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    Top Dog

    Hey Matt, all. My name is David, been working on anything with an engine since I was kid. The other kids in the neighborhood would bring their broken stuff and sometimes I was able to fix it. I never had enough money to pay someone to fix my car so it was learn how to fix it myself or do without. There were a few people who shared what they knew with me, and I was eager to learn. Motor oil in the veins.I will always be thankful to them for taking the time to teach me. I worked on cars (tune-ups to engine/trans swaps and rebuilds) at home during the late 70’s up to the early 90’s for extra money. A full time job and family left little time fixing others cars. Fast forward to now and I am about to retire. Plan on supporting my automotive habit by getting back into working on cars. Sites like yours have helped me to understand just how much I need to learn to repair modern vehicles. Thank you for being another one of those people who took and is taking the time to teach me now. Love the site and the videos. Keep up the good work.


    Hi Matt and all,

    I am new subscriber after finding a YT Video on fuel trim. I am 54 and in Minnesota. I sell CAT Scan machines for a living but secretly want to be an Auto Mechanic:-). I enjoy the problem solving and satisfaction of successfully repairing a problem. This website is exactly what I was looking for. I love the diagnostic process but my underlying skills are limited. I have a basic understanding on how stuff works but a lot of gaps in the diagnostic tools and expected measurement values and how they all relate to each other. Really want to be able to diagnosis accurately CEL’s. I grew up helping my dad work on cars and learned a fair bit doing that – mostly what I learned was to not have fear doing stuff. He was damn good at it – grew up on a farm in the depression, fought in WWII, went to electrical repair trade school on GI Bill and became an x-ray repair man. Ultimately owning his own x-ray equipment sales and service business. He could fix anything and I am a poor imitation in that regard but love learning:-).

    My 16 year old son and I bought a $1200 2008 Mazda 6 iSport from neighbor for his first car. Neighbor was original owner and had dealer doing regular maintenance and had the records. So far my son and I have done the following to it.

    At the bottom is issue I am having with CEL. Searching these codes and researching this is what led me to this site.

    Front rotors and pads
    Valve cover gasket replacement
    New spark plugs
    Cleaned MAF sensor – the sensor mounting screws plastic receiving holes in top of air filter box are stripped so it doesn’t “lock” down – seems sealed but not tight so need to fix that. Possible there is an air leak that is causing codes below. Will be troubleshooting this tomorrow.
    Checked air intake hose for leaks – could not find any.
    New headlight assemblies – tried polishing but just wasn’t enough.
    Repair broken tabs on the front bumper, front wheel well liner, and under engine shroud. This was actually a little easier than I thought it would be once I figured out how to do it. I order some 3M Super Fast Repair Epoxy, dispenser, and release plastic sheet. It sets super fast as described so had to work fast:). None of the broken tabs were going to be exposed when assembled so it I didn’t have to “finish and paint” it which made it a lot easier. However, this stuff was great and fairly easy to do. I hated having stuff zip tied or the using the wrong screw to hold it together. It now all fits as it should with the proper screws….almost:). M son broke one of the 10mm bolts holding up the under engine shroud. We tried drill it out and using remover but just could get it. The drill bit walked on him and we ended up getting it out but also widening the hole. This is the front left bolt as facing the car. It has a nut welded on top of metal cross plate that the 10mm bolt goes into. The bolt is half gone as we drilled out its side. I am now wondering if I could clean it and put some JBWeld and tap into that? It is not a big deal but it is something I will be fixing at some point.
    Replaced top dash cubby with one from a junkyard.
    New tires – shop did this.

    Future Projects (when it is warmer)

    Front CV – passenger side is torn.
    Probably replace front suspension components.

    Immediate Problem – I would love some advice on this. I am trying to learn engine management troubleshooting. I found a pretty good YouTube channel this weekend –
    Schrodingers Box. He goes pretty in depth on how to troubleshoot codes. I am trying to absorb this but it is not second nature yet. I have a BlueDriver and have pulled codes, Freeze Frame, and done some live monitoring. Not sure yet what is causing my codes. Car is running fine and does not exhibit any problems.

    Codes I have gotten regularly this last week:
    Code P2177 – System too lean off idle bank 1 (only 1 bank as it is 4 cylinder)
    Code P2187 – System too lean at idle bank 1 Bank 1

    Code that showed up today for first time:
    Code P2097 – Post Catalyst Fuel Trim System Too Rich Bank 1

    On the Freeze Frame Data the P2177 is what triggered the freeze. The STFT was 24.2%, the LTFT was 0.0% with engine RPM 2416 and speed 50mph. I am attaching the Freeze Frame if the forum allows. I have some live data as well – trying to sort through that. I suspect I have a vacuum leak but I can’t say for sure. I am not confident enough in my diagnostic skills but it appear that the computer is trying to increase the fuel to compensate for air leaking in? I will be checking the seating/sealing of the MAF. I suspect it may be the PCV hose that is under the intake manifold but I can’t see it. I do have a borescope that I may try to sneak down to inspect the hose.

