Being an auto mechanic is a job that is always in demand and certainly has its perks. Most of the time, you’re called upon to do simple maintenance work and when the big jobs do come in you typically have time to get them done. Even though being a mechanic is a job that will most likely be fairly easy most of the time the way vehicles are built today makes it more difficult to get to some parts for the repairs that need to be completed. Here are some horror stories from the auto mechanic world:
Small Items Can Cause Big Problems – When an air conditioning system goes bad and charging it up with Freon doesn’t get the job done the entire system might need to be fixed and replaced. One mechanic found metal shavings in the evaporator of a Toyota and had to pull out the dashboard and entire system in 100-degree heat which wasn’t any fun for him at all.
Easy and Obvious – Just because you think the only purpose of an item is to hold together doesn’t mean that’s the case. One mechanic popped the hood of a car that was reported as needing to be jump started daily and found one of the battery cables was zip-tied in place. He replaced the missing screw and the car was fixed; hopefully, he showed this to the owner.
Massive Amounts of Carbon – Typically a failing catalytic converter can be the reason for a car to lose power and have an exhaust system that seems to be failing. This mechanic dropped the catalytic converter out of the car he was working on and found a log-sized carbon build up that fell out of the pipe which had formed around a broken filter element.
Brakes Beyond Belief – Too often we hear of horror stories when it comes to brakes but most of the time this only causes the owner to need to buy new rotors. When an owner kept driving past the point of the pads the pistons were actually doing the braking and digging into the rotors requiring the pistons, calipers, pads, and rotors to all need replacing in one particular car.
Don’t Forget the Lube – The gasket of an oil filter needs to be lubricated when its installed on an engine so that it will come off more easily and create the proper seal. One gasket had not been lubricated, causing the mechanic to have to punch through it with a screwdriver in order to get a grip on the oil filter and pull it off so that he could simply complete the oil change job.
A Second Opinion – There are some shops that are only looking to make a few dollars on a job and will recommend changing a part rather than check the fluid. One customer was glad they looked for a second opinion regarding their transmission to find out all that was needed was to have the fluid and filter changed and replaced to get the car working the right way.
Bald isn’t Beautiful – While some women may be attracted to bald men, nobody is attracted to bald tires on the road. If your mechanic tells you to change the racing slicks you’re riding on, you need to do this. Save yourself and let your mechanic change your tires for you rather than riding around without treads or tires that are right for your car and your safety.
Gotta Beat the Heat- Unfortunately, mobile mechanics have to perform in whatever weather conditions happen to be present when they show up for a job, including the heat. In some areas of the country, this can mean over 100 degrees at times. One mechanic in Arizona saw 124 degrees on his dash reading just before he began a job recently.
Tough Locations – One mechanic recently found out the location of an alternator in a particular Volvo model is located in a tough location. He had to take off the front right wheel, move the brakes, shift the suspension, pull out the drive axle, move fuel lines and the heat shielding to get to the alternator. This was certainly a bear of a job that took much longer than most would.
The Melting Pot – When smoke starts to come out from under the hood of your car it’s time to worry. One mechanic was called in for this problem recently and found a short in the ground wire had fried the alternator terminals of a car which could have gotten much worse had he not received the call and fixed this problem right away.