• Member Since 2nd Nov, 2012
  • offline last seen 14 minutes ago

Admiral Biscuit


he/him

More Blog Posts814

Feb
14th
2020

Mechanic: F250 APIM programming [RANT] · 2:37am Feb 14th, 2020

Grab your favorite silly straw and a beverage I suppose; this one is gonna be a fun ride.


Source

We’ll be talking about a late-model F250 with all the bells and whistles, and there’s gonna be some inexactness regarding codes and whatnot, ‘cause I can’t remember and couldn’t be bothered to look it up, and you’ll find out why as we get into this thing.


Today’s vehicle is a 2017 or thereabouts (I already warned you about inexactness) well-equipped F250. It’s got blind spot detection, push-button start, keyless proximity entry, and a 6.7L diesel. It’s got super-fancy rims and tires (not stock), and it’s also got one of those new-fangled touch-screen radio/climate control/navigation/etc. things. We’ll call it the screen just to keep things simple, and this will make sense later.

It came in the first time because the functions on the screen weren’t working properly. Sometimes the radio would cut out (controlled primarily through the screen, but there are limited buttons and knobs below). From what I saw later, it was like you’d tell it to do something, and it would have to think about it extraordinarily long, and then maybe it would do it or maybe it wouldn’t.

You could still control things if there was an actual button for it, mostly. So the volume knob worked, the volume switch on the steering wheel worked, but touching the volume controls on the screen often didn’t.

My manager decided it needed a new screen, and he looked it up on the Ford website. The part was called the FCDIM if I remember correctly, the Forward Control Display Interface Module. We got one, and when he pulled it out, he discovered that there was a shiny silver box bolted to the back where most of the wires went. In fact, there was only a single USB-type wire that went to the screen; all the rest of the wires went to the shiny silver box.

Undaunted, he replaced the screen, and then called me over to program the thing, because he’s not great with the Ford scan tool or programming Fords. Remember that time I blogged about a while back where he tried to program a key fob on a Lincoln and didn’t follow instructions because “a real man can’t read doesn’t follow instructions” and then it didn’t work right and set a code which specifically said ‘Module programmed incorrectly?’ I remember, and if I weren’t so lazy, I’d put a link to that blog post here.

Programming it was straightforward enough. The only snag I ran into was that there was both a FCIM and a FCDIM in the list of modules which can be programmed, and I asked him a couple of times to verify which module it was that he had replaced, just to be sure I was programming the right one.

And I’m sure there’s at least one of you who suspects he told me it what the FCIM when it was really the FCDIM, but nope. He told me the correct module, and the programming was simple and painless.


Source

Shame it didn’t fix the truck.


After some wailing and gnashing of teeth, he determined that it was actually the shiny silver box on the back which had the problem. The screen was dumb, and the screen only did what it was told. And he thought that those two parts came as one (despite being pictured as two different parts in the catalog), and so on. The only thing to do was take out the new screen, send it back to Ford, and get a new shiny silver box. Which is called the APIM--Accessory Protocol Interface Module--or Sync in layman’s terms. That’s the brains of the operation.

Obviously, we didn’t keep the truck in the interim, but a week later or thereabouts, it was back, and he installed the new APIM and set to programming it with the Ford scan tool.

He would have had me do it, but I was in the middle of a big dumb job that he wanted nothing to do with. It was either taking the engine out of an Arcadia or putting brakes on a dump trailer or figuring out why the entire network went stupid on another F-truck (that one also forgot it had keys, but it turns out fixing it was so easy I won’t be blogging about it*). Something he didn’t want to interrupt me with, because I was busy working on something he didn’t want to have to do.

He reported that everything was working fantastically, there was no delay in pushing buttons and having things happen. I was kind of surprised that it got programmed that quick, but I’d never done one and thought maybe all you had to do was a quick initialization of the module and you were done. That’s possible; some GM vehicles need the throttle body learned when it’s installed, and you just select the “learn throttle body” test, click “okay,” and then the test is done. In a nutshell, I think it works like this:

Scan tool: Hey, PCM, you’ve got a new throttle body.
PCM: Okay, cool.
Scan tool: No prob.


Of course, I wouldn’t be writing this if that was in fact all you had to do. Once it was backed out and parked, and while I was in the middle of the ten-minute access window for the aforementioned F-truck I won’t be blogging about, he casually said, “Oh, could you take that and go out to the F250? For some reason it says that 911 calling isn’t enabled.”

