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shaig@Think.COM (Shai Guday)
Thinking Machines Corporation, Cambridge MA, USA
(smirk, original)

My '87 Escort GT was having problems with idle stability.
The revs were ranging over 600 rpm and occasionally
the car stalled.  As an aside, the air conditioner
wasn't really working.

I just called the garage and asked if the car was ready,
and if so what the problem was - no codes had come up
in a previous checkup.  Their resident EFI expert said
that the Air conditioning unit module was faulty,
which caused the AC to conk out, and that the unit
had been sending out faulty signals to the EFI module
which caused the idle fluctuations.  I asked him
if this could be the case even if the fluctuations
occured when the AC was off and he replied it was.

I will pick up the car in one hour and find out if
he was on the ball, but the thought has crossed my
mind that we will eventually reach the stage where:

"Sorry sir, but your engine was backfiring because
of that pebble caught in your tire tread."

"Well sir, the pebble threw off the automatic wheel balancer
which generated faulty signals to the engine control

"No sir, when you brought the car in previously it was parked
and that is why the engine only backfired when the wheels
were in motion."

"Well, I wouldn't call it a design flaw as all the controls
for the onboard systems are housed in a single board
which ran no codes and was functioning correctly.
In the event that the board misfunctioned you would
have noticed it immediately."

"Well sir, the owner's manual does state that polyester
clothing can build up a static charge on the steering
wheel causing the cruise control module to malfunction."

"Yes sir, that would account for the fact that the cruise
control locked and could not be released at a speed of
130 MPH."

"Yes sir, I understand how traumatic that might be. But
rest assured that we have taken steps to resolve the matter.
You will now find a grounding strap permanently located on
the steering wheel."

"Have a nice day too sir."

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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