Free code Scans....

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  #1  
Old 04-25-08, 11:37 AM
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Free code Scans....

From another post..........

Po 442......Check engine light on .....Codes Checked by a "Scan for Free" auto parts store.

Quote:
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="100%"> <tbody><tr> <td class="alt2" style="border: 1px inset ;"> Probable cause:

1. Fuel cap
2. EVAP canister or hose cracked-not connected
3. Purge or vent solenoid defective
4. Vacuum Leak at engine. </td> </tr> </tbody></table>

Now.. I'll probably catch someones WRATH, But While these stores are offering a Free service , They are also attempting to generate Parts sales. Everyone is entitled to make a living of course, But Most of these "Stock Boys" and Countermen" have very Limited Knowledge and experience ,in "Interpreting" what they see on the Screen of The "Scanner Behind the Counter".

As evidence,And from 20 + years in the Business , The MOST probable causes of the above scenario would Be...

1)... Loose Gas Cap....Fuel service attendant or Customer Did not "Click till stop".
2)...Vehicle filled with fuel while Running...
3) Gas cap missing or not replaced after fueling

Only one of these would REQUIRE a PART replacement.

Tightening the cap and clearing the codes would likely rectify the C/E light.

The codes can be cleared with the same scanner that was used to read them. However, customers are told this is not possible. Unless , of course you buy a part from them.
Is this what Our Business has turned into???????

Mechanics , for years, have had to deal with a reputation of being THIEVES, LIARS AND CHEATS, And Fraudulent Practice like this , only reinforces these accusations....
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Last edited by Unclediezel; 04-25-08 at 12:49 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-25-08, 12:32 PM
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If I am not mistaken (I could have been duped here), they are not allowed to clear the codes, possibly by law, unless they do something that may rectify the problem (i.e. selling you something). That said, I have been to a few that have said, "I cannot clear the code, but see what happens if you press this button" and allow you to press the clear.

Just a suggestion, buy your own scanner, they are less than $50 for the very basic model and then you do not have to worry about whether they will clear it or not.
 
  #3  
Old 04-25-08, 12:47 PM
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If I am not mistaken (I could have been duped here), they are not allowed to clear the codes, possibly by law, unless they do something that may rectify the problem (i.e. selling you something).
Exactly My point.......Sell you something.....

There would only be a legal issue if The particular Municipality employed "OBD2 Emmission Testing", In which case , A "Drive Cycle" would be Bypassed.

Most of these establishments also refuse to stand by their Diagnosis. Even after they have sold you a part. After all, it isnt the customers fault , that the "Stock Boy" doesnt know how to interpret what he reads.

After 20+ years in this business, I can honestly say, That only 50% of the time does the code match up with a failed "Part", as opposed to a related failure in wiring, physical damage, or Operator error....

Jumping to conclusions, because "Thats what it was on my friends car", or Because The computer thing at the parts store said so, Is foolish and can be very costly. It just bugs me that These establishments feel that they can "Feed" off the general publics lack of knowledge.
 
  #4  
Old 04-25-08, 01:28 PM
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many times...if not most times, they DO in fact clear the code. and then the customer brings the vehicle to a tech and the code is gone along with the freeze frame data that can be very helpful in diagnosis. then they want the car diagnosed based on what the parts store person said and wonders why we can't do that. yeah...it's a free service but it's directly aimed at parts sales, no question. they also use cheap code scanners that sometimes misread or misdefine the codes...not to mention they often won't read manufacturer specific codes, only OBD II codes...which the federal govt says the manufacturers MUST make available. i try to help folks because i know how expensive it is to own a car today...but in all honesty...most times you are money ahead to take your car to a competent tech rather than trial and error with parts with most issues, but esp electronic stuff. I also know it's hard to find that competent tech...i also work hard in that area...so, if you find one, KEEP him or her!!!

$50 code scanners are just that...cheap...and you get what you pay for.
 
  #5  
Old 04-25-08, 07:09 PM
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I will go to a Autostore just to get the P code, and thats it.

A few months ago my CEL went on and took it to a autostore and they said it was the MAF sensor code.....I went home and checked the ESM for my vehicle, and it was a bad thermostat/engine temp sensor.

Most of the time, these places do help alot of people out and save people money instead of bringing vehicle to dealer.