“I’m about halfway done with this, so--”

“I already called the customer and said it was done, I just need you to check real quick and see if there’s something I forgot to set up.”


Source

There was, in fact, something he’d forgotten to set up. That was the module.

He had forgotten to set up the module.


Aside from the 911 not working, everything appeared fine, but everything was not fine. The module knew it wasn’t, too. Much like that Lincoln I mentioned previously that he’d ‘programmed,’ the module had set a code for not being correctly programmed. I don’t remember the code number, it was something like B2101:51:1B.

I did try to do a software download over WiFi on the module, just for giggles (he hadn’t bothered with that, either). It did need a software update, but that didn’t fix it.

I also noticed that APIM wasn’t on the list of modules that could be programmed (which I thought was odd), and he sort of weaseled around that particular issue.

Now armed with a code, he hied back to Identifix and eventually found the instructions for how you were supposed to program the module.

The first bit of information he dribbled in my direction was that the system was actually to be programmed as a whole. The radio, the screen, and the shiny APIM box were all sold as separate parts, but once installed kind of considered the same thing except when they weren’t. Anyway, I can’t remember exactly what Ford called it, but GM would call it the “human interface module,” and so I programmed that.

Which didn’t fix it. Same codes came back.

So he did some more Identifixing, and came back with a new document which said exactly how you were supposed to program the damn thing, and it was a long, complicated, Byzantine process that involved everything but a ritual sacrifice.

He let the customer take the vehicle as-is, because it needed to come back for brakes, and we’d fix it when it came back for brakes.

Also, as he does, he read off a few highlights from the instructions for me, and I perked up when he said that it needed to be programmed through OASIS instead of IDS, because I’ve got at least some familiarity with OASIS, having performed a ritual sacrifice there in order to get a confused Econoline with customer-supplied and other-shop-supplied-and-installed computers working again. There’s a blog post about that one, too, but I’m too lazy to look.


Source


Which brings us to today. The truck came back and I did the brakes on it (they’d somehow missed that the caliper pins were stuck in the rear calipers and that was apparently my fault even though I had never looked at the brakes on the truck, and then he went on a tirade on the phone with the parts store because he tried to look up the bushings and couldn’t find them in the catalog even though they were in stock and it turns out it was because he used the wrong search terms but of course that wasn’t his fault, it was that the computer was dumb and hiding things from him and that really set the mood for the rest of the day) and before I could back it out, well, I just needed to program the SYNC real quick.

I hooked up the battery charger and the Ford laptop, and he handed over the instructions. I made it to step 4 before running into my first problem--I couldn’t log into OASIS.

I asked him if he knew what the password was. No, he didn’t. Call the boss.

So I called the boss. Boss has never heard of Oasis before, but is sure he’s never used it and we don’t have an account.

Go up front. Check all the passwords in our file, we’ve got two for Oasis. Neither of them work.

Call the boss back, he says call out tech guys and ask for Billy. I do; Billy says that I need to make an account for Oasis and there’s nothing they can do at their end.

In all of this, I read through more of the instructions, just to see what came next, and I was supposed to remove the media hub, ‘cause I’d be plugging the special cable into that (we don’t have the special cable, but as it turned out that was the least of my problems).

[Oh, speaking of cables, I forgot to mention that these were giant files, so Ford suggested you’d want a hardwired connection to the scan tool, not WiFi. We had a 100’ ethernet cable, but that’s missing now. I assume somebody tossed it in a cleaning frenzy, figuring it was just a phone cable.]

I have the manager create a new account, something he can remember. It’s going to cost money (although I haven’t told him that yet).

I get to watch the painful process of him entering data into forms. The username he wants can’t be used, presumably because it’s too long or has spaces (which I had to explain to him).

He tried again, and it wouldn’t accept the email address as correct. He ranted and raved until I pointed out that shopname wasn’t a valid email address (and the form said as much); he needed to add the @gmail.com before it would be valid.

Finally, he managed to accomplish it. And it returned an error, saying that the account already existed.


Source

Well, okay then, that’s more information than I had before. Use that as the login name, click ‘forgot password,’ and wait.

And wait.

And wait.

