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Unread 03-01-2011, 12:18 AM   #1
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Default Automotive Repair Rules

Does any body have any Automotive repair rules they live by? I have a few to share and would like to see what others do.

Rule 1. Keep it simple things aren't as complicated as they would seem.
Rule 2. Brakes are all about prep work. The more prep you do the less problems you will have.
Rule 3. If your in over your head stop and get some one else to take a look.
Rule 4. If a job seems extremely difficult then your doing something wrong. Stop smoke a cigarette and rethink your attack strategy.
Rule 5. (this mainly only applies to me) If it looks old and may brake sell it ahead of time so you don't buy it when you brake it.


IE rule 1 this week.
A jaguar comes in doesn't want to idle just dies when you let off the gas and has multiple DTC's all concerning Variable Valve timing and Cam Phase-rs. Customer had a mechanic bring it in because he sad that a oil pressure issue was causing it probably related to the oil change we did a week ago. (could be right the cam phase-rs are driven by oil pressure) My mechanic looks at it and says it needs 2G worth of Cam phase-rs, solenoids, and sensors. Me thinking that the probability of all this happening to fail at once is next to impossible I look at it. I found a broken PCV vent line that left a 1" air leak after the MAF so replaced the line magically it idles again, but I now have a erratic idle bouncing off the idle line. Mechanic starts in with I told you so and ohms out the sensor on the cams. After he determine there in spec I check the Throttle body and the plate moves like crap and is really gummed up so clean the throttle body and the idle air control valve and magically the car idles and purrs like a kitten. Now check DTC's my fuel trims or back to normal, my timing curves look good, and no more Cam sync problems. Why what happened? Well as the plate closed on the TB it starved for air and quiet while running which caused no oil pressure and cams came out of sync. Fuel trims were off because of the vacuum leak and timing didn't know what to do with the info it had.

Moral of the story rather then the customer getting a bill for 2 grand his bill as $75 and I didn't have to argue how a oil change wasn't related to a oil pressure driven system problem. People always get intimidated by problems that look serious when they don't understand how the system really works. Common sense will tell you that if this is a problem it could cause this, and to check there first.


Or maybe the moral is a 4.0L throttle by wire Jaguar motor shouldn't be left unmaintained.
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Last edited by lautinjr; 03-01-2011 at 12:21 AM.

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Unread 03-01-2011, 03:28 AM   #2
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Cinder block does not a jackstand make. I've broken those things just by dropping them, I sure as hell wouldn't use one to hold up a car I was working on. Lawn ornaments sure, but nothing I want to crawl underneath and beat on with a large hammer.

KISS. Keep it simple, stupid!

Don't trust the computers. You have a 50/50 chance of that DTC telling you anything useful. You're better off diagnosing it the old way, and as a plus you won't be confused by a car that doesn't have computers(Or has malfunctioning ones).

Belts can and will eat you, even when the engine isn't running.

Fans are even worse about that.

When in doubt: Yank battery.

If you're underneath a car that isn't either A: Sitting on it's own wheels or B: Supported by jack stands, you're just tempting the Reaper.

ALWAYS have a fat guy on call when pulling engines. He will make a nice counterweight to keep your crane from falling over into the engine bay when you give it a yank, and a second pair of eyes never hurts.
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Unread 03-01-2011, 03:30 AM   #3
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I have a few:

1. Is it plugged in/does it have fluid/are the tires inflated properly?
2. Are you assuming?
3. Check it you lazy bastard
4. ALWAYS have at least one pocket screwdriver on you (AKA my handy dandy)
5. It's much easier to let smoke out of electronics than put it back in
6. If it's been outside you're gonna need a torch (in New England anyway)
7. If you clean it it will last longer (or at least it shows you take pride in your work)

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Unread 03-01-2011, 11:08 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Felipe the Ant View Post
I have a few:

1. Is it plugged in/does it have fluid/are the tires inflated properly?
2. Are you assuming?
3. Check it you lazy bastard
4. ALWAYS have at least one pocket screwdriver on you (AKA my handy dandy)
5. It's much easier to let smoke out of electronics than put it back in
6. If it's been outside you're gonna need a torch (in New England anyway)
7. If you clean it it will last longer (or at least it shows you take pride in your work)
I forgot that one seven. I always beleive if you take it off clean it cause you never know when it will be off again. Also the customer can't always se what you did but they can see the things you had off if there clean.
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Unread 03-01-2011, 11:43 AM   #5
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1: ALWAYS use jackstands. Solid steel is a lot harder to break.
2: If pissed off and throwing tools, throw them AWAY from any cars.
3: If pissed off, take a break, relax the mind, and look at it from a different perspective.
4: When working around the sheet metal of a car, Mechanix gloves are MUCH better than a hand full of knuckle busters.
5: Make sure the airgun is going to spin in the correct direction or you may be making a trip to Oreilly's for some new grade 8 bolts and an easy-out.

All are pretty much self explainatory, lol. And yes, I have done #2 before.
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Unread 03-01-2011, 12:45 PM   #6
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Twist, You also can't throw them at ME when your pissed off.
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Unread 03-01-2011, 03:18 PM   #7
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I live by a few but the only one I can think of is, there are no its good enoughs.

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Unread 03-01-2011, 07:45 PM   #8
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I can't believe nobody has said this yet.

Always make sure the bolt is straight when getting it started into the threads. Crossthreading bolts really sucks.

Also, read torque specs and abide by them. Sometimes you end up regretting getting it really tight, because it's not supposed to be really tight, and now you've stripped out the threads.
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Unread 03-01-2011, 08:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wierdo124 View Post
I can't believe nobody has said this yet.

Always make sure the bolt is straight when getting it started into the threads. Crossthreading bolts really sucks.

Also, read torque specs and abide by them. Sometimes you end up regretting getting it really tight, because it's not supposed to be really tight, and now you've stripped out the threads.
and make sure your torque wrench is set to the same type of measurement as in the manual.

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Unread 03-01-2011, 08:27 PM   #10
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and make sure your torque wrench is set to the same type of measurement as in the manual.
50 in/lbs =/= 50 ft/lbs
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