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 FACTORY FIXES ARE “SPECIAL”   By Paul Weissler   - Back to Index Page

Factory fixes for compressor failure raise special issues, even if they resemble “standard issue” repair.

Many technicians think a complete factory fix procedure can be “interpreted.” That leads both to shortcuts and alternatives that don’t work. Believe that a factory procedure is a safe minimum, because anything extra raises warranty costs. Factory service engineers can’t try every possible combination to validate a fix, but they do develop a feel for what’s necessary—probably better than you could when you face the problem on a customer’s car. If the “what’s available now” fix is expensive and the problem is not going away altogether, someone will work on a lower-cost approach to be released later—after it’s also been validated. Leave the experiments to the service engineers.

An important issue at factory service engineering departments also is the repair’s practicality. It can’t be so sensitive to individual technique that a high percentage of technicians could get unsatisfactory results.

That said, we don’t claim the factory fixes are always absolutely perfect. We add a caution: with some low-volume problems, the factories often are “pushed” into accepting superseding parts that are physically different but seem technically calibrated for the job. The parts seem to work, and there are higher-volume, bigger problems out there that need solving. The “technically correct part” turns out to be not so good a choice, and doesn’t always work. The aftermarket soon learns about these and the word gets out, perhaps even before the factory finds out and hustles to release still another part. So listening to the aftermarket grapevine (which we at MACS Service Reports try to do) can often produce “enhanced” data. But that’s a lot different from just going ahead with any “I think you ought to try this.”

Now let’s look at some original equipment specifics when there’s a catastrophic compressor failure.



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