While I’m waiting, might as well round up the rest of the supplies I’ll be needing. Can’t get the special programming cable, because we don’t have it, and I already know that when I ask for it, he’ll go on a tirade about all USB cables being the same USB cable. But according to the instructions, we also need a thumb drive at least 1gb big, so where’s that?

He looks around the office. I know we have three. Two are useless, they’re like 4MB sticks that just contained a product catalog when I snagged them in the hopes of getting something good. And we’ve got a decently big one that plugs into a computer as the local backup for the harddrive database.

None of them are anywhere to be found, including the one which should be plugged into the computer. So he has me go out looking for one in our little town, population 1200, and maybe a 50’ Ethernet cable while I’m at it.

Dollar General’s sold out, but they’ve got SD cards still.

The pharmacy’s also sold out. They’ve got SD cards, though.

Local satellite TV company has 25’ Ethernet cables, and can build me a longer one if I don’t mind waiting a couple days. No USB sticks for sale, though.

By the time I get back, empty-handed, I still haven’t got a reply from Oasis’s bureau of forgotten passwords, which is kind of odd. Not in the spam folder, not anywhere.

So he says I should call them using the ‘contact us’ number.

Sure, I’ll get right on that.



Source

Of course as we all know, there wasn’t a phone number, just a form. I filled it out and in the comment box, said (and this is verbatum; I can access the shop email from my home computer):

Trying to log in to our account, nobody knows the password, tried the password reset option and did not receive an e-mail with the temporary password. Nobody knows what email account was used to set up our account.

No sense in lying to them.

They got right back to me, and said that the email address used to set up the account was the bosses. Remember back a ways when he told me he’d never heard of the site and never used the site?

So I call over to their shop, and nobody is there who knows how to log into the email account, so I have to wait for a call back from them.

I know their account but not the password, and I ask my manager if he knows, and he says no, but he managed to accidentally log into their email once (how?). Long story short, I can’t replicate that feat.

Tempting though it is, I’m not just sitting in the office browsing cat memes on my phone. I figured I might as well do a bit more digging, especially since I know I’m gonna have to pull the media hub and I don’t know where that is.

Turns out, Ford doesn’t tell you how or where it is, not in any document I found, anyway. And I got really creative with searches, including ones where I was removing things which would, by default, involve removing the media hub.

I did find other documents about how to program this dumb thing, though, and if you’ll indulge me a bit further, they’re numbered with a three digit code and a three digit revision number. The one I had ended -00C.

-00B: You use a USB male/male type A cable. You don’t remove the media hub or use a USB stick.
-00C: You remove the media hub, use the special cable, and need a 1gb or larger USB stick.
-00D: You use a 16gb USB stick. You don’t need a special cable, nor do you remove the media hub.

Which one works? Who knows!


Source


He says that he’s going to tell the customer that I couldn’t figure out how to program it, and he’s lucky that he did so when I didn’t have a wrench in my hand (ask Somber about the wrench). So I used my words and we came to an understanding, and we’re going to try again. This time, we’re going to create a new account that’s under our control, not boss’s. And I actually managed to convince him--after only a half hour--that we should buy the programming cable from Ford. It’s a male-male 2.0 USB type A cord with an adapter that’s female USB 2.0 type A one one end, and female 5-pin mini B on the other. He says he has a cable with a male 2.0 type A on one end and a female mini B on the other, which I am highly skeptical of. I don’t know how Garmin does things, but I have yet to see a device which has the male prongs on it, and the cable has a female end.

So we’ve got one on order, maybe, if Ford can get it.

Y’all can’t imagine how much I’m looking forward to the next round with this beast.


Source

Comments ( 71 )

*on that F350, it was a simple matter of finding the real OBD-II connector, unplugging the tuner which was plugged into it, clearing all the communication codes, doing a key relearn, having the key relearn not work, doing a parameter reset instead, and then she was good to go. Even with the unusual step of a parameter reset (which you should only have to do after replacing a few select modules), it still took less time that it took me to not find a USB stick in our small town.

Look, I just came for the cute pony pictures, okay?

Dan

A proper snifter to preserve the head and aromatics.

That's my pony.

How does one confuse ethernet cable and a phone wire? And a USB adapter for SD cards is something everyone should have, same as a SATA dock.

5202810
That’s how they get you.

And by ‘they’, I mean ‘I’.

