My Day at the Mechanic's

I've been at mechanics all day. All. Day. I left at 8:30 this morning and have been dealing with mechanics until give or take 4 pm.

I think we're getting closer to winning the war of the cars.

First: The Jaguar, also known as The Grinch who Spent All the Christmas Money on Itself.

It's not the fuel pump. (YAY!!!)
It's not the vacuum lines. They're pristine.
But the check engine light keeps coming on and as soon as I go over 2500-3000 RPM, the car tries to dump me into limp mode.
I hate having a bright red sports car I have to drive like I'm 90 years old. Try going up a hill without going over 2500 RPM. Semis pass me on uphills.

My mechanic cleared the codes and the history. Car ran like a dream. He decided to see if he could get the codes to come on for him (they only seem to come on when I'm driving.)

There's your first clue.

THIS TIME, I rode shotgun while he put the car through its paces. Every other time he's tested the car, I haven't been along. Beautiful car. Ran like a champ. 5000 RPM with no problems. THIS is the car I bought.

I dropped him off to pick up the Durango from Danny's work and I drove the Jaguar back to the shop. Within 2 miles, the light was back on and it was throwing fits.


He ran the codes again. Flight Data Recorder only. Called Jaguar in Louisville. Flight data?!? WHA?!? It's a car, not a plane. Jaguar/Louisville says: Something is wrong, car is trying to black box the problem. Car is not telling us WHAT is wrong. Not helpful. Arrange to bring it back on Thursday and leave it so my mechanic can fine-tooth-comb it for 4 or 5 hours and try to discover what the **** is going on with that **** Jaguar! (He said he wouldn't charge me to find the problem. I love my mechanic.)

Cleared the codes.  I head home. To say I'm bummed is the understatement of the century. 8 hours at mechanic's and I'm where I started.

Bah. Humbug.

Now, when my mechanic clears the codes and the history, my heater/ac resets and shuts off. When I turn it back on after he has reset the codes, it always reads 24C. I change it to F, set it at 70, hit the direction and recirc buttons and off I go. It is usually the first thing I do after I buckle in and start the car.

This time, I didn't do that. I never turned it on. There's your second clue.

I was half-way home before I realized I hadn't reset my heater...and the check engine light hadn't come on, either. (I noticed when I managed to pass a gravel truck on an uphill without any problem.) Called my mechanic. No, he never resets the heater when he is test driving the Jaguar. He tells me to pull over, shut the car off, and restart it with the heater going.

First time I hit 3000 RPM with the heater going, the check engine light lit up like a Christmas tree and the car started trying to go into limp mode. (I also noticed when I turn on my defrosters, my radio fuzzes out.)

Somehow, running the heater makes my car stop working. YAY!!!!

(((Okay, that sounded psychotic, but at least now we have a place to start looking for the problem!!!)))

Things are looking up.

On to The Durango.

Sigh. I spent the morning having the airbag recall fixed at the dealer (No, I DON'T want to buy a new truck!! Have you seen the prices on those things?!), then handed it over to our mechanic. The mechanic thinks the repeated codes may be caused by a evap controller switch getting the wrong voltage (I'm calling it the wrong name but that's what it is.) He suggested letting him run more tests before we go dumping more money into it.

I'm good with that.

So that is where we are:
Durango's check engine light is on. It will go back to the shop after the New Year.
Jaguar's check engine light is on. It goes into the shop Thursday for a week.

I can deal with that. Life is good.


Gorges Smythe said...

Have you considered Volkswagen? ;-)

Catherine said...

We're thinking Toyota. New-ish. With a warranty.

J Bogan said...

I like Toyotas. Camrys are the most boring cars in the world, but they seem to be bulletproof. I am thinking that something is corrupting the network communications between modules. Which is really weird. I looked in the book. There is "CAN" communication between climate control and the ECU for the engine. Probably has to do with the AC compressor on and off and idle speed. I might look at the wiring harness from the AC compressor as it merges wit the engine harness. Perhaps there is some feed back/ worn insulation corrupting one of the sensor signals.

I will try to find wiring diagrams this evening. E mail me a snail mail address to trwusAT aolDOTcom.

Gorges Smythe said...

Toyota's have a good reputation, but my 2007 Tundra Crew Max has been a real lemon. Of course, nothing much happened until just after the warranty expired.

Catherine said...

Gorges--try not turning the heater on. Who knows, crazier things have happened.