When its your own vehicle that needs repaired
So I had the pleasure of getting out to my vehicle after working 10 hours to a no crank no start. Unfortunately no empty bays in the shop and its locked up for the night. Luckily I keep my truck loaded with tools and part store is right next door as they lease part of our building. So my question to you is do you proceed to test or throw a starter at it? Well I'm far from being rich so I don't want to spend any more money than I need to. So I quickly test it and find that the starter is indeed failed. So I go purchase one and install it and have the core returned before the part store closes. When its your vehicle does your testing method change? If so tell me how and why it changes. I try to keep mine the same whether its mine or a customers as it builds a routine that you can count on. What types of repairs have you had to do on the ground on your own cars? It always hurts when its your own as it costs money and time that you may have planned on doing something else with. Let me hear some of your stories and answer the questions I have asked if you wish. Have a great night. Going to need to start a fund page for the old truck lol.
Lucky you had your tools, although I suspect you gave the starter a tap and presto. I personally would've switched out the starter relay for another identical one, since it's easiest. Then tap that starter. I had to do a start stall symptom in my personal vehicle. It was neglected, this was when I was a GS. I whipped out my smartphone, researched and was led to the throttle body, so I cleaned out the throttle body and IAC. Helped but not a complete fix. I called the nearest auto parts store at 945PM pleading for them to wait for me, since they closed at 10PM. They did, I scored a new IAC, popped it in, and was hailed a hero by my wife. Although the excitement of fixing it was intense, the lack of knowledge and preparation was a terrible feeling. So from then on I took my job seriously, and studied on and never looked back. Great post, Michael. This triggered many memories, so thank you. 👍
Nope this starter was well past the tap stage trust me I tried lol. And this being kinda a pain to remove I just went with a reman as I would have it out anyways. Love to hear others stories on their emergency repairs. Thanks for sharing
First thing i would check fault codes then check power at starter signal wire to make sure power is ok..
You don't have keys to your own shop Mike? LOL! My testing method changes on my own truck because I have HISTORY on the vehicle, so I know that all maintenance is up to date and what repairs have been done. None of the vehicle owners in this area have any concept of maintenance so we have no history on the vehicles. e.g. When my truck hesitated and misfired pulling away from stoplight a few months back, I knew instantly it was the fuel pump. The plugs wires cap and rotor all have 10k miles on them and so does the injector "spider" so I knew it had to be the fuel pump, and I checked fuel pressure FIRST. Had it been a customer I would have been looking at secondary ignition first, since that is the most common problem on cars with no maintenance. Every car/truck that has ever needed a fuel pump here was towed in.
No good "on the ground" stories, sorry. I have keys to the shop, Heck that's the only reason I keep working! :-)
Well even new parts can be failed so never know what will go bad buddy
Yeah I used too but he took all keys back which kinda sucks. But thats ok looking to move on doing my business full time until I can relocate too another state. And history of vehicle is very important which with our own we know what we have done. Thanks for sharing
If your wanting to move states, c'mon over here. We could use you.
Why should your testing methods change on your own vehicle? If they do, is it because you don't believe in the testing? Is it because you are too lazy to do it the right way?
If you were a doctor, would treat a broken leg differently on yourself then you would on a paying patient? If so, why?
Michael, I had an interesting situation one night after doing an evening training class about 100 miles from my home, back then I was driving a "S" series 1989 GMC Jimmy with the 4.3 liter. I saw that my gas gauge was at about a quarter of a tank , so before getting on the turnpike, I decided to fill up the tank. When I started the truck after filling up, I heard one of those noises you don't want to hear at 10:00 pm , 100 miles from home !!!!! The battery indicator light also was on. The service station I was at, no longer had service bays like most others it was now a convenience store, after popping the hood, I could see that the rear alternator bearing had failed and now the alternator shaft was no longer centered and causing the brushes to loss contact (This was one of the ones with the exposed rear alternator bearing). After doing what we all we do KICKED THE TIRES in frustration, I opened the rear hatch of the truck, what I was teaching that night was a class on emission control devices, I had with me to show the technicians was a peanut butter jar full of ball bearings and other devices that I had removed over the years from vacuum lines that went to emission control devices like EGR valves. When the techs couldn't fix the problem, they just made it NOT WORK anymore by blocking the vacuum. I then laid a fender cover out in the back of the truck and emptied the jar out on it, I choose about 5 or 6 ball bearings and inserted them into the casing of the failed alternator bearing, when I finally had the shaft centered again, I crisscrossed black electrical tape to the rear of the alternator and started the engine...…...BATTERY LIGHT WAS NOW OUT and system was charging, It had a little bit too much noise BUT I had a radio to block the noise....LOL
I drove all the way home with my temporary set-up and drove into the Post-Secondary trade school I taught for the next morning !!!!!!!!!!! Three guesses what that days lesson plan was on ????? Correct, replacing a rear alternator bearing on a GMC Jimmy truck.
That is awesome love stories like this. Its one of those gotta do what you have too so you can make it home. Thanks for sharing
I had just last week had an issue myself. I was Driving to Home Depot to spend more money on projects around the house. Then I smell something burning, initially thought it was another car, then saw smoke from under to hood. I nursed it the last mile to the parking lot and realized that I had a transmission cooler line leaking. Fortunately I was in the right place. I was able to get what ever tubing and fittings that were close to the right size, transmission fluid, a funnel, and some clamps. I bypassed the radiator cooler lines and left it connected to the OTA cooler and refilled the transmission in the dark, in the rain, on the ground. The $75.00 in home depot was cheaper than a tow and the fluid all over the rusting frame isn't necessarily a bad thing. The only thing left to do is make a more permanent repair.
I think the military term for this is BDAR - Battle Damage Assessment and Repair
I had a problem on my service truck and it need a starter but times were tough and i new i could fix it. all i needed was a pair off contacts for the solenoid i believe its an neppondenso the local part store that i new had some. but they were for the smaller car starters and they ones i needed were out 4 to 5 days. contacts were $8.00 no time to wait. new starter at the time was $260 about. i welded up new contacts. on the same starter 4.5 yrs ago.
Its amazing on how many "old" skills are broken out for our own vehicles. I would rather machine rotors for my vehicles than replace. I even rebuilt my alternator, (just bearings and a regulator), but I have not performed these same services for customers. Anyone else recondition their own parts, but not provide the same services for their customers?