My buddy Mike has that complaint about most modern mechanics "They aren't mechanics. They're parts replacers. They don't diagnose anything, and if there isn't a code that they can use to start guessing which parts to replace, they're totally helpless!"
He worked for a LEO motor pool, and he was amazed at the incompetence. At one point other guys in the shop wanted to replace an entire engine. He figured out what the issue was after a few minutes, but waited to see if they could do it. He only stepped in and showed them when he heard them tell the shop manager about needing the new engine.
It's not profitable to spend hours digging down on an issue when customers complain about diag time. Most of them fire whatever part alldata tells them too at it and they focus on stuff like suspension, flushes, and tires that's quick and easy money and they can train someone to do in a couple of weeks. They'll long block somethin far before tearing too far into it because it's hard to warranty repairs when your not replacing everything. That's why my job loves me cuz I'll save em 3k at the dealer by poppin good used rocker arms from our retired stuff into a pentastar and send it out the door for another 50k miles and if it drops another I'll just do it again
So back to this ac again. Put some dye in it this time and backed off a couple ounces of r134a. Pressures still a little bit lower than it was before and only pulls 28.4 inches of vacuum when it should pull 29.5. Either way machine let it pass and I think there's probably a chunk of shit in the orifice or expansion valve or whatever the hell it is above the reciever dryer. Sounds like a leak but nothing coming out with soapy water and no dye so I'm guessing there's a restriction in there and the sound is the high side bleeding off to the low. At any rate it works pretty decent for now so I'll deal with it if it becomes an issue. If it's gonna be daily duty bombing the kids around the AC is going to be a must and it's something I do a lot of at work anyway so I'll get it figured out one way or another.
Forgot I had the abs fuse pulled so I dropped that back in and now my only open circuit is on the rear bearing I have in the backseat and haven't replaced yet. But the brake light went out at least so it's progress. That wheels got a bit of negative camber to it so I'm sure that bearings shelled and probably not helping my shimmy situation so that'll get done in pretty short order I believe.
Pulled engine codes again, cleared the iat code and the knock sensor code that keeps returning but this time I've got a p0171 so this confirms my thoughts about it dumping fuel. Also had a bank 1 sensor 2 low voltage code so not real sure if it's from being lean or if maybe I have an O2 thing causing the trims to skew that way. It really kinda sounds like there's a vac leak but I haven't been able to pinpoint it yet and I keep forgetting to look at map values to see what it's doing there. Forgot to stick a finger on the purge valve with it running to see if that's sealing up or maybe causing my issue but I would think I'd get an EVAP code along with that. And if it's really a vac leak I'm impressed because there's not a miss in this thing at all, I would think I'd at least see a rough idle intermittently or for it to fall on its face or do somethin dumb if that was the case. I also haven't checked fuel pressure so that could be a thing too.
But we're getting closer. And it's turning out to be a pretty nice car. And it's fun as hell to run it around and get dirty looks from girls and old guys who think it's probably some wannabe gangster