I don’t remember when I signed up on this board. It must have been nearly twenty years ago. At one time we were told a software change reset our sign-up date. But, in those days, I was a strong car talk fan. I worked my way through all the past newspaper columns in the archives, and loved them.
I also learned a lot from the columns and this board. I was scared of OBDII but learned it was essentially an automotive equivalent of military electronics self-test as we called it in those days. I did not know in those days about good books on OBDII, such as Santini’s book which came out later. So, I had to pick up bits and pieces as people posted them.
The Brothers were still in charge then, and this board was a friendly place, overall.
After they left, there was some change in the personality of the board, but not dramatically so.
Around two years ago, I made a posting with what I thought then and still think now was important technical information. My 2002 Sienna had some years ago, an intermittent evap failure. It might fail every day or go several months with no failure. I knew from extensive experience there was no point in taking it to a mechanic. “No trouble found; that will be $100 for diagnostics and $20 for shop supplies we didn’t actually use.” So, I examinded the hoses as best I could, and noted in a notebook when the failures occurred.
Finally, after maybe a year or more, a man posted on another board that he had the same problem but he had two Gen-1 Siennas and swapped parts until he found the problem. The charcoal canister had some self-actuating valves that got sticky. He installed a new cannister and problem solved.
So, I took my car to the local dealer, signed the diagnostic waiver, and in a few hours paid my bill, and that failure never occurred again.
I had retired after 31 years in a high tech factory. We had around 300 production techs. I was one of 11 at the top level. Our function would properly be called Senior diagnosticians.
intermittents can be very hard to troubleshoot, for sure. “No trouble found; that will be $100 for diagnostics and $20 for shop supplies we didn’t actually use” may be acceptable for automobiles, but not so good when a vehicle is carrying 500 passengers, or an atomic bomb. So, in case of repeat failures, if we couldn’t find the problem, we had to give them a new box and “eat” the old one. With at least one box I worked on having a standard cost of $250,000 this was not taken lightly, either.
Before a NTF was sent back, normally we would repeat the temperature cycling; run it on the shake table (6.3 g. of pseudo-random vibration from 20 hz to 20K hz,) maybe even tear out the modules and 100% inspect them.
On the other hand, most big projects involved a very large support contract, and the actuaries probably allowed for a predictable number of intermittents with high diagnostic costs.
This is why I knew very well it was a waste of time to take my car to a mechanic to troubleshoot. It was my car; it was my problem.
When I made the posting, I was treated like the worst, most despicable person every to blunder on this board. One long-time member compared me unfavorably to the worst customer of his entire career. A man brought in a car with an intermittent, and wanted a certain part replaced; was told that would not fix it; insisted; signed the waiver, then when it didn’t fix it, sued the mechanic anyway. So, what did that have to do with my posting? Nothing, of course. It did change my view of a man I viewed as a wise, old retired mechanic to just another Angry Shouter.
He set the tone of the board. A few did not agree with him, but there were a lot of negative attacks on me. Several agreed they did not want customers of my ilk in their shops.
One man believed I had to get my own hoist; my own tools; and replace it myself. He also thought it wasn’t right for me to diagnose my own car until I went to mechanic school and worked maybe five years as a mechanic.
Actually, the consensus was the current business model makes it nearly impossible to fix intermittents in automobiles. So while they essentially admitted they couldn’t fix it, I was not supposed to be able to diagnose it myself. Crush a $15,000 car, I guess, but whatever do not hurt the ego of a mechanic.
That thread was the worst one I ever saw on this board. It portrayed mechanics as much worse than the anti-mechanic prejudices of the general public. If you guys were smart you’d pay a large bribe to the moderator to delete that entire thread, if you have not already done so.
I might have worked past that thread, as vicious as it was. But, then we had the angry religious bigot. And, after that, we got into the Trump derangement syndrome, and attacks on the Constitution because of its protection of the Federal system.
And, the minute anyone stands up to you guys, everyone hits the Abuse button at the same time, as if you were the ones being picked on.
There are too many good boards on the Web to put up with it any more. And, life is too good here in rural Mexico to have the negative tone in my life.
Cadquilla, can you fix it so I don’t get any more notifications? Thank you.