Sunday, October 20, 2013

Parlez Vous Francais?

In the year since Superstorm Sandy hit my area. I have seen lots of flood damaged vehicles. They have seem to have come in waves. No pun intended. Right after the storm every other call was a flood vehicle. Then it seemed to die down a bit then picked up early spring and again recently. Every call always starts the same "It was a light flood it wasn't that bad". It usually ends up just the opposite. There were plenty of times I would show up look at the car and leave. I could see the waterline was at the top of the dash yeah light flood, right. The point I stress to shop owners about flood cars is the corrosion you can't see that causes the real issues. The corrosion we see at connectors is easy to see. The corrosion that occurs down the line from capillary action is another story. Salt water or fresh water it doesn't matter.

That being said I have had situations where vehicles had communication one day and not the next day. It is always an adventure. I have has some success stories. Typically, this happens when the shop understands the issues with water damage and changes harnesses instead of cleaning and praying. I treat every flood vehicle the same. First I try to get communication lines up, get the motor running, then get all the accessories going, then finally airbags. It is amazing to see the shops reactions when the vehicle starts and belches out crazy amounts of water and sand from the exhaust.

Here is one such vehicle. It is a 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee that a shop inherited. He wanted to get it started and determine how far he wanted to go with the vehicle after evaluating how the motor ran. Most of these flood vehicles have no keys or keys that were cut to fit the ignition but not programmed for one reason or another.  That was the case with this vehicle. Key was cut from a locksmith but he couldn't program it. The reason he couldn't program was the wire that feeds battery voltage from the underhood fusebox called the TIPM (Totally Integrated Power Module) to the ignition switch was rotted in the harness. I bypassed this wire temporarily and programmed the key. A few more bypasses and the vehicle started and ran. It poured sand and water out the exhaust. Overall the vehicle sounded well. I opened the drivers door and took a peek inside at the dash and saw this.

Was this vehicle from Canada? I am no linguistic expert but this is not English. It is French! I see weirdness on vehicles all the time. But, one thing is for sure Chrysler vehicles that have bad batteries or that have had batteries go low or disconnected for an extended period of time tend to have the greatest number of issues. Some will lose their VIN in modules, they will lose initialization on certain modules, set erroneous codes, etc. This is the first time I saw a language change. Time to break out the factory scantool and try to correct this language barrier.

I go into CCN (Cabin Compartment Node) which is the Instrument Cluster. Miscellaneous Functions and choose language preferences.

I update the language from French to English.