5202812
There are still plenty of people who think a cable is a cable. They don't know or care about the difference. For example, I once had to explain to the old ladies at the local thrift store what a power cable was. A power cable. You know, the most straightforward kind of cable there is, one that has existed since before even they were born.

I feel bad for laughing at your pain. :fluttercry:

Sounds like it's been a crappy day. Go have some soup. Soup will make you feel better.

16 GIG?

The Whole desktop Ubuntu Installation is only 5 Gig?

And if I wanted to handle live Atlas launch telemetry from the early 90s I could use the several MEG FSUAE emulator.apk I found, drop it on the bottom end smartphone for $50, click to install, drag over the hard drive folder, oops and copy over the kick.ROM file, then click on Start and the thing boots into a internet capable multimedia GUI based system from 30 years ago in seconds.

Admitidly the GUI enhancer, Net browser, Email IRC and other software takes Two whole floppies to hold, but they never really managed to get HD Floppies working.

And the less said about multi format partitioned flopies with Discspare Compression Formatting filled with Power Packer run time decompressed system files, even for those who knew what they were doing, the better.

I mean, just imagine if disparate modules were actually designed to a common standard and programmed with common APIs etc so they would work cooperatively just by plugging in in any oder or combination without needing third party software because they could include their own drivers in themselves. Imagine the Frankethousands there would be. :twilightoops:

Im wondering if the reason the USB on the module was a male, because they used the SLI GPU trick of plane PCB tracks edge connector?

I keep reading about how you have it at your job and keep saying you should open your own shop. Be your own boss, then again that is very expensive and I doubt you would enjoy the loss of your free time.

That sounds like a uniquely harrowing process. And it probably doesn't even routinely involve spilled blood!

I wish I had days like yours.

Then I'd have something to talk about from time to time.

~Skeeter The Lurker

5202812

A proper snifter to preserve the head and aromatics.
That's my pony.

Vanilla Creame knows how to drink properly.

How does one confuse ethernet cable and a phone wire? And a USB adapter for SD cards is something everyone should have, same as a SATA dock.

Remember, we’re talking about Mr. “All USB cables are the same.”

5202832

There are still plenty of people who think a cable is a cable. They don't know or care about the difference.

Someday I’ll tell you about how my manager doesn’t know the difference between Google (the search engine) and Chrome (the browser).

A wire is a wire, right? :derpytongue2:

5202833

I feel bad for laughing at your pain. :fluttercry:

Hey, it made for a fun blog post, so that’s a win. And I get paid by the hour.

5202834

Sounds like it's been a crappy day. Go have some soup. Soup will make you feel better.

Yes, soup, that would have been a good dinner choice.

I went with grilled cheese, which is traditionally close to soup. . . .

5202837

16 GIG?
The Whole desktop Ubuntu Installation is only 5 Gig?

I’d assume that’s planning for a worst-case situation. As it is, this thing has to talk to and work with the factory radio, HVAC system, customer’s cell phone (Apple or Android), 911 (on its own), the airbags, seat modules, the steering wheel module, backup camera, rear object detection module, and heaven knows what else. It also does maps and integrates some IPC data into its maps display, such as actual speed vs. posted speed. Might also have a hard drive for saved music files--that’s a thing some Fords have. It also has to talk on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, various vehicle buses (high-speed and medium-speed CAN for sure) and whatever cellular signals Ford’s enabled.

And if I wanted to handle live Atlas launch telemetry from the early 90s I could use the several MEG FSUAE emulator.apk I found, drop it on the bottom end smartphone for $50, click to install, drag over the hard drive folder, oops and copy over the kick.ROM file, then click on Start and the thing boots into a internet capable multimedia GUI based system from 30 years ago in seconds.

Yeah, but you couldn’t do an overhead camera view that stitches together all the different cameras on the vehicle into one seamless and really weird (when you’re in the shop) virtual top-down view. I don’t actually know if this particular Ford can do it, but I’ve been in vehicles which can, and I think it was an option on these.

I mean, just imagine if disparate modules were actually designed to a common standard and programmed with common APIs etc so they would work cooperatively just by plugging in in any oder or combination without needing third party software because they could include their own drivers in themselves. Imagine the Frankethousands there would be. :twilightoops:

I’d like to see that in the automotive world, but between legacy software/networks and propitiatory stuff, it’s not likely to happen until it’s more cost-effective to adapt a standard, or until the government mandates they do so, like they did with the OBD-II port. Heck, even codes have gotten creative, with both Ford and GM (and likely others) adding additional diagnostic information you can read with the proper scan tool . . . they had to keep the four-digit Hex codes ‘cause the Feds said so, but they’ve added one or two suffixes that narrow down the problem.

