FSE Technician Recognition Awards – 4th Quarter 2020

The Field Service Engineer (FSE) Technician Recognition Awards (U.S.), a new recognition program that celebrates the skill and dedication of dealership technicians who have recently worked with FSE’s on challenging repairs, has announced six technicians for recognition of their outstanding performance.

Technicians at GM dealerships in each region — East, Central, and West — are selected for recognition based on their focus on safety, customer satisfaction, personal accountability, training achievements, diagnostic abilities, and the level of repair documentation.

Each recognized technician receives a Service Excellence magnetic plaque and an Excellence in Service Award certificate. (Fig. 4)


Fig. 4


4th Quarter 2020 Technician Recognition Awards




Technician: Todd Vonkutzleben

Dealership: Rick Hendrick Chevrolet, Buford, Georgia

FSE: Robert Cross

Service Excellence: As a result of hard work, technical expertise, commitment and dedication, Todd helped resolve an issue with a 2019 ZR1 Corvette in which the vehicle GPS Tracking Map was not tracking. As Todd worked on the vehicle, he followed the Service Information diagnostic procedures and kept very good records. After without success in repairing the vehicle, he opened up a TAC case for further assistance, which was eventually dispatched out to the field. Todd worked closely with the Field Service Engineer and Brand Quality and followed their recommendations. In addition, Todd thought outside of the box for ways to narrow down possible causes, including using an AM radio to track EMI, swapping parts from vehicles that were functioning correctly, and, finally, using tin foil and used ferrites to eliminate EMC. Throughout the entire process, Todd actively participated in conferences regarding the vehicle and provided detailed reports of his findings for analysis by those involved in the case.

In addition, Todd was able to build a strong and trusting relationship with the customer to the point that the customer would contact Todd on his personal cell phone, which enabled him to provide the customer with updates that resulted in a high level of customer satisfaction. Todd is truly dedicated to all aspects of his profession and he goes above and beyond to gather technical expertise, pursue customer satisfaction, demonstrate personal accountability, and focus on safety.



Technician: Curt Barbour

Dealership: Lamoille Valley Chevrolet, Hyde Park, Vermont

FSE: Dan Clark

Service Excellence: Curt was working on a 2017 Volt with a no start condition and he never gave up on his diagnosing the case. After Curt initiated a TAC case, he worked with TAC to determine the need for a new Power Inverter Module. The vehicle started, but also led to the next concern –  DTC P1A5E for the low voltage side of the system. It was believed the vehicle might have been struck by lightning. After several phone conversations, Curt was able to find that the cause of the P1A5E code was the EBCM putting voltage out with the key off. Replacing the EBCM corrected the concern.

I was very impressed with how proactive Curt was in completing all the testing we suggested and then contacting me immediately with the results. It saved time for everyone involved. Curt did not have to wait for me to show up at the dealership, which was a 4-hour drive away. It obviously saved me time by being able to work on the case remotely, but most of all, Curt’s proactive approach limited the number of days the vehicle was down so the customer could get their vehicle back as quickly as possible.





Technician: Jeffrey Neel

Dealership: Everett Buick GMC, Bryant, Arkansas

FSE: David Burns

Service Excellence: I work with a lot of technicians and Jeffrey is one of the more skilled technicians I’ve met. He stands out because of his overall character. Obviously, he takes his training seriously. He has completed 100% in just about everything. But not only is he a skilled technician, he is employed at one of the highest sales volume GMC dealers, so he sees plenty of problems. Along with his technician duties, he also is the shop foreman and dispatcher.

He is always involved in any case I have assigned at the dealership, no matter if he was the original technician or not. He shares any odd things he runs into with me, which helps in many cases because he has seen a lot. When I am visiting the dealership, he is willing to help in any way in order to help facilitate the process. I have never seen him throw his hands up and quit trying. He will work a problem until a resolution is found. There also are lots of examples of him finding comparison cars while I’m at the dealership working on a case, hunting down parts and supplies, stopping everything he is doing to help me with a case, and riding with customers in order to know exactly what to look for.

Incredibly, Jeffrey does all of this with one of the most professional presentations I have seen in the field. His work area, the vehicles he works on, and his personal appearance are always neat and orderly.

