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What should I have done different??

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    MAKE: mercedes
    MODEL:C300 4 matic

    Steering wheel lock.

    Story, client is the guy next door that rents a paint booth and washes cars. His mercedes decided to get stuck on stupid when he cranked the wheels enough to try to change a low beam.

    The steering lock control module decided to say no to the BCM,TCM, and IPC.
    Guy wants it fixed now, like yesterday, cuz his damn car is blocking the paint boot. I say sorry, you need to put up front at least 1000$ for the part, and the magic key.

    So long story short, I am handing this guy some very expensive parts to put on lock-down cuz his car washers are maybe looking for a fix.

    So While I hand him the airbag which houses as usual the controls, he says where do I store it. I said where you put the cash at the end of day. Then I handed him the most costly adventure of the whole, the entire steering column in one little bunch. Meanwhile he is cleaning all this like it is a Mc Laren.

    At this point, I do my ohm checks, client states he moved a few fuses, now we are getting somewhere.

    SAM is not communicating, front or rear SAM's. Are you sure you didn't f with this??? I swaer I put everything back like it was before.

    Me kinda giving him the I don't beehive you look.
  2. So after saving him mega dollars from the event that maybe he had to go the benz dealer, he thought it would to expensive. I fixed it in two days, and he even said thx, I said my tool box is full of thx. Next time tip the guy that found what no body else could.

    Now I know why his clients are not forever. :eek:
  3. Oh I forgot to mention, I had help from direct hit. If anybody here doesn't know what it is, it is a great site that carquest has put up. Very useful tool for a professional tech who works on cars everyday. You do have to pay for it, but it really pays for itself. I also like the fact you can input your fix to the site and help grow the database. So I will be fix #92.

    You simply type in your symptoms or codes and it looks through it database. So I typed in steering wheel lock, no dash lights, no engine start. Bingo, site gave 91 fixes saying they replaced the electronic steering lock control unit/module. After that is was quite easy to check that and module was in fact frozen in lock even if it was getting signal to unlck. No way to bust it out in place. Had to remove unit and basically destroy the unit, which is funny because mercedes wanted the old unit back for a core.

    As for the magic key, it is actually called a service bay key that mercedes will loan out for 400$ deposit and can only be rented to a reputable shop. I think there is more paperwork to fill out than a marriage certificate.

    Of note for others who encounter this, be sure to mark your steering wheel to column shaft as there are no identifying markings, can be installed 360. I used a sharpie marker, but after having f'ed around with the steering lock module, the markings wore off. So next time, I will use a awl to etch my marks. So once I eyeballed it, I was able to get the car moving to take it back to my shop and put it onto the alignment rack. I was off by about two teeth. Removing the actual airbag is only two torx bolts. That took about 15mins to fix, from installing the reflectors for the alignment lasers to setting to steering wheel straight. Since that was my mistake, we didn't charge for the alignment.
  4. Do you like a clean car? That man owes you at least a dozen car washes. Or, sell some carwashes to your customers, and have him do it for free.
  5. I feel your pain. People always assume that the mechanic is financially well off because fixing their car always seems expensive... Even when they are holding a quote from the dealer for over $1000 in one hand and your total bill of less than $500 in the other. Nobody takes into concideration of how much it really costs us to learn how to find and fix their problems. Nickb2: did he not compensate you for your time at all???
  6. I think I may have left out the essence of my first post and title, which was, "what should I have done different"

    So, the neighboring garage, which as I wrote, houses a small shop with 4 post lifts which I envy very much, also has a car wash and paint booth and they do some very light cosmetics such as rust removal and touch ups, a fender bender here and there. Nothing very fancy, but the car wash seems to be the bread and butter.

    Anyway, the guy that owns that half of the shop had three guy's come look at his Benz. Then I guess he bit the bullet and then came and saw my boss.

    I inherited this problem. The two SAM's were disturbed (Signal Acquisition Module). Some wiring had been moved around, disconnected and basically, the trouble shoot of the problem had been very badly mishandled. Fuses were not in their right place or just plain not put back, etc. SO when I went to hook up my scanner, no communication, hours spent on trying to undo what others had done, to only get about 15 or so codes to sift through and weed out the ones that were stalling this car.

    At one point I got pissed off and told the guy that I was sick of walking over, to and from my shop to his, with tools in my hands. I said it would be better to just get it towed seeing as the wheels were stuck full left and pushing it was out of the question.

    The shop I worked for got compensated, as did I for my hourly wages, But I spent some personal time at home weeding through pages of wiring diagrams and such and I would have assumed that the guy should have given me a little bonus for my extracurricular time spent (which he was aware of) on his car which probably saved him at least 5-7 bones.

    And all along, he doubted my final diagnosis which just made me very peeved at him since I was the 4th guy looking at this.

    My boss told him I was a diagnostic specialist and to heed my help and advice. We were doing him a favor since he is our neighbor and in the future, some cross jobs may help benefit both parties. I was willing to go the extra mile, I just felt brushed off and not appreciated and my ego made me create this thread to vent because the last thing you want to do is piss off the specialist that is fixing your car when all else has failed.

    Next time I do a job for that guy, he better not even try to doubt me again, cuz I am out his shop doors in a NY minute.

    Ok, I think that cleared things up Krazy K.

  7. Yeah ok that makes cents. Lol
  8. Yeah, my new acquisition of the summer may need a soap and wash. Although a 2003 toyota echo that I bought for 200$ hardly merits a wash, but if I can see him sweat as I did on his car, that would be a thing of beauty. There are a few funky stains on the seats that the lady who sold me the car need some scrubbing. When I say funky, I mean funky. Women and their cars.

    I know I am generalizing, but in general, women have the dirtiest cars.

    Again, the other week, be fore I went on vacation, another classic chick car. 2011 rag top mustang with a 4.6l.

    Front left quarter left bent and rusting, two mag wheels on right side scratched to shyte, inside of tires worn to the wire and the inside of the car was just plain a junk yard of food gone haywire it wanted to make me gag even if the top was down.