Auto shop kept my car for 5 weeks...until I had to fix the problem for them!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    XC iconoclast
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    Auto shop kept my car for 5 weeks...until I had to fix the problem for them!

    It wasn't entirely their fault. I have a mix of stock and aftermarket performance parts on my car, most of them work fine together, some don't. I guess this is why many car experts buy a used sports car bone stock and then they modify it very carefully, probably with exactly one mechanic. My car has been to a couple different performance shops, and then in 2017 the smog station disabled my aftermarket boost controller because they are not legal in California anymore.

    So I get the turbos rebuilt in 2018, psi goes up to 10, works well, but the stock psi is 11. I ask the shop in May 2019 to see if they can hook up the boost controller, to get it up to 11-14 psi (shhhh). They completely misinterpret my request and think there is a major problem with the boost, and then proceed to CAUSE a major problem with the boost, it went from 10 to 5 psi. That is what I get for asking them to fix something that's not broken.

    So I bring it back in November, it sits there for five weeks, half of which they cannot figure out how to get the boost back to 10. Look...they caused it to go to 5, they can get it back to 10, right? Nope. Excuse after excuse. They must have hooked it up wrong. I ask about that, they said 'everything' was disconnected when they went to troubleshoot the problem. Look, it would not boost to 10 if everything was disconnected, I'm not that dumb. I tell them to look for the aftermarket solenoid. They say it's not there, it got ripped out by the smog station in 2017. You can't order a boost controller to California anymore. So what to do?

    Turbos are very popular in cars now, plenty of information about how they work. So now I have to pretend to be a mechanic and figure out how to fix the problem for them. Two tubes that extend out of the solenoid and into the engine: one to the compressor, one to the wastegate. The wastegate is there to blow off extra air that may create an overboost spike at high boost and engine RPM, which could damage the turbos or engine. So then I read that the aftermarket boost controller came with its own larger solenoid and wastegate, since it's rated to boost 20-25 psi. I'm looking for 14 psi max, my turbos are small. So I put two and two together and guess that the aftermarket wastegate has a stronger spring and is blowing off all air over 5 psi --- only 5 psi max can get to the compressor before it's blown off. This is because the stronger aftermarket wastegate is working off the weaker stock solenoid, since the larger aftermarket solenoid was torn off the engine firewall and thrown in the trash a couple of years ago by the smog shop. This again is why many car experts don't want to buy a previously modded car. I tell the shop to disconnect the wastegate.

    They call me the next morning and say my car is ready for pickup, it boosts past 10 now. WTF. I had to figure that out? As long as someone doesn't floor the throttle at high RPM there is no problem with this, I have two different boost gauges to monitor the PSI. If it shoots up a lot past 10, I simply ease off the throttle. Simple. Now...is this the best fix for boosting turbos past stock in California? I dunno, but it's by far the simplest. Maybe one day I'll register my car in Arizona and really modify it but for now I'll live with it like this.

  2. #2
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    Ummmmm -congratulations?

  3. #3
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    I want my two and a half minutes back.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    I want my two and a half minutes back.
    =sParty

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    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  5. #5
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    Wow. That really bored the sht out of me.
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  6. #6
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    Take is to a different shop? Remove the manual boost controller?

  7. #7
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    I dealt with this crap all the time. Mostly customer error. Not blaming you but people getting involved in matters they do not understand. I'm guessing a VW 1.8 or a Subaru. On many cars MBC do not function well, there is also "pills" or restrictors in the vacuum lines that are lost.

  8. #8
    M8 M12 M15 deez nuts
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    It wasn't entirely their fault. I have a mix of stock and aftermarket performance parts on my car…but for now I'll live with it like this.
    What kind of car/engine is it, and why not just Haltec it with a custom program? There are specialists here in CA who can spend a day with it on the dyno and custom maptune it properly for you.
    Don’t frail and blow if you’re going to Braille and Flow.

  9. #9
    Meatbomb
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    I did not read it... I'm glad.

