Tuesday, May 22, 2012
PO491 Code, 2005 Chrysler Sebring plus HARD CASE Review
In writing news, I’m heading quickly up to the 60,000 word mark for my DEMON sequel, so I’m thinking it may be completed before the end of June, which is four months faster than I had anticipated. Not Nora Roberts output, but pretty decent speed for me. After our weekend promo, we garnered the first review on HARD CASE by a young woman. Her review hit all the high points in the novel including the humor. The exceptionally good part being she is far outside my target audience, which I’ve always hoped I could reach. As reviews show up, it will be interesting to note if I’m reaching a larger demographic of readers. If you can spare a moment to give my reviewer a yes the REVIEW was helpful, I’d appreciate it. She's buying COLD BLOODED next.
My friend and partner RJ Parker has a great promotion coming on May 23 & 24. Take a look at it on his blog HERE.
On the automotive repair front, I had a humorous encounter, involving my age to a degree. Yesterday, I was working on an old 1993 Pontiac Bonneville service when a late model Chrysler drove up in my shop. When I began walking around to greet the customer, a young teen girl popped out of the driver’s seat as if she were a jack-in-the-box with a strong spring. Blonde streaked hair, about five and a half feet tall, wearing those below the belly-button jeans, sandals, and a lime green halter top, she was the picture postcard of a cool summer breeze. Her car was a 2005 Chrysler Sebring, so she’ll be Summer Sebring for the blog today.
“Hi, may I help you?”
“My name’s Summer… and you’re Bernie?” She sticks out her hand and gazes at my nametag that is not smudged into Bennie. “My grandfather recommended you. He says you’ve worked on all his cars since the seventies.”
Summer tells me her Pa’s name and he is indeed an old customer. I didn’t think he had any family in the area. I shake her hand, noting she doesn’t give me one of those cold, dead flounder handshakes. “I know him very well. How can I help you?”
Summer hesitates for a moment before going around to the passenger side and reaching in for a sheaf of receipts. She walks back and hands them to me. “I have to get my car’s smog check done and nobody can get rid of the check engine light so I can do it.”
I look them over. The first one’s for a failed smog check with a code PO491 listed as the cause, meaning insufficient secondary air injection flow. The rest were parts changed to correct the code: electric air injection pump and tube, injection pump relay, and even a diverter valve. I went to the driver’s side, popped the hood, and opened it up. With my handy dandy Mag-lite, I looked over the new stuff. I noticed the replaced plastic tube near the injection pump was showing signs it was beginning to melt again. Since I’ve known Summer’s Pa for over thirty years, I quickly pulled off the one way check valve and blew through it. I could blow through it easily in both directions. Since they call it a one way check valve for a reason I knew it was the problem.
Here’s the thing. I go way back from the time air injection smog pumps were first installed on cars. They inject air into the exhaust in order to help burn off polluting gases. We used to regularly get bad check valves in where they were allowing raw exhaust gas to pass the wrong way into the system, melting hoses, and frying the inside of the pump. I held it up for Summer to see. I explained about why the valve was bad.
“This is what’s causing the code. I’ll have to order it from the dealer. Can you leave it with me for a while?”
Summer is skeptical. “How come those other guys didn’t know that? I mean… are you sure that’s really it?”
“I think they were thrown off track by the code. It means insufficient secondary air flow. They probably saw the melted connector and figured the pump had gone bad. It may have, but what melted the connector and caused insufficient flow was the check valve allowing hot exhaust gas into the system. Plus… I’m ancient.”
She laughed at that. “My grandfather said you were even older than he is.”
“Yeah, I think I have him by a year. Tell him I said he’s still a ‘geezer’.”
“I will.” Summer nodded with another laugh. “I’ll walk over to his house. Will it be done today?”
“Let me call you on that. I’ll make sure they have the check valve in stock and whether the delivery will make it here by this afternoon. One other thing, how soon does the check engine light pop back on after a repair?”
“It lit up the moment I started on the freeway for home.”
Yep, that computes. We filled out her paperwork and Summer breezed out to her Pa’s house. The dealer had more than one in stock so I’m figuring it must be a regularly replaced item on this 2.4L engine. It arrives. I get it on, erase the code, and quickly go do some freeway time in the Sebring. No light. Summer arrives to pick up her car with Pa.
We shake hands. “Summer tells me you pulled the ‘Geezer’ card on me.”
I’ve already been joking with him ever since I went on the Reno trip with St. Joyce and invented the ‘Geezer Card’. He was one of my first customers when I got back. He enjoyed my Reno train trip story. “Yep, I figured that would get her a ride over here with you.”
“He pulls the ‘Geezer Card’ all the time whenever he doesn’t want to do something,” Summer added. “It drives my grandma nuts. Now I know where it came from.”
I laughed at that one because I know her grandma too. “Guilty as charged.”
That concludes the automotive portion of the blog. Remember, air injection flow codes and melted parts mean bad one way check valve, no matter how old or new the vehicle is. Geezers Rule! :)