(Announcer: This is Bumper To Bumper Radio, the car show. Drive in anxious and cruise out confident. With the best automotive information for your vehicle. Bumper To Bumper, helping you and your car feel better. And now, your hosts Matt Allen and Dave Riccio.)
Dave: Well good morning everyone, good morning, welcome to Bumper To Bumper Radio. We’re gonna tell you what the most expensive auto repair is. I’m smiling here because Matt’s microphone just fell off right in front of me. (Laughs) He’s trying to get it fixed.
Welcome to Bumper To Bumper Radio, I’m Dave Riccio, he is Matt Allen, we are your KTAR car guys heard here every Saturday from 11 to noon on NewsTalk 92.3 KTAR. At Bumper To Bumper Radio, we’re helping you, the motoring public, have a better overall car repair experience. (Laughs) If you’ve got car questions, we’ve got answers, so we encourage you to give us a call at 602-277-5827 602-277-KTAR and the texting is back up, so you can text us at 411923. So today on the Bumper To Bumper Roadmap: Fact Or Fiction? Ottomo- or open phones, (Laughs) and, uh, the most expensive auto repair Matt, what is the most expensive auto repair? The one no one wants…
Matt: (Laughs) Well, I tell you what, if you hear a big kaboom and a thud, that’s this microphone falling off the, uh, falling off its perch (Dave laughs) But, the most expensive car repair, well, you know, people come in and they want to know what maybe is in the future, so probably the most expensive? I’m gonna say an air conditioning, AC job.
Dave: I do
Matt: Um, well it’s gotta be a major component, so a computer replacement, an AC job, transmission overhaul would be one.
Dave: Those aren’t the most expensive repairs.
Matt: The most expensive repair?
Dave: The most expensive repair, on your car.
Matt: Well, if it’s not the engine, it’s not the transmission, it’s not the AC, it’s gotta be a computer or something.
Dave: It’s the one you didn’t need in the first place, that’s the most expensive auto repair.
Matt: ‘Kay, that makes sense, I can, I can go with that. So all those other things we listed are expensive, but yeah, the absolutely the most expensive one is the one you didn’t need ‘cuz you got no value for so it was a waste of money.
Dave: Complete waste of money and so if you buy a transmission, you actually got something you needed and, uh, that took care of a problem and solved something.
Dave: Well, if you needed it. right?
Matt: Well, yeah I guess so, that’s, if that’s where we’re goin’ with this, if you needed it.
Dave: And where this comes from is you know, this week in my shop I literally had 3 different vehicles where I had a consumer at my counter who was convinced they needed a transmission, I mean, their head was hung low, they’re walking in and, “Hey, how’s it going today?” You know? “Welcome to Tri-City Transmission, how can we help you?” (Matt laughs) and they say, “It is not a good day if I’m standing in front of you, the transmission man.”
Matt: “Oh, but little do you know actually”, right?
Dave: And so, literally, I had 3, all, all the same make, Ford vehicles. It just happened to be Ford Week at Tri-City.
Matt: Well, ok so, I mean, I think I, I know a couple of these and it’s some common symptoms and I think one of ’em was an F150 which you see and we see, it’s very common to have a, a symptom present itself where you think it, it may be-
Dave: Sumthin’ else.
Matt: A transmission.
Dave: Well and then it’s almost an FAQ on the show, people call up and they say, “Hey I think I have a transmission issue, you know, my car feels like it’s hunting uh, for which gear it should be in on the freeway”, maybe 45, and then they would say, “It gets a little worse on a little incline on the freeway, you know, and then sometimes it’s, you know, it’s ok as long as my foot isn’t lightly on the throttle,” or what we would call tippin’ the throttle. So, but this, I’ll give you one gentleman, he was at my counter and he really had 2 problems: he did have a transmission problem but he did also have an engine problem. But the point here is that we don’t wanna steer the shop as consumers because if they had a, let’s just say they had a technician that wasn’t really looking, you come in, you say, “I got a transmission problem, my transmission’s slipping.” And they’ve got a, let’s just say a B tech, C tech checks it out.
Matt: You know, when you say B sec- tech or C tech, you’re talking about the level A being the best guy in the shop and D being the guy you probably don’t wanna hire.
Dave: Well some doctors graduated at top of the class and some barely made it, but they’re all still doctors.
Dave: You know? And, and auto mechanics, some didn’t even go to class, you know? (Laughs) And some that didn’t go to class are better than the guys who did go to class, you know, it’s you know, but there is A techs, B techs, and C techs. C tech, B tech, they may be newer, less experienced, but they may take that ticket say, “Transmission slipping” They go, “Ok.” They jump in it and go take it for drive, “Oh yeah, man.”
Matt: Go rip around the block one time, “Yep.”
Dave: “Yeah, slips. Alright.” So they go, they price it out, “Hey, you need a new transmission. It’s gonna cost ya,” I don’t know, $3,000. So you go ahead and you buy a transmission, the one you didn’t need and-
Matt: You don’t know that yet.
Matt: You buy it.