  10. #10
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    I think he would fail visual with a Haltec.

  11. #11
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    Mitsubishi 3000GT if I remember correctly.
    This post is a natural product. Variances in spelling & grammar should be appreciated as part of its character & beauty.

  12. #12
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    3kgt? Throw it away. I didn't read it all. Skimmed. Been there done heard it all.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    It wasn't entirely their fault. I have a mix of stock and aftermarket performance parts on my car, most of them work fine together, some don't. I guess this is why many car experts buy a used sports car bone stock and then they modify it very carefully, probably with exactly one mechanic. My car has been to a couple different performance shops, and then in 2017 the smog station disabled my aftermarket boost controller because they are not legal in California anymore.

    So I get the turbos rebuilt in 2018, psi goes up to 10, works well, but the stock psi is 11. I ask the shop in May 2019 to see if they can hook up the boost controller, to get it up to 11-14 psi (shhhh). They completely misinterpret my request and think there is a major problem with the boost, and then proceed to CAUSE a major problem with the boost, it went from 10 to 5 psi. That is what I get for asking them to fix something that's not broken.

    So I bring it back in November, it sits there for five weeks, half of which they cannot figure out how to get the boost back to 10. Look...they caused it to go to 5, they can get it back to 10, right? Nope. Excuse after excuse. They must have hooked it up wrong. I ask about that, they said 'everything' was disconnected when they went to troubleshoot the problem. Look, it would not boost to 10 if everything was disconnected, I'm not that dumb. I tell them to look for the aftermarket solenoid. They say it's not there, it got ripped out by the smog station in 2017. You can't order a boost controller to California anymore. So what to do?

    Turbos are very popular in cars now, plenty of information about how they work. So now I have to pretend to be a mechanic and figure out how to fix the problem for them. Two tubes that extend out of the solenoid and into the engine: one to the compressor, one to the wastegate. The wastegate is there to blow off extra air that may create an overboost spike at high boost and engine RPM, which could damage the turbos or engine. So then I read that the aftermarket boost controller came with its own larger solenoid and wastegate, since it's rated to boost 20-25 psi. I'm looking for 14 psi max, my turbos are small. So I put two and two together and guess that the aftermarket wastegate has a stronger spring and is blowing off all air over 5 psi --- only 5 psi max can get to the compressor before it's blown off. This is because the stronger aftermarket wastegate is working off the weaker stock solenoid, since the larger aftermarket solenoid was torn off the engine firewall and thrown in the trash a couple of years ago by the smog shop. This again is why many car experts don't want to buy a previously modded car. I tell the shop to disconnect the wastegate.

    They call me the next morning and say my car is ready for pickup, it boosts past 10 now. WTF. I had to figure that out? As long as someone doesn't floor the throttle at high RPM there is no problem with this, I have two different boost gauges to monitor the PSI. If it shoots up a lot past 10, I simply ease off the throttle. Simple. Now...is this the best fix for boosting turbos past stock in California? I dunno, but it's by far the simplest. Maybe one day I'll register my car in Arizona and really modify it but for now I'll live with it like this.
    You are going to have a time registering it in another state and residing in Cali, they are on to that trick now. Best to just leave that sh!tty state all together. AZ is an improvement, for sure.
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  14. #14
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    AZ is a terrible horrible desert of fire and dirt. I'm so tired of 70 and sunny during the winter already. Plus it's been really cold. Like 42.

    I had to get my truck inspected. They didn't test the exhaust or open the hood. It doesn't have cats on it and they don't care. Plus they just added a $32 a year registration fee.

    Best to not come here lol.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by azimiut View Post
    AZ is a terrible horrible desert of fire and dirt. I'm so tired of 70 and sunny during the winter already. Plus it's been really cold. Like 42.

    I had to get my truck inspected. They didn't test the exhaust or open the hood. It doesn't have cats on it and they don't care. Plus they just added a $32 a year registration fee.

