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Author Topic: VWA: Straight Outta Wolfsburg  (Read 5565 times)
schild
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Reply #35 on: October 04, 2015, 12:28:04 AM

Why are all mechanics posting on the internet always honest and up front and all the ones in real life slightly worse than Dr. Mengele, Auto Surgeon.
MahrinSkel
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Reply #36 on: October 04, 2015, 01:02:28 AM

I had a long post, but the internet ate it. I'll give the short form: Code readers don't erase codes automatically or spontaneously, and if a mechanic had a problem with me reading the codes, I would solve the problem the same way I treat anyone that I pay that prefers his clients to be ignorant.

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Reply #37 on: October 04, 2015, 11:27:22 AM

I'm well aware how code readers work. And we'll count ourselves grateful that you're not my customer.

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Reply #38 on: October 04, 2015, 11:47:03 AM

Why are all mechanics posting on the internet always honest and up front and all the ones in real life slightly worse than Dr. Mengele, Auto Surgeon.

Because the crooked ones are busy working and attracting clients while the competent ones are on the internet giving shit away for free?

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Fabricated
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Reply #39 on: October 05, 2015, 01:52:01 PM

This is one of those things where having a "guy" for everything helps. I've got close family friends who basically cover every single possible thing I could ever need repaired since I still live within close driving distance of my hometown. The mechanics I know (general, a body shop, and a transmission shop) are all old war buddies of my dad so I pay cost for quality work whenever I need it done.

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Jeff Kelly
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Reply #40 on: October 06, 2015, 04:57:41 AM

I would solve the problem the same way I treat anyone that I pay that prefers his clients to be ignorant.

No you'd probably spend three times the amount of money on another mechanic to even find out what's wrong.

Those diagnostic trouble codes are about the only thing a mechanic has today to help him isolate a potential problem easily and without a lengthy process of isolating the fault. If they get deleted or altered it will turn the fact that for example the engine control module is complaining about a defective lambda sonde (a common fault) into a lengthy search as to why your exhaust management system is shitting all over itself and ruins the catalytic converter of your car in the process.

Using an aftermarket OBD or OEM diagnostic system when you don't know what you're doing can break your car in ways not even an officially licensed and authorized shop will be able to fix.
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Reply #41 on: October 06, 2015, 05:13:17 AM

Why are all mechanics posting on the internet always honest and up front and all the ones in real life slightly worse than Dr. Mengele, Auto Surgeon.

The insane competition between brands in an overcrowded market and the way the car companies have set up their dealer networks and designed the contracts means that officially authorized dealers don't make any money on car sales. They'll likely even lose money on the initial sale if they are operating in for example Europe which is a crowded and highly competitive market. So they make their money on mandatory servicing required by your car company's warranty and aftersales service and repairs.

Since the car companies have to rely on their official dealer network for sales they'll do as much as they are legally allowed to do to 'help' official retailers and authorized resellers make money on after market repairs and servicing. By for example making it so you need testing and debug equipment to even be able to see what's wrong with a car. Equipment that is only being supplied to authorized retailers of course. Or by making it so only authorized retailers can buy spare parts or by using proprietary fixings and only making the tools available to authorized shops. Or by voiding your warranty if you're not using 'authorized' motor oil or other lubricants. You get the idea.

You are more likely to get an inflated repair or servicing bill at an authorized shop because that is the only way most of those shops actually make money.
MahrinSkel
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Reply #42 on: October 06, 2015, 08:40:59 AM


Since the car companies have to rely on their official dealer network for sales they'll do as much as they are legally allowed to do to 'help' official retailers and authorized resellers make money on after market repairs and servicing. By for example making it so you need testing and debug equipment to even be able to see what's wrong with a car.
[...]
You are more likely to get an inflated repair or servicing bill at an authorized shop because that is the only way most of those shops actually make money.
Would they throw out a bunch of FUD about OBD readers, making it seem like the most dangerous thing you could do is hook one up, spewing technobabble like "lambda sonde" instead of just saying "oxygen sensor"?

I'm not talking about trying to reprogram the ECM (or even trying to do your own repairs), but simply finding out what the actual problem is according to the diagnostics before going to a mechanic. A code reader is a passive instrument, the only thing it can do is read the codes, and clear them if you *actively* instruct it to.

Even if you do (which yes, you shouldn't if you don't know what you are doing), if there's an underlying problem the code will come back and the CEL will turn on again.

--Dave
« Last Edit: October 06, 2015, 08:43:38 AM by MahrinSkel »

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Jeff Kelly
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Reply #43 on: October 06, 2015, 09:14:12 AM

No it's not FUD.