Dave: I mean, you were convinced you needed a transmission when you came in,
Matt: Yeah, all that-
Dave: You were convinced, so he must be right, you know? (Laughs) So and it’s not because anyone’s fraudulent here, it’s just because the relationship was now steered with the consumer diagnosis coming in the door. And I think that’s how we can get ourselves in trouble as consumers, we come in and we say, “Here’s what I think it is,” instead of, “Here’s what I’m feeling. You tell me what it is. I want to give you a symptom and not a diagnosis.” So that’s where it comes in, you know, the head hanging low and all that, you know, my technician went in and drove it and this, this particular, this was a Ford Explorer. He went out and drove it, came back, and, and he was, uh, he didn’t really have any good answers. (Laughs) So I had to go jump in it and drive it myself and I definitely, the guy said, you know, because we interview them and really try and question to hone in on the symptom and I knew we had a problem at 10-15 miles an hour, I definitely felt that. That was just, you know, harsh shift, but at 45 we had a misfire. So we had 2 different problems: one was related to simply bringing up the software in the transmission control module. Not a transmission at all.
Matt: Bringing it up to date.
Dave: Up to date.
Dave: ‘Cuz it, the computers are, they’re learning. So they’re adapting to your driving habits, they’re adapting to the, wear of the transmission, and sometimes that gets corrupt. So we had to fix that, but also at 45 miles an hour, we just had spark plugs that were breaking down, you know? So that was, that was the issue, but I, I wouldn’t want him to have gone into another shop where he did run into a technician that was less experienced and he came in saying, “Hey I need a transmission.” But when I, when I called, he’s like, “Well you know, I don’t even know if the car’s worth fixin’.”
Matt: Well, yeah and this is where it goes haywire, Dave. So, so however he got down the track of, of thinking he needed a transmission and the worst case scenario instead of going to Tri-City where he ended up with some spark plugs and the computer reflash and some things that made what he thought was a transmission problem go away, that’s great. But then you take the other fork in the road, you go to the transmission shop who, “Oh, you think you need a transmission, great.” Send it back to technician, “Hey, this one’s got a torque converter deal, go test drive it, we got the ok for an overhaul.”
Matt: He goes out, he drives the car, “Yup, well, that’s it. We’re gonna overhaul this bad boy.” They put it in, they rip around on the block, it doesn’t feel like it does it anymore, give the car back to the guy, he goes back, and it does the same thing that-
Dave: Yeah, a week later he’s callin’ back, “Doin’ the same thing.”
Matt: So it ended up with that transmission overhaul it didn’t need and they go, “Well, yeah, we just did another little tweak adjustment.” While they threw some spark plugs in it real quick and-
Dave: Made it go away.
Matt: And it went, and it went away, so that, that’s how that goes so it, like, like Dave was saying, it’s best, bring us good information, the relationship is always the best thing to have, but.
Matt: And once you’ve established that relationship, bring good information, and not what the guys at the water cooler in the office said or what happened to my neighbor’s car who also has a Honda, even though theirs is an Accord and mine’s an Odyssey and has nothing to do with anything.
Matt: They’re not the same experience. Bring us, you know, fact. I deal in fact and data and, and that’s what we need to help you get the best repair for your car.
Dave: And be careful of broad statement diagnosis, you know? A lot of times on the show, like when you’re callin’ in and you’ve got questions, we can talk through concepts about how our cars worked. We know we got a traction control light on, we know a common problem is a speed sensor, you know, or a vehicle stability control. You know, we can talk to some concepts, but still, when you go the shop, we really want you to know just how to go in there, say, “This is what’s happening,” and then let them do the work rather than you going in and saying, “Hey, I need a speed sensor,” ‘Cuz you go in and get a, you may get a speed sensor and then find out ok that’s great, but really the traction control module is the problem. It had nothing, or the wire between the speed sensor and the, and the module was the problem. So how do we go to the shop, how do we approach ’em? We let them ask the questions and then we try and convey the information. But don’t come in with the diagnosis, you know? You know, ‘cuz some people will sell you a transmission or an AC job, uh, you know, AC overhaul that you mentioned is hey, that is an expensive repair, but if you go in and you say, “Here’s my Honda, I think I need the AC done. You know, all Hondas, you know, I’ve been reading online they all, 100,000 miles they all need air condition.” You know? Well, that may be true th- and you said, maybe Civics have that happening. You know, I’m just using-
Matt: Yeah, that one segment of that whole car line may have had a, a pattern failure but that may or may not apply to your car.
Dave: And that’s what I say, wisdom is, is, uh, competency in the complex realities of life and you can’t oversimplify and be so reductionistic about auto repair, that one size fits all. So broad statements are definitely something to stay away from. And when you approach the counter, come with symptoms. So when we come back we’ve got James, Daniel and Greg and can you can reach us at 411923. You’re listening to Bumper To Bumper Radio.
Matt: Welcome back to Bumper To Bumper Radio, I’m Matt Allen, this guys standin’ with me here is Dave Riccio and we are here helpin’ you with your car every Saturday morning from 11 to noon and if you want to get involved in the show, don’t be shy. If you got a car question or car problem that we might be able to help you with, just give us a call, it’s easy 602-277-5827 It’s 602-277-KTAR and if you want to text, you can do that too at 411923
So today we were, in our opening segment we were talking about steering the auto repair and how, how to get the best out of the technician and maybe, and more importantly, don’t end up with something that you don’t need because you’ve come in asking for something that you don’t need.