Im wondering if the reason the USB on the module was a male, because they used the SLI GPU trick of plane PCB tracks edge connector?

The USB ports you can normally access on the vehicle are female (hence the one male-to-male cable), and if you get under the media hub, I presume you’ve got a male connector there, which is the reason for the weird converter. It might also run a non-standard load across the USB bus for programming, which is why they’d specify a specific adapter and some disassembly. I don’t know that for a fact, but it sounds like they were planning on dumping tons of stuff through USB 2.0 (the programming document said it might take up to 20 minutes per step, and that was presuming a hardline connection to the internet).

5202842

I keep reading about how you have it at your job and keep saying you should open your own shop. Be your own boss, then again that is very expensive and I doubt you would enjoy the loss of your free time.

Yeah, I could, but I don’t want to deal with the headaches and the regulations and having to find competent employees. I’m happier to be able to leave it all behind at the end of the day, honestly. And if things don’t work out or my life situation changes for whatever reason, my toolbox has wheels and can roll right out the door the same way it rolled in.

5202844

That sounds like a uniquely harrowing process.

Setting aside the frustration, it was a nice way to spend a day not putting together that engine on the GM product I think I mentioned was sitting on the floor. And I had a nice little road trip around town looking for a USB stick, too.

And it probably doesn't even routinely involve spilled blood!

No, although it did come close to involving my manager getting a large wrench as a hood ornament. :rainbowlaugh: Luckily, it didn’t come to that.

5202849

I wish I had days like yours.
Then I'd have something to talk about from time to time.

It’s not good for the blood pressure, but it’s great from a blogging perspective.

That having been said, I once wrote a well-received story about a perfectly ordinary pony having a perfectly ordinary day at work, so you could go that route. Set it on Earth with a pony doing a human job, and you’d have an entry into my not-a-contest :heart:

Man, the tone of this blog was on a whole new level. You've really had a fun time with this one, haven't you?

Oh God, words were Option B, but only for lack of an Option A Wrench? Jesus. This was(is) a Class 1 Flustercuck...

Go have a beer. Call in sick. You deserve it.



On a note that I find similar (actual similarity not guaranteed), my 2012 Hyundai Sonata's bluetooth-controlling steeringwheel buttons don't frequently do as stated, and even if they do, it's not often immediately. In fact, they often do random other things, and not always the same thing from drive to drive.

For instance, my most frequent choice, given I listen to music bluetooth'd over to the car from my phone, is the volume button. One time I hit the wheel's volume button and it accessed my call history. Hit it again, and it picked a number off my history. Hit it a third time, and now my car is calling some junk spam number from my list of recents. Huh. I'd really rather have louder music please.

Now, it's also not consistent. It doesn't always access my call history; it will do other things that are available to it from the main bluetooth menu. The best I can say is that it will continue doing the same thing over the course of that particular car trip.

At least buttons and nobs on the radio itself work as stated. It just means taking my hands off the steeringwheel to adjust the volume, like in the good ol' days.

5202861

Hmm, Id have to get back to you on the camera thing. I mean, the 30 year old drivers only support up to 16k a side continous image maps and I know they were used to mix, blend and manipulate camera and video right from the late 80s.

I havent found the price of the latest box though that does seamless blending of 40 channels of 4K video. Although Id love to see that controlled by free form touchscreen, or even given the abilities, wave your hand over teh display to have things follow.

Theyve only just managed to reimplement Beam Racing on GPUs for that sub 4 millisecond VR response. just what you need for real time blanking of annoying advertising hoardings, or laser interception of hypersonic missiles. :scootangel:

Dan

It's almost time to retire my 2002 SUV with rusted out wheel wells. It's going to be a pain in the ass to find anything without those goddamn infotainment touchscreen abominations.

I liked last years' Subaru Crosstrek with standard transmission, but all the dealers around here only had the more advanced models with all the anti-feature bells and whistles.

5202865

I do have an idea for that.

A unicorn gets a job as a Coke vendor. The dude training finds magic to be absolute bullshit easy mode.

~Skeeter The Lurker

5202855
Oooh, that's something I haven't had in awhile.

Btw, sent you a PM.

