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drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2022-08-27, 18:39

My AC started failing this month.

I tried topping off the refrigerant, no dice.

I replaced the AC compressor relay, nope.

Took it in to shop farther away, but staffed by a lady we like (she transferred from a dealership closer to us).

The poophead car made the AC work that day, so I left without an answer.

Finally took it down there again on Thursday.

It was ready Friday evening.

Went to pick it up this morning.

$1800 to replace the compressor and condenser.

I paid them, took the keys, and went to find the car.

Got there, cranked it up, switched on the AC.

FIVE MINUTES LATER it was STILL HOT.

I drove that thing back around and got in the intake lane.

The guy was confused for a second then said "Oh, you picked it up TODAY?"

Nobody can touch it this weekend.

Oy.


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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2022-08-27, 19:07

Sounds like there might be a problem with the temperature (HVAC) controls, rather than the physical AC unit. One of my friends truck is messed up like that, because the temperature control dial is busted - not the knob, but actual part behind it - so it's hard to control the system properly.
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kieran
Tweeting @kierankelly
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2022-08-27, 20:34

Quote:
Originally Posted by kieran View Post
We just picked up a 4 door 2021 Mini Cooper last week. Wanted something smaller than the 2010 Q7 we were hauling around in.

Only had 1600 miles on it, so basically a brand new car, but got a good deal on it.

Definitely an adjustment going from a fairly large SUV to this, but I love the little thing. It's like a go kart on the street.

Always been fascinated by the Mins and the wife and I have talked about possibly getting one if we ever wanted something smaller. We wanted something that we could drive around without letting the dogs in, because the Q7 was getting disgusting with the dogs and a toddler. We'll keep the Q7 around for bring the dogs places, but overall, the Mini is super fun so far.
In the month that we've had this car, we've put about 600 miles on it and this thing has been such a delight. It's so fun to drive and much better on the gas than the Audi.

Only issue so far is that we're having to swap the car seat from car to car if we need to take the Audi with the little one. We're looking into smaller car seats for the Mini, but since every vehicle in the US is ginormous, the car seats are also ginormous. We may be able to get a European spec car seat that is designed for a smaller car. but we're having trouble finding those too at the moment.
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drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2022-08-27, 21:03

At this point I'm like "wha?".

The clutch wasn't engaging on the compressor, and they said that it was getting power and still not working.


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PB PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2022-08-28, 12:00

Quote:
Originally Posted by kieran View Post
In the month that we've had this car, we've put about 600 miles on it and this thing has been such a delight. It's so fun to drive and much better on the gas than the Audi.

Only issue so far is that we're having to swap the car seat from car to car if we need to take the Audi with the little one. We're looking into smaller car seats for the Mini, but since every vehicle in the US is ginormous, the car seats are also ginormous. We may be able to get a European spec car seat that is designed for a smaller car. but we're having trouble finding those too at the moment.
Getting car seats the right size, that are actually safe to use, and the entire expiry date thing with them, makes buying them a struggle, or so I hear. Don’t envy you for dealing with that.

As for the Mini, just don’t keep it too long, typically they turn into junkers in 3-4 years with $10k+ per year repair jobs. Client had a Mini, that was his experience anyway. At least the Audi will only rust out in 5-8 years.

I figure 5 years will be max for my Ford Maverick, even if I’d like to get more out of it. It’s cheap for a reason, not that the $35k window sticker price (Cdn) for my build is cheap IMO. I don’t beat on my vehicles, so 8 years would be nice, but it is a Ford, and a modern vehicle, so I might be hoping for too much.
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2022-08-28, 17:57

My wife's '08 Civic is having trouble starting. Sometimes. Never when I'm around to observe it, though.

Yesterday I spent a few minutes poking around under the hood looking for anything out of the ordinary. It started just fine for me three or four times over the course of maybe 20 minutes I spend trying to investigate.

One day last week she went for groceries, and it failed to start when leaving the store. I drove out to meet her with jumper cables, and when I got into her driver's seat just to check and try, it started just fine. Fast forward to this afternoon when she went for another grocery run. It started fine when she left here. Started fine again when she left one store for another. And a third time to the next store. On that last stop before returning home, it failed to start.

