E & L Service, Inc.

Intermittent Problems – Explanation Sheet

Intermittent Problems With Your Car

Intermittent Car Problems

Many problems which occur on today’s vehicles fall into the category of intermittent. These are problems that don’t happen every time the vehicle is operated. These problems can occur either frequently or infrequently. If I ask you to take me for a ride and show me what your vehicle is doing that concerns you, and you think it may not act up when we do this, then it is an intermittent problem.

Intermittent problems can range from merely annoying such as a warning buzzer that blares at inappropriate times, to downright dangerous such as headlamps that cut out or an engine that stalls.

Regardless of the system that is affected, certain aspects of repairing intermittent problems remain constant.

Proper Inspection of Intermittent Problems

The problem must occur one or more times during our preliminary inspection in order to get a feel for the symptom and develop a testing strategy. The problem must then occur during our testing in order to pinpoint the cause.

In the absence of the above listed, we can only make educated guesses, based on our previous experience or the experience of others on similar vehicles. Sometimes problems can be resolved in this manner. If the “likely” component that may be causing the problem is relatively inexpensive, this may be the best initial repair strategy. It may be several days after the return of your vehicle before the results of the repair are known in this case.

During a preliminary check, things related to normal vehicle maintenance may be noted that could possibly be causing the problem, and should be corrected before further testing is considered.

Pinpointing and repairing intermittent problems can therefore become very time consuming. As trained professionals using modern test equipment, our goal is to solve your problem as quickly as possible. In some cases however, many hours are spent on problems of this nature before they are resolved. It is impossible to pre estimate cost of repairs of this nature, but you must remember that any time spent in the tracing of problems with your vehicle will be charged to your repair order, regardless of the ultimate outcome. You must also keep in mind that it is in our interest to solve your problem as efficiently as possible as this type of repair can seriously bog down our schedule.

It is also sometimes necessary to keep a vehicle such as this for many days or perhaps weeks in order to resolve the problem. And even then, some symptoms won’t occur enough to positively pinpoint the cause. Although we won’t be working on it constantly during this time, we may be waiting for a symptom to occur, or researching pattern failures on similar models.

Of course during the time we have your vehicle we will keep you apprised of the testing results and costs involved as they unfold.

The purpose of this letter is not to scare you away or send you after a bank loan, but to inform you of what you might expect when dealing with intermittent problems on your vehicle.


E & L Service Management

About the Author Ron McDougall

Ron became the company president of E & L Service, Inc. in 1991 at the request of his grand-parents. With an automotive and heavy equipment background, Ron's focus is to bring the highest quality repair & towing services to Lapeer residents.

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