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Everything posted by THEBARTMAN

  1. This was never about right to repair but since you brought it up...try getting a key programmed, ECU updates downloaded, or other PROPRIETARY functions programmed outside of the dealership. Yes, even in 1998 many of these functions were already in place, like engine/ignition immobilizers that require the correct scan tool.
  2. Ok... I wasn't challenging you or anyone else to find a repair shop with auto electric in their name. I'm not implying that all the electrical shops have disappeared and I described them as "all but extinct" because their capabilities have been significantly diminished. The point is that a modern day vehicle has around 1-2 miles of wire and a multitude of computers, sensors and switches. It's very unlikely that the aftermarket shops and technicians are able to stay up to date with the factory training or have scan tools with the technology of the "Techstream" which is the necessary diagnostic scan tool at your Lexus service center. The typical auto electric shop today does mostly routine maintenance or specializes in vintage cars. There are still some very skilled techs working in these private shops and when given a wiring diagram and a Fluke 88 are able to fix a number of issues. But let's face that fact that it's a dying industry and your OEMS like Toyota, Tesla, and many others have proprietary software that's not accessible to Joe's auto electric.
  3. Before pulling the bulbs, you should look for a change in voltage on the meter with and without the lights/audio on. If fact, what I typically do when performing a quick test, observe the meter as you switch each component on...one by one. If the brake lights are showing a large dip on the meter or with everything on together you are dropping below 13 volts...you have a problem. It's rare, but you could have a bulb that's not lighting up and instead shorting out. If the charging system stays above 13.5 under full load than I'm leaning towards a problem with the wires coming from the battery or loose/corroded battery terminal. Most of the situations that I've worked on where there seems to be an electrical demon and all the tests are good...It's usually something like a poor body ground.
  4. It's a sign of the times...but top notch auto electric shops are all but extinct today. The ones that are still around and have experienced techs still need vehicle specific wiring diagrams or car brand specific scan tools. It's really a matter of finding a tech that doesn't just want to throw parts at the problem and walk away when it gets too difficult. This is why the best place to take a vehicle with technical or diagnostic problems is to your dealer. I'm not against the aftermarket or private garages either. In fact, for twenty years I worked as an auto tech and also managed numerous aftermarket parts stores.
  5. I used to install alarms back in the day and you would simply cut a specified wire and connect the two ends to the color coded wire on the alarm. Simply put, when you cut the wire and later remove the alarm, you should be able to find both ends that are the same color and splice them. Since you don't see individual colors, how many wires do you see? Have you checked into purchasing a Chiltons or Haynes repair manual with wiring diagrams?
  6. If you are 100% certain that the wires are connected properly then you might have burned out a fusible link. They are marked with the rated amps and are color-coded like a fuse but are much higher amperage and protect multiple components. Typically, you find them in the main fuse/relay box under the hood. DISCONNECT THE BATTERY BEFORE REPLACING
  7. Never assume anything. Electric motors slow down and/or draw more current as they age.
  8. Hey all, Before I do it the hard way, try five different chemicals, or damage my paint... What's the best or easiest way to get the applique off without collateral damage? Thanks!
  9. Have you tried driving on the highway at a steady rate of speed? If there's an issue with the cooling fans, it should operate at normal temps on the highway. If that's the case, just replace both fan motors because they are likely both original, and not strong enough anymore. I would also suggest finding a way to check the actual temp of the cooling system (without removing the cap!) which should average 200-220F when the gauge is steady warm. I use an infrared thermometer and check the radiator, and where the coolant is flowing in or out of the engine. You can also perform a cooling system flush, replace the thermostat, and ensure that the coolant mixture is no more than 50%. Honestly, If it's not something clear or obvious, you can lose a lot of money throwing parts at a problem. I would take it to the dealer because most service centers have a standard diagnostic charge which is normally around $100.
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