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Old 02-18-2019, 10:03 PM   #1
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Is it really that, or an illusion

Knowing what is wrong and thinking you know what is wrong with your van are two different things. The illusion of a first knee jerk response can ruin a trip.

Spent several months planning a trip down to Southern California to do the California Backroad Discover Route with some friends from Expedition Portal. The day I left the van developed what felt a shimmy and shake at the shift point into overdrive. My first thought was the transmission was slipping due to low fluid. The shaking got worse as we continued driving so we stopped at an auto parts store and bought some fluid. The fluid was a bit low so we added some. That seemed to help.

Further down I5 the van would lose power on the hills and not down shift automatically. Need to manually shift it into a lower gear so I could keep my speed up enough to go up the hills. That evening we stopped at a truck stop. Thinking that the trans was the problem I made the very hard decision to cancel my trip and head back home.

The next morning I got an inner nudge to check to see if the transmission through any trouble codes. My OBD2 reader did not show any transmission codes but it did show a misfire on cylinder 3. Here is where the illusion got real thick. I was so convinced that I had a transmission problem that I did nothing about the misfire.

By the time I was part way home the illusion had cleared and I realized what was really wrong. It was a bad coil. Now I was totally bummed. If the illusion of a transmission problem had not been so strong I could have taken the time to change the coil in the parking lot and completed my trip.

The things I learned from this experience are:
1. Do not be so excited about leaving on a trip that you put off test driving the van a few days before you leave.
2. Do not assume you know what is wrong, verify it.
3. if you have the spares, tools, and ability take the time to fix the problem so you can continue on your trip.
4. Do not be in a hurry to get to your destination. Relax and enjoy the scenery.
5. When a problem comes up stop, relax, have a beverage, assess the problem, and then act.
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:52 PM   #2
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Thanks for posting your story. Reminds me to get some spare coils to add to the toolkit. Life is one long series of humbling events, isn't it?
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Old 02-19-2019, 08:21 AM   #3
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Plus 1. Thanks for sharing. Good lesson for us all.
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Old 02-19-2019, 09:18 AM   #4
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Bummer Larrie. I agree with Jack, good time to add some spare coils or just do all plugs and coil boots and goop them all with dielectric grease really good. The boots are really cheap and the coils actually don't go bad as often as people think, but the boots and plugs wear out.

Now you'll just have to take that trip again to perfect it!

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Old 02-19-2019, 10:10 AM   #5
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Thanks for posting that reminder, Larry.



If it's any consultation, professional mechanics, doctors, engineers, anyone who looks at evidence and has to troubleshoot complex systems, finds themselves in the same trap from time to time.


I wish I could have the hours back, that I've spent 'chasing my tail' repairing the wrong thing.
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Old 02-19-2019, 01:51 PM   #6
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I know NONE of you will agree with this idea,but, when I see larrie's problem and
ALL the other problems I see on here and the problems I HAD(emphasis on had) is why
I sold my van. Going back to my original idea-RENT. PROBLEMS are somebody else's.
The cool part of this story is Jeff is going to let me use BeastyBoy any time I want. In case any of you have forgotten what BeastyBoy looks like go to
classifieds page17 BeastyBoy sold

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Old 02-19-2019, 02:21 PM   #7
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I agree Beasty Boy, good thing you sold your van. Anyone with your attitude should definitely rent. Wouldn't want life to throw you any problems, after all.
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Old 02-19-2019, 02:38 PM   #8
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Thanks Larrie!
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Old 02-19-2019, 03:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larrie View Post
The things I learned from this experience are:
1. Do not be so excited about leaving on a trip that you put off test driving the van a few days before you leave.
2. Do not assume you know what is wrong, verify it.
3. if you have the spares, tools, and ability take the time to fix the problem so you can continue on your trip.
4. Do not be in a hurry to get to your destination. Relax and enjoy the scenery.
5. When a problem comes up stop, relax, have a beverage, assess the problem, and then act.
Confucius needs to be made aware of #4 - should be included in fortune cookies.
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Old 02-19-2019, 03:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Scotty View Post
I agree Beasty Boy, good thing you sold your van. Anyone with your attitude should definitely rent. Wouldn't want life to throw you any problems, after all.
A response I expected from you Scotty. You must be under 40 y.o.
So,tell me, how is it having a bad attitude(as you imply) to AVOID having
problems?
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