Earlier this week I wrote about using fluorescent dye to find leaks in air conditioning systems. Sometimes dye doesn’t help and you have to use other methods, such as a leak detector, or just by looking carefully.
A common way to find the source of an air conditioning refrigerant leak is to inject fluorescent dye into the system. Once dye is circulating in the system, if there is a leak the dye will also leak out, and you can find where it’s leaking by shining a blacklight around various system components.
Besides the repairs themselves, one of the things technicians dislike most about recalls is the cars that come in that are absolute junk. I’ve never seen a car this rusty before.
It was supposed to be a simple job, just a factory trailer hitch installation on a Honda Odyssey. The only problem was it wasn’t a brand new Odyssey, it was a used one from 2014. The hitch attaches with six bolts in pre-threaded holes in the rear of the van, but because this was a 3 year old van, the holes were just rust and I couldn’t get the bolts to start in them.
Rusted threads shouldn’t be a problem, just run a tap in there, or even better, a thread chaser. I borrowed another tech’s thread chaser set and found the right size, but I couldn’t get it to start in the holes either. The next thing to try is a tap, so I go looking for the right size. I check my tap set as well as a few other sets different technicians had in the shop, but nobody had a 12×1.25 tap, only 12×1.5 and 12×1.75. My only choice was to wait for the Matco truck to come by later that afternoon and hope he had one with him. He did, and I bought it on the spot and was able to get back to work on the trailer hitch installation after standing around for two or three hours.
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When I was kid I remember finding an old car in the powerlines running near my home. I never saw it again and figured it had been removed when they put in a pipeline, but then last week my brother happened upon it and told me where to find it, so I went out last Sunday with a friend to go find it.
What’s that lurking in the trees?
A Honda Pilot came in for us to look at because the owner saw fluid leaking from the rear. I put it up on a lift and took a look. The rear differential was dry, but the subframe had some kind of fluid on it. I also noticed some running down the spare tire.
It used to be that when you were buying a new car there was a big list of factory options to choose from. Nowadays it seems like your choices are restricted to a trim level and then two or three options within that, with little customization available. That’s where dealer-installed accessories come in.