Just because I'm female doesn't mean I'm stupid

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Here's a rant for you:

I'm STILL trying to get my car to pass emissions. That's right, it's been over a year and they still can't tell me why it's throwing the EVAP small leak code. My car has now been in and out of the shop 8 times in the past 2 months alone (I can't remember how many times in the past year its been in the shop to investigate) trying to work out this "small leak". Where's the leak? They still can't tell me.

So far he's done hmm, around 15 diagnostic tests on my car over the past year. He's performed a smoke test (negative for leaks), a supposed visual test (which now I highly doubt, replaced the gas cap, and most recently replaced the leak detection pump (because that's what the book says). Guess what? The code is still popping up.

Last week, I took the car back to him after the code reappeared. At this point, he's tired of seeing me. Hey dude, it's not my fault! I'd rather NOT throw parts at my car hoping to fix the problem. That's why I brought it to you in the first place! I digress. I took the car in that morning before work.

By 3:30 in the afternoon, I still haven't heard anything so I call. I ask for John, the mechanic. He gets on the phone and tells me it's ready to go. I ask him what was wrong with it. He tells me it was the gas cap. He says, "Well, looks like you didn't tighten it all the way. We had to turn it a full turn. You should be good to go." Hmm, "John, there is no way it is the gas cap. We've been down this road already. YOU already replaced the gas cap. I know it was on there tight enough. I'm anal about things like that." He's adamant it's the gas cap still.

I ask what code it was throwing. He says P0442, small leak. I said hmm, funny. That's the same code it's been throwing for a year now. He begins to fight with me at this point over what code it's been throwing. Hello, I think I know seeing as I've brought the car to you for the same problem for the past year now. He continues to try and tell me it was only throwing a leak detection pump code. I laughed at him and said, "it was throwing that P1 code WITH the P0442 code. This is NOT a new problem, it's the existing problem or did you forget?" He's still insistent that this small leak code is a new code (I think it has a little something to do with the fact he was adamant the leak detection pump was causing that small leak code less than a month ago). "Fine. I'll just be back in a week when my code reappears." Click. :banghead:

Ok. I go there to pick it up. The tech, J.T. says it was the gas cap. I say, "Interesting. So tell me J.T., exactly how tight do you need to get the gas cap on there? I turn it until it clicks 15 times every time (I'm OCD about crap like that). I know it was on there tight enough." He looks at me dumbfounded. He says, "Umm, let me go ask John." John is hiding in the office somewhere out of sight. I wonder why.

At this point, I'm rather worried that a tech has to go ASK someone about tightening a gas cap. One of the other techs says hi to me from inside the garage and asks what I'm doing there. I answer, "My engine light is back on and they're telling me it's the gas cap. J.T. just went to ask John how tight it has to be." The other tech is laughing now. I say, "Its ok, if they really want to give me this diagnosis as the problem, all it means is I'll be back next week when yet again, my light comes on."

J.T. returns and says, "Well you tighten it until it clicks. You can turn it after that all you want, but it won't ever get any tighter." Really. So, I play the smartass card at this point. "Well, can you show me exactly how to do this? Maybe I'm just doing it wrong." He proceeds to unscrew my gas cap and put it back on. Click, click, and click. "There you go ma'am." I'm seriously trying not to go Kill Bill on these guys at this point. To further my point, I ask him about their using OE parts. I explain that I had taken the car to a different shop and they told me they didn't think the gas cap was an OE part. They had never seen an OE gas cap that was red. He looks at me (again dumbfounded) and says, "What’s OE?" I thanked him for his time and took my keys at this point. :doh:

Needless to say, one week later, my check engine light is again illuminated. My old friend how I miss you so. I've become so irate at this point; I'm actually going to take it to the dealer to get diagnosed. So gentlemen, be thankful that people don't actually talk to you like this when you take your car in to be worked on. I think for future issues, it is time for me to expand my car knowledge and learn how to do emission repairs. :ohcrap:

posted by  97Talonchik

Not sure if it is because you're a girl...your mechanic just sounds like a dumbass:ohcrap:.

Hope you find out where the leak is.

posted by  chris_knows

Maybe you didn't tighten the gas cap all the way. Make sure you do it till it clicks. Hope this helps.

posted by  Mathew

why go back to the same shop over, and over again for a year plus, if nothing was getting done? (I'm nice) Why go to a dealer, are there no other shops in your area? I hope you get the issue solved.

EDIT: This is a bit unlawful, but have you thought of getting the car registered at a different county etcetra, that doesn't require an e-check? Any family friends etc, that would help you pull this off?

posted by  CarNewb

... don't worry your pretty little head about it. Just let the men sort it out.


posted by  windsonian

double post

posted by  Wally

An enjoyable narrative there 97Talonchik. I have only two things to suggest:

1) get more assertive, by demanding to contact the owner/director of the business to lay a formal complaint;

2) the sentence containing this passage: 'He continues to try and tell me i' should have the and substituted with a 'to', because try and suggests an outcome.:wink2:

posted by  Wally

Never go back there!

posted by  Lizard King 6B

Those Mechanics sound like a couple of half wits lol.....I sa y take the car to a Garage that knows what they're doing! :thumbs:

posted by  Cliffy

The only things I have paid for to them were the gas cap, the diagnostic (initial) and the labor for the part (LDP). The other work post that was free.

