My wife recently had car trouble while shopping with a friend. As luck would have it…I was out of town for a couple of days and she was left at the mercy of a local shop. She called and told me what was going on so I told her to sign nothing. Several minutes later…the “mechanic” gave her a list of things that needed replacement (according to the infamous CEL). They wanted to replace the cat, a couple of O2 sensors and various other items including spark plug wires. When I heard that…I called a friend of mine and had the Vue towed home. The 3.6 engine in this vehicle has coil on plugs and no spark plug wires at all.
When I got home…I used my trusty little scanner and all that came up was a misfire in #5 cylinder. I tried replacing the spark plug but the same misfire kept coming back. I then installed a new coil on plug and that fixed the problem. I took my receipts and a copy of the original troubleshooting list to the shop and confronted the manager. My total out of pocket was $52. He said that his mechanic was just being thorough but I countered with something that can’t be repeated here. I have never liked the CEL system and I like it even less now. In the hands of an unscrupulous mechanic…the CEL system is just a license to steal.