Unhappy Customer

wtd

Joined
Jun 25, 2002
Messages
3,194
Location
southwest Mo.
Your diagnostic skills are very impressive. You were also a lot nicer than I would have been but then again I don't own a business and a bad word of mouth could come back to bite you. Great job.
 

SammyChevelleTypeS3

$60 site donor 2022
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
1,354
Location
South East USA
The job I had today makes me want to NEVER do a Bench/Carry-out transmission rebuild ever again.

1998 Chevy Camaro Z-28, 5.7L/4L60E.

Owner called Monday saying he was having an issue with a 4L60E I built him. He didn't want to tell me how long it had been by telling me he didn't know. His name/invoice wasn't coming up on my computer & told him if I did it after August 2019....The Invoice would be in my system.
Asked if he had his copy of the Invoice? He does not.
Was it a hand written Invoice? He thinks it was.

I could tell he was getting aggravated, So I got to the point & asked what the problem was.....
"I'm getting my car dyno tuned & the transmission is locked in 3rd gear"
Me: Are you sure you have Ignition Power at the Trans Connector?
"Yes....We checked EVERYTHING, It's in the transmission"
Me: Are there any trans codes stored in the PCM?
"No....I was a mechanic, I know what I'm doing"
Me: If there's an issue with my unit, I'll be happy to take care of it.
"Starts shouting off an address 50 miles away & he needs this taken care of right away"
Me: Sir....I'm not a mobile mechanic & can't just drop what I'm doing, Shut the doors to my business & come play "whack-a mole" with you.
"You said you'd fix it?"
Me: I will fix it IF I'm at fault or the fault is INSIDE the unit. But, I DO NOT do field repairs & I DO NOT travel to other businesses to do repairs. You have 3 options....
*Remove the unit & bring it to me
*Have the car towed to my shop
*Trailer it here yourself
I highly recommend the latter 2 options so I can make sure the Wiring & PCM are sound.


He started mouthing off in a elevated tone, I caught very little of it because of my selective hearing which I've perfected by being married for 25 years!!
I advised him to calm down.....Bring your car & I'll be happy to look at it, But don't show up here running your mouth! Then I hung up the phone.

He called back @ 30 minutes later wanting my address with a different tone.

I found his Invoice later that evening by going through my paper invoices in storage....Dated 6-24-17, He bought ALL the parts himself....Including the Solenoids & Internal Harness. I wrote "No Part Warranty" in bold sharpie right on the Invoice & judging by the total....He beat me up pretty good on the labor as well.

He showed up this morning....Of course he didn't trailer it or have the car towed per my recommendation....He drove it! I bit my tongue & didn't say anything as I'm no longer liable for this unit anyway.

IT GETS BETTER....He didn't arrange any transportation back home & Didn't set up an appointment for me to diagnose the issue while he waited. I'm at least partially at fault for this as I never got around to informing him that I don't deal with "Waiting Customers".

Pulling the car into the bay.....The car was taking off in 4th, Not 3rd!!! With the little/sloppy 3600-4000 stall converter....It took half throttle to get it to move forward!


On to the diagnostics......
*He was correct....There are no DTC's stored & The Trans Connector had Ignition Power.
*Using my Snap-on Solus Ultra.....I activated the 2 Shift Solenoids individually to see if I could audibly hear them Click.
*Shift Solenoid "A" would click, Shift Solenoid "B" would not. Makes sense...."A" solenoid On & "B" solenoid Off is 4th gear.
*My first thought was the "B" solenoid is mechanically stuck Off, If there an Open in the electrical circuit....The PCM would set a "B" Solenoid Circuit DTC.

*Instead of dropping the Trans Pan & replacing the "B" Solenoid based on this alone....I decided to do some actual circuit testing first.
*I backprobed the "B" Solenoid Circuit at the PCM with a incandescent test light hooked to ground.
*KOEO....Test Light was lit, Normal on a Ground Side Switched Solenoid as the Ignition Power will pass through the solenoid coil.
*5amp fused jumper wire hooked to Ground, Touching the "B" Solenoid resulted in a Click from the Solenoid.
*Test Light hooked to ground, Probing the "B" Solenoid Circuit, I activated the "B" Solenoid with the Scan Tool.
*Test Light stayed lit....No "B" Solenoid control from the PCM.

