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International Automotive Technicians Network
Posted to Emissions Forum on 6/8/2012

Yeah, one of my run-ins with a 'certified parts professional' happened several years back, but I can still remember most of the details.

I diagnosed a MIL/smog failure on an old carbureted GM product and arrived at the conclusion that the TPS was bad using a scanner and scope to retrieve the DTC and perform a voltage sweep test on the sensor. Customer declined the repair, paid for the diagnosis and left.

He then returned about a half hour later, yelling and causing a scene because we are ripping him off, "selling him s**t he don't need". My service writer was able to calm him down enough to determine that the Autozone a few doors down was the source of his anger.

I called the store and identified myself, asking what had happened. The guy on the line immediately laid into me, telling me essentially the same thing as the customer. I started getting angry as well, but was able to determine that he had punched in the vehicle application and part description, come up with no part number, and concluded that I had bulls**ted my way through the diagnosis in an attempt to sell the customer a part that didn't even exist on that vehicle!

I asked him if he'd like for me to come over there on my break and have a little pow-wow over the subject, but in the end, nothing useful came of it, and he was gone within a few months, probably to another Autozone.

Michael Barry
Quick Stop Smog & More
Sacramento, California, USA