Had a customer around the other day with a Merc he bought about 3 months ago fitted with a Tartarini seqeuntial system.
He's owned quite a few fairly old LPG converted vehicles over the years (usually Mercs, always buying pre-converted) and although he lives about 100 miles away, for the last few years he has always brought his vehicles to me for repairs / servicing - he reckons he trusts that I will actually fix the problem economically where installers he has used previously charged a lot of money for not fixing problems...
He described the problem as 'not running or idling smoothly on gas, bit like a misfire'. On this occasion he was only able to come on a specific weekday, so we had to arrange a date a couple of weeks in advance (I was busy for a couple of weeks on his free day of the week).
In the meantime, being anxious to get the problem sorted (he was driving a lot of miles with work) he visited a few other installers to try to get the problem sorted. The first installer he visited went through a few motions, did a few tests, and told him he'd need a new LPG system, quoted a lot of money for the new system, charged heavily for his time and bid him goodbye. The second installer he visited did a few tests, told him the problem was his spark plugs, charged for his time and bid him goodbye. The third installer he visited said 'sorry we don't do Tartarini, we don't have the cable for it, without that we can't do anything', so the customer bought the cable and software and visited this installer again. The installer put the customer bought software on his laptop, used the customer supplied lead and connected to the Tartarini system. Then told the customer there was no problem with his calibration, or setup, or engine, and that the car was running perfectly in his opinion... while the car sat idling in front of the installer and customer with a constant and very obvious misfire! This installer at least only charged him £20 for the incorrect advice.
The customer got in touch with me again, explained the above and asked if we could arrange a closer date for him to bring the car to me - He came on Sunday. The misfire was immediately apparent. I plugged in the code reader and it pointed to a misfire on cylinder 4 (front cylinder passenger side). The misfire disappeared on petrol and the engine ran very smoothly. I connected up my Tartarini interface and disabling Ginj4 the misfire disappeared (with the engine running on 5 cylinders on gas and 1 cylinder on petrol). We swapped the plugs (2 per cylinder) and coil packs between cylinders 1 and 4, reset the codes and tried again, the issue continued to be on cylinder 4. I said 'We've ruled out the ignition system, now we've narrowed it down to compression, LPG injector or LPG ECU, it's very unlikely to be compression, only just more likely to be the LPG ECU, most likely to be the LPG injectors'. Customer said 'b****y hell, none of the other guys I visited did anything like this tch tch tch'. I swapped the EVO7 injector pipes and wiring over between cylinder 4 and 5 and the fault followed the injector to cylinder 5. I said ' There you go, seems to be pretty conclusive that the problem is with the front LPG injector on the passenger side'. Customer said 'This is why I always come to you, others just seem to go through the motions and don't do anything like the testing you do, I think the last guy I visited only charged £20 out of guilt'. I said 'Surprising how little they all did, almost like they didn't want you there or couldn't be a***d, but particularly the first couple of installers charged you heavily nonetheless eh! - These tests I'm doing should be obvious to any pro. Problem we have now is that I don't have any EVO7 injectors in stock, I could get some, or just one if you don't want to spend much, but if it were me my car I'd just replace them all with new injectors, might be worth having a go at cleaning your injector out first though'. So we tried cleaning out the injector but the issue remained. Customer said 'I'm all over the place with work lately and don't know when I'd be able to come back - can you change all the injectors today, would that definitely fix my problem?'. I said 'That wil definitely fix your problem, I can change them all today but they will be a different type to yours, that won't be a problem though and out of the injectors I have in stock the ones I'd recommend we replace yours with aren't as expensive as yours'. He said 'Let's do it', so I replaced all his injectors with OMVL SL's, recalibrated his system, and his problem is fixed with the engine running very smoothly on gas...
One very happy customer who no doubt will come to me first again in future and probably won't visit those other installers in case I can't look at his car immediately. I was recommend to this customer before I first met him by one of his workmates. The mind boggles why some installers seem to fob customers off like in the above examples. Surely these installers, that seemingly manage to convert vehicles themselves, know how to diagnose problems? Surely they should want to learn their trade inside out, as many systems as they can, and gain a reputation for being able to economically repair any LPG system that is presented to them? Surely they must realise that although they might be able to make a couple of quid for pretending to go through motions, that this is unlikely to gain them repeat custom, or recommendations, or any kind of good reputation.
Full time LPG installer
Servicing / Diagnostics / Repairs to all systems / DIY conversion kits supplied with thorough tech support
2 miles A1, 8 miles M62, http://www.Lpgc.co.uk