    Anyone have any thoughts on how to call the part definitively?

    Tom Scanlon


    Hi Matt,
    I heard of Schrodingers Box from a search of Autoenginuity’s new scan tool, which I recently purchased. I am the son of a journeyman diesel mechanic, do as much of my own work, and my kids’s and friends’ cars as I can. I’ve learned most of the things I know from my dad, rest his soul. I am 57, work on production color copiers in Columbus, Ohio. I like anything with an engine, I am resto-modding a 69 Camaro, and also recently purchased a 2011 Camaro SS. I’ve learned to be open-minded about things, because there is always something to be learned from someone else’s experiences and training. I look forward to watching your videos and hope you do some some on the 6.2L/6L80 gm Camaro drivetrain. Thanks for doing what you do.


    Hey Matt –
    I found the YouTube channel while I was searching of how to fully understand Fuel Trims. After watching both parts for those videos I was hooked. I’m 20 years old and am a new technician/apprentice at a Subaru dealer. My main reason for subscribing is that we don’t really see a lot of diag work at my shop so many struggle with it. What I want to get out of it is to expand my knowledge of diagnosing.


    Hi I’m Glen. First entry job as a mechanic was in the early 90’s. Changed jobs after a couple years and in 98-01 I ended up wrenching at a GM and Chrysler dealership. Took a long break from wrenching and of all things spent last 15 years tattooing. I always work on my own stuff and got back into it quite a bit the last year to the point of working on other people’s vehicles. I’ve been investing in my garage shop quite a bit and am considering making a business of it. I live in a small country town and we really need a good diagnostics person. I despise the parts canon and I love the challenge of diagnosing. Theres really only American makes around here which limits the fun unfortunately. With my limited background and lack of a decent scantool I’ve still been able to do some good. Getting ready to buy one finally and take things further. I’m here to learn all I can and be in good company.

    Norman Detrinidad

    Hi everyone, my name is Norman, i live in Nicaragua (center of American Continent), i went to a very basic automotive electrical school in my country, and since then i have make my living on the field, 8 years and going on…

    But i am very self-aware there is a lot i dont know. Example> i dont even have a scope yet.

    I am very happy to learn from Matt. AND very grateful, man.

    I have some tools though. Launch X431, delphi autocom car and truck (not so good, not so fast), Toyota techstream, all chinese… that i can talk about


    Hello! John Williams in York, South Carolina here. I began working as a mechanic after being honorably discharged from the Navy back in 87. I was a clerk in the navy, so I needed a job and knew I didn’t want to be a typist. My father (a mechanic) set me up with some tools and told me to go find a job as a mechanic. I had been bringing home cars and rebuilding engines since I could drive at 16 (actually, even prior to that). So I found a position at a local Precision Tune. I was lucky enough to have a manager who was a mechanic and he taught me so much. But I eventually left the field once I earned my degree in management and worked in the auto industry building cars. Fast forward 33 years and I am interested in getting back into the field. Only this time I would like to start my own business. OBD I was being used when I was wrenching and OBD II was just coming on scene. And I didn’t know much diagnostics then, even though I was a drivability mechanic (haha). I knew how to bang on a MAF and change out a TPS sensor. I was a parts changer. Now, I am doing a lot of reading and watching videos. Fortunately I have 5 years of heavy wrenching experience to draw from. I find that I get more out of this channel and Danner’s channel than any other resource online. Matt really helps to fill in the missing parts so I get a complete picture of what is being taught. I am glad to be here!


    Hi, my name is Jukka and I am from Finland. I went to school at the age of 24 for 1 year and 3 months to get an education as an automotive mechanic and since then I have worked on cars for a living.

    I started at a Ford dealership and worked there for about 2 years. However, I felt that my learning was somewhat limited there since I mostly did basic things. I felt that I was wasting my time and that quickly started to wear down my motivation to actively learn to be better.

    I then quit my job at the Ford dealership and started at this small independent shop which I have now worked at for 8 months. I am glad that I did what I did.

    However, now I am at a point that I need to get back to more studying and learning and I came here to get that learning. I have quite good understanding of the basics of electrical and also automotive technology in general.


