The previous mechanic didn’t know how to patch an exhaust leak, and had tried to weld a ROCKSTAR CAN around the leak. The leak caused the 2nd oxygen bank to fail, which is why they tried to patch it with the can. Not a week later the bank read a failure again.
My old mechanic had a guy come in with a Ford Probe. He claimed it was “low” on oil. They take the dipstick out and the whole stick has oil on it. He checks again with the same result. The guy took the oil cap off and looked into down into the hole and said see it is “low” He had put 3-4 CASES of oil in the motor trying to fill the entire block up.
This probably won’t be the worst one in this thread . I used to know a 30 year old who would put the car air freshener duct taped outside the exhaust, kind of just dangling in front of the opening. His logic was it makes the exhaust smell better for pedestrians.
Had a customer once who had their oil light come on and couldn’t figure out how to top the oil up. He thought it might have worked like his boat motor so he poured a jug of oil in his fuel tank.
I was working at a performance shop at the time ~2010. Golf GTI comes in for lack of power and throwing check engine codes for underboost and several for fuel trim management conditions. Did the typical process of checking the turbo waste gate operation, pressure and smoke tested the charged side of the turbo system for leaks, tested fuel pressures, all checked out. Removed the intake side from the turbo to inspect for rips in the rubber boot, all good.
Looked inside the intake boot and this moron bought one of these turbonator gimmicky things and put it inside the intake. It had turned completely on it’s side and was restricting ~80% of the air flow. Removed the “obstruction” and motor operating values returned to normal and power was restored. Did not feel any guilt that this idiot had to pay a few hundred for me to diagnose and remove his awesome diy performance mod.
Not a mechanic, but former service writer. Woman comes in for an oil change, some common mini van, nothing out of the ordinary. Walked by the van while it was up on the rack, and noticed one of the tires was nearly bald in the middle, cords showing — textbook over-inflation. I check the tire pressure, was well over-inflated. Then looked around the vehicle — two more tires were in exactly the same state, over-inflated and showing damage from it. The fourth was a bit under-inflated, no glaringly obvious tread wear.
Pointed it out to the customer when she came back, asked if there’s any reason three tires would be over-inflated. Long story short, she was occasionally seeing a “low tire” light on the dash (no indication of which tire, just “low tire”), told her husband, and he just aired up all four tires. Happened again, “fixed” the same way, rinse and repeat. So over time they kept the tire with the leak going, but managed to ruin the other three. Buy a tire pressure gauge if your car doesn’t give you per-tire pressure readings …
Worked as a car cleaner at a dealership one summer in high school. Guy towed in a relatively new, top of the line Corvette he had bought there sometime before I started. He was pissed that it had died on the road and been running like shit before that… Ranting and raving about he spent all this money and it only went X months/years before completely breaking down. One of my work buddies got it up on a lift and started looking it over. He opens the oil drain plug and NOTHING comes out. He pulls apart the engine and the oil could now be best described as glue.
Owner talks to the guy and asks when the last time he changed the oil was. Guy had zero idea what he was talking about – he had no idea that you had to do that. He assumed you just added gas and that’s the only thing you needed to do. The engine was a complete loss, which meant the car was a complete loss to him.
I had a guy bring his motor swapped late 80s F150 in for some transmission work. These came factory with either a 300 straight six, 351 V8, or 460 V8. He put 2.3l carbureted 4 cylinder out of an old Ranger in it. The reasoning behind the swap was that it’d improve fuel mileage at the cost of some speed. The thing could barely move under its own power. If you floored it, it would top out at about 55mph, wide open, and take a good minute or two to get there.
I had the car on a hoist at Midas for a peek at the brakes. The manager started telling me about a sports car he had in for shuddering front discs. They took off the front wheels, and to everyone’s amazement, the outer disc surface was completely gone! The internal ribbing was also worn down, but still attached to a thin inner disc. They immediately got the owner to come and take a look, but he refused to accept that anything serious was wrong! He was not going to pay some crooked car shop for two new discs when his were just fine! He insisted they reassemble everything so he could drive away. They let him go, but only after having him sign a form stating he’d been told the car was in a dangerous condition.
Let me tell you about diamond plate guy and Focus bro. Diamond plate guy had two things he used to modify his truck: A drill and a ton of diamond plate. It was an absolute base model V6 Ram 1500 with the exhaust chopped off, which I thought was bad enough until I opened the hood. He had drilled or glued diamond plate to EVERY flat surface. Air filter box, Intake manifold, fan shroud, etc. This was 18 months ago. My eyes still haven’t recovered, but this isn’t the end.
He had some crappy wheels that he had painted white himself. I know this because he painted the inside of the wheel where it seats to the hub, which caused them to seize to said hubs. I literally had to buy a bigger hammer to smack them off. Focus bro: Guy had a custom straight pipe, full Sparco race seats, five point racing harnesses, lowering springs, and…a base model, automatic Ford Focus SE.
Mechanic here. Lots of stories. One guy has OCD and got a license plate called 2Clean. Only let one guy in our shop touch his base model dodge dakota 2007. Had to double up on gloves and he would watch. Under sprayed his car with chrome spray.
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