Okay....Bad PCM? Maybe so, It doesn't control the circuit & no circuit DTC is being generated?? Even though '97/'98 LSx PCM's suck....They're not known for shift solenoid control driver issues.

Not having a P0758 (Solenoid B Circuit) DTC had me a little confused, So I unplugged the Trans Connector to see if I could generate ANY Trans related DTC's. No DTC'S!
As this PCM has been fiddled with....I hooked up HP-Tuners to it....Low & behold, ALL the Trans DTC's had been disabled, Probably because it was setting a P0758???

I would've thrown a used PCM in it just to conclude my circuit testing, But I don't keep '97/'98 PCM's laying around.

Alright.....Let's remove the connectors from the PCM to make sure nothings funky in there.....There it was, Staring right at me, Pin 40 of C1 which is Solenoid B Control was pushed into the PCM.
I was kinda disappointed in myself because I've seen this before with bolt down connector Gen III LSx controllers, Though it's usually more than one pin that gets pushed in.

Removed the PCM casing & pushed the pin back & straightened it out, Threw the PCM back in....We now have Solenoid B control, Short test drive confirmed repair.

I kept up with my time & charged him for every minute! I could see he wanted to complain, But at the same time.....He knew it was his own doing.
I demanded CASH as I could see him disputing a credit card charge, Had to give him a ride to an ATM....We got to talking cars/engines, Seems like a nice enough guy, He was just frustrated & it was boiling over when we spoke over the phone.
In the end....I'm glad I was able to resolve the issue!!!

TEvmgu4.jpg

r3zlGKJ.jpg

b3F15aY.jpg

AB8S6Zg.jpg
👏 You R a good guy. Some guys would have put the screws to him for his attitude. You likely shamed him and I hope (probably not) some of your professional kindness rubbed off on him. LOL My brother in law used to tell those types at his engine shop.... "well, its $1200, if you stand here and watch us its gonna be $1700!"
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2004
Messages
27,511
Location
Near the beach in Delaware
I once brought an alternator twice to a shop pushing them to test it as the voltage on the gauge was low so must be the alternator. The guy was nice enough and tested it twice each time telling me the alternator was working fine.

In the end (this was a diesel Bobcat) there was so much sawdust in the gauge that the needle could not swing to the proper voltage.
 

clinebarger

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 19, 2013
Messages
6,855
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
You were also a lot nicer than I would have been but then again I don't own a business and a bad word of mouth could come back to bite you. Great job.

Building GM transmissions is a specialty of mine that took more than a decade to perfect, Wouldn't take many "problem units" to ruin my reputation. That's just the volatile/fickle nature of the auto repair business especially when it comes to Engine/Transmission building/rebuilding.....Everything's the builders fault until proven otherwise.
 

F4k

Joined
Nov 22, 2020
Messages
22
Location
USA
I once brought an alternator twice to a shop pushing them to test it as the voltage on the gauge was low so must be the alternator. The guy was nice enough and tested it twice each time telling me the alternator was working fine.

My favorite part of auto mechanics is taking stuff from a car into the parts store and having them tell you its still good.

I eventually stopped believing that parts can actually go bad. When something fails, I start looking all around, anywhere other than the part that isn't working for the reason. Couple months ago I brought an alternator into a parts store and they tested it and said "yeah its bad". I couldn't believe them. "test it again" lmao

it really was bad. I couldn't believe it. That never happens to me... usually they tell you its still good. My faith... shaken
 

SammyChevelleTypeS3

$60 site donor 2022
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
1,354
Location
South East USA
My favorite part of auto mechanics is taking stuff from a car into the parts store and having them tell you its still good.

I eventually stopped believing that parts can actually go bad. When something fails, I start looking all around, anywhere other than the part that isn't working for the reason. Couple months ago I brought an alternator into a parts store and they tested it and said "yeah its bad". I couldn't believe them. "test it again" lmao

it really was bad. I couldn't believe it. That never happens to me... usually they tell you its still good. My faith... shaken
I get it. I brought batteries to check at AutoZone for years. They never identified one of them bad! Now I use NAPA or Dealership. They seem to last a lot longer.
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2004
Messages
27,511
Location
Near the beach in Delaware
I get it. I brought batteries to check at AutoZone for years. They never identified one of them bad! Now I use NAPA or Dealership. They seem to last a lot longer.
I would think some of the good/bad might depend upon if they need to replace it under warranty.