Dave: Well, the, the background on this that you may not know about Matt and I is that we uh, volunteer down at the Better Business Bureau and I have for 6 years and I think you’ve been doing it for 8 years.
Matt: About 10, yeah. 8 or 10.
Dave: And, uh, 8 or 10. And we sit on the Automotive Repair Advisory Committee and uh, Matt and I were both former chairs there and what we do is we look at auto repair that’s gone wrong. So we’ve got a customer with a complaint and he cannot resolve with the business and the business can’t resolve it with the customer and then that’s where we come in and we just review paperwork. We look at he said, she said, what does the paperwork say? We put all those things together and it’s a very common one for someone to go in for this problem and pay for a big repair and then have the same problem. So, in some cases, they either fixed the wrong problem or they got a repair that they didn’t need. And what it is is every 2 months, I think it is?
Matt: Every other month we do it. There’s cases sometimes, so it’s not like it’s, it’s a big deal. We’re really busy with that.
Dave: It’s really a panel of 10 or 15 automotive shop owners who have been around, uh, have well-established, healthy shops in the industry and we just, we just look at the details. And, uh, and I think that’s, that’s the #1 right there is “I got sutmhin’ I didn’t need.” You know, it’s either that or the coincidental repair, “I took my car to the shop, I got an oil change and now my, uh, window in my back rear doesn’t go down or doesn’t go or-”
Matt: Well that means, that’s happened. We could go through a whole list of those goofy things that, that, uh you know, you get in the car in the summertime, it’s blazing hot and you roll down the window and, “Oh, I forgot to tell you can’t roll that down. Oopsy.” (Laughs)
Dave: Whoops. Or they don’t tell ya and it’s like, “Oh, did we break it?” you know, type of thing, so
Matt: It looks like we’ve got quite a bit of phone calls here Dave, I think some people probably want some help, what do you think?
Dave: I think so. Your pick man, let’s go with James in Phoenix on a 2005 Dodge Dako-Dakota. Go ahead James, you’re on Bumper To Bumper Radio.
Matt: James, are you there? Nope.
Dave: We’ll try James again. Ok, we are gonna go with Daniel Casa Grande on a 1999 Honda Accord. Go ahead Daniel, you’re on Bumper To Bumper Radio.
Daniel: I got, uh, a transmission problem. I took it into a shop to get rebuilt and the problem with, uh, it was slipping at first and I had to rub up real high in order to get it to move any, uh, I took it into the shop and he said he replaced, that he rebuilt the transmission. I got the car back, ran it for about 2 weeks and I got the, uh, the drive light, uh, fla- uh, flashing, uh, on my dashboard uh, it’s, after, it was locked for a couple of days and then it started slipping again, the same symptoms as before and I took it back to them 3 or 4 times and he could never fix the problem. He said it, he put a new transmission in it, which, uh, I was, I did not see because I was not in the shop uh, he could never fix the problem and um, don’t want to put any more money into the vehicle and so I wanna know which way to head from here.
Matt: Well you know, th- this Dave, this is exactly reminiscent of what we see in the Better Business Bureau. You went in, you spent you know, 2500 bucks probably to have that transmission overhaul, you didn’t get a new transmission but I know what you mean.
Matt: And then the same thing happened and the same lights and then they can’t figure it out. So, you know, where do we go from here? If we’re in this, in the adviser committee and we’re vet- vetting all this out. I guess the first thing we need to do is we’ve probably lost some confidence in the shop, I mean, I’m the consumer, How many times do I need to go back to these people?
Matt: I’ve already given ’em 2500 bucks, maybe they asked me for a couple hundred more and a couple hundred more and, and, or maybe they didn’t. But the bottom line is I still gave ’em 2500 bucks, what now?
Dave: What, yeah, right?
Matt: What do you do?
Dave: And I, we didn’t ask how much he paid for it but maybe he didn’t pay enough for it.
Matt: It doesn’t, well,
Dave: Right? You know? And, and that’s one thing that you get, people gotta be aware of too is sometimes there, when you go out and you’re shopping for the best deal on something, you know, maybe it isn’t the best, not always the best deal. You know?
Dave: And that’s, that’s the other thing is the, the most expensive repair is the one you gotta pay for twice. (Laughs)
Matt: But I think to help D- yeah, that’s true, but to help Daniel in this case, he does want to put anymore money into it.
Matt: So he’s kind of stuck. I guess maybe what I would do in a case like this and even backing up if he didn’t do it. You need to document every time this car went back for the same problem or, or and additional repair and, and if they won’t give you the receipts, just ask them for one. Just ‘cuz money didn’t change hands again,
Matt: For a 2nd or 3rd time, we want to memorialize that and if they won’t do that for you, at least write it down yourself.
Matt: I think at this point maybe the shop that did that transmission deserves another chance.
Matt: Granted you don’t wanna spend any money. Take it back, ask them please, ask them nicely. “You can have the car for 3 days or whatever it is but we need to have this solved.”
