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In this video I bring you along the process of diagnosing a customer complaint of surging and poor running on a Buick 3.8. In our shop I always give the full hour of time set aside to duplicate the customers complaint but at the end of my time if I can't get the car to act up I move on. I am curious to know what you do in your shop. What's you go to method?
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48 thoughts on “When to call it quits…”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Danny Cole says:

    Some jobs are best to walk from
    I had a wonderful Hummer H2 where the exhaust was just hammered. Listed all the issue it had with the choice to fix all the issues before I even got into diag. If the customer isn't willing to fix obvious issues before chasing a ghost, most likely the car is in the condition it is for a reason. AKA I only fix shit when it breaks.

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Rod Marin says:

    Thank you for the scenic drive I needed that. The concrete jungle does not deliver such beauty, though the question remains. Can it be fixed? Something working can't be fixed 😜

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Darin Johnson says:

    I usually tell the customer to stop by if it is ever acting up and I can go for a ride with them…rarely ever see it back for the problem, and I’ll always ask at their next visit and usually the answer you always get is that it hasn’t acted up, or “it really only did it once”, which they never tell you that initially lol!!

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Johnny Sechrist says:

    Peanut and corn infused wires…..yum.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Amor Ettir says:

    "The classic 420" gotta love it😂

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Automotivated says:

    Fix it till it’s broke! Haha jk. I’ve found the one hour max is the most fair thing to do for tech an customer. I have had some customers leave the car with me and say spend time on it when you can and contact me when it’s fixed.

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Chris Maverick says:

    hose it down. If it misses when raining or wet, it's a bad coil pack or ICU. I think I remember all the 3.8's have paired coils. This is definitely a noticeable problem in individual coils on plugs setups where they can age and crack, only showing their ugly side when wet or really hot. My Taurus would miss under loads when humid or wet, but it took forever for it to miss enough to crack the percentage that flagged. Not sure if GM used the same setup on their comps.

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars jim ramsey says:

    Scanners are like 2 year olds. Why Daddy? Why? Bad gas?

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars James Pietsch says:

    You mentioned something that I say a lot of times with is I am dun… done, had to chuckle.

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Nature and Physics says:

    "I feel good inside, yeah, but I can't explain…'

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Anthony Breakspear-Jones says:

    Classic rock 😎 who exactly 👍can’t explain

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars joe smith says:

    Get the all muffler system on eBay pay someone too put it in cheapest way if u take it too a muffler shop $1200!

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars joe smith says:

    MrO how do get all this business in such a small town population under 3000?

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Rufus Connolly says:

    It took a very real faith in Mr O's dedication to doing a damn good job for me to believe this wasn't a meme video. That first few minutes sounds like AvE doing an April Fool's video of pretending to be an Automotive Tech XD

    You're a excellent person Eric on top of being a mechanic with excellent integrity, and I guarantee I will watch every one if your videos before too awful long.

  15. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Chiefkyle says:

    I'm a computer tech. When I cannot duplicate a problem I explain to the customer that it could be something that is flaky (intermittent) but I cannot diagnose a problem I am not seeing. I often use car analogies with my clients. I explain that if you take your car to the shop for transmission issues and the tech doesn't experience the issue you are having, he cannot in good faith diagnose and replace parts. It would be doing a disservice to his customer.

  16. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars J2B says:

    a Buick? connecting rod bearings…just a guess before I watch – later edit – I was wrong

  17. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Gary Jonson says:

    what i used to do is if an old lady drives it then drive like an old lady. if it's a younger person drive it like that. when you nailed it down the highway you might have blown the cob webs out of it and semi fixed it.

  18. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Batte Mann says:

    I had the same rule for the techs. Do not spend more than 1 hour duplicating a concern without the customer's consent that they approve additional diagnostic time. My main job as a service manager was to keep customers happy AND make sure the techs are getting paid!

  19. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars jay frames says:

    Don't be a Jerry! Lol

  20. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Nonofya Business says:

    Once a customer came in he just bought a VW van and he said it ran bad would died out. Mechanic took it for ride and it was find. Shop manager got in car and let the owner drive see if problem could be recreated and sure enough he did. Shop manager then ask him if he wanted to risk blowing up his engine he would remove the governor rotor and put in a regular one.

