Auto Service World
Feature   January 6, 2012   by CARS Magazine

Feeling the pressure

The relearn procedure can be especially long when theres a young apprentice on the case!







The relearn procedure can be especially long when there’s a young apprentice on the case!

By Rick Cogbill

Everybody knows that holiday weekends are made for fun. Everybody, that is, except automotive apprentices. To them, a holiday weekend means working on your buddy’s car for free.

Beanie asked if he could use the shop on Saturday. “Jake wants help mounting some new tires and rims on his pickup, and I kinda owe him one.”

“Sure,” I said, accepting his bribe of butterscotch caramel coffee flavoring. “Be sure to clean up when you’re done.”

The plan was to be finished in time to catch an afternoon movie premiere with their girlfriends. But as Basil would say, the best laid plans of mice and apprentices often go astray.

“Why so gloomy?” I asked, coming into the lunchroom that Saturday.

Samantha frowned fiercely as she paged through a magazine. “Beanie and Jake are having troubles,” she said. “It looks like we’re gonna miss our movie.”

Alley, Jake’s girlfriend, was redoing her nails. “Sam, I say we ditch the guys and go to the movie by ourselves.”

“Whoa,” I said. “What seems to be the problem?”

Sam tossed the magazine aside. “The tires are changed, but they can’t get the tire pressure monitoring light to go out.” She looked at me. “They need serious help.”

Out in the shop, I found the guys slouched in the front seat of Jake’s 2007 Silverado. Jake sighed. “Bean, you told me you knew how to do this stuff. If we don’t get outta here soon, Alley’s gonna freak!”

Seeing me, Beanie scrambled out of the truck. “Am I ever glad to see you! This TPMS is driving me crazy!”

I surveyed the used tires and rims scattered across the bay. “Okay, where’re we at?”

Beanie pointed to the left front tire. “Jake wanted a new look for his ride, so we’ve replaced the original tires and rims with these.” The KMC Backseat rims with 37 x 12.5 x 18 BF Goodrich All-Terrain Tires were definitely an improvement over stock. “I swapped over the TPMS sensors to the new rims, just like Basil told me,” he continued. “As far as I can tell, we didn’t damage a thing.”

He reached into the cab and pulled out the owner’s manual. “Next we went through the relearn procedure, using the high/low tire pressure method. You know, where you raise or lower the tire pressure until the horn beeps once? Then you move on to the next tire and do it again.”

“So you got the two beeps at the end, signaling that the relearn was successful?”

Beanie nodded. “That part’s fine. The problem comes when I set the tire pressures.”

I frowned. “Can’t you just use the tire pressures from the placard on the door pillar?”

He sighed. “Well, no. On this model, the original tires called for 50 psi in the front and 80 psi in the rear. But the new tires are 50 psi all around. Somehow I have to tell the system what the new pressures are, but for the life of me I can’t find where you do that!”

I chuckled. “Okay, I see where you’re coming from. Have you got the TECH 2 connected?”

Beanie jerked his thumb towards the truck. “Yup. We’ve been staring at it for hours.”

He retrieved the scan tool from Jake, who said. “Hey man, what a weird video game. All it does is show you numbers.”

Ignoring him, I directed Beanie back to the menu. “The tire pressure monitor functions are held in the remote control door lock module (RCDLM). Once you’re in there, go to module setup and you’ll be able set the load range and pressure of the front and rear tires.”

Beanie shook his head. “The remote control door lock module? I never would have thought to look there.”

I let the girls know it was almost show time. Alley squealed with delight and waved her purple nails in the air to dry them. But Sam seemed distracted. “Slim,” she said, “I’ve been dating Beanie for a while now, and this is not the first time a vehicle has interfered with our dates.” She looked at me. “Is this something I should think about?”

The reality is that anyone dating a mechanic should get used to days like this. But we technicians have enough strikes against us already – dirty fingernails, gashed knuckles, smelly clothes. I certainly wasn’t about to throw a crescent wrench into Beanie’s love life. It was time to dispense a tidbit of tactful wisdom. Unfortunately I was the only semi-qualified dispenser in the room.

“Every career choice has its high and low points,” I pontificated. “But life is like a TECH 2. As long as we communicate well, and know where the pressure limits are, then the system works well.”

Sam stared at me. “Huh?”

“Yeah,” said Alley. “That was weird.”

Okay, it was time to go home and be with the family. After all, that’s what holiday weekends are for, right?



Rick Cogbill is a freelance writer, and former garage owner, in Summerland B.C.

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