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Like every Monday on the Humble Mechanic Podcast, I take your car questions. Most of the questions are VW related, but they sure don’t have to be. If you would like your automotive question answered on a show like this, email me, Charles(at) HumbleMechanic(DOT)com and put Question for Charles in the subject. Also put your question at the top, then give me the information below. It will help me do a better job answering the question.

Sponsor of the DayCRP AUTO
CRP deals in a ton of OE automotive parts. They also make the factory DSG fluid for VW. Having them as a sponsor will give us access to more information about fluids than I would ever get from VW. I am really excited to have them as a resource of information.You will also be seeing a video coming out soon with some awesome information about coolant. Check out CRPAutomotive.com

Join me as I take your car questions on:

  • Reminding a mechanic to do things right
  • What to check for after your car gets repaired
  • Clutch issues on a 1998 1.8t Passat
  • Damage cause by installing the wrong bolt
  • Getting back into the automotive industry
  • No start 2003 Jetta
  • Replacing transmission fluid
  • and more

Trouble viewing? Watch “Viewer Questions Answered ~ Podcast Episode 83” on YouTube.

As always I love to hear your thoughts. Please post them in the comments section below. Again, if you have a question for a show like this, email me Charles(at)humblemechanic(dot)com with Question for Charles in the subject. Also if you have an idea for a show you can email me, or use the contact me form!

Don’t forget to follow me at:

Thinking Like A Automotive Diagnostic Technician ~ Podcast Episode 62

Happy Friday everyone. Today we are looking a little deeper at the mind and process of a diagnostic technician. Right now I am in the process of training two new technicians, with a third starting soon. That means I am in full on teaching mode all day long. I really enjoy doing it. So I am trying to help develop these new tech’s diagnostic process. That is something I also wanted to share with you guys. It is something that a lot of automotive techs really struggle with. It is not an easy thing to build. Then after you build it, you have to keep fine tuning it, and working it. Not only to get better, but to stay current.

Join me today as we step inside:

  • About the diagnostic process
  • Ways to think about diagnosing cars
  • Ways to get stuck diagnosing cars
  • How to get unstuck
  • K.I.S.S
  • Work easy to hard
  • Don’t Assume
  • Scan tool loop
  • Getting more information
  • FUSES!
  • Write it down
  • and more

Trouble viewing? Watch “Thinking Like A Diagnostic Tech ~ Podcast Episode 62” on YouTube.

As always, your questions and comments are welcome. Please post them below. If you would like to suggest a topic for a show like this, email me Charles(at)HumbleMechanic(dot)com, or use the contact me form.

Don’t forget to follow me at:

automotive podcast

Happy Monday everyone. We are back on track with the automotive podcast. Today I will be answering your questions about all things automotive. Remember to submit a question for a show, email me Charles(AT)humblemechanic(dot)com and put question for Charles in the subject. Also, when it comes to diagnostic type questions, give me as much info as you can.

Join me today as I answer your questions on:

  • Huge shout out to PowerProbe
  • PowerProbe Review Video
  • How does giving customers a discount impact a tech
  • Starting a Forum
  • Finding a place to start when diagnosing multiple issues
  • 200 Jetta VR6 issues
  • Diagnosing driveability issues on an engine swap
  • Diagnosing VW electrical issues
  • Diagnosing a no start
  • Paying attention to what the car is telling you
  • and more

Trouble viewing? Watch “Viewer Questions ~ Podcast Episode 44” on YouTube.

As always I love to hear your thoughts. Please post them in the comments section below. Again, if you have a question for a show like this, email me Charles(at)humblemechanic(dot)com with Question for Charles in the subject. Also if you have an idea for a show you can email me, or use the contact me form!

Don’t forget to follow me at:

Power Probe Review

A ton of you guys have asked me for a Power Probe review and demo. Well today we take a look at the Power Probe II AND the Power Probe III. I am luck enough to work in a show with some amazing guys. My good buddy Tony let me borrow his Power Probe to show you.

I shot a video a while back checking fuses with a test light. It is a good to see how checking fuses with a Power Probe is different than a test light. Checking fuses 2005 VW Passat (the same Passat as this video) 🙂

Today we look power up and check out:

  • Power Probe II
  • Power Probe III with Voltmeter
  • The Newest Power Probe Hook (this thing is AMAZING!)
  • Checking fuses with a Power Probe
  • Powering components with the Power Probe.
  • Add-ons for the Power Probe.
  • The sights and sounds of the Power Probe
  • Customizing a Power Probe
  • Replaceable parts
  • Lighting a light bulb
  • Powers and Grounds
  • and more

Having trouble viewing? Watch “Power Probe Review and Demo ~ Video” on Youtube.