Comment posted by Emil deleted Feb 14th, 2020

Celestia on bicycle, what an absolute pain.

I'm fairly certain you could come up with a usb arrangement with stuff from amazon or ebay.

Y'know what, Admiral? I take back every nasty thing I said during Audi/VW Systems Integration training, back when.

:facehoof:

That said, 16 GB is about right. Remember, Sync-3 and Sync-4 groups all their map, voice, touch, CAN, and even lighting profiles all together. If I remember right, v3.4 came in just shy of 12 GB.

:rainbowderp:

Better pony-up, pardner!

:derpytongue2:

... And I thought my day of trying to get the right parts for a tractor was bad.
Though that was mostly the catalog being useless as usual.
I have no idea what they were thinking when they put part of the gearshift linkage in the front axle section.

Oh, dear. At least it's made a fun blog post. :D
Good luck!

5202927
Thinking? That's adorable that you assumed thinking comes within a country mile of any of this.

FTL

He says that he’s going to tell the customer that I couldn’t figure out how to program it, and he’s lucky that he did so when I didn’t have a wrench in my hand (ask Somber about the wrench).

Ah, back stabbing is added to wilful ignorance, lying and stupidity... such a quality individual. :twilightangry2: Fortunately I have only had one manager like that and then only for a short time. He was a new shiny up-and-comer who tried the ol' blame the techs trick just once in a company/client debrief after a failed cutover and thought the client would buy it and we'd just sit back and not dare say anything. Poor deluded sod. The client knew my team (we'd worked projects for them for over a decade) and so we just threw the young fool under the bus, called him a liar to his face, explained to the client how he'd buggered the whole show through ignorance, nepotism and cost cutting against our advice and, coincidentally, in breech of the contract. We then walked out and left him to explain himself to them. Usually I'd be more diplomatic but after about 6 hours sleep spread over three days the ol' mind/mouth filter had suffered a major failure. :facehoof:
Lucky for him I didn't wield spanners, just words but days later, before he left us, one of my colleagues had waved a long P2 Phillips screwdriver in front of his face and implied that if he was still in his sight in the next 30 seconds then the screwdriver would likely be used as a suppository. :flutterrage:

Looking forward to hearing how this F250 story ends... won't it be entertaining if the fault still exists after all this?

FTL

It’s a male-male 2.0 USB type A cord with an adapter that’s female USB 2.0 type A one one end, and female 5-pin mini B on the other.

Don't know about Ford but some tech mobs have adaptors like this with loading resistors between pins or non standard pin configurations which the device looks for to 'confirm' that you are using their proprietary cables/adaptors to talk to their boxes. You usually need to buy one and then reverse engineer duplicates for when someone 'accidentally' forgets to return the expensive proprietary cable back to the kit. (Or in your case 'borrows' it for the other shop and then swears they returned it or never had it)

you’d tell it to do something, and it would have to think about it extraordinarily long, and then maybe it would do it or maybe it wouldn’t.

You've got to be careful with this one. The system has clearly attained human levels of performance.

And this is why I'm glad the only electronics that one of my cars has is some cotton braided wires, a switch, and an amp meter My other car is from 2010, so only basic electronics there.

It's been decades since I had roommates that were Motorheads. What you describe doesn't sound like what they used to do. You sound more like what's-his-name, the New Yorker that runs a blog about his computer repair business

5202808
& this is why Amazon & Walmart are eating retail shops' -ING lunch

You hear that. . . ?

. . .

That is the call of alcohol.

I'm surprised the requirements don't factor in phase of the moon and wether Mars/Venus/Jupiter are ascendant or descandant.

5202869

Man, the tone of this blog was on a whole new level. You've really had a fun time with this one, haven't you?

It’s been grand :rainbowlaugh:

Oh God, words were Option B, but only for lack of an Option A Wrench? Jesus. This was(is) a Class 1 Flustercuck...
Go have a beer. Call in sick. You deserve it.

Turns out Friday was a good day, mostly because I wrote this and then spent half the day fiddling around with the engine on that dumb Arcadia with full knowledge it wouldn’t be done. As an added bonus, the manager printed off thirteen pages of documents he didn’t want me to use (someday I’ll go on a rant about his weird opinions about using paper), then demanded that I save all the pages I printed with bolt-tightening orders. Just to mess with him, I wrote the bolt torques on them in Newton Meters because I know he hates metric. :derpytongue2:

On a note that I find similar (actual similarity not guaranteed), my 2012 Hyundai Sonata's bluetooth-controlling steeringwheel buttons don't frequently do as stated, and even if they do, it's not often immediately. In fact, they often do random other things, and not always the same thing from drive to drive.

