Geoff Last, an apprentice at K.I.S.S. Auto Repairs in Kelowna, B.C. sent in this classic case of a DIY job gone wrong, costing way more than the owner could have hoped to save. The owner of this 2002 Sebring convertible had tried to diagnose and repair a no-crank condition, and ended up destroying the ignition cylinder. In the end, the entire steering column had been taken apart and bolts and relays were scattered around the vehicle.
Last explains, “When he phoned to inform us that his car was being towed in, we said send the keys with it. He replied, ‘You don’t need one, just use a screwdriver.’ Upon initial inspection, we found that the steering column was in parts and pieces with bolts and relays scattered around the vehicle with the ignition switch and multifunction switch just hanging there!”
He says the customer tried to diagnose and repair the no crank condition, thinking it was the ignition switch after replacing the engine. “He destroyed the ignition cylinder, not realizing the VTSS required the transponder in the key to unlock the security! This car sat for over a year in the bush somewhere so the brakes were so rusted up. It took four guys to push it in the shop for repairs!”
Last says they still haven’t been able to get it running, and they are waiting for the customer to supply them with parts from the wrecking yard. The customer was pretty embarrassed and at a loss for words when they gave him the bad news. Last says the car is still sitting behind the shop, in the same state because he said hold off until he finds parts.”
This backyarder is a perfect example of how DIY repairs can end up costing more money in the long run.
Last concludes, “Even if we get it to crank without grounding the starter relay with a jumper wire, it would never start until dodge re-programs the P.C.M. to unlock the security system. The ignition cylinder is in such rough, mangled shape, that the whole cylinder lock housing has to be replaced.”
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