dumps boyfriend, time for more sugar in the boyfriend’s fuel tank. The actual “who” that does the pouring is up for grabs. Sometimes it’s the boyfriend, sometimes it’s the girlfriend, sometimes it’s that crazy co-worker you worked with, or some wacky protester who just hates gasoline for some reason. Ya just never know, but you can be sure of one thing, somebody, somewhere, is going to pour something into somebody’s fuel tank. Sugar is the ‘go to’ item in most cases. Can’t find the sugar, then find a good substitute. You’re not much on improvising while you’re stressed out about the latest fling who let you down? Not to worry, as long as it’s something that will fit down the filler neck … it’s fair game. Honestly, after all the crazy stuff I’ve found stuffed down the old petrol pipe, I feel like I’m a regular expert on the subject. On occasion, it’s plain dirt that finds its way to the bottom of the fuel tank, but chocolate bars, rice, and flour are all common substitutes when the sugar is running low in the cupboard. The last chocolate bar incident was rather unusual, though. They didn’t bother to take the wrappers off the bars. Nice try. Effective yes, and it did get the car sent to the repair shop, but the repair was minor compared to the sticky mess that it could have been. Maybe next time go for the small bars you get around Halloween, they’ll fit down the filler neck a bit better. Chocolate is always a favorite, especially after Valentine’s Day. You get all those bite size pieces with their gooey centers slowly oozing their way into the fuel tank. Those cherry centers ones, eww… they’re extra messy. Rice on the other hand, well that’s a bit more devious than the traditional sugar stuff-o-matic method. The rice doesn’t really swell in gasoline, it tends to harden like little concrete torpedoes. Flour tends to float, clumps up like badly shaped dough balls, and makes an even bigger mess if it gets into the fuel pump. But, let’s not dwell on just kitchen condiments and baking supplies as the only source for self-satisfaction after a bad relationship or a bit of self-retribution and redemption. Shampoo, liquid soap, shaving cream, and other hygiene products from the bano have made their way to the fuel tank on a few occasions, too. Now, there was this one diesel truck I’d like to mention with a rather gravely problem. It still ran and drove into the shop, but the fuel gauge wasn’t working. However, when the tank wouldn’t hold as much as it used to the owner began to wonder if something was a bit more seriously wrong. There was something wrong all right, the tank was about half full of gravel! It weighed a ton! Dropping the tank was a lesson in dealing with a ‘live’ load and how to balance a fuel tank that couldn’t be completely drained on a precarious tranny jack. Imagine my surprise when I finally got a chance to look inside the tank and saw this guy’s driveway soaking in diesel fuel. The owner thinks it was his grandkids helping him out. Nice try kids. Any other truck would have had a screen in the filler neck or some sort of check ball, but not this one. Now with these DEF systems there’s a whole new problem to deal with. Put the wrong fluid down the wrong filler neck and you could be in for a huge repair bill. Generally these types of problems aren’t from your old girlfriend or boyfriend, but they could be. Maybe, they’re just trying to be helpful. Then, you find out they’re color blind, and they can’t tell the difference between the green and blue labels. Uhm, my bad. (Yea, likely story) Now, if it’s on one of those newer Dodge trucks… there’s no colored coded fuel cap anyway. To make matters worse, the urea mix is acidic and isn’t all that friendly to the paint. How wonderful is that!? Sticks, plastic straws, wire, and the occasional siphon hose have all been a source of amusement at the repair shop when it comes to what you can find at the bottom of a fuel tank. You’d think that little baffle and the check ball would stop most of these intrusions. Actually, I think they just create a new spot for things to get stuck and plug up the entire works. Occasionally these types of fuel tanks end up at the shop anyway, regardless of some foreign object being inserted in the filler neck, or not. They have a tendency of leaving their owners standing at the pump holding the fuel nozzle on the first click, because if they tried any faster the pump would just shut off. You’d think in this advanced electronic age, somebody would invent an anti-ex-boyfriend/girlfriend fuel tank early warning system because the locked gas cap just ain’t doing the trick. Oh it will stop a few, but the true sabotage master will find a way to pry that door open or rip it off the hinges. Locking gas caps are only there to urge on the saboteur. Nothing will stop them when revenge is at the helm; they’ll do whatever it takes to get the dastardly dead done. If nothing else, how about a sugar detector checker. Something that would verify the quality of the fuel before you take off for work in the morning. Or how about some sort of electronic system that would sense any foreign material slipped into the fuel tank, and send whatever it is into a separate holding tank. Then when you get home you could unload the unwanted intruder, identify it, maybe even determine who the culprit is, and take care of business without a trip to the repair shop. Wishful thinking I’m sure. Well, there is one alternative to all of this. If you’re in a relationship with a seemingly psychotic person, you have a grumpy neighbor who’s been eyeballing the fuel door on your car, or you’re the type of person who generally pisses people off for no apparent reason and you live extremely close to a sugar factory … well then…by all means… do yourself a favor… buy an electric car instead.