I've been to dealers and they say this part is bad, they replace part, problem still there......oh, this part is bad....you understand where this is going?
 
  #6  
Old 04-25-08, 07:41 PM
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I must say it is a pleasure to read the posts from ud, cg, ttg, and hiokc, and the french guy as they almost always are clear, knowlegable, and thorough. these last posts should be required for all shade tree mechs. nothing wrong with st mechs, as long as they are willing to learn from all of our mistakes.
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Last edited by Speedwrench; 04-25-08 at 07:44 PM. Reason: clearity
  #7  
Old 04-25-08, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by DavePearson View Post
Just a suggestion, buy your own scanner, they are less than $50 for the very basic model and then you do not have to worry about whether they will clear it or not.
i am not hijacking the thread or pushing something. just sharing.
i am very satisfied with gizmo called Scangauge. as a matter of fact, i drove for couple years already with it plugged into OBDII system, and on various cars.
you can scope all the features for yourself, but here's what you have for the money (and i have the 1st edition, they got better one now): - access to all information that ECM has, which is huge, as you can see 4 data streams of your choice on display. i always liked to drive with RPM, MPG, MPH and FIA showing; - you have travel computer, like in a good luxury car; - you have instant access to error codes. like i said - whatever ECM knows - you know. plus, you have free mpg improvement device. once you start watching relationship between your mpg and either rpm or throttle position - oh so fiest tight on gas become you! better to say - foot light.
 
  #8  
Old 04-25-08, 08:21 PM
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I've been to dealers and they say this part is bad, they replace part, problem still there......oh, this part is bad....you understand where this is going?
Another common misconception....Dealership techs are not necessarily all knowing....As Carguy mentioned..If and when you find a competent Tech..Stick with him....Or her....

Techs and Motorists must realize, This is no longer 1972....Where the mechanic jumps in his truck, meets you roadside and stuffs a Bic pen down the throat of your carburetor and sends you on your way. Those days are gone for good....
you can scope all the features for yourself, but here's what you have for the money (and i have the 1st edition, they got better one now): - access to all information that ECM has, which is huge, as you can see 4 data streams of your choice on display. i always liked to drive with RPM, MPG, MPH and FIA showing; - you have travel computer, like in a good luxury car; - you have instant access to error codes. like i said - whatever ECM knows - you know.
Absolutely...Incredibly helpful...Provided you have the slightest Idea what all that Jibberish is supposed to mean... Most people Dont...

If you truly know how to Interpret the information you have....Cars have actually become easier to fix, for a knowledgeable tech, But impossible for the DIY , shadetree mechanic. Add in the Cheesy ethics of some, and the lack of skill from the others, And it becomes a war zone ..where nobody comes out ahead.

Before you can fix anything, you need an Uncompromised and full understanding of How it should work, and what isnt working , and then....why isnt it working.....A simple rule that gets overlooked by even the most experienced Tech. Without the information provided to you by following this step...Your shooting Blanks in the dark.
 
  #9  
Old 04-26-08, 06:47 AM
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absolutely...couldn't have said it better unc. I appreciate your honesty, integrity and most of all, willingness to help folks in a very challenging arena.
 
  #10  
Old 04-26-08, 11:17 AM
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Aaah, you thievin', liein', cheatin' mechanics always stick together! Just like us liein', thievin', cheatin' tow guys.

UD: There's still plenty of people out there that think a mechanic will come and get them going on the side of the road, i.e. when they call their mechanic and I show up, they're surprised I'm not there to fix their car. Often the same ones who can't understand that they can't get their car towed for $25 anymore.

In the car parts place's defense; it's a business. Someone somewhere along the line discovered that dealerships and garages were charging $50-100 for "diagnostics", often a simple code-read, and decided to get in on the game. The guy who thought that up probably owns the company now, because you can bet it sells a lot of parts. Having said that, I have to agree that one has to take the information received with a big grain of salt for all the reasons already covered. Often it's a case of getting what one pays for with a "free" scan and why most of us recommend posting the results back here for analysis.

Plenty of independent garages throw parts at problems, the only difference being that at least they are throwing parts that cost less. As UD points out, having info is one thing; knowing what it means and how to use it is another.
 
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