If only one of the 6 diodes in an alternator bridge goes bad will a AZ test pick it up? They don't have an oscilloscope like a alternator rebuild shop would.
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2018
Messages
2,286
Location
Vancouver
Nice work.

I work in the fuel injection repair business and the amount of hack “mechanics” that phone us on a daily basis to diagnose, or try to install something we rebuilt, or just simply bring back something perfectly good that they believe is bad because they can’t install it properly is astronomical. It costs us many, many thousands a year. Half these guys don’t even want to try and install something correctly because the proper procedure is too difficult or requires special tools. Then they wonder why the thing smokes or runs poorly. The flip side of that is we get a lot of work because guys try to fix things themselves and just make it worse.

All in all I hate dealing with the public. Honestly even half our wholesale accounts are not a picnic either. I’m too deep into it now to consider a career change however.

So here is an example of what I was talking about.

Customer has a problem with his excavator, engine will start and idle but won't rev up. Takes the pump to another fuel shop, they rebuild it, same problem. They check it again. Same problem. He gets fed up with them and brings it to us. We find a problem with it, but not a problem where it would affect the way it runs, just with longevity... It wasn't to our standard. So we fixed that problem, calibrate it again etc and send it out. Customer calls a couple days later, same problem. We tell him he has a fuel supply issue and to get a different mechanic out to look at it. A week later the pump shows up here again because mechanic #2 can't figure it out either. Pump has red silicone all over the mounting flange and the gear (I guess a $3 gasket is too expensive or something), a tie-wire on the governor is cut, and it is filthy. We take the tech who built it off another job, put the pump onto the test stand, again, and of course other than the governor speed changing slightly because of the adjustment they played with, the pump is perfect.

So this guy has had this thing misdiagnosed at least four times, spent like 6k in mechanics and a pump rebuild (x2 but the first shop refunded his money even though they didn't really do a whole lot wrong)... All because he's getting mechanics to look at the machine that don't even know basics.

This type of thing happens on a very consistent basis. Very frustrating.

1646931674505.png


1646931757200.png


1646931694325.png
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Messages
7,290
You forgot option #4 - get lost.

Glad you charged him accordingly.
 
Last edited:

Job

Joined
Dec 4, 2018
Messages
3,028
Location
USA
So here is an example of what I was talking about.

Customer has a problem with his excavator, engine will start and idle but won't rev up. Takes the pump to another fuel shop, they rebuild it, same problem. They check it again. Same problem. He gets fed up with them and brings it to us. We find a problem with it, but not a problem where it would affect the way it runs, just with longevity... It wasn't to our standard. So we fixed that problem, calibrate it again etc and send it out. Customer calls a couple days later, same problem. We tell him he has a fuel supply issue and to get a different mechanic out to look at it. A week later the pump shows up here again because mechanic #2 can't figure it out either. Pump has red silicone all over the mounting flange and the gear (I guess a $3 gasket is too expensive or something), a tie-wire on the governor is cut, and it is filthy. We take the tech who built it off another job, put the pump onto the test stand, again, and of course other than the governor speed changing slightly because of the adjustment they played with, the pump is perfect.

So this guy has had this thing misdiagnosed at least four times, spent like 6k in mechanics and a pump rebuild (x2 but the first shop refunded his money even though they didn't really do a whole lot wrong)... All because he's getting mechanics to look at the machine that don't even know basics.

This type of thing happens on a very consistent basis. Very frustrating.

View attachment 92184

View attachment 92186

View attachment 92185
This is the world now, point fingers at everyone. Everyone is doing something wrong except yourself. That is terrible work they did, on the assumption your work was no good, instead of looking for the real problem. Related in idea, I walk my smaller dog on a leash, someone’s big dog is off leash and attacks my small dog going for his neck. Their comment, my dog is friendly, you should have run away faster. My dog doesn’t bark and was paying no attention to anything but sniffing things. All my fault.
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2010
Messages
3,700
Location
pa
always interesting + you surely know your business + as noted you surely treated him better as well as solving the issue than most anyone else, especially a car STEALER!! theres so much to know on modern vehicles + a great tech-mechanic is good to have!! i have an old friend + hes a very savy retired small Ducati dealer + his first question is what did the owner work on last !!!
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2012
Messages
196
Location
Edson, Alberta
Senior guy at work retired and they are now looking at me to move up- he deals with clients like this on a daily basis, they don't phone to tell how good a job you are doing.....I think I'll take a hard pass.
 
Top