The tech I know (which might not be all-inclusive these days) is that the buttons on the steering wheel are multiplexed. Because the steering wheel has to turn, there’s a device called the clockspring between the steering wheel and the column. Conceptually, it’s like a tape measure pulled partway out; when the wheel turns one way, the tape shortens, the other way, it lengthens. There are only so many wires you can reliably put in that thin space, and you need two for the airbag, so what they usually do is use two more that control all the buttons. Each button is a resistor, and the computer sees how much voltage has dropped and interprets that as a particular command. Additional resistance due to whatever (corrosion, dirt, evil pixies) could cause it to think a different button has been pushed than the one that was actually pushed. The more buttons, the closer the resistance values would have to be . . . in a nutshell, most likely the problem you’re having is due to a worn-out button, but not an expert in Hyundais. Sometimes they’re individually replaceable; other times, you gotta get the whole steering wheel.

FWIW, some of the cruise control buttons on my van are kinda sketchy. Mostly the ‘enable’ button; sometimes I have to push it two or three times before the computer sees the command. I’m too lazy to bother to diagnose it, though.

At least buttons and nobs on the radio itself work as stated. It just means taking my hands off the steering wheel to adjust the volume, like in the good ol' days.

I used to think steering wheel buttons were so lazy, but now that I’ve owned multiple vehicles with them, they’re really convenient. Some Chrysler products even have little ones on the back of the wheel for radio controls, which is actually really clever. Smarter than the 80s Pontiacs that had a whole button matrix where the airbag is now.

5202871

Hmm, Id have to get back to you on the camera thing. I mean, the 30 year old drivers only support up to 16k a side continous image maps and I know they were used to mix, blend and manipulate camera and video right from the late 80s.

The ones I’ve seen are real-time, as in the car’s moving, and it’s got a constant overhead image. The only weird aspect to is is that objects that are higher than the cameras (which for sideview are usually in the bottom of the rearview mirror) appear infinitely tall, which is always amusing when I can see out the windows that they’re not.

In the cluttered shop environment I’m familiar with, they’re distracting, but I could see how useful they’d be in an unfamiliar place.

5202872

It's almost time to retire my 2002 SUV with rusted out wheel wells. It's going to be a pain in the ass to find anything without those goddamn infotainment touchscreen abominations.

If you’re looking used, there’s still plenty of options. My 07 Caravan doesn’t have those, for example.

I liked last years' Subaru Crosstrek with standard transmission, but all the dealers around here only had the more advanced models with all the anti-feature bells and whistles.

I’ve never bought new, so I don’t know how difficult it is to spec out a model. Might vary by manufacturer, or location. Certainly, the dealers tend to keep the higher-optioned stuff that customers will impulse purchase on the lot (that was my experience in the brief amount of time I worked for a dealer). While this won’t be helpful if you want a manual trans, ex-rental cars tend to be low-optioned or weirdly optioned . . . I think my Caravan was ex-rental, because the rear-most seats are Stow-And-Go, whereas the middle seat is fixed with built-in booster seats. Due to how the van was built, if I remove the center seat, I have floor pockets that are useful for storage, and three more seats in the rear that I can fold up if needed. It’s very convenient, actually.

5202892

I do have an idea for that.
A unicorn gets a job as a Coke vendor. The dude training finds magic to be absolute bullshit easy mode.

I like the idea, especially if the unicorn can just summon the two-liters from the truck when she sees what’s needed on the shelves. I do think if you’re gonna do it (and you should) that as a counterpoint there needs to be at least on thing humans can easily do that she struggles with; I’ll leave that up to you to determine.

5202893

Oooh, that's something I haven't had in awhile.

It was an excellent choice, although I got greedy and didn’t toast one side fully. But the cheese was all melty and it was very good.

5202896

Celestia on bicycle, what an absolute pain.

On the best of days, programming can be. But, I’ve found on Fords if you follow the instructions exactly, it works. Improvise, and you’re gonna have a bad time.

