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CarQuestionGuy
CarQuestionGuy, Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 1259
Experience:  ASE Master Auto Technician for 5 years, ASE Refrigerant Handler, ASA, iATN
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1987 porsche 914: repair shop..air conditioner..windshield wipers

Resolved Question:

Hi,

Our 1987 Porsche 944S has been in a repair shop for the last 10 months. Last September, I picked up the car from the shop: the air conditioner and the windshield wipers were not working. I was told to put on the defroster to help with visibility. About an hour later, the defroster started smoking, some really bad smell permeated the car and I actually saw some sparks. The car was towed back to the shop--they told me that the whole harness was damaged. They have been trying to put the car back together ever since. They have replaced parts, tried to bypass some wires, etc. to no avail. They said that they had finally gotten the wiring diagram, but it is really complicated to fix the problem. They had been told by other Porsche technicians that it is impossible to fix. The owner has been working on it, on his own time--and still no car. He is a specialist in foreign cars, and has repaired the car several times in the past.
Any ideas of what the problem could be and how it can be resolved.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  CarQuestionGuy replied 2 years ago.
Do you still need help with this problem?

Is your mechanic a Porsche mechanic?

What was your original problem and what was done to fix it?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
The mechanic is not a certified Porsche mechanic: the Porsche repair center was too expensive, and the mechanic had his own Porsche, and was repairing many others.

I have two pages of items that were fixed.

What he did:Replaced Front struts, rear shocks, and cut/remove frozen front swaybar and links; replace both access. drive belt, clean air filter and clear Air box of debris.Find electric short on main A/c. Power input compressor; find remove and repair burnt diode; replace faulty blower motor, resistor and relay. Complete performance test of A/C system; recharge 4 test i Clean Air, inlet/throttle body; repair/diagnose Adjust idle.

Items REPLACE OR REPAIR: front sway bar and links, cabin filter, 2 belts, blower motor-complete,, complete transmission service;
Blower motor (dealer); A/C relay, electrical supplies. Note; A/C compressor may need to be replaced soon--unusual noises upon engagement and operation.

The car had been at the repair shop from July 2010- to August 2011 (we had a fire and were out of our house for 7 months.) He supposedly was waiting for some parts from Germany. All of that time, the car was outside (we had one of the worst winters here in CT.) We have always garaged this car.

After picking up the car, I noticed that the windshield wipers were not working nor was the AC--they said that it would work only intermittently. They claimed some of the problems were due to the fact that the car had been sitting around for over a year.

I needed the car so picked it up, drove it 10 miles, it started to rain. They told me to put on the defroster to help with vision. And you know the rest of the story.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, made a mistake and listed repairs for another car as well. Sorry about that.
FOR THE PORSCHE 944S 8-11-11
Parts replaced:Blower motor (dealer); A/C relay, electrical supplies. Note; A/C compressor may need to be replaced soon--unusual noises upon engagement and operation.

Find electric short on main A/c. Power input compressor; find remove and repair burnt diode; replace faulty blower motor, resistor and relay. Complete performance test of A/C system; recharge 4 test i Clean Air, inlet/throttle body; repair/diagnose Adjust idle.Was done 8-11-11

I found the bill from June 2011 with following charges:
Repair front and rear brake pads, rotors and sensors ind complete; cal..../pad...... .....brake service
Also
diagnose running problem: replace weak fuel pump, remove intake, repair loose/missing casting plugs, replace all worn/faulty hoses clamps, hardware; replace both faulty knock sensors; reseal oil distribution block.

also on 6-15-11
replace all timing belts components including tension; replaced all damaged, broken harware, reseal valve cover set, replace spark plugs clean oil.debris from spark plug cavities
Expert:  CarQuestionGuy replied 2 years ago.
OK. I'm not sure what to think of this "mechanic". Is there a way that you can find out what is so "complicated" to fix about this problem?

It sounds to me like he might just want to get it out of his hair. I'm assuming these components worked when you brought your car to him. I don't see anywhere in the things that they had done where it said anything about trying to diagnose the problem with your wipers.

