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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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  Jim Grant's Tech TipsJim Grant's Tech Tips
Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

Ford, Check Engine Light

Q: My check engine light is on. I brought it to Ford twice and they did a complete tune-up. After a few months it came on again. I took it back to Ford and they changed my plug wires. A few days later it came on again. I have taken it to a few service stations and I keep getting charged over and over again. One repair shop said they would have to remove the head and clean the ports for $900. Any help?

- Nick P.

A: You have two problems you're going to have to get over. The first one is jumping around. When you jump from one service facility to the next you will automatically incur diagnostic fees. This further compounds the problem because the facility has no repair history on the vehicle. Second educate yourself! Why was the Check Engine Light on in the first place? Do you have this information? Why did you need a tune-up? Did you fork the money out without asking? Even if you had documentation from a dozen shops I would still insist on plugging into your vehicle's computer. Yes, you would be charged for this as well. Why? Any technician diagnosing a problem such as yours needs real and live information. What is written on paper is only that, information written on paper. In most cases our techs are told to disregard written information unless they can query the technician that created it. Think of it this way. If your doctor referred you to another specialist would you expect that doctor to except the report provided? Or would you want them to start from the beginning? Myself, start from the beginning. There may have been a valuable piece of information missed that would provide the cure. The fewer the needles the better I like it, I'm a real pansy to needles. My suggestion? Ask your friends for a reference or go to the repair facility that you felt most comfortable. Tell them you want to know why the check engine light is on and just what it will take to correct the cause. That's step one. Step two is always easier and that is the repair.

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