Fix Of The Week 10/11/19


Fix of The Week

Every week we’re posting our favorite head-scratchers and interesting mechanical issues submitted by our Direct-Hit customers.

For a chance to have something you’ve worked on appear as a Fix of the Week, and win a cool little prize for your shop, all you have to do is post your unique fixes in Direct-Hit. Just look up the vehicle you’re working on, click on Post Fix at the top right, then tell us the problem and what you did to fix it.


This Week’s Winners

On this edition of Fix of The Week: disconnected linkage in a Nissan, an interfering key in a Cadillac, and a check engine light on in a Subaru. 


2008 Nissan Maxima – Mr. T’s Automotive

Both front windows of this vehicle would roll down when the customer turned it off and they couldn’t unlock the door with the key. I removed the driver’s side door panel to make sure the door lock cylinder was plugged in. I checked for water intrusion in the plug and made sure the linkage was connected, which it wasn’t. The switch was in the down position which allowed both windows to roll down while holding the key in the unlock position.


2008 Cadillac CTS – Prospect Exxon

The customer stated that over the past year the vehicle would intermittently not crank, and it was now stalling intermittently. We were unable to duplicate the issue. There was a code in antitheft for a transponder error. I asked the customer if she had any other keys since the key she provided was not the one she normally used. She brought the key ring she would normally use and I found one of those RFID transponder tags (used to open doors) next to the ignition key. I was able to duplicate the intermittent no start or start/stall with the key she provided. If you moved the transponder in very specific spots around the ignition lock cylinder, the problem occurred—if you moved it away, the vehicle would start fine. This explained its random intermittent nature and why we weren’t able to duplicate it. The fix was adding an additional key ring and putting the transponder away from the metal key.


2012 Subaru Legacy – Osceola Garage

The customer complaint was the check engine and overheating lights come on after a half-hour of driving. I scanned for stored codes for the check engine light and found a coolant temperature sensor low circuit. I tested the ECT sensor and it tested ok. I did find excessive combustion gases through the radiator and bad cylinder head gaskets, as well as a warped passenger side cylinder head. I replaced the cylinder heads only due to a good price, otherwise, it could have been machined. The vehicle now runs properly and no more combustion gasses coming from the cooling system at the radiator.