  21. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Patrick Wayne says:

    Pretty insensitive using terms like "retard" dontcha think? (Lol),, me and cretin boss have been watching your adventures for several years now. We've both done drivability in our careers. Really enjoy your detailed thoughts on everything from a hub grappler to troubleshooting

  22. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars ccagle121 says:

    Cuttin' thru a parking lot? Still the best mechanic around!

  23. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Stu Korth says:

    Love the diagnostics

  24. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Doosh Baggins says:

    My wife's Buick had a similar issue, turned out to be a coil pack was starting to fail.

  25. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Scott Hayes says:

    Why do you keep saying that NAPA is not a sponsor when you have a big NAPA sign hanging on your building

  26. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Generation Noise says:

    just curious …at the end of the vid you said you leave everything on as the customer had it but in the beginning you shut everything off that the customer had on …just curious did you turn it back on at same point ….not trying to sound mean ….no pun intended

  27. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Generation Noise says:

    i love how people always knock a bad weld as if they were always a great welder …guarantee you were shit once to …who cares what a weld looks like as long as its doing its job .

  28. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars VinnyMartello says:

    If its a PT Cruiser it's already too far gone, regardless of condition.

  29. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars BackyardEngineering says:

    Recently found you on YouTube and have been watching your videos. When I watched this one with you driving so much and said NY state I thought it looked familiar. I grew up in Dalton NY over on Rattlesnake Hill and now live in Minnesota. I go and visit my parents from time to time.

    It was nice to take a ride with you that area is some of my favorite terrain, and the trees all the way down to just how people live, it's so much more pure.

  30. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Tyler Williams says:

    i will say i dont take the time like you do for sure,. dealership life is different but i like seeing the time you do spend trying to dulpicate the conern. always love to see you videos learn something new every time. would love to know info in on how the knock sensor (with more detail) on the reading could lead you to a clooked exhausted or somthing of that effect

  31. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars ron watson says:

    I think you went above and beyond.Good thinking.

  32. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Stephen Pourciau says:

    I've got a super annoying problem with my wife's car where it will occasionally throw a cam/crank position sensor code and not start til you let it sit for 15 minutes and then it cranks up fine and could maybe not do it again for weeks or months or maybe do it again later the same day.

    freakin lil chevy trax sucks man. Since it's doing it only right when cranking i'm not sure what to look at. I haven't replaced anything yet but all the tests of the sensor's voltage range is fine. so i don't know what the heck. So i get how annoying that can be.

  33. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars fourbypete says:

    If that exhaust wasn't the problem then I'll be a monkeys uncle.

  34. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Hola! Peter Pierce says:

    I thought you lived in New York. I had no idea New York had Country Farm Areas

  35. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Marco Not Polo says:

    If the suggested problem can't be unidentified then I normally give vehicle a full diagnosis on items that do require attention, sometimes explanations of problems are misinterpreted especially through the eyes of someone that has no mechanical knowledge,
    Great channel, glad I've stumbled on it

  36. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Hola! Peter Pierce says:

    You must love Punishing yourself. All those GMs.

  37. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Aelanna64 says:

    Regarding engine lights. When there are ads on TV with Ice-T telling people "When that check engine light comes on, it's GAME OVER", no wonder people panic when it comes on. Meanwhile I drove my minivan around for 5 years with that light on because of a bad (and expensive to replace) sensor.

  38. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars W K says:

    Can't believe you didn't check the Fetzer Valve 🤪
    Intermittent problems can be a real 🤬

  39. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jeremy Cermak says:

    Is it just be or does the buick le' saber sound like its supercharged?

  40. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Shawn Roberts says:

    I woul do pull a plug or 2, check air and fuel filters (if equipped), and if warranted, suggest a tune up along with exhaust work. I have wasted more time chasing driveability issues. And squeaks and thuds often suck as well 😂 Unfortunately that's all part of our profession.

  41. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Travis Lee says:

    I just had this same problem. Took me two months to figure out that it had dirt under the coil packs. That was after spending 100$ on parts I didn't need.

  42. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Andy Dubovsky says:

    Thanks

  43. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Meg Smith says:

    My brother bought one of those new and there was a mouse nest under the engine cover.

  44. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Hola! Michael Cuff says:

    Give the guy a Mc Donalds straw and tell him to run up and down a hill! Ser how he likes it! Cheap bastard! Lol!

  45. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Iron Man says:

    Why do you never work on Toyota's?