The 2000 Ford taurus was towed in by AAA. The customers complaint was that the car wouldnot go past 20mph. We scanned the car for codes and there were none. So we test drove the car six times. The car drove fine. Drove it at 60mph. It sfifted fine. So we returned the car to the customer and never charged her since we couldnt find any problems with it.
The car was towed by AAA to us in a couple of days. This time the car had an intermitent no start condition. It cranked fine but wouldnot start sometime. When it started it would run very rough.
there were no codes present. We read the live data stream and found the following problems
1. The o2 sensor (pre cat) was not working.
2. There was also a large vacuum leak which was a broken PCV valve and hose. This was causing the engine to run lean.
3. Exhaust was leaking from a broken Differential Pressure Sensor for the EGR system.
All the above problems will prevent the engine from running smooth. We advised the customer to take care of these problems first and gave here an estimate for the same. She told us that she wanted to sell the car and she didnot want to spend too much on the car and She approved the estimate. We changed the O2 sensor, the PCV valve/hose and the DP sensor.
The car started and ran fine, but it was having performance issues. It lacked power and acceleration. We inspected her spark plugs and found them worn and fouled. We also found the car was overheating from a coolant leak at the heater hose. Since she was planning to sell the car, we changed her spark plugs with used better ones, cleaned her throttle body and Mass air flow sensor for free. the car ran fine. we told the customer that car will overheat and we cant do anything other than changing the hose. The customer was ok and asked me if she can drive a couple of blocks. we told her to keep adding coolant. the customer paid and took the car. she called later on and told us that the check engine was on and we told her that it was the coolant temp sensor because the car was over heating. She brought the car back in later and was very disappointed with our work. We tried to explain to her that what we did and her current problem are two separate things.
We gave away a lot of free work to retain the customer. but she refused to understand. I am sorry but we couldnot do more. We even received multiple call from AAA tech regarding the work. we explained the same to them and they understood the situation. the customer needs a complete tuneup and heater hose.