Matt: And, and then after that, then if this was in front of the committee, we would probably say, “I know you have, you don’t wanna spend anymore money but that’s not the next repair shop’s fault.”
Matt: Now you’ve gotta go figure out what’s wrong and then once you know what’s wrong then we can look at this and unwind it and see who owes who or who doesn’t know who or, or have the whole story, so Daniel, I think you have to get back to the transmission shop.
Dave: Give it another chance tell em, “Hey, here’s where I’m at, you know, I gave you guys a bunch of money and I still got same problem I had, so I didn’t receive any-”
Matt: You didn’t get any value.
Dave: “any value for what I spent.” So we need that, we need to figure this out you know, let’s, “Can we work on it?” Give him a shot, get a repair order, you know? And if may-hopefully they can get it handled so everyone can walk away happy. And if they can’t, but that’s where the, with the Better Business Bureau comes in. Because there’s a point where these guys aren’t getting along, aren’t gonna get it figured out, and he needs, he need to get resolved and that’s where that ARAC comes in and that’s what we do.
Matt: Yeah. So you may have to spend a little bit more money on it to, to find the problem, but give them a shot and then you know?
Dave: And, and what that, what that D light flashing is on Hondas, just so if you’re a Honda owner and you’re listening right now, whenever the D light D4 or D5, depends on what, you know, which do you have, a Civic, do you have a you know,
Dave: You know, whatever you have. That’s like the check engine light but for the transmission. So every car works a little different, a Ford car, the overdrive light is gonna flash, in a Honda, the D4 light flashes, uh, you know, and when you got an engine problem, your check engine light comes up. Now sometimes your car, the check engine light will come on, the traction light will come on, (Both laugh) and the overdrive light will flash, you’ll get ’em all on, it looks like a Christmas tree, what do would you do with that?
Matt: Well yeah, you just go get a diagnosis. I mean, we’re, we’re starting to see now where or not just starting, but Toyotas for example, the check engine light comes on,
Matt: It puts it into a limp mode maybe, maybe not but then we’re seein’ the traction control right on, light on and the DSC, the Driver Stability Control.
Matt: If the engine is not running optimally, the computer doesn’t want to be able to rely on that traction control or that stability control system to know that it’s gonna work properly, so it just shuts it all down. And again-
Dave: Disables it, so you get a light for everything. Well that’s where, I mean these cars are getting so much more complex And that’s the biggest thing when we’re talking about on this show, if we go from week to week to week, it’s that the rules have changed when it comes to auto repair. We used to do it that way, you know? I mean, we were talking the other day, like which decade was the best decade to be in the auto repair business you know? I hated the 80s. Well, I was barely in the 80s. (Both laugh)
Matt: Well, yeah, but-
Dave: It was vacuum lines on everything, emissions control was a new thing, we had air pumps, and-
Matt: Then there was these new computers that controlled things and-
Dave: Couldn’t even talk to us, I mean they were, like, so archaic I mean, the 80s were probably the worst.
Matt: And then it got easier, then you got the mid 90’s you got more complex systems, but less components and less pieces that have to control things and, and, and do it and now we’re into the high tech and I think it’s gettin’ a little easier to some degree.
Dave: Well when we come back we’ve got James, Daniel, Dan, and Anthony. You can get a hold of us at 602-277-5827 or text us at 411923 You’re listening to Bumper To Bumper Radio.
(Music: Hot Rod Race – Arkie Shibley)
(Announcer: Bumper To Bumper on NewsTalk 92.3 KTAR)
Dave: Well welcome back to Bumper To Bumper Radio, I am Dave Riccio, the guy next to me (as long as he can get his microphone work) is Matt Allen and we are your KTAR car guys heard here every Saturday at 11 on Bumper To Bumper Radio. And I’m just looking across the, uh, text we got here and the first 2 I’m gonna take because they’re just right up my alley.
Matt: (Laughs) Both of them.
Dave: The first guy says, “What do you think about a Honda Element? I got a 2006, no troubles, wondering what you think, what are your thoughts on the Element?” I absolutely love the Honda Element ‘cuz that’s what I drive. It is a fantastic car, it’s not gonna be the coolest car in the parking lot, you just gotta get over that. (Matt laughs) You know? You gotta slide your Man Badge across the counter at th-the dealership when you’re buying the Honda Element, but that’s ok because it’s really cool and I’m at that age where it doesn’t matter anymore. (Laughs)
Matt: And a Honda’s a good car, in my shop all the time people, “What kinda car should I buy?” Hands down the first answer is a Honda, you can’t go wrong, just do the maintenance. The Elements are great, they have, uh, you know, I think they’re all All Wheel Drive, so the biggest thing is keeping that rear differential fluid changed so it doesn’t skip.
Dave: Some of ’em are, some of ’em aren’t All Wheel Drive but yeah, absolutely.
Matt: And, and just do the maintenance, the valve adjustments, the, the regular services, and, and that- Honda, you cannot go wrong with a Honda.
