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1 Amory Blaine  Wed, Jan 18, 2012 11:41:10am

Exactly. It is a system in place solely to shear the consumer like a sheep. It shows you how little respect they have for their customers.

2 snowsmith  Wed, Jan 18, 2012 11:48:26am

Pep Boys, Advance Auto, AutoZone and Western Auto all will put your car on diagnostics and tell you what is wrong.

3 Mostly sane, most of the time.  Wed, Jan 18, 2012 11:56:21am

What a good idea.

4 nines09  Wed, Jan 18, 2012 12:46:47pm

Another joke is the owners manual. "See authorized repair service" is the overwhelming answer. You would think that where the oil filter is located is top secret info.

5 Achilles Tang  Wed, Jan 18, 2012 1:18:33pm

We could make the same argument about Microsoft and windows, which knows often exactly where a problem occurred in Windows, but damned if they make any effort to tell you beyond "Flash has crashed".

6 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Wed, Jan 18, 2012 1:23:56pm

Interesting. My car has a little cable with an open "plug end" just under the dash. If I jumper it, then the check engine light will flash an error code that I can look up.

Don't most cars have something like this, or was Honda just being nice in the early '90s.

7 Daniel Ballard  Wed, Jan 18, 2012 1:33:58pm

re: #5 Naso Tang

True. fortunately when windows crashes my computer is not wrapped around a tree, LOL.

8 Ben G. Hazi  Wed, Jan 18, 2012 1:40:06pm

re: #4 nines09

Another joke is the owners manual. "See authorized repair service" is the overwhelming answer. You would think that where the oil filter is located is top secret info.

That why G-d made Haynes and Chilton manuals...

9 Ben G. Hazi  Wed, Jan 18, 2012 1:51:12pm

re: #6 Slumbering Behemoth

Interesting. My car has a little cable with an open "plug end" just under the dash. If I jumper it, then the check engine light will flash an error code that I can look up.

Don't most cars have something like this, or was Honda just being nice in the early '90s.

Some OBD-I cars (late 80s-about 1997) had that function; I don't know if any OBD-II vehicles (all passenger cars/trucks made since 1997) can flash you error codes through the check engine light.

For OBD-II vehicles, I think you have to use a code reader to get the error code, which is no sweat because, as snowsmith advised above, you can go to most of the national parts chains and they'll pull your codes for free (AutoZone will even give you a printout of them, gratis). It's not as specific as going to the dealer, but it gets you in the general area of what the problem is...and it doesn't cost you $50-100 for a diagnostic fee.

10 ElCapitanAmerica  Wed, Jan 18, 2012 2:09:07pm

re: #5 Naso Tang

We could make the same argument about Microsoft and windows, which knows often exactly where a problem occurred in Windows, but damned if they make any effort to tell you beyond "Flash has crashed".

That's not a comparable situation, and is much more complicated. Error messages are the responsibility of the software writer, and some can give you good message, a cryptic code, or in many instances it doesn't really know what happened.

And in many cases, the general error or stack dump is not going to help 99% of consumers. What are you going to do when a program throws a null pointer in some obscure section of its code (code that could be obfuscated)?

11 Daniel Ballard  Wed, Jan 18, 2012 2:39:54pm

Thanks to all for an unexpectedly popular page.
I'm surprised. I never know what will be eye catching.
re: #6 Slumbering Behemoth

Interesting. My car has a little cable with an open "plug end" just under the dash. If I jumper it, then the check engine light will flash an error code that I can look up.

Don't most cars have something like this, or was Honda just being nice in the early '90s.

It used to be there was nowhere to put the info anyway. We got used to just speedometers and lights. I remember adding gauges in my go fast cars. Now we got big LCD dash displays for GPS and more. Now there is a logical place to put the message of what is failing or failed. A lot of these things are sensor codes or a loose gas cap. My portable Garmin has Bluetooth. It could read right from the car computers if one added a Bluetooth to the diagnostic socket. That would be pretty slick.

12 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Wed, Jan 18, 2012 2:55:08pm

re: #9 talon_262

For OBD-II vehicles, I think you have to use a code reader to get the error code, which is no sweat because, as snowsmith advised above, you can go to most of the national parts chains and they'll pull your codes for free (AutoZone will even give you a printout of them, gratis).

Unfortunately here in California, some mechanics union or something lobbied and got a law passed that says you have to be a certified mechanic in order to perform that kind of "service", so Autozone, et al, can no longer legally do that.

13 Daniel Ballard  Wed, Jan 18, 2012 3:16:28pm

re: #12 Slumbering Behemoth

OBD Thugs!!
*chuckling*


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