AB automotive

Science Of Automotive Diagnostics


October 2015

Saving Money With Regular Service

I am sure you’ve heard million times that regular service of your vehicle saves your money in a long run. This is true, but not in a way many shops like to tell you. Its not number of flushes, replaced filters and completed brake jobs that saves your money. If you do two transmission flushes in 60 000 km instead of one or replacing spark plugs or brake pads twice more often – you won’t save any money, never. You won’t make your engine or a whole car last longer either. All you going to end up with is spending more money.

What does save money for you its a professional attention and honest advise. Continue reading “Saving Money With Regular Service”


Difficult One, Code P1000

What problem is the most difficult to diagnose? The one that does not exist when you are looking for it. I think I am particularly unlucky with those because I possess some sort of magic touch. I’ve seen a whole lot of cars that were doing all kinds of troubles for their owners but once they get to me – they are working perfectly fine. I think I should charge at least some small fee for doing that 🙂

2012 Ford Escape 3.0 V6 got brought to the shop on a tow truck and left on a parking lot.

Continue reading “Difficult One, Code P1000”

Mechanic’s Car Never Breaks Down

This is what some people believe in. Actually my wife does not believe that cars do break down – she never had any of her cars ever broken down (two blown tires doesn’t count).

I never had any of my cars letting me down except of only one. Continue reading “Mechanic’s Car Never Breaks Down”

Misfire Under Load

Here is a spark plug with clearly visible whitish tracks showing where high voltage was draining to the ground instead of jumping across air gap producing a spark. Cylinder where this spark plug was installed had misfire under load (on acceleration) at the mileage of just a bit over 60 000 km on Ford F-150 3.5 EcoBoost. It is rather unusual to see spark plugs condition like this at that mileage, probably poor fuel quality was the case of it. Continue reading “Misfire Under Load”

Rough Idle And Hard To Start

This job turned out to be interesting as it the concern in the vehicle was caused by not one but three different problems. Discovering them one after another was pretty, should I say, educative and took a lot of time and effort.

The concern was described by customer as “Engine is difficult to start, requires long crank to start and has a rough idle when running”. Customer tried to fix this himself by replacing spark plugs and “cleaning throttle body”. Vehicle in question was 2011 Ford F-450 Super Duty service truck with 6.8 V10 gas engine. Continue reading “Rough Idle And Hard To Start”

Most Important Resource

Do you want to see the future? Read this Wikipedia article about knowledge society.

It is coming, I can see signs of that everywhere. This is what we need to survive and to prosper. Our knowledge is still extremely limited. We know very little about the world on subatomic level, about internal mechanics of living cells, we know almost nothing about our brain operation – how do we think? what is consciousness? We don’t know why gravity exists, we are not even sure if we can travel in time or not. We unable to create life from dead matter, we unable to travel and live in space. Continue reading “Most Important Resource”

All Season Tires

What all-season tires are good for? My answer is: they are not good for anything.

In the summer all-season tires are nothing more than just “it’ll do”. They will do as long as you are not fancy hard cornering, precision feel of the road, high speed driving in the rain and extreme traction. But most of the drivers wouldn’t feel the difference between all-season and high performance summer tires. By the way, high performance summer tires wear rather quickly, for the best traction you have to use softer rubber mixture, softer rubber means accelerated wear.

In the winter things are drastically different. Continue reading “All Season Tires”

Little Nice Touches

It is so nice not to work under pressure having time to pay attention to every little detail of the job. Take this job for example – replacing two leaking axle shaft seals on some Toyota. Continue reading “Little Nice Touches”


Paleontology is our favorite science here in Grande Prairie, isn’t it? I have to do some of it every day too. Continue reading “Paleontology”

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