This week in the workshop we have been presented with a 8T chassis Audi A5 3.0 d which has suffered extensive front end damage, water ingress and has already had the engine removed/repaired and refitted. Also several modules including steering column module have been replaced without proper coding.
Apart from the front end damage the inside of the vehicle was entirely dismantled and hanging down including the dash board and steering column.
The vehicle ignition wouldn’t come on and no communication was available due to no power.
The wiring loom which runs round the front of the vehicle was totally ripped to pieces and in most cases the sockets were missing entirely.
It’s easy on jobs like this to be nervous and it’s probably best to walk away and avoid an inevitable argument with the customer over costs.
this car had already done the rounds from garage to garage and had failed attempts to restore life into the old girl.
I have had lots of experience in similar jobs to this and if you apply a simple and methodical approach threes no good reason why you can’t achieve a satisfactory conclusion whilst making good profit.
Due to the complexity and very nature of the repair given the history it’s absolutely impossible to put any sort of price on the final repair instead how I approach the job is simple.
firstly agree a time an cost limit to investigated each individual problem, the first and most obvious in this case is to restore the lost power and gain comms with the vehicle.
So I invited the client down to the workshop and carefully explained the amount of work involved and my exact plan in order to repair the lost power which we agreed a budget of £500 dead or alive. In other words I’m not guaranteeing I can or indeed will restore the lost power within that time budget. Instead I promised to carry out diagnostic tests @£90 per hour and stop when I have reached £500.
This gives the customer control of the financial element and avoids falling out later on. If you stick to these basic principles there’s no reason why you cant be successful in such repairs irrelevant of the complexity.
I insisted our client paid us in advance before carrying out any tests and I began.
It wasn’t difficult to establish the main power cable under the bonnet had blown the main link fuse and someone had botched some copper cable in a vane attempt to restore power which had also melted.
This power cable supplies the main fuse board inside the vehicle which then leads to the main ignition relay and other power distribution points found inside the vehicle.
Now here’s the tricky part and a little trick you need to know, the electronic steering lock was disconnected and uncoded meaning it was impossible to bring the ignition on.
Now, in order to code the new electronic steering lock in to the vehicle in my case requires assistance from the boys at Autologic via software helpline.
In order to communicate with the vehicle you must hold the main beam light on and have the hazard warning lights flashing simultaneously ! This wakes up he CAN network and enable’s communication with the electronic steering lock in order to carry out an ECU scan to be sent into the software team at Autologic !
However, Euston we have a problem !!! The main power cable is pulling in excess of 100 amps which keeps blowing the main fuse link.
So I carefully went through all the major power circuits one by one to see where the problem lies. I found that on pin 87 if the main ignition relay which is located under the drivers side dash panel had a direct short to ground.
I eventually traced the problem back to a three pin connector which leads up into the centre display column where the radio, heater controls are located. The thickness of the cables suggested to me that they formed part of the heater blower motor control.
I strongly suspect the power cable has been trapped and is shorting out on the metal frame work which lies in the centre console due to poor workmanship and fitment which is all to evident everywhere you look around the vehicle.
I simply decided for now to unplug the three pin connector which severed the short to ground on pin 87 of the main ignition control relay and I quickly restored vehicle power and was then able to carry out an ecu scan of the steering column module.
This is as far as I reached last evening and I am awaiting technical software support via Autologic and have also reached the limit of our initial agreed budget.
I’m happy to finish off this particular coding job so I can restore the main ignition power to the vehicle but the next element of the repair must be agreed and paid for before any more work is undertaken. stay tuned for the next instalment.