Car Clinic

7001 Norton Ave. West Palm Beach, Florida


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Perils & Morals


Well dear readers here are some more cases from the Car Clinic files which will teach about the perils of certain repairs and the moral of the story (kind of sounds like Paul Harvey doesn't it)?




I had a gentleman come in to the shop recently and he said to me that he had his car diagnosed "somewhere" and he just needed an estimate on the recommended repairs. Ding..ding...ding, fasten your seatbelts kids its going to be a bumpy ride! Now you know my ears perked up on this from reading my previous columns.




The car in question is a 1993 Buick Riviera and he said to give him an estimate on the cruise control servo. This part was $300.00 dollars + $60.00 labor to install. Now being the bright guy that I am, I said : what happens if I install this and it does not work? I could tell by his expression that he had not thought of this. He thought about it and said well that's an expensive repair if it doesn't work.




I suggested we scan his car for the problem and find out first what exactly was wrong. He agreed to the diagnostic charges $60.00 and we discovered that there was no power (electricity) getting to his servo(hmmmm how could the servo be bad if it is not getting power? the game is afoot Watson!) so we traced the power source to his brake switch, now you say how can the brake switch affect the cruise control? Well, remember when you have your cruise on and you "tap" your brakes the cruise cancels so the switch was causing no power to get to the servo. Once we got power to the servo, the servo worked, imagine that! We unfortunately discovered that the PCM(powertrain control module) was sending a bad signal to the cruise control module. So our customer would have spent $360.00 + tax for what he requested and still not have the proper repair done, the peril here being be careful when going to the "somewhere garage",the moral being, have the proper diagnosis done, the extra expense to do that might actually save you money, time, aggravation and keep me from getting more gray hairs.