I live in a small Third World village in the mountains of Mexico. Regulars may remember this.
Yesterday, I was walking back from visiting a friend, and on a small side street was parked the community garbage pickup.
You may ask what is a garbage pickup. Well, it’s a 2002 GMC pickup truck with many steel barrels in back, and two workers hanging off the side. They drive around on garbage pickup day on streets where the big garbage crushing truck can’t go. They pull into your area, and honk the horn, and scream garbage in Spanish for a while, hoping people come out with their garbage. Some folks just lay the bags on the ground, which coupled with loose dogs makes for a mess.
Anyway, they were parked there, with the hood up. I am a man, so I had to get involved, right? Heh, heh.
I went over and talked to the driver, a friendly man who worked long enough in the US to speak a certain amount of English. I asked him what was wrong. He told me the motor didn’t want to start and ran really rough.
I asked him if the Check Engine light was on. He said it is always on! But, he said the hard starting and rough idle just happened. I asked if he wanted me to walk home and come back with my scanner. He said, sure. the town doesn’t have a scanner at all!
So, I did.
I got a P0118 ECT faliure, and also a manufacturer’s code P1345 (if my memory has not reversed that.)
anyway, it’s the cam shaft to crankshaft correlation fault. Internet says it will start hard and idle poorly. Check.
Live data showed ECT temp at -39, so I told them there is their chronic Check Engine light problem.
I wrote down the codes and told them to tell the mechanic to look on the Internet for the failure code for that P1345 failure in Spanish.
I told him the temp problem was probably the temp sensor, though it could be the wires.
Looking up the failure P1345 for GMC, it looks like it could be distributor alignment, or problems with the sensors on crankshaft or camshaft. Or, just plain alignment issues for unknown reasons. Whatever it was, it apparently happened out of the blue.
I did give them my phone number in case the mechanic wants to talk to me.
He did show me something on top of the motor which had just been changed. It was a small heat sinked assembly with a cable plugged into it. The highest part in the center of the engine. No idea what it is.
I do have a manual in spanish, but it is for GMC 1988 - 1998. And, none of the engine photos shows anything like that. Autozone also wasn’t much help. Doesn’t seem to be any repair guide, you get a generic page if you click on repair guide for Sierra 2wd.
Most of the data I should have I didn’t get, like model and motor. Sigh. The driver did say this was the only GMC they had. But, if the mechanic knows his stuff, having the codes will tell him all he needs to know.
Next time it comes around, I will get the missing data, Just to have it.
Is this sort of failure something our professional mechanics would have experience with, to give me a clue what is the most likely to happen failure? Position sensors or distributor alignment? Just to know, I guess.
Thanks. I just thought y’all would find a Mexican tale interesting. Sorry if not.