Purcell's Tire

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CASA GRANDE, ARIZONA -- On Monday morning, June 4, we got a call from Purcell's to pick up our van, that they had gotten the light to go out (never did tell us how.) We went to their shop, paid an almost $75 bill. and came home. The diagnostic report they gave us showed all test parameters to be within limits. They said that if the light came back on, that they did not know what it could be, but that it would be a dealer item, and they would refer us to Ford. We drove it a total of 48 miles before the light came on again. I have a website that sells catalytic converters for anywhere from $58 for a universal to $550 + for an exact OEM replacement. Nice diagnostics, they can't tell what is wrong, but do know that it is a dealer item, which means mucho dinero, muy mucho.
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Anonymous on 06/07/2007:
Starlord, I went through the same type of thing with my 96 Miata and it was the computer chip itself. My mechanic had to reset the computer twice and then you have to drive it for (so many miles) before you can check it again. It finally went out and hasn’t been back on yet.

Modern technology, go figure
poppapia on 06/07/2007:
As painful as it may be, at least have a dealer run a diagnostics test; you can always take it to another mechanic for the repair, once you know what the exact problem is.
Ponie on 06/07/2007:
starlord, this is just a SWAG, but when you gas up do you close the gas cap securely? Reason I ask is about a year or so ago my check engine light came on and being un-mechanically inclined, discussed it with a buddy of mine. His first question was the same. Ironically, that is something I very seldom did: tighten it securely. For two reasons: It's difficult to open, and having carpal tunnel, I was even more apt to leave it unsecured. I took his advice and just a few fillups later, the light went out and (knock wood) hasn't come on again. Just a thought...
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Almost recurring problem
Posted by on
CASA GRANDE, ARIZONA -- Recently, we had our 'Check engine soon' light come on in our 1998 Ford Windstar. We took it to Purcell's Tire, a Goodyear shop in Casa Grande, AZ, as they have worked on the vehicle since my wife's mother bought it. Seems there were some parts on the intake manifold or something that went bad on both sides of the engine. Over $800 and something to fix.

Jump ahead to almost a month later, the 'Check engine soon' light comes on again, and we get it into Purcell's as fast as we can, hoping it is the same problem, as it would be under warranty. Well, of course it is not the same problem. Who'd a thunk? They put the diagnostic reader on it, and said it was the catalytic converter. The mechanic said it also gave him 3 pages of things to check before replacing the converter. The wife just called Purcell's to see if they had an estimate yet, and of course, they don't. Turns out the guy doing the work on it is not there for some reason. They promise an estimate first thing Monday morning. Meanwhile, here we suit out in the peach orchards twiddling our thumbs, as our scooters do not have the range to get anywhere. What I want to know is, why was this not detected when they fixed it the first time? Converters don't just suddenly fail overnight, and the diagnostic computer should have found a problem when it was worked on before. Purcell's is going to have to do a really great job at a decent price if they expect to keep us as a customer.

Purcell is a multi-state tire and repair shop that was given a prize by an industry magazine at one time.
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Paks on 06/02/2007:
To begin with the vehicle is 10 years old and things on a car that old tend to have issues. And different parts can fail at different times. Here is a link to how a converter works http://auto.howstuffworks.com/catalytic-converter.htm

And finally scooters ? Ever hear of getting up and walking a bit?
CrystalSword on 06/02/2007:
Paks, I realize the vehicle is ten years old, and as far as the "scooters" are concerned...we live 3 1/2 miles from the nearest SMALL store, over six miles to a sizable store, and with temps ranging over 100 - 108 this weekend..we aren't WALKING anyplace...the scooters in question are handicap scooters, both of us have severe enough problems that walking any distance in this heat would cause worse problems. But thank you for your "concern" about us getting some exercise!
Starlord on 06/02/2007:
Paks, for your information, my friend, I spent many years working as a mechanic, and I know full well how cat covnerters work, and about how long it takes them to fail. They usually outlast most parts on a vehicle, unless they are killed by things like using leaded gas (never done on this vehicle) or having oil or coolant get into the combustion chambers (also a non-happening.) As Crystal pointed out, we both have mobility problems,thank you very much. You may usually find us at www.wheelchairjunkie.com. I would suggest you learn to look before you leap. Don't assume that everyone is able-bodied, and that when someone says something about a scooter, generally they are a person with disabilities. Perhaps if I had said powerchair your reaction would have been different, but technically, they are not powerchairs, but are required for mobility.
Hugh_Jorgen on 06/02/2007:
So what was the earlier problem? If the engine was running excessively rich or lean after the repairs, that could cause the catalyst to fail after a few months. Was the van running OK after the first repair job? Was the fuel mileage the same? These might just be unrelated incidents. You comdemn others for jumping to conclusions, but aren't you doing the same thing, rushing here to file a compliant before you even know what's going on? Just enjoy the peach orchard, stay out of the heat and assume it's all going to be good news on Monday AM. Best of luck.
Starlord on 06/02/2007:
To all appearances, the van was running the same after the work was performed as it had been before the first 'repair.' As it was explained to us, there are a couple of small plastic parts, one on each intake manifold, and these were what had gone bad. We got the car to the shop within about 3 hours of the light coming on. After almost $1,000 to fix this problem, it just seems that the engine's performance should have been checked, to determine if there was a condition that would have caused additional problems. Obviously, this was not done. My main complaint is that the vehicle is just sitting, without ANYHING being done, because the guy who was working on it is not there for some reason. This is unheard of in the industry. The idea is to get the vehicle out as quickly as possible. Repairs are charged by what is known as the flat rate manual. Let's take the converter for instance. Let's say the manual shows 4 hours to replace the converter. If the mechanic can't do it in 2 hours, they say the shop is losing money, because they will charge the customer 4 hours labor. In other words, they should be able to take in 8 hours labor in 4 hours. Let's say the shop is open 8 hours, how much do you think the shop believes it will lose with a vehicle taking up space, and not bringing in any labor charges?
We have no means of transportation outside that van. So we are stuck here in the middle of nowhere without any way of doing things we normally need to do. Ad to that, we are on extremely fixed incomes, and just spent almost a grand, and now are at the mercy of a shop who cares not if we get our vehicle back or at what cost. Now do you think you can understand how we feel right now? I used to have a lot of respect for you, Hugh, but right now that is slipping. I hardly feel that what I am going through is 'jumping to conclusions,' but I fear what we will have to give up for quite some time to come, or ending up having to get another means of transportation, one capable of carrying around the devices that allow us to get around outside the van.
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