EVAP issues with Dodge Durango

Michael Mobile Technician Utah Posted   Latest   Edited  
Case Study
Emissions
Programming
2000 Dodge Durango Sport 4.7L (N) 4-spd (45RFE)
P0443 — EVAP System Purge Control Valve "A" Circuit

Got called to program a second PCM for a purge valve circuit code. It was explained that the vehicle had been to three shops. Two national chains and this independent shop. Both the LDP and purge valve had been replaced. This was the second replacement computer. Nobody was able to get the light off. The shop insisted that both the original and the replacement PCMs were bad. They told me that they had load tested both wires. After programming the PCM, the engine lamp was on.

Knowing that the shop would complain when I asked for payment, I decided to do a little investigation. I grabbed my single channel scope and connected the ground to the ground of the battery and the positive lead to each of the purge valve wires. With the key on, the reading was the same at 400 mV. This tells me that there is an open most likely in the power feed circuit. I was assuming that the ground was controlled by the PCM and the power was a switched source. I pulled up a wiring diagram. It showed one of the leads getting it's power from fuse 11 in the left side of the dashboard. I pulled the fuse expecting to see it complete. Nope, nice big gap. It was burned. I replaced the 10 amp fuse and cleared the codes. The reading at the purge valve was now reading 13.5 V Check engine lamp stayed off this time. It took only an extra 15 minutes to check the power at the purge valve and look at the diagram. Why had none of these shops checked the fuse?

I see this more and more as I go out for programming. Quite often I hear from the customer. "It did not fix my problem, do I still need to pay?" I don't quite understand the logic. I provide a service. My part is done correctly. I do feel bad that it does not always work out for the shops. I have to feed my family too.

-Mike

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Todd Mobile Technician
Alberta
Todd Default
 

Wow.

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Funny
Albert Owner/Technician
Pennsylvania
Albert Default
 

when I encounter electrical problems like this, I pull up the wiring diagram then find the fuse that supplies the component. fuses are usually the first thing I check. it seems lately they're making things more complicated than they are

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Gary Owner/Technician
Colorado
Gary Default
 

Albert, Bingo, you win the door prize,.. :0)

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Gail Technician
North Carolina
Gail Default
 

You need to be clear upfront. I am here to program X module. If that doesn't repair vehicle i charge X amount an hour to diagnose WHY vehicle was not repaired by YOUR diagnosis. That eliminates all the questions. All this should be covered over the phone before you start rolling. JMHO.

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Thanks
Michael Mobile Technician
Utah
Michael Default
 

Gail, I hear what you are saying. As a business owner I have to step lightly. Even when the shop makes mistakes like this, I have to just make a light comment. If I am too harsh, I can make the paymaster unhappy. Then I don't get called back. If they ask me on the phone about if it does not work, then I tell them that I will charge them unless it is a problem with my methods or tooling…

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Gail Technician
North Carolina
Gail Default
 

You and I have a fundamental disagreement on this one. IMO your, and others with same attitude, about tip-toeing around the customer so they don't get offended is how our industry has gotten to this point. Techs HAVE to get PAID. Refusing to hold people accountable for their actions only re-enforces those actions. If the tech got fired over this then he was probably on slippery ground already…

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Todd Mobile Technician
Alberta
Todd Default
 

Gail, you work in a shop environment with a counter staff and probably on flat rate performing service on the general publics vehicles, correct? Mike, Ben and others including myself work for shops and bodyshops and we have to engage in diplomatic behaviour when dealing with these cats. I imagine Pep boys is a pretty big outfit with many stores serving the public. You probably deal with the…

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Justin Mobile Technician
Utah
Justin Default
 

Bedside manors is what I call it. Some have it, some don’t.

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Gail Technician
North Carolina
Gail Default
 

My middle name is rude. So yep. If a mobile guy is charging $150 for a service call and sees 10 minutes in the car needs further diag then he can afford to spend say 1/2 hour doing that. But if you find the vehicle doesn't need the module replaced or programmed how do you justify getting paid? Again...for me it's always about getting paid. Food Lion won't let me out the door because my job gives…

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Samuel Technician
New Jersey
Samuel Default
 

The fact that this is happening to me is an oddity. Shops and auto industry professionals want something for free but complain and don't want to give it on the other end for free? F@CK THAT! They are CLEARLY taking advantage. Dealing with the customer, the car owner, is what is supposed to be the hard part. Dealing with the shops is supposed to be less of a headache. The shop owner and staff…

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Todd Mobile Technician
Alberta
Todd Default
 

It isn't so much that they want something for free, or anything like that. It's sometimes the loss of face, etc. that make the "transaction" less than a happy one, so to speak. I wasn't suggesting that a mobile tech devote a bunch of hours gratis in hopes he gets paid for a flash or whatever. Perhaps I shouldn't have said anything at all.

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Justin Mobile Technician
Utah
Justin Default
 

Negative Todd. We can’t have you not speaking the truth. You are dead right here. How we treat the customer as a mobile progressional does matter.

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Dennis Owner/Technician
Michigan
Dennis Default
 

Willing to bet they charged the customer for the pcm that really didn't fix the vehicle.

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Marlin Technician
Oregon
Marlin Default
 

You probably are correct, it's crazy. See my comment below.

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Todd Mobile Technician
Alberta
Todd Default
 

Mobile diagnostics requires a level of diplomacy as egos are involved, sometimes peoples jobs. I have replaced a few fuses in my time and never said a word.

