By Peter L. Orlando, Carquest Technical Institute/Advance Auto Parts
Pre-post scanning your customers cars? Be shop wise and understand the consequences of the outcome, as well as being service ready, if the customer says “OK, fix it!” (See scan tool report below.)
The car, a 2012 Lexus IS350C with the 2GR-FSE direct injected 3.5L engine (Figures 1, 2), was scanned during a routine service, and the shop noted two DTCs in the A/C system for the solar sensor circuit (Figure 3, highlighted in red boxes). They were “current codes,” and the technician advised the shop owner of his findings. This shop doesn’t perform any A/C service beyond basic refrigerant recovery and recycling, so they asked us to look at it.
Is there truly a problem with the solar sensor or its related circuits? If so, why are there no complaints about the A/C or heat from the customer? Is it possible this is normal behavior? This now becomes the quest for the shop searching for answers during a routine service. These are what I call service snags. If we are to investigate this issue, we must have a solid plan to ensure being paid for the service we are about to perform. If our exploration reveals evidence of normal A/C system behavior, what do we do then? What we don’t know can hurt us in the end.
Note: Although there were navigation DTCs, the shop didn’t concern itself with those DTCs, as they were history DTCs and not current.