As always, post your comments below. Do you have a Power Probe? How do you use it? If you have a tool you would like for me to review, use the contact me form. Or email me Charles(at)HumbleMechanic(dot)com, and put TOOL REVIEW in the subject.
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Custom VW Dipstick

Happy Wednesday everyone. I hope that your week is going awesome. Things in the Humble Mechanic are crazy right now. With the launch of 2 new video series, and a few other really fun things coming, we are full speed ahead. But enough about the crazy things happening, let’s do some Shop Shots!

Custom VW DipstickI always like to see what people come up with when tasked with a DIY repair. This is a repair on a 1.8t Beetle dipstick. It looks like they kept the original metal dipstick, and added a cap and cotter pin.

It makes me want to know how they came to this solution. Did they search it on line? Did they find 16 different caps around the house and test each one until they found the right fit? We had a 1.8t Passat that use to be a customer. They had a similar setup, but used a New Castle cap. That was a much better choice in my opinion. 😉

VW cigarette lighter fuseThis one is sadly a very common thing. Part of me things its the design on the 12v outlet on the new Jetta. I have found a good amount of things stuck in 12v outlets. One of the more common concerns I deal with is “my 12v outlet doesn’t work”. So much so that I shot a video on “How to check your car’s fuses“. The best part about this, the customer didn’t even complain about it. I just happen to notice. LOLVW Fault Code

I have posted several times about how VW diagnostic equipment is hilarious some times. Other times it’s awful. When something funny happens, I try and snap a picture for you guys. You know, so you can appreciate some of the goofy things we see.

This is a test plan that came up for a fault. I didn’t look to see what fault was stored. It was most likely for the Carnet system, think Onstar, was not turned on. But the test the scanner wants to run, is to assist with “Important Information”. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.

Well, that wraps up another volume of Shop Shots. I can’t believe we have done 77 of these. Actually, I think it’s more like 79. I may have messed up a few numbers over the years. Also be sure to check out the weekly series I am doing with my good buddy Rusty from Bench Racing Garage. There we talk about all aspects of the automotive world.

VW transmission problem

Happy Wednesday everyone. Sadly this time it is actually Wednesday. But hey, it is still Shop Shots day. We are as busy as can be at the shop. That means I am busy busy busy fixed and maintaining VWs. But enough about that, let’s talk Shop Shots!

Bad Volkswagen MechanicThe first picture come to us by way of a complete hack mechanic. You are looking at the the cowl panel of a VW Beetle. That is the trim right at the bottom of the windshield. You will notice that someone has drilled a hole in the trim. Talk about a hack move.

I can only assume why some tool would drill this hole. My guess is to replace the bushings at the top of the strut. The right way to do this job is to remove the wiper arms, and remove the trim. If you do it right, it takes about 10 minutes max. But if you are a hack mechanic, you aint got time fo dat!

VW transmission problemThis type of picture makes me feel a bit like a curios kid. When ever I see an engine or a transmission taken apart, I get excited. Especially when I am not the one taking it apart. 😉 Not that I mind doing this type of work, it just doesn’t pay that well.

This is the the top view of a manual transmission. One of the boys had this apart to replace a syncro. After a few times taking the transmission out and putting it back in, he ended up having to replace the entire transmission. There was some noise issues. I don’t have much to add, I just love taking pictures of this type of thing.

Volkswagen Wiring ProblemI feel like this is the things that mechanics have nightmares about. You are looking at a wiring harness in a 2014 Tiguan. The customer had about 400 miles on their car. They brought it in because the 12v outlet wouldn’t work. When I got the car the fuse was blown. Each time a new fuse was installed, it would pop. That could mean the power wire was shorted to ground(which is the brown wire in the picture).

I got a great tip for finding a shorted wire with your multi-meter

  1. Set the meter to continuity check. Most meters have an audible tone when continuity is achieved.
  2. Place one of each lead at each wire If they are shorted, the meter will beep.
  3. Start moving the harness in various places
  4. When the meter stops beeping, you have found the source of the issue.

After messing around with the front console for a while, it was time to move on to the rear console. I set the meter up and was getting nowhere. When I moved to the back, I took one of the screws out of the trim panel. As soon as I started taking the screw out, the meter stopped beeping. With the panel off, this is what I found. When the panel was installed the harness got smashed, and the screw driven through the wires. A quick wiring repair, and the car was good to go.

Well that does it for another round of Shop Shots. I hope you all have a great week. Also, feel free to share this post. I tried to make it really easy to share. You can use either the buttons on the top, or the buttons under the “You may also like” links.

VW cabby with top removed
MK1 Crossmember Reinforcement Bar

This is the brace I installed from Euro-wise. I HIGHLY recommend this!

Happy Monday everyone! I hope that you all had a great weekend. One quick thing before we get into why I never throw away parts. I have been having email issues lately. Not sure what the deal is, but the folks at HostGator are working on it. If you have emailed me in the last few days, and not heard back, please resend it. I forwarded my email to another email. Sorry for any troubles.

