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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

Parts Store Diagnosis

Q: Have you seen a big increase in grounding problems in the newer cars? Working on Subarus every day we are finding this to be a major problem. Small grounds from transmission to body will throw idle air control codes. We see a lot of people taking cars to parts store and getting the computer codes read and going out and buying a $150 parts for the shot in the dark fix. Do you think it's a good idea to let these people trouble shoot? …


A: Computer grounding problems are an issue. The abundance of winter road salt used here in New England really exasperate the problem. Computer grounding problems have been around since the creation of the first Bosch “Jetronic” system in 1967. I just scared myself realizing I started out on those systems. The answer to your first question is yes. As for your next question “Do you think it's a good idea to let these people trouble shoot?” I believe there should be “no restrictions” on who to or where a consumer can go for information or repairs. Plugging in a generic scan tool and providing the computer codes to the consumer is not trouble shooting in my eyes, I view it is an information service. With that information the consumer can then make the decision to buy a part or go to a repair facility. I do have a concern if the parts person providing the codes to the consumer tells the consumer what part is needed, a code alone is rarely enough information. As you point out, a bad ground will set false idle air control codes. Myself, I have a learned mistrust for computer codes for the very same reason. But, that is why we do what we do. I’ve also learned that I should stay away from plumbing projects..

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