The way she described it sounded like it could be a weak battery. She said the motor cranked when turning the key but wouldn't actually start. In the time it took me to find my shoes and get ready to meet her, not even ten minutes later, she said it started right up.

Straight from there, we met at a local Advance Auto Parts where we replaced her battery within the last year, and I had an employee come out with his kit to check the battery. According to him, the battery was in still in good condition and shouldn't be a problem. I asked her to crank the engine, and of course it started up perfectly fine.

I'm no an engine expert, but with the battery probably ruled out as the culprit, are these signs of the starter motor failing? We actually had her starter replaced… hmmm… maybe 6 or 7 years ago? edit: Or maybe the fuel pump? Replaced that one 5 or 6 years ago too.

Anyone here have any idea?

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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2022-08-28, 18:03

Quote:
Originally Posted by drewprops View Post
The clutch wasn't engaging on the compressor, and they said that it was getting power and still not working.
Sometimes the clutch can be replaced separate from the compressor, but sometimes it's all one unit. Do you know if the $1800 job included that? I sure hope so because the effort and labor to replace the clutch (assuming it's a separate piece) is pretty trivial once you've taken the whole compressor out. If it's confirmed getting voltage but not engaging, it almost certainly needs to be replaced.

(I know this stuff from experience with a Saturn I used to drive around without AC because I was too poor to actually get it fixed properly. )

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2022-08-28, 23:12

Theoretically, they replaced both my compressor and my condenser, but who knows?

I know it sounds silly, but have you tried tightening the clamps to the posts on your battery? Have you tried cleaning them?

Also, this being a fairly techie crowd, do you have an OBD2 sensor unit to pull engine codes? I've got one and connect to it with the OBD fusion app over a private wi-fi network the little box creates.

They also make wired versions that don't require a phone.




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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2022-08-28, 23:18

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
My wife's '08 Civic is having trouble starting. Sometimes. Never when I'm around to observe it, though.

I'm no an engine expert, but with the battery probably ruled out as the culprit, are these signs of the starter motor failing? We actually had her starter replaced… hmmm… maybe 6 or 7 years ago? edit: Or maybe the fuel pump? Replaced that one 5 or 6 years ago too.

Anyone here have any idea?
When it's not the battery my first thoughts are usually the starter, or the alternator, but if the battery is charging properly the alternator isn't likely the issue. If the fuel pump was the issue, starting isn't always how the issue shows up, it would also likely cause issues on hard acceleration or at freeway speeds.

The fact that is only happens sometimes leads me to think the starter is the most likely cause, it could be a bad spot on the solenoid. Given the age of the vehicle a basic OBDII scan tool, or Bluetooth OBDII scanner that you can use with an iOS app would likely give you some codes and hints as to the problem.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2022-08-29, 08:54

Brad,
My first off the cuff guess is an injector issue. I hate thinking fuel first but this is my "gut response" to what I read.

If when it won't start the more descriptive version is the engine turns over like it should but just never fires up. This means the starting system (battery, starter etc...) are working as they should.

Not firing up is either fuel or spark. If once it is running you never encounter rough running, bogging down, misfires and such then it isn't likely a major fuel issue or a spark issue.

The reason I think injectors is if they bleed off their pressure it will take a little bit to build up the pressure to be able to deliver the proper amount of fuel to the cylinders.

If the lack of starting is that it won't turn over then it could be a number of things. Start solenoid, starter itself, spindle that engages the started to the flywheel....

Does the "turning over" sound "normal" when it won't start other than the lack of ignition?

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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PB PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2022-08-29, 09:15

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtle View Post
Brad,
My first off the cuff guess is an injector issue. I hate thinking fuel first but this is my "gut response" to what I read.
This isn’t a bad guess either, a vehicle that age might need new injector coils/harness, or they could simply need a good clean. Any signs of rodent activity under the hood? Wires might be chewed and have a poor connection.

I would definitely want to check and see if there are any hints in the cars computer though before starting to throw parts at it.
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2022-08-29, 14:19

Thanks for the suggestions! At a glance everything I can see looks fine in terms of wires and connections. I replaced the spark plugs ~4 years ago. The fuel injectors is something I hadn't thought about, though. This morning my wife booked an appointment with a local auto shop for Wednesday morning. I might drop a few hints or ask specifically about these ideas you guys mentioned.