Dave: If there’s one car we have never done a transmission on, it’s a Honda Element because they never go bad. I mean, the vehicle’s so light and then the transmission with the All Wheel Drive is actually, that’s the same transmission you’re gonna find in a Honda Pilot, which is like 3 time the weight, so it’s really oversized and you know, there’s certain cars like that and that’s one of them. The other text we got, gentleman has a Nissan Maxima 2004 and this is definitely a pattern failure. He says you know, “I’ve got hard downshift when I’m comin’ up to a light, you know, it’s when the car is hot and, uh, it’s usually in the 3-2 downshift man, it feels like someone rear ended you when the thing is hot.” And the other thing he mentioned was, “You take it from park to reverse or park to drive, there’s just a big delay and then when it gauges, it’s harsh.” He’s already done the motor mounts, maybe he thought that was gonna fix it.
Matt: Or the motor mounts were probably broken on that car.
Dave: Very common and he did go with factory mounts, which is definitely the way to go, never go with aftermarket mounts uh, on a, on a late model vehicle, just not a fan. So he got the mounts taken care of and his question is, “What do you think about about a valve body?” Now, you’re not gonna go in the shop and say, “I need a valve body,” because someone still has to diagnose it. But the likelihood of a valve body problem is very common. A lot of people sell you another valve body and it’s super expensive but this is where we can save a lot of money by rebuilding the valve body that’s in the vehicle. It’s really the solenoids and a lot of people’s, there’s questions about, “Should we service our transmission or shouldn’t we?” The thing that kills these valve bodies is dissolved particulates in the fluid. Fluid doesn’t get changed and these soldnoids are like, uh, little magnets and it ties up the pintle and so that’s what we gotta do, we gotta rebush those solenoids, we gotta hone some holes, put in some new valves, (Matt laughs) sleeve some things, and send it down the road.
Matt: And that’s the biggest thing, is on a transmission is the diagnosis, I mean Tri-City Transmissions’ our preferred shop when we’re doing transmission overhauls, that’s where we send them. And a lot of times Dave, we’ll prep the customer, we’re 99% sure we think it needs an overhaul, but again, we send it down to your shop and we say, “Hey we’ve got an ok, here’s wh-, here’s what we’re going ‘cuz I wanna prep them worse case.” Voila, you fix it with the valve body for, uh you know, 40% of the price of, of what we were expecting. So that’s, uh-
Dave: So you’re saying you’ve been wrong before?
Matt: Uhhh, I thought I was wrong once but I wasn’t.
Dave: That was the problem, it was the one time I, that was the mistake. So we are gonna go with Rick in Mesa on a 2002 Chevrolet Silverado. Go ahead Rick, you’re on Bumper To Bumper Radio.
Rick: Yeah, I re-replaced the, uh, cylinder head, uh, and also the head gaskets and the spark plugs and spark plug wires on my truck. And in doing all that, now when starting it up, it turns but it, uh, doesn’t start. I wanted to see if it was something mmm, probably something to do with the fuel lines or, or what you think that might be?
Matt: So you did a, you had the cylinder heads off the car or you did the valve cover gaskets?
Rick: I did the, uh, replaced a cylinder and then also replaced the head gaskets on both cyinder heads and then also, in doing so, you know, took off the uh, valve covers and cleaned out all the valves and uh, the rods and rocker arms and everything, so.
Matt: So now the car cranks over and turns over, it just doesn’t start.
Matt: And, do you know, do you have any spark?
Rick: I, I, I believe I do and starting it, I’m able to put the uh, throttle down and by doing that, it starts up.
Dave: If you flip, if you you wide open throttle on the pedal you can get it to start?
Rick: Yeah, yep.
Matt: Mmm. Well for, I’m thinking a vacuum leak.
Matt: It sounds like it’s got spark and it’s got some fuel, I would bet you’ve got a big, gaping open vacuum leak somewhere, would be the first thing I’m checkin’. Make sure you’re not trying to fire the car up with the air snorkle unplugged ‘cuz that car does have a mass air flow sensor.
Dave: Gotta have that going.
Dave: So if that’s not connected, that, that could be a problem but, oh boy, I mean if it was running before you pulled it apart, you did something, we just, it, just gotta retrace all those steps.
Dave: Well in the old days, we used to say you gotta have, you gotta have fuel and you gotta have spark, but now it’s really 3 things: air, fuel, and spark. You talk about a vacuum leak, well that’s a problem with the air.
Matt: You’ve got too much air.
Dave: Too much air.
Matt: In that case.
Dave: So, good luck with that, you can also send us an email at bumpertobumperradio.com See if we can help you out with any additional information. We’re gonna take James in Phoenix on a 2005 Dodge Dakota. Go ahead James, you’re on Bumper To Bumper. James: Ok, can you hear me?
Matt: We got ya.
James: Ok, yeah, my, I’m havin’ some trans-, I’m, I’m gonna, I believe it’s transmission problems. My, I can put, I can drive the car one day and it feels like it’s a brand new car, it drives like a brand new car and then, uh, all of a sudden I can be driving and it wo- and it doesn’t and the tachometer doesn’t wanna go, uh, stay down at 2 like it normally does when I’m trying to go 70 miles an hour, 65 to 70, it does, it doesn’t wanna go up that high. When I turn the car off for a few minutes and start it back up and drive down the street, it does fine. Just like, it drives like it’s new I’m, it’s, it’s frustrating and I’m-
Dave: Hey James, what, what kind of, uh, what engine size? Is that a v6 Dakota?
