There is a reason my internet handle is Bustednuckles.
I have been a mechanic in one form or another for over thirty fucking years now.
I have worked on so many different kinds of machinery, cars, trucks, boats, equipment and Heavy trucks that I couldn’t list them all.
I got to thinking about it one day and about the only things I haven’t worked on are aircraft and submarines, seriously.
I even went back to school at 29 and got an Associates Degree in Applied Science for Automotive Technology with honors to learn how to work on computerized modern cars.
I then worked at a Lincoln/Mercury dealership for ten years.
I can say with some certainty that I absolutely detest newer cars.
They are absolutely fucking miserable COCKSUCKERS to diagnose and work on.
Today I got reminded why I quit working on the motherfuckers.
My sister in law has a 2005 Volkswagon Jetta with all the bells and whistles.
Six months ago the timing chains broke while she was trying to start it. Long story short, after days of hassling with the decision of what to do about it, she had a dealer find a used engine to put in the fucking thing.
The repair estimate was the same amount as a used engine plus removal and installation.
Volkswagon had a problem with that engine wearing out the chain tensioner prematurely and instead of coming out with a fix, they started putting different engines in them so the people with those certain model years were good and fucked.
A quick internet search on the subject will result in myriad horror stories of the $3500-$5,000 dollar repair bills and part time mechanics begging for technical help on how to replace them.
So two days ago the Sister In Law calls my wife, crying about this fucking car acting up again and showing symptoms of the same type as last time.
This is the same poor woman who just racked up $4,000 in vet bills for an old fucking cat she had that she wound up having put down anyway and who is not only still making payments on the engine swap but now has thirty grand in student loans to start paying off.
You can of course see what is coming here.
My wife started in on me to go look at the damn thing.
I have been working my homesick ass off lately and on my ONE DAY OFF, the last fucking thing I want to do is drive fifty fucking miles to go look at a car that I probably won’t have the slightest idea of how to fix if it is broken, nor the time to anyway.
So, being the nice fucking guy I am, after working until two o’clock this fucking morning, I head over there.
First, I told the wife that I didn’t have a code scanner and needed one because her check engine light is on and I need to know why.
These things aren’t cheap.
To my ever living amazement, she told me to get one!
Luckily, Harbor Freight is right on the way and just happened to have several in stock.
I ain’t stupid, I called first.
So I swing by and pick up one of these babies;
For the uninformed, not all code scanners are created equal and those cheap fuckers you see aren’t worth spit.
This one however, has the shit ya want.
Not only will it scan the cars memory and tell you what codes are stored, it will actually let you monitor the input sensors to the computer in semi real time so you can see what the engines computer is looking at.
You can do this while driving down the road.
It will also let you capture the screen when you see an anomaly in the data and clear the codes to turn the light off.
I have been wanting one of these fuckers for years but always told myself that I couldn’t justify the cost/benefit ratio because I don’t work on these motherfuckers for a living anymore.
So, I get over there with the scanner and a stethescope to listen and see if the timing chain is rubbing on the case.
After checking a bunch of stuff out, I hook it up and tell her to start it.
It starts kind of rough and the check engine comes on right away.
Beep beep, boop boop, bingo, the computer has detected a missfire on cylinder #1.
Who the fuck knows why, it ain’t sayin’.
Could be lots of things.
I clear the code and have her start it again.
Runs like a top.
Come to find out, this replacement engine only has about twenty thousand miles on it so the odds of the timing chain assembly being fucked up are pretty slim.
I tried and tried to get that fucking thing to act up again but I will be damned if it would even sputter once.
Drove it around while watching the data parameters and everything is optimal.
Are you fucking kidding me?
One fucking time, the engine misfires for some God only knows reason, the Check Engine light comes on and and she panics, I get to spend two hundred fucking dollars on a scanner, drive fifty fucking miles on my day off and all I had to do was plug it in and clear the code.
NOW, do you understand why I fucking HATE computerized cars?
She thought she was going to have to have it towed to the dealer again and the engine was shot and on and fucking on and extra bonus fucking DRAMA, because the computer saw a glitch in the data stream from a fucking input sensor and OMG, ARMAGEDDON!
This is why I personally only own and drive cars that do not have this unnecessary fucking horseshit and can not, for the life of me, understand why any sane individual would buy a fucking automobile that has the computational capability to basically drive its self like they have these days.
Do you know that a POS 1990 Ford Escort had more computer technology in it than the Lunar Landing Module did?
The shit they have out now is truly frightening to an “automotive technician”.
It ought to scare the living shit out of you as a consumer.
People wonder why it costs so much to get their fucking car repaired.
The average mechanic these days has enough technical training as a medical practitioner and has to buy many thousands of dollars of tools to keep up with the pace of technology and the ever changing fastener technology.
I want to leave you with something to think about here.
On one hand, consider all the whiz bang technology they have stuffed into the modern automobile just for the sole purpose of increasing fuel mileage.
Forget all the other electronic add ons, just fuel mileage.
Now consider this.
The Ford Model T was first produced in 1908 and had an estimated fuel economy of between 16 and 21 miles per gallon and would run on gasoline, kerosene or ethanol.
That was a hundred and five years ago.
The newest car I own is a 1983 GMC Caballero.
GMC’s version of the El Camino.
It is in very good condition, has a 3.8 liter V6 with less than 125,000 original miles on it and got an estimate 19-21 miles per gallon when brand new. The only thing electronic on that motherfucker is the ignition.
My 1964 Sprite gets over twenty miles per gallon and there ain’t a fucking thing electronic on that little bastard.
You people just keep on buying newest and bestest computerized shit.
When it breaks down,
DON”T FUCKING CALL ME.