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The following are posts I made on the AOCA website outlining an issue(potential nightmare) we had on 2017 Chevrolet Colorado: Randy_Lucyk
Joined: Dec 21, 2011
Total Posts: 83 Feb 8, 2018 3:03 PM Unfortunately, I believe this is exactly what this may turn into for shops and consumers. We recently had a report of an oil filter failure on a 2017 Chevrolet Colorado with 13304 miles on the truck and the issue occurred 400 miles after our oil change. Customer had a check engine light come on so he headed right off to the dealer to have it checked under warranty. It had a VVT code stored and the dealer started looking into the issue. They found the filter failure and sent a picture of the image off to the customer. We used a Performax P0171 filter. The customer sent me the attached image of the obviously failed filter. I am immediately highly concerned, but the dealer is being unusually understanding of the failure. We spend some time with the service manager and find out that their appears to be an issue starting to show up on these vehicles, where the stand pipe in the filter housing is coming off with the old filter and being disposed of without the techs knowledge. We had great video of the oil change and their was nothing visible with the old filter as it was removed. The premises is that without the standpipes restricting/diverting functionality in place, full oil flow is blowing out the filter and the everything flows right down the filter housing port into the cylinder heads and remainder of the motor and plugs up components and passages. We asked for a picture of the filter housing and received image 2 attached. This appears that it may be a problem starting in 17 model year, but i can't be sure of that yet. I am digging for additional info now and will update as more information becomes available. Randy_Lucyk
Joined: Dec 21, 2011
Total Posts: 83 Feb 9, 2018 7:59 AM This appears to be both a GM issue and a in-shop issue.
Now that I see the notification GM released last week, i believe this issue occurred at the original oil change prior to the one we did. As I said, we had great video of the open end of the old filter as we removed it from the vehicle and I don't believe this stand pipe could have possibly been inside. Their is also no evidence of the tech struggling with anything "down in there" other then the normal A/C line interference issue. .
Looking at the design and the A/C line interference, I suspect that the stand pipe is being knocked loose as the filter is being "angled" around the A/C lines to get the old one out. I suspect the oring on the stand pipe is the only thing holding it in the oil filter housing. Once the standpipe is disposed of, the housing has to be replaced, as the stand pipe is not available separately. The housings are in short supply with only three left in the country on dealers shelves and none in Gm distribution centers. Their is a new part number for the housing and those are not available yet. Original pt# 12675707 and new pt# 12682014.
Looking at the attached illustrations and notice, it would not be easy to completely miss the fact that a problem was evident. The stand pipe looks too big to me to be easily missed. I suspect it is plastic and the words "housing cracked" was mentioned in the conversation with the service manager. I wonder if the stand pipe is actually cracking during removal of the filter, making it difficult/impossible to reinstall. If we did not do it, then why the old filter had not failed yet ours did, comes into question. Cold weather "full oil flow" was also mentioned in the conversation with the service manager, and those were the conditions at the time of the failure.
The images also create some questions for me. The new housing does not appear to be identical to the OE installed housing, so is it an already redesigned housing? The filter bulletin in the Napa/Wix box talks about an update to the filter to include a check valve in the top of the filter. Our old filter does not appear to have this check valve, the Napa/Wix does and our new stock P0171 filters also have it. Looking at the design of the stand pipe in the new housing, it would almost appear that the small nipple on the end of the stand pipe might make more sense if it fit into the open hole of the old filter. The stand pipe design almost seems wrong for the filter with the check valve, unless it is shorter than it looks and never reaches the upper end of the filter. Would be great if the next shop to have one of these off would post some additional pics to try and help reduce confusion.
Based on the notice from Gm, this does indeed look like it could get ugly. Although, this dealer covered all the extensive engine repairs under warranty(heads pulled, all new timing components, cleaning passages), i am not convinced all dealers will take that approach. In my case, it was nice(incredible?) to see GM step up and take responsibility. It helped that my customer (owner of the Colorado) retired from a GM primary supplier dealing with issues exactly like this for the later half of his career. He knew the right people to call to get the info needed to drill down to the root cause.
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If anyone else has an issue with the limited notes field please tell them. If they receive enough complaints they will fix this. PLEASE help by contacting Mitchell at Toll Free 888.724.6742 Here is my issue: I believe I got this idea from this forum somewhere. I like to be able to say the words "No Cost" over the phone to a customer with an issue. So I offer a free initial diagnostic. This is when my tech will spend 1 to 10 minutes looking at the customer's concern. Once the tech does this task he comes back to the Service Writer with a request for the proper diagnostic time. The Service Writer then sells the required time for diagnostics. The problem is Mitchell limits the note field and we can not add the proper lines and spaces needed. My work order for the tech should look like this: Customer concerns:
Step by Step - What have you tested and what are the results of the tests?:
What will happen if the customer doesn’t repair this problem?:
Potential other problems once this is repaired?:
What will fix it?:
Estimated time to repair:
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Recently hired a new tech. He's been with us for about 3 weeks now. Been having weekly meetings with him on things that we would like him to improve upon. Have noticed that the majority of oil changes that he has done with vehicles that have anywhere from 100K to 250K miles don't have a single technician recommendation. I thought it was just one instance initially but have noticed that its been MOST of the vehicles he has serviced for oil changes. With vehicles with that many miles on them, I would expect that there would be at least 1 if not numerous recommendations. We do have a check list that all technicians perform when doing oil changes and he has been marking "checked ok" on all of the checklist items for these vehicles. I approached him about this and he seemed to get really defensive. I obviously don't want him to ever fabricate any issues but I just can't believe that out of 10 vehicles with that high mileage there are simply no recommendations. We pay our technicians hourly here at our shop and I'm starting to think that because of this, for this technician anyways, he isn't very self motivated to perform the 24 point inspection very thoroughly. I have scheduled a meeting for the lead technician to go over how a 24 point vehicle inspection should be done with this technician on Thursday. Any thoughts on how I could help this tech or is it a personality thing that cannot be changed?
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Wondering how other shops handle this. A tech starts a head gasket job on Thursday. The head is sent out to the machine shop for a valve job. It returns the following Monday and the job is completed on Tuesday. Do you pay him that week for the teardown or wait till the following week and pay him for the whole thing? It seems kind of confusing sometimes if you split it up and then you are wondering the next week how much time you paid him for the previous week. Don't want to cheat yourself or the tech. Any better ideas?
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