Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lame Public Service Announcement

Let me start by saying, I AM NOT A MECHANIC! Got it? Okay. You have been warned!

Having said that, I found a little trick that may (this word will be important to take note of) be helpful if you are ever completely broke and without a mechanic friend to help you figure out a car problem. I am sharing it because I spent a few days last week trying to help my sister diagnose a car problem. I am not a mechanic (have I made that point clear yet?), but I do know how to research things on the internet. The great thing about the internet is that there are soooo many other people out there who are willing to offer advice... and some of them are even experts.

After lots of emailing and IMing and online chatting with all of these "interweb" experts about this car problem, we were still at a dead end. The bad thing about car issues is that even if you a car expert, diagnosing a car problem is still a crap shoot. Those guys can help narrow it down, but the average accuracy rate has got to be like what, 30-50%?

Working on a car problem is as frustrating to me as working on a kid problem, because you have to go through soooo many superficial issues until you finally eliminate everything but the real problem. THEN you still have to deal with the PROBLEM!! (There is an end to this story, stick with me...)

So, after all of the expert advice and opinions which didn't work, I told my sister about this little trick I learned. After searching on the internet, I found a way to use a paperclip to diagnose the car issue from the little computer thingy (yes, that's the technical term mechanics use). You have to find the little diagnostic box, bend the paperclip into a "U" shape and then insert each end of the paper clip into a certain slot, determined by your car model. Then you turn your key to the On position and the engine light will give a series of flashes and pauses and give you your code! 2 flashes, a pause and 4 flashes is 24. Then you look up you code to see what the problem is, go to the auto parts store for the part and then put the new part on your car.

Hopefully it will work. And if it doesn't? Well...I told you! I am not a mechanic! Why did you listen to me in the first place!!? Gah!!

My sister tried it. The car gave the flashes and she got her code. The code stated that the issue was related to a sensor. She went to the auto store. The guy there said it was probably a coil issue, not a sensor issue. Another guy there who looked like he works on cars alot said the same thing. So they bought a coil and installed it. The car worked. The code thing didn't. But the code thing does work...sometimes. If you're lucky and you hold your tongue just right while you're putting the paperclip in the slots.


Dawn said...

Huh. Very interesting. Kudos for you for even trying to fix your own car. That is something that I won't even look into. lol!

Choppzs said...

Hi, I had saw you had stopped by, but you must have deleted your comment! thanks for stopping by nontheless!

I am a complete idiot when it comes to the car. I can pump gas, and take it to the oil change place but that's about it. lol I am good at looking up things on the internet though~ lol Good job for at least trying!

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