There Are No Codes For This Customer Error

, , , , | Right | June 15, 2020

A very old lady pulls up to the auto parts store.

Customer: “Hi. I wanted to see if you could run one of your diagnostic tests on my truck to see what’s wrong with it.”

Me: “Sure, ma’am, let me grab my scanner real fast.”

We walk up to her 2002 Ford Ranger.

Me: “Is it unlocked, ma’am?”

Customer: “…”

I just open her door and plug in to the OBD2 — on-board diagnostic port. I quickly realise the port is not communicating with the scanner.

Me: “Ma’am, does your cigarette lighter work? Or has it stopped working?”

Customer: “Yeah.”

Me: “Yes, it works? Or yes, it has stopped working?”

Customer: “I don’t know. I push it in and it won’t pop back out! What’s that got to do with any of this?!”

Me: “Ma’am, generally the OBD2 port runs on the same fuse that the cigarette lighter is on.”

I open the fuse panel and realise that fuses are numbered and not labeled.

Me: “Ma’am, do you have the owner’s manual? I’ll check the cigarette lighter fuse if you do.”

Customer: “I live on social security! I don’t have the money to buy a d*** fuse!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m not telling you to buy a fuse. I’m saying that I need to check it or I won’t be able to pull your trouble codes.”

Customer: “Stop trying to upsell to me and just tell me what’s wrong with my truck!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m not trying to sell you a fuse. If your fuse is bad, I can switch it with another one temporarily just long enough to pull trouble codes. I understand money is tight right now for everyone. I’m just trying to pull codes, but I can’t do it if the scanner can’t communicate with the engine computer.”

We eventually get a hold of her owner’s manual and I find that spot seventeen is the cigarette lighter fuse.

Me: “Okay, ma’am, the cigarette lighter fuse is blown. I’m going to put another fuse in there so I can pull codes, and then I will replace your blown fuse back where it was before.”

I make sure to do everything in plain view where she can see. In all reality, it’s against policy to mess with fuses, but I am trying to do the right thing and help the old woman.

Me: “Okay, ma’am, it’s working now. You have three error codes: P1000, P0171, and P0174. I’ll get you a printout inside with all the info on it.”

Customer: “Well, it took long enough!”

I replace the blown fuse exactly where it was in space seventeen and walk inside with her, making sure to hold the heavy door for her.

Me: “All right, ma’am, here are the printouts. These codes point toward a bad mass airflow sensor, but your mechanic can decide that.”

Customer: “What the f*** does that mean?! Like I know what you’re talking about!”

I’m biting my lip so hard. I am thinking, “Why the heck did you have me pull your codes if you’re not even listening to me? Why isn’t your mechanic pulling your codes?!”

Me: “All right, ma’am, thank you. Have a good day.”

Approximately thirty minutes later, she called back screaming that some [disabled slur] couldn’t pull codes on her truck and her mechanic told her never to trust [Company], and that we have no idea what we’re talking about. You try to help someone and they hate you for it.

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