A recent example happened when I walked into the shop last week and saw Jeffrey had a mask on, but no other technicians did. A few masks were on tool boxes or technicians had them hanging from their ears and around their necks. I asked about it and he said that, technically, they don’t have to wear them in the shop, but that Arkansas requires it when dealing directly with customers. I asked why he was wearing one in the back when nobody else was and he said, “Leading by example. If the guys ever see me not wearing mine, they will think it’s ok not to wear theirs. So I wear mine all the time.”

It’s these little things that make Jeffrey stand out. There are a lot of people that can fix a car, go home at the end of the day and make a paycheck. The extra things you do just because it’s the right thing to do is what stands out to me.



Technician: Bart Hadley

Dealership: Paris Chevrolet Buick GMC, Paris, Texas

FSE: David Piper

Service Excellence:

Bart has been instrumental in sharing his lessons learned with the DFW Sharpshooters Group. He never gives up on any difficult problems and he always shares his findings. He has moved from technician to shop foreman and now all the “problems” are his. He also mentors the younger technicians in the dealership.

Recently, he was able to isolate a 2nd gear launch when shifting from Reverse to Drive, which resulted in not only solving the issue with the customer, but his data helped drive the publication of Bulletin #20-NA-102.





Technician: George Castro

Dealership: Sanger Buick GMC, Sanger, California

FSE: Leonard Tunstall

Service Excellence: I’d like to recognize George Castro for having excellent diagnostic abilities and displaying an “It’s on me” performance.

I have worked with technicians like George my entire career, so I have a feel for those who genuinely take pride in their work. He has an incredible collection of diagnostic peripherals – from test probes and connectors to homemade PicoScope attachments. He keeps it simple and to the point. George is an outstanding guy. He reminds me of some of the guys that work at TAC.

Recently, George and I were working on a Camaro with the LT1 6.2L engine and a DTC P0442 in history. George used the traditional EVAP smoke tester and was unsuccessful in locating a leak. Later, we had the opportunity to use the new GE-52250 Power Smoke Diagnostic Leak Detector. We knew the GE-52250 was not to be used to test the EVAP system on the vehicle, but we removed the EVAP lines and canister from the vehicle and tested them individually on the bench to ensure we didn’t introduce pressure and air into the fuel tank or fuel lines. George was able to configure a way to connect the GE-52250 along with an inline digital pressure tester to each line and tested them at about 1 PSI. The EVAP lines tested ok, but we quickly discovered a leak in the canister. George has a keen sense of ingenuity and, once again, he displayed his insight by engineering the diagnostic test tools and peripherals needed to quickly get the job done.



Technician: David Szin

Dealership: Parkway Buick Cadillac GMC, Valencia, California

FSE: Doug Hager

Service Excellence: David Szin has been the most reliable and easiest technician to work with since I have started as an FSE. David is the technician who the service manager will have talk with customers about any repairs done or required on a vehicle. David also has taken it upon himself to help other technicians with any issues they are having.

One recent case where I worked with David was a 2020 CT5 with a battery draw issue. I had a tee harness so I could do a data collection with engineering on two different dates. On each day scheduled, David had the vehicle ready in a stall for me. After the second day of data collection, engineering still did not know what was causing the draw. David had already ordered, and had on hand, an ICS for the vehicle. Engineering doubted it was the ICS and, if we were going to take a guess, to try a radio module. We wanted to try the ICS first because the power button did not work. The ICS resolved the issue. Engineering eventually found the issue in the code and presented it in the May FSE/BQM training meeting. I want to point out that if David had received the correct ICS the first time he ordered it, this never would have been a TAC case. Also, if he had not been stopped from installing the ICS when the correct one arrived so we could do the data collection, the customer would have had the vehicle earlier. David was personally in contact with the customer throughout the process and the vehicle was detailed, filled with fuel and personally delivered upon completion.

David has assisted me when helping other techs at the dealership whenever I ask him to get involved. He is the reason there aren’t many cases from this dealer.


– Thanks to Hank Poelman

Identifying Stand-Alone Keys and Key Fobs with the EL-52545 TPMS and RF Tool
Coolant Flow Control Valve Actuator Harness Connector Corrosion

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