    Best to not come here lol.
    Sounds like red tape hell.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  16. #16
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    Rich - what kind of car is it and what shop? I think you live near me so I want the info as a "precaution".

    But yes it does sound like the problem started when you modified it from stock...... ;-)

    To those making the comments about leaving California, I hear that loud and clear and if I did not have 2 small children and family close by I would be outta hear as soon as I could sell my home and get a job. I really like the Flagstaff area and would love to live there.

    My mom is moving to southern phoenix in a few weeks (she used to live in Southern Oregon), my mother-in-law has been in Lake Havasu for a few decades and my wifes sister and niece live in Prescott and Prescott Valley. So I am familiar with other parts of Arizona and I would never EVER move to those parts, unlivable in the summer months, just horrid.

    for the next decade or so I am staying put in Oceanside, CA - The weather in North San Diego County compares to the Mediterranean in that it is one of the most temperate zones in the world. It is worth the few little niggles for the time being to live here.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by azimiut View Post
    AZ is a terrible horrible desert of fire and dirt. I'm so tired of 70 and sunny during the winter already. Plus it's been really cold. Like 42.
    Yeah I was in Scorchdale yesterday and had to wear a hoodie out to my car in the morning. The horrah.
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  18. #18
    be1
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    you guys may get neg rep for taking the thread to arizona. lol. sounds like perfect hell...

  19. #19
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    I don’t think the thread derail was as much coming to AZ as it was getting the hell out of Cali
    DAAAANG...that was janky

  20. #20
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    richj8990, the short answer for you is that if you mod your car and rely on a third party for repairs, you better make sure it's someone that mods as a profession. Me personally, I wrench my own. The exception is when I mod a new car that is still covered by its factory warranty. Yeah, it's tough to find a service writer and mechanic at a dealer that will address warranty work without f-ing with your mods. The price we pay... and literally that sometimes means paying extra under the table.
    You didn't quit riding because you're old, you're old because you quit riding.

  21. #21
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    I hope you never take it to that shop again if they can't figure out how a boost controller works. And you can't buy or ship a boost controller to Cali anymore? What about for 'racing/off road purposes only? The work-around of monitoring boost all the time seems way too time consuming and still can lead you to blow up your car. Just put a boost controller back on and take it off when it's time to get it inspected. It's ironic how people think of Cali and all the tuner/modded car stuff when it's in fact a terrorist state for cars.

  22. #22
    Meatbomb
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    We need to build a wall between Cali and Az and make Cali pay for it

    So many people moving here and bringing the same beliefs that ruined Cali is going to ruin Az next....


    Build a wall, it's going to be a great wall..

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillbo View Post
    We need to build a wall between Cali and Az and make Cali pay for it

    So many people moving here and bringing the same beliefs that ruined Cali is going to ruin Az next....
    Texas is building a wall for the same reason...
    You didn't quit riding because you're old, you're old because you quit riding.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawgzilla View Post
    You are going to have a time registering it in another state and residing in Cali, they are on to that trick now. Best to just leave that sh!tty state all together. AZ is an improvement, for sure.
    And thanks for making us skip it once again.
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  25. #25
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    I think my Grandpa had the boost cranked up on his lower intestine. Definitely wasn't welcome in California with his busted muffler. Can you get some audio Rich?

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  26. #26
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    Seems to my like they had no interest in working on your car, and they were stuck with it on their lot for 5 weeks.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopold Porkstacker View Post
    What kind of car/engine is it, and why not just Haltec it with a custom program? There are specialists here in CA who can spend a day with it on the dyno and custom maptune it properly for you.
    You're as old as me haltech is like Windows 98 long gone

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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by opekone View Post
    You're as old as me haltech is like Windows 98 long gone

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    The street tuners in AUS/AZ are keeping it modern with Haltech systems. We in the US are far behind.
    Don’t frail and blow if you’re going to Braille and Flow.

  29. #29
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    Haltech! I remember when I first got my WRX it was tuned on LINK-ECU
    Dont make me go all Jonathan Winters on this gas station.

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