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2 Different Engines, Same Problem

Over the last week there have been 2 different engine problems. One being my truck, and the other being my snow blower. Now that both engines have been repaired, both mechanical companies gave me the same root problem…but we’ll get to that later…

Last week I was on my way to work on a slippery and icy morning. The engine light came on as it has in the past for a brief time and gone away. I thought nothing of it. A few times I tried stepping on the gas (I do sometimes have a heavy foot) and there was no surge of speed but the engine did work a little harder and it felt like the tires were spinning a little on the ice. Made sense, as it was slippery. It was a fairly slow drive to work, as it normally is during rush hour in the morning.

After work, I planned on going to Staples to pick up a few supplies and then to my parents house outside of the city.  It was later on in the day, and the streets were no longer slippery. I stepped on the gas to pass a slower driver and noticed that the engine didn’t have the power it usually has. I thought to myself…hmm something is weird. As I got closer to Staples it seemed the engine lost more and more power. I was having trouble hitting 60 km/h. I quickly got my items from Staples and began to head home. The engine’s power continued to drop, and by the time I got to my house I was barely reaching 30 km/h. It needed to be fixed.

The next day, I drove the truck almost all the way to the mechanic that I wanted to fix the problem. City Centre Auto on Provencher had done a few other repairs to our vehicles and I knew that they were a reliable and honest shop. Initial diagnosis was that cylinders 4 and 6 weren’t working any more. After replacing the spark plugs, wires and a couple of coil packs, the problem wasn’t fully resolved. A few days later it turned out that the catalytic converter had been so gummed up that it “melted” as they put it. So, after all said and done it was close to a $2000 bill.  Not too shabby I guess, being the first major repair of my truck since I bought it 8 years ago. The root cause for the truck was to use a better quality gas.

The other engine I was having troubles with was on my snow blower. Since I got it from my grandparents (who moved out of a house and didn’t need it) it always had trouble starting. This past weekend, I went to start it and it just wouldn’t start. Today, Randy from Randy’s Mobile Repair came to my house to get my snow blower working again. His mobile repair shop is basically an older handi-transit but converted into a shop. After an hour and a half of the snow blower being “in the shop” it was fully repaired and running really well. Randy’s explanation of the root cause: use a better quality gas.

I find it interesting that in the last week that 3 different mechanics have told me to stop using CO-OP gas and switch to either Shell gas or Petro Canada gas. But, spending $2000 in two days for 2 different engines with a similar root cause? Enough of a reason for me to switch!

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