James: Yes it’s a v6, yeah I believe it’s a v6.
Dave: Alright, what happens on a Chrysler in particular is that, uh, you know, you can get in and drive and it’d be fine. When the transmission control module and we’re just assuming we got a transmission problem, this is, this is what we don’t want you to do is go to a transmission shop and say, “I got a transmission problem,” because then they’re gonna sell you one, right? We don’t want that to happen. Just going and, and describe just like you described to us. But what happens is they go into, and Matt said it earlier, Limp or Fail Safe Mode and that’s when the computer recognizes we have an error. And on a Chrysler or on that particular transmission is a 42 RLE I think it is. It’s gonna throw it into 2nd gear so it’s gonna take off slow leaving a light and when you’re on the freeway the RPMs aren’t gonna be down at 2,000, they’re gonna be up at 4,000 because you’re going way too fast in 2nd gear. So, when you turn the key off and turn it back on, the problem is gonna seem to have mysteriously disappeared.
Matt: The computer resets itself.
Dave: It resets.
Matt: It’s like turning off the computer until you go back to that website you shouldn’t have been on. (Both laugh)
Dave: So, (Laughs) um, so yeah, it’s gonna, when you cycle the key is what we call it, it is gonna go away and uh, you know, it may very well come back the next time it sees the air. And it, and there’s gonna be a code in there, uh, a diagnostic trouble code. Anytime you get a Limp Mode or a check engine light, there will be a code to usually go behind it. It is very rare that you don’t have one.
Matt: Yeah and a lot of these late model cars they’ll, they’ll do that. Mercedes for example, when it detects an engine misfire it’s gonna put the car into Limp Mode and that’s just basically what it is. You hurt your foot, but you can, (Dave laughs) you can gimp your way home, it’s gonna cut back the car, you know, derate it, cut it, cut it back so that you’re not destroying the catalytic converter, destroying the, the transmission potentially, overheating it. It’s just enough to get you home.
Dave: Get you, get you to the side of the road, get ya, and, and also to get you to the auto shop, uh, but you can, I mean if you’re you know, stuck on the side of the freeway, you can’t always cycle the key on a lot of these cars. Uh, you know, like even on the, the Chevy trucks, uh, when you have a transmission issue, you got a cycle the key 5 times for 5 seconds each way to get it to go.
So we’re gonna go with looks like Steve in Surprise on a 1980 Chevrolet 1500 Pickup. Go ahead Steve, you’re on Bumper To Bumper Radio.
Steve: Yeah, my daughter bought a 1980 Chevy Full Size Pickup, um, 350, 4 Wheel Drive, brand new 4 speed. 62,000 original miles on it, came out of a garage in Flagstaff, um, kind of a friend of the family thing so we know it’s the real thing. Took it to my favorite driveway mechanic and he said it was so pretty it brought a tear to his eye and um, got everything tuned up, just basic tune up, sailed through emissions, but, um, your comment about the 80s bein’ the worst time for things, (Both laugh) is there anything we can, it, it’s got a smog pump on it, and the smog pump makes noise, the only thing is it makes kind of a rattling noise. Is there anything now that we can do that eliminates things like that that aren’t up to date? Can we eliminate the smog pump, can we do something different? What can be done, if anything?
Matt: You know, uh, Steve I don’t, when Dave said 80s were the worst year, I mean, not that they’re bad cars.
Dave: (Laughs) Right.
Matt: It just, just things new, there was new complex items coming out that we didn’t, uh, didn’t know about and, and the learning curve was huge.
Dave: My biggest complaint the miles of vacuum hose, yeah.
Matt: Well especially on import cars but if that ’80 Chevy truck is, is pretty cherry, it hasn’t been hacked up so to speak and gotten a hold of, which it certainly sounds like it is, I wouldn’t do anything. I would just leave it alone.
Dave: No. That’s a clean one owner.
Matt: And the qu- and the answer is no because it still has emissions it has to go through and, and those components need to be there. The air pump and, and the other items, they’re, they’re serviceable, you can find replacement parts if need be. Uh, so I, I wouldn’t be removing anything from the car. I would leave it as stock as possible.
Dave: Oh yeah, that’s a clean one owner, it would bring a tear to your eye (Laughs) if you were, if it pulled up in your drive you’d say, “Mmm” especially when they’re, they’re unscathed, no one screwed ’em up and there’s been no hacks under the hood. Just awww.
Matt: Yeah there’s no random sheet metal screws or wiring butt connectors chopped up and air cleaner lids missing.
Dave: A little duct tape to hold this down. Duct tape is an amazing tool on the side of the road. (Laughs)
Matt: Yeah right. Dave: But it’s only meant for that, to get you back and then fix it right.
Matt: Yeah but, so leave it stock, leave it alone. Don’t, don’t take anything off of it or anything like that, just let it be.
