Rolly Alvarez
Rollando Alvarez — “Rolly” to his friends — began fixing cars when he was 15 years old. The following year he took a job at a transmission shop, and within six months was rebuilding transmissions. After several years as a transmission tech, Rolly got a job at a Rolls Royce/BMW dealership, where he became a master mechanic. Over the next few years, he bounced around between Lamborghini, Ferrari, Mercedes, and Porsche, becoming versed in some of the most exotic vehicles on the road. He holds a BA in business administration and is certified in all of the major European vehicles. He considers himself a “bumper-to-bumper” technician; not restricted to any one specialty. He’s also fluent in Spanish, and provides technical information for the Spanish-speaking market. And he’s a budding artist, providing drawings for his technical articles and bulletins. Since joining ATRA, Rolly’s byline has become a familiar and welcome addition to the GEARS masthead.
2009 Honda Has Mysterious Noise and Won't Shift Intermittently
So here we go again with a Honda with noises and weird shifting. In most cases, we tend to think that we’ve pretty much seen it all by now, but oh boy how wrong we are. When a vehicle comes into the shop, we pull codes and drive the vehicle to get a feel of the problem and whether it matches the customer’s complaint, which for the most part it never does. So that being said, when customers ...

2013 Santa Fe Loses All Power, Won't Shift Due to Faulty Brake Light Switch
Well here we go again, I feel like Steve Harvey from the Family Feud show: “Hello folks, boy do we have a good one for you today.” The only difference is that you won’t be leaving with a new Ford Edge. So it goes like this: A tow truck showed up at the door with a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe that wouldn’t move or accelerate. Okay, which one is it? Well, turns out it’s both. Okay, the custom...

6R140 with No Cooler Flow
It seems every other transmission problem that comes into the shop today has its roots in another part of the vehicle. Sometimes it’s the engine; other times it’s the computer system. In this case, it was the cooling system. A 2011 Ford F450 with a 6R140 and a 6.7-liter diesel engine truck showed up at the door. It had 310,000 miles on the clock and the fluid was burnt. The unit appeared to...

Diagnosing Mazda's Supplemental Restraint System
In the October 2016 issue, we touched upon Mazda’s AAS system. We compared it to other systems, seeing differences and similarities. One of the things we learned is that failures in other systems can affect the AAS, putting it into fail safe, in this case, the Supplemental Restraint System, or SRS. You may remember that the vehicle we were looking at didn’t allow us to reset the system due ...

HEAVY METAL: Experiencing Mazda’s AAS (Active Adaptive Shift)
Virtually every manufacturer is offering its own version of an automatic/manual gearshift system, and Mazda is no exception. The Mazda system is called the Active Adapt Shift (AAS). In this system, the computer controls the shift points to provide the best driving results, based on the road conditions and driver input. This system should improve drive feel, cornering, performance at high elevat...

Ordering a Converter May Cost More Than You Expected
First thing Monday morning the call comes in on a Ford F350 Lariat, 6.7 liter dually with all the bells and whistles. It blew the converter while plowing snow; not so surprising when you consider how much abuse these trucks take in the winter, especially when there’s a heavy blanket of the white, fluffy stuff. The torque converter was blown: There were converter clutch pieces all over the bot...

Multiple 6R60E/6R80E Problems Traced to Bulkhead Connector
When dealing with electrical problems, it’s always important to remember that a single fault can create multiple problems in seemingly unrelated systems. But at the same time, it’s also possible to have more than one fault! This situation started with a friend of mine who owns a body shop. He purchased a 2012 Expedition with a 5.4 liter engine for his wife and five kids that he planned to u...