I still haven't been able to observe the problem first-hand, though. I just went to try it, and it started right up. 🤷‍♂️ It's not a super fast snappy start, but it's not unusually slow either. Seems pretty typical for this old car.

Have a listen! https://youtu.be/iM6qyFtucEE

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2022-08-29, 14:54

Not hearing anything unusual. Maybe a throttle body clean would make the start smoother? Are those numbers (105k miles) the total on the vehicle? Should easily go 200k with that engine, more likely to have a frame rust away.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2022-08-29, 15:02

I'm curious what the shop comes back with. I haven't really done car repairs for a number of years but it would be nice to know how close to the mark I am (if at all) given the time since I worked in a shop (I was 17).

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2022-08-29, 15:22

That initial turnover sounds like the starter isn't coming straight to life, like it's stalling a bit.
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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2022-08-29, 20:21

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
That initial turnover sounds like the starter isn't coming straight to life, like it's stalling a bit.
Yes, now that I'm home listing on speakers, rather than my iPhone, I can hear that as well.
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2022-08-29, 22:44

Thanks again for the analyses, guys. I knew sharing a quick recording would help the experts in the room! I'll definitely let you know what the shop says on Wednesday.

Though I probably could replace the starter myself — I've done countless fluid and filter changes, random fuses and relays, spark plugs, the fuel pump, and both the front engine motor mounts and lower torque strut mount — I'll almost certainly just pay them to do this job because I'm getting too old and tired for this shit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
Not hearing anything unusual. Maybe a throttle body clean would make the start smoother?
Huh, I didn't think about that either. I removed and deep cleaned the throttle body on my old Saturn ~10 years ago, and that wasn't too difficult.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
Are those numbers (105k miles) the total on the vehicle? Should easily go 200k with that engine, more likely to have a frame rust away.
Yeah, that's the total life of the car and engine. And, yeah, the body of the car has seen much better days. The clear coat is all but gone on some panels, and last year I actually masked off, sanded, spray painted, and spray clear coated one panel because it was exposed down to the bare metal. (This car sits outside and is exposed to the elements.)

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2022-08-30, 06:09

The clear coat on my '03 yard-parked Accord is gone and the paint is disappearing all over. It's not as bad looking because the car is black and the metal is black.

I'm probably less that 6k from turning 300k.

It's been a fabulous ride.

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drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2022-08-30, 06:28

Also, you may have already found him, but I wanted to share Scotty Kilmer's YouTube channel with you all. He's a mechanic that's had his channel for 15 years. The videos are entertaining because he's a character, but the advice is taught at a level that's understandable. He tosses in funny little photos over his shoulder every once in a while. Here's a recent video about modern AC systems:

https://youtu.be/dxPw1ek-AF4

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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2022-08-31, 20:26

Update on our sometimes-flustered '08 Honda Civic!

You guys nailed it. Official diagnosis: the starter is wearing out and about to give up. They also confirmed the battery and alternator are both in good shape. After some driving around and several restarts, they even managed to reproduce the failed start that I could never get to happen myself.

It's an expensive repair through the shop, and I could save $500 by ordering the part and installing it myself, but for peace of mind and to confidently move past this issue, we're just throwing a fat stack of cash at the shop to take care of everything.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2022-09-01, 08:53

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
Thanks again for the analyses, guys. I knew sharing a quick recording would help the experts in the room! I'll definitely let you know what the shop says on Wednesday.

Though I probably could replace the starter myself — I've done countless fluid and filter changes, random fuses and relays, spark plugs, the fuel pump, and both the front engine motor mounts and lower torque strut mount — I'll almost certainly just pay them to do this job because I'm getting too old and tired for this shit.


Huh, I didn't think about that either. I removed and deep cleaned the throttle body on my old Saturn ~10 years ago, and that wasn't too difficult.


Yeah, that's the total life of the car and engine. And, yeah, the body of the car has seen much better days. The clear coat is all but gone on some panels, and last year I actually masked off, sanded, spray painted, and spray clear coated one panel because it was exposed down to the bare metal. (This car sits outside and is exposed to the elements.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by drewprops View Post
The clear coat on my '03 yard-parked Accord is gone and the paint is disappearing all over. It's not as bad looking because the car is black and the metal is black.

I'm probably less that 6k from turning 300k.

It's been a fabulous ride.