Matthew, you didn't read my post did you.

CarNewb: At this point, I'm thoroughly frustrated with the idiocy of this place. Yes, there are other repair shops here but the situation is that it is an EVAP problem. Chrysler has a unique evap system and logically, to get the job done right, they would be the best one to take it to. I have taken it to another shop and guess what they told me (Let's change out the gas cap). Obviously I'm either invisible or they don't listen to a word I say. This is also after I provided them with the TSB regarding the DTC P0442 and the misdiagnosis of LDP.

Wally, do you have my marbles?

posted by  97Talonchik

I think Mathew was just kidding lol...kinda hard to tell though.

posted by  chris_knows

A pocketful, last count .... even some Black Mariahs.:mrgreen:

posted by  Wally

Now is it that your throwing a gas leak code, or is it that your engine light comes on, cuz,

a.) depending on your mileage , most car makes throw a "service engine" light after 150k.

b.) the only other logical explanation for a gas leak, besides the frickin cap(which would be the last place i checked), is through the lines, ither in the connect up somwhere or, the actual line.. or tank... not exactly rocket science.

C.) The shop techs/manager... sound like a bunch of retards.
especially seeing as the only problem they should have this difficult, is a problem that is electronical.

d) possibly i've completely mis-understood your post..

hope u fix it...


posted by  xkizdit

Get in the goddamn kitchen and make me a goddamn pie woman!

And Dont burn it like you did last time.

And go get the baby! Its fucking crying! Cant you hear? Jesus christ...I can't be expected to help it, can't you see I'm tightening your gas cap?

Im doing it for you, you ungrateful hooker! Now go make that god damn pie!

Jesus, im over here working on YOUR car so YOU can get around and chat with your friends about vacuums or whatever the hell you women talk about and you cant even make a damn decent pie for your hard working man.

posted by  Zalight

And dont forget the baby!

posted by  Zalight

TallonnChhicck, you didn't read my signature did you. Or my name for that matter.

Seriously though, did you tighten the gas cap all the way?

posted by  Mathew

Believe it or not there are more like this. I got the check engine light two weeks after taking possesion of my brand new car. That was in 2002. It is still on: the same code. Took it to 4 different dealers, still on warranty. All of them "fixed" it. The light was back on soon after, in one case on my drive home from the dealer.

I gave up, I have no time for it. One of my co-workers was surprised I took so long to realize it is pointless. His check engine light is simply ignored but mostly due he has no warranty anymore... :banghead:

posted by  scrounger

ive got some electrical tape, works great for those pesky check engine lights:wink2:

posted by  adamc44

Does your electrical tape help you pass emissions though?


posted by  theman352001

yes it does, ohio doesnt have emissions:hi:

posted by  adamc44

No, I'm a female. We're all complete imbeciles who can't figure out how to tighten a gas cap. Yes, as I said in my post, I'm super anal about tightening the gas cap. The fact remains, the gas cap was tested at the emissions center (as required) and it was not leaking in the first place. They still insisted on changing it, which they did. Now, they are still insisitant that that is still the problem.

I think the most frustrating thing is the fact that a lot of mechanics (around here atleast) think because you are a female, you know nothing about cars. It's embarrasing and rather insulting when they show you how to put the gas cap on like you're an idiot.

It's not necessarily a gas leak. It's a small leak causing vapors to escape into the atomosphere. It could be a solenoid, the LDP, the gas cap, the charcoal canister or any other the other evaporative components, or the supply vaccum lines. I spoke with a Chrysler tech before who said it could be the duty cycle purge solenoid.

Unfortunately, I have to get my car through emissions testing to update my registration. I've been driving it on expired tags for about a week and a half now. Hopefully I'll get my car to Chrysler sometime this week to get looked at. Maybe they'll find the problem.

Zalight, I killed the baby because it was an ungrateful bitch who whined too much. I made your pie, your delicious pie for you. It's sitting in a special spot on the table in the dining room. A spot just for you. I hope you like my secret ingredient. It's sure to be a unforgettable experience. Enjoy the wine I set out as well. It's a dessert wine with a plethora of flavor. Sure to capture the last moments...I mean, essence of the pie.

posted by  97Talonchik

If there's one thing I've learned about girls, it's that they don't like sarcasm. Annorexic (sp?) girls won't even laugh if you refer to them as "Fatty McButterpants".

posted by  giant016

Please, do post the problem that causes it, if you manage to fix it. My mechanics already run out of things to try. Seriously. I was given the "how to turn gas cap" too so really, don't take it as some blond issue. Just in case there were any doubts about my feminin look: if someone were to put it on scale, 1 being metrosexual and 10 redneck, I'd be solid 8, lol...

posted by  scrounger

Goddamn right.