Dave: It’s time for Fact Or Fiction? Well before the show Matt and I were reading up on, uh, ‘cuz we said, “Hey, what is the most expensive car repair?” and this week we came up with the one you don’t need is the most expensive one. And, uh, we were, we were looking through the website and just combing for information and we’re always readin’ and there’s a lot a self-proclaimed automotive experts. Uh, I’m a self-proclaimed automotive expert, but I think I really am the one, you know? But, uh, I came across this and, and it was really relevant to our topic last week. Last week we talked about fuel injection service and smogging intakes and all kinds of craziness. So this little particular blogger article that we came across said, “Fuel injection services before 100,000 miles are a total waste of money.” So I’m asking you Matt, the self-proclaimed automotive expert.
Matt: I’ve been proclaimed by you Dave, (Dave laughs) you proclaimed that.
Dave: You know what? Today, right now we are the #1 automotive expert in town.
Matt: That’s right.
Dave: Right now on the air.
(Matt laughs) So, Fact Or Fiction? after all that stuff we went through last week that hopefully somebody’ll retain just a little piece of that information that they can throw their hip pocket when they need to get a fuel injection service at a later date. Fact Or Fiction?
Matt: Uh, the statement is Fiction that it’s a complete waste of money and doesn’t need to be done till 100,000 miles. It’s, it’s just dumb, that’s, that’s one of those broad statements.
Dave: Broad statements.
Matt: Where, where they’re just throwing it out there to create fear or to create whatever, but it’s just, it’s just bad information that the, the, the cars that were seein’ these days, they have, carbon issues are a problem. You go back to the 80s, speakin’ of the 80s, GM had top engine cleaner.
Matt: And you would pour it down the carburetor. So it’s not that we’re cleanin’ the fuel injectors, we are getting the carbon buildup out of the engine, I mean that’s been happening forever.
Dave: So, we were talking before the show and if this is like a quickie little add-on service at the local…
Matt: Car wash.
Dave: Zip it through oil change type thing.
Dave: Then maybe it’s not what you’re looking for. But, if you get a relationship with a good shop, which I highly encourage you to, I’m gonna scold you if you don’t. You know, they should be able to explain, “Hey this is what we’re doing and this is why, this is how we do it and this is valuable to you” and it’s not smoke and mirrors or sparkle dust or any of that stuff. But if someone is just trying to sell you something for the sake of selling something so they look better on the spreadsheet for the other shop owners? Then it’s not good. So when we come back, we’ve got Dan, Ken, and George. Text at 411923. You’re listening to Bumper To Bumper Radio.
(Announcer: Bumper To Bumper on NewsTalk 92.3 KTAR)
Dave: Well welcome back to Bumper To Bumper Radio, I’m Dave Riccio here along with Matt Allen and we are here helping you with your car. And we are self-proclaimed experts (Matt laughs) but we are, we are good at our craft, it’s what we do every day but there’s also a whole network of shops that we pull information from. So we’re talking to these guys on a regular basis. They help keep us in the know, ‘cuz we don’t work on every type of car, but if we need to know sumthin’ from an expert that we know is an expert in a certain area, we’ll give ’em a call. But there’s a list of shops at bumpertobumperradio.com and these are all hand picked shops that Matt and I personally know. These are guys we go to lunch with, guys we talk to on a regular basis and guys we trust when we need good information. We’ve got body shops on there, body shops that are gonna work for you, not for the insurance company. Uh, you know, guys like New Image we had on here a couple of weeks ago. One of my favorite shops, he’s in Chandler, is Automotive Diagnostic Specialties and uh, ADS ‘cuz it’s a lot to say and you might hear ’em advertised on the show. But if there’s guys that I really highly regard and say, “These are the guys” and if you’re anywhere near Chandler, this is the shop to go to. And they’ve got some big fancy Sand Rails and custom old cars they work on. They do a lot of cool work but at the same time, they love to fix everyday grocery getters. I mean, it doesn’t matter if you drive a Sand Rail, you know? I wish I had one but I can’t afford one or a sexy Honda Element, (Matt laughs) They can fix that car and they can really fix it better than just about anybody, other than Virginia Auto Service or Tri-City Transmissions.
Matt: Right, but you know, the one thing people get intimidated sometimes when they see the hot rods and they see the Sand Rails, or you know, I worked on Porsches and, and, and, you know, they, they, they see these things and they, they’re intimidated by it. “Maybe they don’t want to work on my car” or whatever but I think the carry over that you get when you get to shop like Greg’s at ADS? They have to pay so much attention to detail on this $100,000 Sand Rail or this engine that they’re running on the Dyno? That trickles down to your car.
Matt: The, the attention to detail and doing things right and technically correct as opposed to just putting them together. That definitely carries over.
Dave: And the best quality about ADS? And really, Greg? That guy knows how to embarrass, you know? He doesn’t like anything not to go right, he is super OCD when he takes care your car, and if something goes wrong, he absolutely does embarrass and he absolutely will make it right. And it’s rare that happens, but when it does, that’s a good quality you’re looking for in a shop and that’s a good shop to have a relationship with. So, without anything further on that, we’re gonna go with Dan in Gilbert on a 2002 Saturn L100. Go ahead Dan, you’re on Bumper To Bumper Radio.