The problem is that the vehicle network bus access port is vendor specific and proprietary and the documentation is not readily available. Implementing a 3rd party interface according to manufacturer spec is virtually impossible if you are not licensed and don't want to breach NDA's or flat out ignore copyright and IP laws. Basically each car manufacturer has a few licensed vendors of equipment that only sell to manufacturer authorized companies and retailers (and need to verify eligibility for sale with the car manufacturer). So the only entities that have legal access to the tools and the documentation are authorized retailers and shops.

So all aftermarket readers rely on reverse engineered information or the small portion of the specs that are publicly documented because they are part of an ISO standard (like OBD II). You're also dealing with people that don't really like you - or more importantly your friendly 3rd party neighborhood mechanic - being able to read out vehicle maintenance info from your car becauise that threatens their business model.

There is a real risk that shit can break when you use aftermarket debug interfaces on your car. In ways that even an authorized shop can't fix because it concerns settings and data only the car manufacturer has access to or can rewrite.

Probably not when you only read out Diagnostic Trouble Codes. That's not why aftermarket interfaces are sold though.
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Reply #44 on: October 06, 2015, 09:24:28 AM

VW for example is so restrictive that none of their authorized retailers for one of their sub-brands is allowed to or even physically able to repair a car from another sub-brand. So if you roll into an Audi shop with a VW they might not be able to service your car. Even though VW extensively shares components across vehicle platforms and brands and has lots and lots of component reuse.

Component reuse is what made this fraud affect 11 million cars in the first place. Audi A3, Audi TT, VW Golf, Skoda Fabia, Seat Leon, VW Scirocco and countless others. Pick your favorite brand. Congratulations you're still essentially driving a VW Golf. Don't like the Porsche Cayenne? Great buy an Audi Q7, same basic platform. Yet an Audi dealer would not be able to fix a VW Golf even though he basically sells one rebadged as Audi A3 and fitted with a few additional niceties.
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Reply #45 on: October 06, 2015, 09:44:47 AM

Having called a Nissan dealer about my Infiniti G37, which is a Nissan Skyline in Japan, I can corroborate.  I also paid +$500 for two key fobs, so again I corroborate.

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MahrinSkel
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Reply #46 on: October 06, 2015, 11:17:23 AM

Probably not when you only read out Diagnostic Trouble Codes. That's not why aftermarket interfaces are sold though.
Which is why I have repeatedly used the term "Code Reader". Yes, anything that will let you mess with your control electronics is inherently risky, but a simple OBD II code reader is restricted to *reading codes*. The good ones have a table of what the codes correspond to in plain english.

All I am saying is that the CEL is an 'idiot light', it just tells you the on-board diagnostics have detected...something. If you don't know what that something is, you're at the mercy of your mechanic. I have one of these (outdated model, bought it back in 2010), please tell me how it can break my car.

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Reply #47 on: October 06, 2015, 12:11:54 PM

My Hyundai automatically cleared codes any time they were read (even if it was a "read only" code reader).

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Reply #48 on: October 06, 2015, 12:24:50 PM

Ha, suckers.  I've avoided all such worries by simply not owning a car for the last 10 years.   awesome, for real

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Jeff Kelly
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Reply #49 on: October 06, 2015, 02:01:54 PM

Which is why I have repeatedly used the term "Code Reader".

Just a heads up.

The way the OBD (on board diagnostics, ISO/DIS 15031), KWP 2000 (Keyword protocol 2000, ISO/DIS 14230) and UDS (unified diagnostic services for CAN, LIN, Flexray and MOST based systems, ISO/DIS 14229 and ISO/DIS 15765 for the CAN related implementation) are designed and implemented makes it so that technically no device can be a pure read-only device.

Even just to gain access to fault memory and DTC info, write level access is required. The vehicle also registers diagnostic access with timestamp and additional info. Some implementations of fault memory and DTC also automatically clear codes once read. The shop can usually see that somebody else has accessed the diagnostic port and used the interface to do something if they bother to look for it.

It will also void your warranty if you care about such things and might even make official shops refuse to service your car to not assume liability for the things you might have fucked by accessing the debug port.

[edit: unfucked a sentence and added more info]
« Last Edit: October 06, 2015, 02:11:26 PM by Jeff Kelly »
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Reply #50 on: October 06, 2015, 02:11:44 PM

This thread has gotten stupid.

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Reply #51 on: January 10, 2017, 02:04:19 PM

FBI arrested former regulatory compliance chief in the US, Oliver Schmidt, on Monday.

https://www.engadget.com/2017/01/09/report-fbi-arrests-volkswagen-executive-over-dieselgate/

Quote
The first Volkswagen executive has been arrested in the "Dieselgate" affair, reports the New York Times. The FBI charged former regulatory compliance chief Oliver Schmidt with conspiracy to defraud the United States, said unnamed law enforcement and company insiders. Schmidt reportedly gave false technical explanations for high emissions levels discovered during 2014 tests and only acknowledged the existence of software "defeat devices" once the scandal broke last September.
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