When Scans Don’t Work: Sometimes we Need a Personal Re-Programming

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When Scans Don’t Work: Sometimes we Need a Personal Re-Programming

Problem diagnosis of our occasional faulty memory can sometimes prove difficult, especially when the concern occurs on an intermittent basis. Sometimes, we just need to step back, take a deep breath and perform a step-by-step reprogram. Take the following example, wherein I misplaced a Torx T15 bit:

1. Observed idiot light (check intelligence warning lamp) illuminated in operator information center display (eyes), accompanied by raised eyebrows.

2. Consumed a Subway BLT and chugged a Red Bull in order to maintain internal battery charge prior to the re-flash.

3. Connected scan tool to left ear. This required deep and painful insertion to achieve full contact connection... (ouch).

4. Initiated thought process by scrolling to sometimes faulty “memory” (age seems to be a factor).

5. Checked for codes. Found FWT1000 (forgot where I placed tool) set in history, along with IBM2000 (Intermittent Brain Misfires).

6. Ran freeze frame and found no current activity in skull cavity (which came as no surprise, especially to my coworkers).

7. Erased codes and re-programmed the PCM (my Pretty Crappy Memory).

8. Performed two BOBO cycles (Brain-Off, Brain-On cycles).

9. On level surface, engaged personal mobility drivetrain by placing left foot in front of right foot, followed by right foot in front of left foot in successive manner (repeated a minimum of 50 times).

10. Performed test-drive by walking from one end of shop to opposite end, scanning work spaces and benches, while shaking head and throwing arms up in despair.

11. Repeated above steps.

12. Problem remained.

13. Walked away, closed eyes, and placed hands in pockets in complete frustration.

14. Discovered T15 driver bit in left pants pocket (along with the long-missing 10 mm deepwell socket).

While the use of an updated scan tool is a vital and usually successful means of pinpointing an automotive drivability issue, expecting our brains to function properly at 100% performance level on a continuous basis isn’t always as dependable. This is especially true as we age and when we encounter a long, ultra-busy and often frustrating workday. Just as when dealing with an automotive system malfunction that challenges us, so does the rule-of-thumb apply with regard to our ability to manage our own thought processes... always check the simple stuff first.


Our December 2019 issue features our annual tech tips section, where both manufacturers and our shop readers have the opportunity to share technical knowledge with all of our readers, in our Techs Helping Techs section.

We welcome you to submit any tips that you feel would benefit all of our readers. Subject matter and length of the tip is wide open... we welcome anything that you feel worthy of sharing.

Make sure you include your name, name of the shop, address and either a phone number or email address. The deadline for submissions is Nov. 3, 2019. Please submit your tech tips to us at Thanks for sharing to improve the industry as a whole. ■

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