Alright, like the title says, I never throw away parts. Even things that I don’t think I will ever need. Something happened Saturday that validated my crazy hording of VW parts. I sometimes think that I will clean house and get rid of things. Sadly I don’t think it will ever happen. On that note, if you need any VW parts let me know 😉

On Saturday I drove the Cabby Luv-A-Dub to work. My plan was to install a front brace, and remove the convertible top. The shop was pretty busy all day, so got a late start. The install of the brace was a little more work than I wanted to do. I had to remove the front engine mount and move some wiring out of the way. It was one of those jobs you think will be quick, but doesn’t really work out that way.

The excitement didn’t really start until I was finishing up the job. With the brace installed, I wanted to start the Cabby up to let it warm up a little. I hit the key and got crank crank crank crank crank, but no start. Dang, let’s try it again, crank crank crank crank, no start. It was clear at this point that something was not right. When ever this type of thing happens, step 1 is recheck your work.

I did a quick visual inspection of the brace and the area I was working in. Nothing stood out as an issue. I did have the power junction disconnected, but that could not be the issue. I could also hear the fuel pump running when I was trying to start the car. At this point I am starting to get annoyed. I just wanted to go drive!

I grabbed my laptop to check for fault codes. I have to say, having OBD2 in the Cabby is pretty awesome. Sadly, it was no help. I had fault codes stored, but that was due to several sensors that I didn’t use with the swap. In diagnosing a no start concern, this is the time to pick a path and go. You only NEED 3 things for a engine to run

  1. Compression new this was good. I drove the car in the shop. Plus you can usually hear when an engine has really low/no compression
  2. Fuel
    I knew the pump was running, but not sure about the engine getting fuel. This would have been a good next step.
  3. Spark
    This would have also been a good check.
  4. ECMI know I said you only need 3 things, but the ECM is vital. It controls spark and fuel, and it wont give you that if it doesn’t see what it wants to see.

Before I started taking fuel lines off, and checking for spark, I decided to go back over my work one more time. I raised the car up and did another visual inspection. DANG IT, didn’t see anything. After seeing nothing again, I did one of my top secret diagnostic techniques.

Mess with stuff until you find something.

I started giving all the wiring harnesses a tug. I barely touched the harness for the crankshaft position sensor when I heard a beeping and buzzing. YES, now we are on the right path, it was also lucky that I left the ignition on 😉 Now that I had something to go on, it was time to fix it.

I disconnected the sensor, checked the pins and connection. They were all good. I found that if I touched the harness on the sensor side, that beeping and buzzing would start again. I tweaked the harness so that the beep was constant.Side note, I am still not sure what was beeping. With the harness tweaked, the car would start.

VW cabby with top removed

I LOVE how the cabby looks with the top removed

The harness for the crankshaft sensor is sealed. That means it should not be repaired, but replaced. I dug through a box of parts I set a side to bring home. Wouldn’t ya know, there was a replacement crankshaft sensor! I replaced the sensor, and BOOM she fired right up.

So the moral of the story is, cars  break. It is never a bad idea to have a few extra parts laying around. I am that guy in the shop that everyone comes to when they need a part. Having this sensor saved me over $100 and my wife from having to come pick me up at work. I am happy to be a lucky auto mechanic.

Podcast

Thinking Like A Automotive Diagnostic Technician ~ Podcast Episode 62

Today we are looking a little deeper at the mind and process of a diagnostic technician. Right now I am in the process of training two new technicians, with a third starting soon. That means I am in full on teaching mode all day long. I really enjoy doing it. So I am trying to help develop these new tech’s diagnostic process. That is something I also wanted to share with you guys. It is something that a lot of automotive techs really struggle with. It is not an easy thing to build. Then after you build it, you have to keep fine tuning it, and working it. Not only to get better, but to stay current.
Humble Mechanic automotive Podcast Become A CrewMember
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Do you shop on Amazon?
Many of you have asked about supporting the show. For that I thank you. For now, the best things you can do are SHARE THE SHOW, and shop with my links on Amazon. You will not spend any more money that you would normally. Here is the Amazon link ~ Humble Mechanic on Amazon or you can check out some recommended tools I have listed below.

Help Support The Show
Many of you have asked about supporting the show. For that I thank you. For now, the best things you can do are SHARE THE SHOW, and shop with my links on Amazon. You will not spend any more money that you would normally. Here is the Amazon link ~ Humble Mechanic on Amazon or you can check out some recommended tools I have listed below.

Important links:

Thanks for tuning in to the automotive podcast. I am really excited about the response. If you have an idea for a show, contact me via email, or use the contact me form! Humble Mechanic automotive Podcast Don’t forget to follow me at: