Wrench Tales with Brandon Steckler, Ep. 3: Jason LaBonte

April 24, 2024
In this episode, Brandon Steckler and Jason LaBonte discuss a Ford Explorer that exhibited some mysterious symptoms.

Welcome back to another episode of Wrench Tales with Motor Age Technical Editor Brandon Steckler. This time, our guest is good friend Jason LaBonte (Shop Foreman of Legendary Auto and Truck Service, in Fort Myers, Florida).

Jason is also the founder of Florida Automotive Service Technical Training group. Together, Jason and FASTT provide free training with aspirations of raising the abilities and confidence level of automotive technicians nationwide. In this action-packed episode, LaBonte brings an exciting story of a 2010 Ford Explorer 4.0L exhibiting a crazy symptom. The vehicle offers no communication with the Smart Junction Box unless the horn pad is depressed!

That’s right…neither of the other control units on the network is very happy with the SJB, and Jason cannot establish communication with any scan tool unless he is leaning on the horn! Follow along with Jason and Brandon as they discuss the diagnostic approach taken to lead right to the underlying issue and the correlating repair that got this vehicle back on the road after several previous and expensive repair attempts were made by other very sharp technicians. But like always, none of this is magic. This truck is not possessed by evil spirits or anything unexplainable. It was common sense, fundamental knowledge, and the appropriate service information that brought Jason to an efficient diagnosis with very little disassembly or dissection taking place.

Like all episodes of Wrench Tales, this fun-filled interview is designed to engage the audience in thought and to help develop the instincts necessary for efficient diagnostics once the appropriate data is captured and analyzed. Of course, none of that is possible unless time is taken to study and understand the architecture of the communication network topology and what it takes to keep the individual components functioning together as a system, to carry out a goal. So pull up a chair, relax, and hang on for the ride!