/sits at table

I sware woman if you just did what i told you to the first time everytime then I wouldn't be forced to yell at you like that.

/takes a bite of pie

Hmm, his tastes different. Is that cinammon? It has to be cinammon, since you know me and love me so much, and know how much I like cinammon.


No thats not cinnamon.

/hack cough cough

It kinda burns actually

/drinks wine to sooth burning throat

Blech...what is this wine. Goddamnit woman! You know I dont like dry wines!

/eyes go hazy

Woman! Woman I cant see!

/Convulses and chokes on bloody foam coming from stomach



posted by  Zalight

Damn skippy :laughing:

posted by  97Talonchik

Actually, I was being sarcastic again. I'm sure the majority of us believe you have enough sense to tighten the gas cap all the way, especially after this fiasco. Hope I didn't rile you up too much :thumbs:

posted by  Mathew

MMMM...Peanut butter sandwiches.


posted by  Zalight

lets not be nasty here.---The mods

posted by  dodgerforlife

No for that I prefer Raspberry jelly. The tiny seeds provide a nice tickling sensation.

posted by  Zalight

Haha, called our local Chrysler dealership today, explained the problem and the things replaced so far. What did they say? "Ummm, you might want to take that to someone else, like Mitsubishi or something." Gee thanks Chrysler. You're a big help. We've pretty much cornered the problem and I told them what to look at. I even offered up my tech books from Chrysler for this car but they were scared to touch it because, "it's been years since any of us have seen one of those cars in here." Yes, approximately 5 years. That would have been the last time I took my car to you and you wanted to charge $500 for plugs and wires. Morons :doh: .

posted by  97Talonchik

Sounds like an ego thing. They couldn't do much for you anymore but had trouble looking you in the eye and turning you away. Hey, it might be 'cos you're female, afterall and possibly come in with an attitude that just about threatens to cut their balls off.

Have you recommended certain tests and decided how to proceed after receiving the results? If you're the most knowledgeable person on the subject, you might want to consider leading your own troubleshooting process.

posted by  JaneiR36

I've discussed possible causes with them yes. I don't have an attitude with them at the shop. This is frustration after the fact. I give them the car, discuss some of the symptoms, issues and possible problems. They take it and go to work. I would love nothing more than to undertake this problem myself, but me and fuel lines, connections and fittings don't get along. I would most likely blow myself up because I was under the car with a lit cigarette and open fumes. :laughing:

posted by  97Talonchik

Like the time I was at the dragstrip and a guy tried to syphon out pump gas to put in c16 with a cigarette in his hand.

He was on fire for only about 3 seconds.

posted by  Zalight

You don't have to touch anything. Based on your knowledge, if you were to recommend specific tests and they come back with results, you can then tell them how to proceed. This also means you'll be taking responsibility for any results that come back negative! At least you won't feel like someone else is wasting your time.

IMO either that, or somehow find someone more knowledgeable about your car in your area.

posted by  JaneiR36

sure seems like 90% of the people in this trade are only good at changing oil and they can even screw that up, and they do. too bad you dont live anywhere close to here i'd help ya :wink2: we got all the good toys and knowledge to boot, i learned very quickly how stupid most mechanics are, so i said phuck it ill learn to do it myslef and never looked back, maybe you should try the same thing

posted by  BanffAutoSpa_ap

Update: The mechanic I took it to yesterday looked at the car and found two cracks in the vaccum lines today. He's going to go ahead and change those out and see if that fixed the code. If not, next step purge valve. Haha, that sounds like something I would nickname Mary Kate Olson. I think I found a new mechanic. :thumbs: Oh and they're taking it through emissions testing for me too. Can't beat that deal!

posted by  97Talonchik

Hey, what's better then winning at the special olympics?

Finding a mechanic who actually knows their way around a car.

Seriously though, I'm glad someone actually found something that could be causing the issue. And I hope that it is what was causing the problem.

I find the problem with a lot of mechanics today(especially dealerships) is that they all rely way to heavily on the computer diagnostics, and even then can not run it properly.

EX - Crestview Chrysler could not find anything wrong with my car, in and out 3 times for diagnostic work...they said nothing wrong. I think the average age of the mechanics there is about 22. Almost all of them are 3rd or 4th year apprentices, and not journeymen. Then I took it to the family mechanic, whos in his mid-fourties, and has been a mechanic his whole life, started wrenching when he was a kid...was his dad's shop, who passed away, and he took it over. One day, one diagnostic scan. 3 problems, two solved(minor shit), one I fixed myself(missfire, the problem Crestview missed).

posted by  dodgerforlife

Unfortunately, this is an issue in many industries. You won't find many experienced 40 year olds digging under a car because they would generally take that drive and experience and go run a business, become a manager or something. More and more, beginners are the ones who run the show, and when they get a little more experienced in two or three years they'll be moving right on to something else. Everybody just wants to pay the bills, ya know?

posted by  JaneiR36

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