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Tim Technician
Pennsylvania
Tim Default
 

I generally repair opens in power feed circuits when working for other shops. Not a lie and sounds good enough that they pay the bill

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Jim Owner/Technician
North Carolina
Jim Default
 

It is unfortunate that some tech's go for the computer as a catch all to whatever problem they, or the previous shops, have not been able to diagnose properly. BASICS- Always start with a low tech common sense strategy, then break out the heavy equipment when needed. Better for the customer, better for the shop,

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Gary Owner/Technician
Colorado
Gary Default
 

Michael, AUT 101: check both sides of the fuse for voltage! BTW, I was thinking last night that many techs have so many bad habits and lack so much foundational knowledge that training them is nearly impossible. We'd kinda have to start with Day One of of high school auto mechanics. Myself, I seldom replace a PCM... :0)

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Douglas Technician
Maine
Douglas Default
 

Went to tech school in 1996 for Auto tech. We were the last carburator class our instructor taught, seemed sureal when he told us.... But here we are. Man I feel old (like my kids tell me I am) ALOT has changed, but the basics are where you start. I know ALOT of techs who hate diagnosis of electrical. Basic training and know how to navigate a wiring diagram and all associated info. 11 out of 12…

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Gail Technician
North Carolina
Gail Default
 

I graduated from tech school in 1976. Straight into GM dealership. Yes...things have changed a bit.

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Michael Mobile Technician
Utah
Michael Default
 

Hi Gary, I was discussing this with a good friend today. How we get so many technicians that just throw parts at a vehicle without even going much deeper than reading codes. In the current culture a flat rate technician sees a juicy brake job on the board and he is fighting this 20 year old Durango. He already changed the purge valve and it still has a circuit code. Must need a computer. Since…

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Gary Owner/Technician
Colorado
Gary Default
 

Hello, Michael You're right, the flat-rate issue is only making things worse. I do part-time mobile diagnostics because I'm the last-ditch hope for my small town. Otherwise, I'd be full-time retired. That said, I just don't see the guy changing oil and brake pads as the guy who's going to diagnose the intermittent or no-code drivability problem. And, yeah, I'd hate doing diagnostics in a shop…

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Michael Mobile Technician
Utah
Michael Default
 

Hi Gary, You are off the beaten path out there. I used to frequent both the front range and the back range. I may have passed through Buena Vista once or twice traveling from I-70 to Colorado Springs. I am not a big fan of I-25 traffic. ATG does classes in Montrose last I heard. Not sure about the other providers. It would be fun to teach a class up there if there was enough willing to take…

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Gary Owner/Technician
Colorado
Gary Default
 

Hello, Christopher I taught some Snap-on classes for a very short while. Given all the logistics, it was nearly an impossible task to assemble the minimum number (25) of technicians for any class. I did a scan tool class in Canyon City 20 years ago and it was really hard to teach since one side of the room didn't know how to turn on an MT 2500 and the other side were very much into advanced…

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Douglas Technician
Maine
Douglas Default
 

Wow! Is right! Good read thanks for the post!

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Geoff Diagnostician
Hawaii
Geoff Default
 

The curiosity of "which idiot at this shop 'diagnosed' this?" would just kill me, Mike. I suppose if a shop is big enough, and busy enough, they could wing parts, and be correct often enough to not care that they don't understand electricity. Out here, our operating budget is near zero, so we darn well better be right before we order parts.

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Benjamin Diagnostician
Tennessee
Benjamin Default
 

Mike, I deal with this sort of situation constantly. It is as if I wrote this post myself (but you do a much better job than I could). I was called today to program a display on a 2014 Chevrolet Cruze. You know how the phone conversation goes. They don’t know all of the details. “They put a new screen in and there is a code and we need you to program it.” Upon arrival the screen is a basic color…

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Todd Mobile Technician
Alberta
Todd Default
 

Very well said. I deal only shop to shop and I assume you do as well. Have you ever noticed that the most competent shops are your best customers?

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Benjamin Diagnostician
Tennessee
Benjamin Default
 

Yes. Those shops are usually slammed and don’t care what it takes. They just want it done.

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Todd Mobile Technician
Alberta
Todd Default
 

I find that some great shops utilize my programming services because they have calculated the ROI of being able to program in house and have decided that it is better if tgey just pay me to do it. They have usually diagnosed it correctly, or read the TSB correctly and found it was pertinent to the vehicle's concern or whatever. It is usually the best shops that have the best clientele as well.

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Chris Diagnostician
Ohio
Chris Default
 

So the truth comes out. Just as I thought, these people are using you as you sacrifice your time to correct the fault of others.

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Justin Mobile Technician
Utah
Justin Default
 

Someone bought into the 80/20 enabling BS.

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Marlin Technician
Oregon
Marlin Default
 

That is just easy stuff, the "technicians" involved are not professionals. What I struggle with is this- why do businesses, which provide such incredibly deficient service, generate … profit?

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Dennis Owner/Technician
Michigan
Dennis Default
 

Same goes for techs.

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Marlin Technician
Oregon
Marlin Default
 

Ha, too true! I read that a couple of times before I caught your drift.

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Stephen Educator
Ohio
Stephen Default
 

This kind of thing happens way too often in our industry. The problem is the people working on the vehicles are either lazy or ignorant. The later being most likely. If techs (and I use loosely here) can't do a simple repair what do they do when they run into an ADAS problem? Unfortunately, their out there making us all look bad. As far as a shop not wanting to pay me for services render, cut…

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Samuel Technician
New Jersey
Samuel Default
 

Yes they need to pay EVERY TIME. Over the past few years I really had a positive outlook for the future of our field. The more and more I see things like this, I am convinced that it is the same as it ever was. Oh well, more for us!

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Richard Technician
New York
Richard Default
 

Wow, when I clicked on this I was thinking we would be seeing a cracked fuel pump top. Resulting in a small evap leak. A blown fuse, with 2 computers replaced should be embarrassing. I would be. But like you I wouldn't say anything harsh to those involved. Collect your money and move on. You want those guys calling back. They are going to need you, and you can probably make some money from…

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Funny