I'm fairly certain you could come up with a usb arrangement with stuff from amazon or ebay.

I’ve got an appropriate USB stick, but since the manger was sending me on various fool’s errands on the company’s dime, I was hardly going to say no. The cord, I’d buy the Ford one if it’s not stupid pricey, just in case they did something weird to make sure you didn’t try and improvise (adapter is $14 from Ford, not sure about the whole arrangement). Besides this truck, we’ve already worked on a Ford where the solution to the infotainment problem was install an update. We’ve got the factory tool and a subscription, and I’m sure that Ford’s only got one programming cord, so we could actually market and sell Infotainment updates on these things if my manager was clever enough to think of it.

Actually, while this isn’t a thing I’m aware of any aftermarket shop doing yet, we could figure out some way to do annual updates to customer’s cars (if they’re a brand we have the tools for), charge them a reasonable fee, and nine times out of ten, it’d be a simple process to do it in conjunction with another scheduled service, like an oil change.

5202916

Y'know what, Admiral? I take back every nasty thing I said during Audi/VW Systems Integration training, back when.

In my experience, VW/Audi group diagnostics makes perfect sense when you’ve had the correct amount of German beer. They’re very methodical and logical (to them) when it comes to systems and functionality, to the point where lots of electronics are labeled in DIN even if it’s weird that the relay terminals you care about are 30, 87, and 88 (on a four-pin relay [and I legit don’t remember what the fourth pin is; it’s either 85 or 16]) .

That said, 16 GB is about right. Remember, Sync-3 and Sync-4 groups all their map, voice, touch, CAN, and even lighting profiles all together. If I remember right, v3.4 came in just shy of 12 GB.

I honestly don’t find it unreasonable for all the things the infotainment does. I also legit have no idea how big the files are when I’m reprogramming a PCM or what have you; I just hit the button and it’s done when it’s done. Could be 100K, could be 100gb, I really don’t know.

5202927

I have no idea what they were thinking when they put part of the gearshift linkage in the front axle section.

For cars, I’ve always assumed the designer snorted a huge line of coke, then said “what if we. . . “

5202962

Oh, dear. At least it's made a fun blog post. :D
Good luck!

Thanks! :heart: Assuming manager did his job, one day in the future we’ll have a shiny new cable and then I’ll get to try again!

5202967

Ah, back stabbing is added to wilful ignorance, lying and stupidity... such a quality individual. :twilightangry2: Fortunately I have only had one manager like that and then only for a short time.

We rolled through a lot of managers like that at Firestone . . . it turns out that if your company’s business is auto repair and you annoy the techs who actually do the repairs, you don’t make your numbers, and corporate comes down on you.

In my current job situation, it’s different, of course, but one thing he can’t change no matter how much he wants to is that I’ve been there for ten years more than he has, and most of our long-term customers know me decently well.

Lucky for him I didn't wield spanners, just words but days later, before he left us, one of my colleagues had waved a long P2 Phillips screwdriver in front of his face and implied that if he was still in his sight in the next 30 seconds then the screwdriver would likely be used as a suppository. :flutterrage:

One time I gave the store manager at Firestone a hot oil bath when he started messing with me. He was not happy about it, and did nothing because he was totally powerless. That was a great moment (and I outlasted that particular store manager, to boot).

Looking forward to hearing how this F250 story ends... won't it be entertaining if the fault still exists after all this?

I figure once we have the correct tools to download and install the files, it will be fixed, because that’s usually the case.

5202969

Don't know about Ford but some tech mobs have adaptors like this with loading resistors between pins or non standard pin configurations which the device looks for to 'confirm' that you are using their proprietary cables/adaptors to talk to their boxes.

Yeah, and that was what I was trying to tell him. I’m not enough of a computer nut to know all the various specs and protocols, but I can’t help but wonder if the reason they want you to unplug the USB connectors and use the special cable they’ve got is because they’re doing something along that line that isn’t per standards, either to make it go faster, or because they don’t want Joe Average to try and update it with a file he found on the internet. There’s no way to know, of course, not with the knowledge or time we have at our disposal, so the smart move is to do what Ford tells us to and trust that it will work properly. My experience with Fords thus far has been if you do what they tell you to do, it usually works; if you try and improvise any steps because you think you’re smarter than the guy who programmed it or you think a particular step of the process just is there as a time-waster, you’re gonna have a bad time.

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