Dan: Hey, how’s it goin’ guys?
Dan: Ummm, yeah I have a 2002 Saturn L100 and I recently had a shop do my rear drums for me, just ‘cuz I don’t like messin’ with them, ummm, and ever since then, my car shakes from 65 to 70 and then it smooths out after I hit 70.
Matt: When you say they did your rear drums, what exactly did they do to dig your rear drums?
Dan: They replaced them ‘cuz they were worn past, uh, below spec, put new shoes on, they put on new wheel cylinders, and well now ‘cuz one of my wheel cylinders was blown.
Dave: Well I’m thinkin’, just based off of that, I’m thinkin’ the two are unrelated. Other than maybe some tires got rotated, that’s a possibility. You know? Because that to me sounds like a tire vibration, not necessarily a, it could be a brake vibration ‘cuz I have seen drums out of balance.
Matt: Well, yeah that’s what was gonna be the next question: does the vibration occur when you apply the brake or just simply while you’re driving at that speed?
Dan: Just while I’m driving and I’ve taken it to Discount, had ’em do the Road Force balance and they’re perfectly fine.
Matt: Ok, well a couple of things, um, the balancing we were gonna go there, maybe go back to the brake shop. I’ve had it happen a couple of times Dave, the brake drum.
Matt: Out of balance. We had a Suburban absolutely kick our butts with the vibration. We’re balancing tires, we’re doing this, we’re doing that, checkin’ different things, and this was a case that when it was at my shop we’d done some tire work I think or some suspension work and then the guy went and had brakes done somewhere else but didn’t equate the vibration to the brakes and didn’t tell us about it and I mean, it just, the bus? We were under the bus.
Dave: Right and not only that, they were puttin’ it in reverse backin’ over and forward, backin’ over. Yeah.
Matt: And it turned out that the brake drums were out of balance. We had to take the brake drum, mount it up on the tire balancing machine to verify that. And that was a brand new drum, so maybe be looking there. I’d go back to the brake shop or whoever did the brake work and walk through that again with them, let them know what you had done elsewhere, that the tires were balanced and Road Force balanced at that,
Dave: Well here’s my question for you, have you ever seen a ro-, a tire Road Force balanced good, let’s just say its good, I mean you could Road Force balance and it doesn’t mean, you know, it could have. What was the, what was the, the pounds of the Road Force you know, what were the measurements on those tires?
Matt: Well, if they’re gonna take the time to Road Force balance it? They’re gonna take they’re gonna identify the bad tire. So you’re not gonna go through the motions of Road Forcing and then leave it the way it is, they would, they would, the whole purpose of Road Forcing is to properly match the tire and the wheel to the best shape. if you will, rolling down-
Dave: Well, my question is not all, not, no two tires are alike, someone’s got 20 lbs of Road Force, the next one’s got 30 lbs of Road Force, the next one’s got 40 lbs, you know? I mean, they could be all over the map and when is someone saying, “Ok, this is the one that’s gonna cause the problem.”
Matt: Well, the threshold is at 20 lbs or so, so if it’s above 20, you’re replacing those other ones.
Dave: Throw the tire away.
Dave: So I wouldn’t discount that either because, you know, maybe it was a new guy on the Road Force balance because I Ro-, I came to your shop and used your Road Force balancer with your guy? I mean, he was trying to show me how to use it? Man, he, he coulda showed me 10 times, I woulda still been lost.
Matt: It’s complicated but I’m still, even so, if the tire’s in balance, I bet you have a brake, I’m gonna put my money on the brake drum Dave so that, that’s, that’s the end of that.
Dave: Alright, well we’ve got Ken and George and we’re not gonna be able to get to you, so we’re gonna you take your call after the show, um, you know, we appreciate the call. You can also send us emails at bumpertobumperradio.com on the Contact link. So back to our Fact Or Fiction? Fuel injecting services, broad statements, who is really the expert? You gotta, you gotta see where the information is coming from you know? See what their, what their, uh, what their background is, what they do, what does qualify them to be the expert? So, just because you see a bunch information on the Internet and what, uh, Jim coined the term “Googlenostics” uh, for car repair. You’re gonna read all kinds information and there’s no filter on the internet for what’s good information and what’s bad information.
Matt: You know what I’d, Dave? We help out at the Automotive Advisory Committee, we’re trying to promote this industry and, and a lot of the people that you read about on the internet, they have these blogs and these articles and these Yahoo! things. They like to cons- call themselves consumer advocates and I don’t think that’s what we are.
Dave: We’re industry advocates.
Matt: They are putting so much, I guess, if you will, fear maybe ;cuz that’s they get some hype around it.
Dave: Right. You can get a, if you can write a headline
Dave: It’s entertaining.
Matt: That gets people riled up, then, then, then it, it’s good for your article but I like to say we’re advocates of this industry, we want this industry to be good and we wanna look good in the eyes of everybody.
Dave: Good for the customer, good for the shop, good for everybody. If you’re looking for a great shop to start a relationship with bumpertobumperradio.com