AB automotive

Science Of Automotive Diagnostics


my work

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”


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”

Why I Don’t Like The Telephone

Imagine me dropping a transmission from the car, balancing 200 pounds unit on a transmission jack above my head, with my hands dirty and fluid leaking on my face because I forgot or was too lazy to drain it first (or most likely thought that fluid level is below driveshaft seals so it wouldn’t leak)

Imagine me bent threefold and upside down under the dash with hot soldering iron in one hand and trying to hold two ends of broken wire and a solder wire with another hand (the task that actually asks me to grow two additional hands)

As per Murphy’s law at this very moment phone goes off! The first word that I would say next second starts with “F” and ends with “K” and comes with lots of heat and excitement. No, this is not a “firetruck” ;-). Continue reading “Why I Don’t Like The Telephone”

Mud Removal

Mud removal is a big issue when you have to do jobs on working trucks in Grande Prairie. When you have couple of inches of petrified mud on each and every part underneath its hard to do anything, never mention to do anything right. How to replace a seal or bearing without filling up a component full of dirt, sand, clay and gravel? How to check for voltage at the connector if connector is buried down there and glued together with concrete-like substance? I don’t see another way than call for mud removal time.

Continue reading “Mud Removal”

Wrong Use For Cable Tie

Got F-150 with “strange noise from the front” complaint. Took for a test drive and couldn’t hear anything wrong. Put the truck on the hoist and wow! Found brake caliper secured with cable tie:



Customer’s “buddy” was doing a brake job for him just recently and looks like got caliper bolt broken (fracture spot has not even got corroded yet). Secured with cable tie instead and good to go, eh?

Surprisingly enough this was not a source of noise that customer was concerned about.

Snowfall Inside

Today I took a truck for a test drive after it was sitting on the parking lot all covered in snow. Turned on defrost and heater blower and the moment later I had observed a real snowfall inside the cabin!


For some stubborn reason Ford does not fit cabin filters on F-150. You can get automatic dual zone climate control with heated and cooled seats – but not a cabin filter.

What WC Stands For?

As long as you used to American English only its OK name for a company. Makes me smile, though. I’ve been travelling too much around the world and got used to another common meaning for WC.

Grande Prairie Style At Its Finest?

I am not going to comment on this.

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