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2004 Astro V6
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88 Posts
This is definitely a tough situation, you have spent a lot of money with someone in good faith who has frivolously and quite randomly it seems, thrown parts at the van without ever addressing what is actually wrong with it. Now you are in a position where this mechanic will continue to justify all the random stuff he replaced as "necessary", and you quite reasonably must now question any work he did as well as the actual problem.
This is the main reason I quit using local mechanics around my area.They seem to start with one part and continue to add/install more new parts until something eventually fixed the problem..then charged me for all the additional parts I really didn't need in the first place and the labor to put them in.
In the end,I started buying the books and doing my own work and learned a lot from that about what makes these cars tick/foul up, possibilities,etc.Yes..I've put in a lot of "Maybe" unnecessary parts..but overall my vehicles were high mileage and it didn't hurt,perhaps cutting off a possible future problem..but I never paid the 50% or more for the labor to have someone else guess at what would fix the problem.
I've had FORD dealers take out dash lights to not make the ":service" lights come on..service centers leave screwdrivers plugging old vacuum hoses("we fixed it"),a Washington Certified Emissions place fail my 8 cylinder van because they wrote in "4 cylinder" into their computer(cutting my emissions allowance X2);I noticed that AFTER a Certified Emissions Mechanic jacked my timing around on the van to pass the test and charged me the $500 for the fix..Just after the test,I took the van back and left it dieseling and loping along with the key off outside his office door while I stood in his office.He ran out and put it in gear to shut it off..right in front of some possibly(hope not!) new clients signing up for a repair.He readjusted my timing and said it was fixed again, already had my $500.

No..I'll do my own work..unless it is beyond my capabilities.I haven't seen an honest mechanic around here in a long time
Now my wife still uses one..and she has spent $1000s in unnecessary or faulty repairs,mechanics damaging her car,losing parts that fall off,or weren't put back on..If I can fix it..I will..I gave up telling her she should find someone else to work on it..I can't even get her to spend $15-20 on a repair book so i can see what it needs.

Anyway,listen to the people on here..they've been around the block working on these.There is a vast array of knowledge about these vans that you can't get elsewhere.
 

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2004 Astro V6
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88 Posts
I apologize to the GOOD,HONEST mechanics(especially the ones here!) out there for my previous point.Yes It was harsh.There are good ones out there,but they seem to be getting harder and harder to find these days as cars get more computerized and complicated. Therefore I stick with older cars where I have at least a chance of figuring out their problems.
 

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2000 Lifted 4x4 Astro 92 V8-350 Shorty
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5,713 Posts
No need to apologize.. there are a lot of bad mechanics out there. Some intentionally dishonest, some just plain dumb. This is why people are fortunate when they find someone good that they can trust. It's not common...
 

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Premium Member
2005 AWD 3+1 on 32X17's.
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59 Posts
Issue sounds like a CPS to me. I saw you replaced, but that makes almost no difference unless it is shimmed correctly. Are you checking engine codes? An unshimmed CPS will still throw the code sometimes and will cut power to ignition components. I had to try several times to resolve mine. I needed two shims to kill the code. I won't even tell you the list of things I changed before I honed in on the shim issue. A 99 dollar bluetooth reader was what finally put me on the right path.

Best-
 

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Common Sense + Critical Thinking
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13,754 Posts
I apologize to the GOOD,HONEST mechanics(especially the ones here!) out there for my previous point.Yes It was harsh.There are good ones out there,but they seem to be getting harder and harder to find these days as cars get more computerized and complicated. Therefore I stick with older cars where I have at least a chance of figuring out their problems.
100% Plenty of shady mechanics out there, so your comments were accurate. Finding someone that knows exactly how/why things work/don't work and then doing the repairs properly/effectively while being honest about everything. It can be a tough combo to find in a sea of incompetence, exacerbated by a lack of accountability. On every automotive forum you will find stories about how 'my mechanic replaced X parts and it's still not fixed', it's all too common.

I think it's a double edge sword, one one hand computers and technology improvements have made everything more powerful, efficient, accurate, reliable and less polluting. Even being able to self diagnose a ton of problems. With OBD2 being able to narrow down issues with a $20 adapter and your smart phone is a whole lot better/easier/cheaper than having to have a $100,000 diagnostics system the size of a dishwasher. On the other hand, there can be a bit of a learning curve for those that might be new to computers and such.

Thank goodness for the internet, can find virtually everything about anything if you know where to look. Even if you don't do your own work, at least you can have an understanding of what is going on so you are less likely to get ripped off by a shady mechanic. That doesn't mean that every bit of information on the internet is 100% accurate. Gotta first get a consensus, what are the experts/reliable people saying, find subject matter experts when possible, watch for bias, read the textbooks/manuals/etc... the usual stuff :)

I can't even get her to spend $15-20 on a repair book so i can see what it needs.
Lots of library and online options as well :)
 

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472 Posts
I have been told I should replace the battery, and to replace the entire wiring harness if the new battery dosent fix it.
UGH - so sorry for your lousy predicament.
just for reference here's about 2/3rds of an entire underhood wiring harness with the computer still attached from a 2002 astro van..........RUN, don't walk, from your "mechanic".
Automotive tire Road surface Asphalt Motor vehicle Automotive lighting


we replaced the main computer to try to fix it.
the van has quite a few corroded, burnt wires that have been replaced. like the blow motor and ignition switch.
swapping around computers without taking into account the function of the anti-theft feature will shut the engine down.

corroded, burnt, spliced wires might be a good place to look for bad connections.........

i also see you changed the ignition switch - the anti-theft might kick-in here also, not sure.

has anyone tried looking for trouble codes with a scan tool through the OBD II port ?
 

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Common Sense + Critical Thinking
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I thought this was going to be a fun one, but they never came back after the 5th for some reason. Hope they return and we find out what was going on.
 
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