It looks like they replaced pretty much everything in your blower system and also in your AC system.

Leaving your car out in the weather was obviously not a good idea and is likely the cause of the wiper and defroster problem you had. When an older car is exposed to extreme temperatures and moisture it will wreak havoc on the electrical system (and the rest of the car too). It's not your problem that it was stored outside and now won't work, unless they called you and told you to come get it because they didn't have anywhere to store it.

If the car was in their car after they fixed it and they left it out in the weather, and now it won't work, then they should fix it at no charge to you. This is what I would do if I were them.

This mechanic might be good at replacing parts, but I'm not sure that he knows how to diagnose electrical problems.

There might be something that I'm not thinking of so if you can get as much detail as possible from him as to what is so complicated to fix. Also, I'm not sure why they didn't already have a wiring diagram. Any good repair shop subscribes to an online service that provides factory information (including wiring diagrams) for all vehicles sold in the US. I'm looking at the diagram for your car right now.

Anyway, if you can get me that info, I'll keep looking into this problem and see what I can do.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I will try to get my husband to get the scoop of what their problem is with this harness and then will get back to you. It may take until next Monday or so. Thank you for the questions you asked previously--they take no responsibility for any damages while the car was with them.(Throughout the last winter they were waiting for these parts to come from Germany-supposedly they got them in April.2011)

Katalin Baltimore
Expert:  CarQuestionGuy replied 2 years ago.
Let me know when you get that info.

It's hard for me to believe that it took months to get the parts they needed. Do you know which parts they were waiting for? I should be able to tell you if they are available here.

If the car was in their possession then it is their responsibility.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I will have a written description of what he has done and what he is trying to do on Monday morning. I will pick it up and then head home and share the information with you. Thanks.
Expert:  CarQuestionGuy replied 2 years ago.
OK. I'll wait for you to post it.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I sent this information but just in case, I am sending it here again:

WHAT WAS DONE: repair/replace A/C relay and blower motor resistor; recharge A/C system--vac out, press test, recharge sysytem---compressor a bit noisy--should be replaced ASAP

WHAT FAILED:
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I sent this information but just in case, I am sending it here again:

WHAT WAS DONE: repair/replace A/C relay and blower motor resistor; recharge A/C system--vac out, press test, recharge sysytem---compressor a bit noisy--should be replaced ASAP

WHAT FAILED: A/C control unit shorted (burnt). in turn, shorted power feed to vehicle computer; shorted various A/C control components, some of which are no longer available.

SOLUTION: Install A/C Compressor and A/C Fan power wiring and switch: separate from existing harness and components to be controlled either by existing A/C power switch on controller or by separate switch on dash.

Completion date as of right now is 6-22.

I would appreciate your expertise about all of this---and is there any possibility that the short was possibly due to their original work on the A/C/

Thanks for your patience for the information.

Katalin Baltimore
Expert:  CarQuestionGuy replied 2 years ago.
I don't see anything on their list of parts that is no longer available.

From what you have written it looks like they bypasses the AC control unit and just put in a manual switch to turn the AC on.

It is possible that what they did caused all of this. Either the work they did could have been faulty, or just the fact that it was sitting out in the weather could have done it too. The problem is that there is no way to prove it. You might be able to get them to give you a discount on all of this work, but they likely won't give you much.

I'm not impressed with this mechanic. If I were you I would take the car to a real mechanic, even if you have to pay a little more. It might seem cheaper to take it to a cheap mechanic, but then you will continue to have these types of problems.

I would try to get some money back from him, then cut my losses and take it to a mechanic who actually knows how to diagnose and repair car problems.

I don't believe that they were waiting for any parts when they had your car sitting there for months. I don't see any parts that I can't get off the internet. I think you've been scammed. This is just my opinion with the information that I have. I'm sorry that this happened to you and I would simply move on if it were me.
CarQuestionGuy, Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 1259
Experience: ASE Master Auto Technician for 5 years, ASE Refrigerant Handler, ASA, iATN
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