    Hello Matt and everyone. I am a mechanic slash truck driver. I am a master light truck auto mechanic, former ase master mechanic, expired in 2010, I have an associates in auto service technology from Ferris State University,3.86 gpa graduated magna.
    Watching Matts videos has reminded me of so much I had learned and forgotten. I have worked at several shops since graduation in 2005 and have been disappointed to learn that none of the shops do any real diagnostics.
    I am considering doing diagnostics as a paid hobby, like Matt, just to keep current with technology. So thank you Matt for sharing your knowledge and techniques. And inspiration.


    Hi Matt. I have a 1993 Mazda Protege SOHC 1.8L manual transmission with over 300,000 miles. Doing the periodic servicing per my Haynes manual, the mechanical features have performed very well. When it comes to electrical, In the past I have just installed new plugs, plug wires, rotor and distributor cap every 25,000 miles (whether they need it or not) and it runs like new – until recently. I’m at a crank-but-no-start issue. The Haynes wiring diagram shows an “igniter” next to the ignition coil. But I can’t figure out which wire is the power from the battery, the signal, etc. nor which side goes to the ECM I’m hoping your videos will clear things up for me. All accessories work. Can’t hear the fuel pump come on when I turn key to “ON”. No spark. My training is in civil engineering and although I had a bit of basic electricity in college, after college I didn’t use it hardly at all. So I’m sort of starting from scratch. Since the local Mazda dealer installed an ignition switch about 10 months ago, I have a suspicion it may be relevant. I’ve watched several of your videos and am impressed with your teaching ability. I hope to learn from your videos a logical procedure to attack this. BTW does your “Search” feature allow my to go to a specific topic? I entered “Basic Electricity Videos” and it just took me to this text box.


    Good day everyone. My name is Peter and I am from Trinidad and Tobago. I have retired after more than 35 years as an industrial electrician.Just before retirement my car broke down in a remote area, and the mechanic nearby diagnosed it. After observing his approach,I became curious about diagnostics.
    I have since invested in a scan tool, and a picoscope. I looked at the YouTube video concerning alternator ripple by Matt and this helped me solve a recurring problem for a friend of mine. Just measuring charging voltage and getting a reading in the generally accepted range is NOT proper diagnosis. I feel very encouraged after using the scope. THANkS MATT!!!
    Looking forward to future interactions and learnings from everyone.Thanks again for your invitation to this forum.
    Regards. Peter. (Stubbs)


    Hello all, Carbie here I have been watching several auto tech videos on youtube for a couple months now. I bought an Autil MK808BT and am learning how to use it and what the stuff I see on it means. Fuel trim what the heck was that, now I know, 5 volt reference what the heck was that. I guess you all see what I mean. I am 71 years old, can an old dog learn a new trick, that is the question? Breakfast is re3ady should I spell check or eat, by for now


    Hey everyone! My name is Wyatt and I’ve been into cars for a little over 2.5 years. It started when I got my first car gifted to me by my parents on my 18th birthday. It’s a 99 Cutlass, sometimes I like just calling it a Malibu (sister car like T&C vs Grand Caravan) because it’s not exactly the same aura as the older Cutlasses.

    That car’s what got me interested in working on them, I was too stubborn to pay to tow it and then pay a mechanic around $1K to get it running after sitting. I used to work at a Meineke as a lube tech but I had dreams to move to Florida so I resigned but I plan to get back into the automotive field, hopefully my own gig. I’ve learned a lot since then, especially through studying Matt’s FASTTEC method. It helps you learn the systems of the car, it teaches you more than diagnosing a crank no start.

    I like Matt’s videos because he’s what I refer to as an intellectual and I really like how he’s adamant about not parts changing and following through on diagnosing and ruling things out.


    Hi Matt, my name is Alain Lavoie from Montreal, Canada.

    I’m a semi-retired software developer. I’ve been doing software for the last 40 years but I did do a certificate in car mechanic in 1977 (long time ago). I did work in a garage for two summers but I didn’t really like it so I went back to college/university in software/mathematic.

    However, I still love car mechanic and I like the challenge to find ‘bugs’, like in software… and since I’m semi-retired, I have more time to play on my cars. I have a Porsche 911 2010 (997.2), a Subaru BRZ tS 2020 and a Subaru Forester XT 2017. Yes, I know, all boxer engines, love those engines…

    So, I really like your channel, your methodology and seriousness in finding solutions for mechanic problems ‘is on par’ with me.

    My main goal to subscribe to your channel/website, I want to learn/improve my knowledge specifically on the electronic side (basics of car electrical, multimeter usage, ECUs, etc…) since this was less predominant in the 1970s when I did my course.

    Best Regards, Alain

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