...
Brad, glad to hear it’s getting sorted, nothing with vehicles is cheap anymore, as stocks of older vehicle parts are drying up due to the shortages. Everyone in the industry knows there is more money to be made in new vehicle parts with current demand.

Interesting, never had paint issues, other than chips from road debris. All of them were around 13-14 years old when traded, and they are also outdoors 95% of the year. Is it due to being a rust belt areas, or just not wash/waxing? I’m lazy and just use a wash & wax combo, usually wash once a month.

I got paint protection, and an undercoat done on my new Maverick, paint on new cars seem much thinner and not as good as older vehicles.
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drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2022-09-11, 05:40

The new GMC Canyon is pretty badass... until (and this has happened in every YouTuber preview video I've watched) they get to the headlight controls.

These idiots have moved the lights to a screen buried in the control panel.

One of the most important controls on an automobile, relegated to a submenu.

Tell me this wasn't the work of someone from a much-bullied generational cohort.

...
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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2022-09-11, 07:47

All modern vehicle have fully automatic lights (front, back, high beams), there isn’t much need to touch the controls unless it’s foggy during the day. The only time I touch the headlight switch in my 22 Maverick is turn them off when I’m sitting in the vehicle while parked.
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drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2022-09-11, 18:37

I'm still driving a 2003, so I'm curious how automatic high beams work?


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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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2022-09-11, 19:14

Quote:
Originally Posted by drewprops View Post
I'm still driving a 2003, so I'm curious how automatic high beams work?


...
Many modern vehicles have a camera on the window behind the rear view mirror that is used for the government mandated (US/Canada, many parts of the EU I assume) autonomous emergency braking system. This camera is also used to turn the auto high beams on and off, depending on if it detects headlights or taillights from other vehicles. Apparently street lights will cause the system to turn them off as well. Pedestrians and cyclists, RIP. I don't drive very much at night (not once with my new truck in a month and half), so I don't know how well it works in practice. Won't know until I go out at night and try, likely not till late October when sunrise/sunset gets earlier. From what other people say some of these auto high beam systems work better than others.
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2022-09-11, 20:29

Neat. That must be a very new development because I'm pretty sure my 2018 VW Golf does not have automatic high beams. It does use one of its cameras to flip automatically between parking/daytime and normal headlights, though. It has a backup camera and it does have sensors for collision warning, but my understanding is that automatic emergency braking is only (at least with VW) available on vehicles that have an electronic parking brake. Mine still has a physical parking brake lever.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2022-09-11, 23:29

I have become a Luddite, because I want control of the lights "just in case" and/or because I have other, non-automatic needs. Moving the controls to a submenu irks me.

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Yontsey
*AD SPACE FOR SALE*
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Cleveland-ish, OH
 
2022-09-12, 05:56

I have auto high beams on my 2017 GMC Sierra. They work really well tbh. Sometimes a street light will trigger them but rarely happens. My wife's 2022 Dodge Ram and 2022 Subaru Forester have them as well. You can easily turn them off if you want.

Die young and save yourself....
@yontsey
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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2022-09-12, 07:37

Indeed, all in the various menu systems. I swear these new cars have more settings than a smartphone. Between all the drive modes, light settings, what you want shown on the dash display, the infotainment display, and such you can spend a lot of time messing around with the computers.

I still have a physical dial for the light controls, so it’s not in a submenu on everything.

What bugs me is that the lights stay on for a while after you take the key out, and yes there is still a key, unless you get the highest trim level. Nice feature for when it’s dark, but you’d think they could have tied that in with the ambient light sensor for the headlights so it would only leave them on if it was dark. Seems simple to me.
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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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2022-09-15, 20:00

Have to throw this in there, hit 1000km (621 miles) on a tank of gas (mix of city and rural driving) in my Maverick Hybrid. That was on 50.9L / 11.1 US Gallons of fuel I put in to get it full again. 46.7MPG or 5.1L/100km. Crazy to think you can get that on a vehicle that size. Keep in mind, most of those trips I had the truck loaded up with stuff, such as a load of metal we took to the scrap yard, loads of yard waste (400ish pounds), old bikes to a charity, and 5 days a week loaded with work tools; the latter is not really heavy most of the time. At this rate I could keep my fuel bill at under or around $100 Cdn per month. Nice.
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