A/C blows COLD from dash, HOT from console (2005 MB E 500, 106k mi.)
|This is the proportioning valve that distributes hot coolant to the two separate heater cores (for front and rear zones). It gets Alzheimers. Overly complex engineering is job security for repair technicians.|
'I Smell smoke' (2001 MB SLK, 80k mi.)
|The central locking module sits in a trunk well where a water leak immersed it. It corroded, overheated, and was smoking when we exposed it. Catastrophic fire was narrowly averted.|
'Airbag light' ('09 Cayenne)
|Porsche, Audi, and VW have had this problem since 2000. The dumb little connector in the seat airbag circuit is too flimsy. The fix is replacing it with a proper connector. You'd think someone would have had the sense to implement a redesign.|
"Running rough" ('02 911 Turbo, 46k mi.)
|Heat radiated by the nearby turbos, cooks the coil packs and they crack. Coils and Plugs? About $1,000.00 (labor intensive).|
|When our 5HP electric air compressor tripped its breaker, we went to check and smelled burned wiring. Inside the starter box we found this capacitor. The overload was due to a failed check valve, causing the compressor to start against a load.|
"No Service Lights" (1999 Audi A4 247k)
|Service lights do not come on during start up, suggesting blown bulbs. Upon investigation we found duct tape over the fault bulbs. It was done to conceal the fact that both the ABS and SRS computers are faulty. This is a far more sophisticated scam than putting black electrical tape on the dash glass. |
"Dead Battery" ('02 BWW 330xi @ 240k)
|Alternator not charging. Many shops would simply replace the $500.00 alternator. If you are lucky, a $50.00 Voltage Regulator will fix the problem.|
"Left Tail Light is Intermittent" ('03 BMW 330xi)
|This is the tail light connector. One connection has overheated and burned through. This is a common problem and always occurs on the Left light assembly. We have even seen them ignite.|
Fuel Gauge is Erratic ('98 BMW Z3 128k mi.)
|These are the contacts for the fuel level sender. They are notorious for collecting deposits from sulfur/ethanol in our fuel and sending erratic readings. BMW fuel additive sometimes helps clean the contacts. Otherwise the pump/sensor unit, which is inside the fuel tank, must be replaced. Sensors produced after 5/04 have gold contacts which usually solves the problem. We recommend Shell V-Power fuel.|
"Wipers have a mind of their own." ('04 Audi A4)
|A damaged gasket around the access panel to the electronics bay has allowed rainwater to soak the 'Light Module' which includes wiper controls.|
'Airbag light is on' '97 BMW 328
|The airbag circuit wants to know if the belt is buckled. Note the explosive 'pre tensioner' in the gray housing which will tighten the belt 2.5 inches in a crash only if it is buckled. The old style electric connectors would corrode, fail and turn on the Airbag light. The new connectors are gold plated and will not corrode.|
"Engine has a misfire" ('99 BMW 325)
|Modern engines have a coil over each spark plug. This one overheated and became erratic. Click (or clack) to see how it began to melt.|
"My A/C operates erratically" ('95 Volvo 850)
|The A/C compressor ON/OFF switch is this tiny mechanical device whose points were sticking. A drop of dielectric solved the problem and saved the customer $400.00 for a new control unit. Such controls are now electronic, many even digital. CLICK ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE|
'When I lower the sunvisor, the steering wheel moves up' ('98 BMW 528)
|Who would think of the ignition switch? BMW had a problem with ignition switches (picture). Some would turn, the starter would crank, but with no power to the ignition, refuse to start. Others would misbehave bizzarely. We've seen the radio or A/C go on and off randomly, as well as the sunvisor trick.|
'A/C blower won't run' (BMW 525)
|This resistor dissipates heat from the current the blower motor doesn't use when it changes speed. When it fails, the blower won't run. The problem: it is expensive and usually hard to get to. |
'The Heater won't turn OFF' ('93 Miele)
|This is the famous Miele relay which fails CLOSED resulting in the heater remaining on, producing so much heat that the rollers melt. Photo added in 2005. No one has yet asked how many cylinders a '93 Miele had. Do you know?|
|This is behind the radio console. Every duct and cranny is packed with last summer's groceries. Mice. Click Image to see what the owner likes to eat.|
'Temp won't stay at 72'
|Cabin Temperature is measured by cabin air being drawn over a thermistor (the wire) by a fan (visible inside barrel) which mechanics call the 'whiz wheel'. When the unit fails, the Climate control reverts to Manual mode.|
'No A/C at idle...I need some freon" (BMW X5)
|The condenser's electric fan is controlled not by a simple switch but by a computer capable of landing on the moon. Can you spell "Over engineeerd"
Enlarge the picture to view blowout at 12 o'clock.
'Transmission won't shift' ('98 BMW 328)
|Faulty Transmission defaults to limp (disabled) mode.
Dealer wanted $3500.00 to replace transmission.
We replaced defective pressure regulator.
The new valve cost $350.00
'Transmission won't shift' ('99 BMW 328)
|Dealer wanted $3500.00 for a new transmission.
We replaced a defective control unit ($400.00)
Click photo to see blowout at lower left of board.