Some cool and funny pictures I have taken over the years. Some are good, some are scary, but this is ALL real!

VW TDI Turbo Problem

Happy Wednesday everyone! We are coming off the last “unofficial” weekend of summer. Being that it is 95 today, I am not buying that 🙂 . Now is the time we need to start thinking about getting our cars ready for winter. Over the next few weeks we will be looking at all the things we can do to be ready for the cold weather and snow(yikes). But first, we have to rock some Shop Shots!

Oh, one quick thing. There was some type of update glitch with WordPress. That knocked out some of the features I have installed on the blog. It should not impact any of the content, but some of the little things I have installed may not work. Just hang in there, I am working on getting all of it fixed.

Funny things DRIVERS DOFirst up is something that I see a lot. It is also something that I like to poke fun at. This customer has their Craftsman garage door opener clipped on to the visor. No big deal right? Well it just so happens that It is clipped right next to the built in garage opener.

You might be wondering why the heck someone would do something like that. Well, the truth is, new openers can be a pain to program. I said that I poke fun at this, but I was guilty too. I owned my Passat for about 6 years before I finally programmed that dang built in opener. That was mostly me being lazy 😉

VW TDI Turbo ProblemNext up is one of those stories that comes around from time to time. First off you are looking at a big hole in the intercooler of a TDI Golf. This causes air to leak in, or leak out depending on driving situation.

This customer had the diesel fuel system replaced about 2 years ago. The car had a HPFP(High pressure fuel pump) failure. The customer called back saying that the car was acting funny again, and that it better have a warranty from the last repair. The customer was convinced that it was related to the repair we did.

When my tech pulled the car in, we could hear the boost leak. After some inspections, we found that the car had impact damage to the lower front of the car. The impact also damaged the radiator, condenser, and core support. I hate that the customer needed so much work, but I am sure glad it was not our fault.

Broken VW windowLast up is one of my LEAST favorite repairs to make, a broken window. This GTI came in with the window glass broken. Replacing the glass is not a hard job. It is the working with all the broken glass that is awful. If you have had a glass break, post which window it was in the comments.

If you have never had a broken window in a car, consider yourself lucky. Glass from the window goes EVERYWHERE! Glass in the seat track, under the carpet, in the door, under switches, and the worst jammed in the window track and seal. This car went back to clean up 3 times to get the glass out. I don’t think I have ever replaced a broken glass with out getting at least 1 cut.

That wraps up another volume of Shop Shots! Remember that just about all of these pictures come right from me. They are not searched in Google, or skimmed from another site. They are the real deal from a VW dealer tech.

Animal damage to TDI

Happy Wednesday everyone! I hope your week is rocking right along. I am back in the shop today. You may have seen that I spent Monday visiting the fellas over at Deutsche Auto Parts. They are a great place to buy VW parts. We did some fun video “How To” stuff, so be on the look out for that.

Also before we get into this weeks Shop Shots, I want to remind you about the discount the folks at Hayden Ind have just for readers of the blog. Head over to HaydenHasIt.Com and use the code “humble-hayden” for 10% off $25 or more.

Alright, now that we have that wrapped up, let’s get into this weeks behind the scenes pictures. Remember, I am still a full time VW tech. So these shots come directly from my shop, unless otherwise noted.

Animal damage to TDIFirst up we have more critters living in an engine compartment. I removed the engine cover to do a service on the Jetta TDI, and this is what I found. After I vacuumed out all the nesting, I did find a little damage. It seems that what ever little creature made the nest, also liked the taste of wires and connectors. Lucky for this customer the damage was minimal. Just some crew marks on 2 injector connectors, and 1 wire exposed. I guess that nice warm engine bay is a good place to build a nest.

Strange things in customers carsI guess it makes sense to keep with the animal theme. Last week one of the tech called me over to see what was in the back of this Touareg. Much to my surprise, he had a dear head and some other animal head in the back. The bad part was the smell. It was awful. It smelled like an old dead animal. My guess is he just picked this stuff up from the taxidermist. The tech working on it was not very happy. Mostly because he had to move them to fill the Ad-Blue tank. YIKES!

VW Engine failure RoutanLast week I showed you guys a picture of a Routan engine waiting to be replaced. Well this is the job in mid-replacement. I have to say, the guy working on this worked pretty clean. When I replace engines, it usually looks like a bomb has went off.

But even working clean, there is a lot of parts involved. Notice the pile of parts on the bottom left of the picture. The bottom center is the subframe. There is an engine on a tire in the top right, and the engine going back in the car on the table.

Sadly this job didn’t go great for the tech. When he was finished with the job, there was a severe noise, and what felt like a high drag on the engine. It also had a slow start. I walked over to give him a hand. I was trying to start the car, and the wire for the starter began to smoke. I have not heard what the final issue was. I will be sure to update when I find out.

That does it for another volume of Shop Shots! I really do enjoy sharing a little bit of the behind the scenes things that happen in the shop. Don’t forget to sign up for email updates. It is the best way to be sure you get all the blog updates.

Damaged Vw threads

Happy Thursday boys and girls. I can’t believe that today is the last day of July. It is crazy when you realize how fast the year has gone by. Okay, enough reminiscing, it is time for Shop Shots!

VW engine failureThis may not look like something out of the ordinary, but it is. This engine was delivered to us a few days ago. When they took it off the truck I was shocked. Shocked because I had no idea what the heck type of engine it was. I have seen plenty of VW engines, and this didn’t look anything like that. That is because it is NOT a VW engine. It is for a dang Routan.

I got some of the story on why we are replacing a Routan engine with a junkyard engine. It seems that a customer drove through water high enough to pull water into the engine. I don’t know why people do that. It should be interesting to see this Routan get an engine replacement. I will keep everyone updated when the repair is done. Maybe there will be some cool pictures of the damage.

Volkswagen wiring problem engineThis is a much less rare thing. You are looking at a B7 Passat VR6. This car had some type fault for a Knock sensor. There is a Tech Tip, or a TSB for this issue. The repair is replacing the engine room harness. There are probably about 30 connectors on that harness. Replacing an engine harness can be a big task depending on the engine. I talked to the tech working on this car, he said it was one of the easier ones.

Damaged Vw threadsThis last one is a good one. This is a steering knuckle from a Touareg. The holes are where the brake caliper bolts on. One of the techs in the shop was replacing the brakes on this Touareg. When he put the bolts back in, the threads got damaged. We retapped the hole, and cleaned up the bolts. Even after that the job went sideways and ruined the treads.

Replacing the knuckle is expensive, and the machine shop didn’t have a heli-coil that size. The solution for this comes in the form of a Time Sert. These things are amazing. You basically drill a bigger hole, and thread a sleeve into the hole. The picture on the left is the repaired bolt hole, the one on the right is the good one. It is a great solution for a job that goes bad.

That does it for another volume of Shop Shots. As always I hope you have enjoyed the pictures and little stories behind them.

VW transmission problem

Happy Wednesday everyone. Sadly this time it is actually Wednesday. But hey, it is still Shop Shots day. We are as busy as can be at the shop. That means I am busy busy busy fixed and maintaining VWs. But enough about that, let’s talk Shop Shots!

Bad Volkswagen MechanicThe first picture come to us by way of a complete hack mechanic. You are looking at the the cowl panel of a VW Beetle. That is the trim right at the bottom of the windshield. You will notice that someone has drilled a hole in the trim. Talk about a hack move.

I can only assume why some tool would drill this hole. My guess is to replace the bushings at the top of the strut. The right way to do this job is to remove the wiper arms, and remove the trim. If you do it right, it takes about 10 minutes max. But if you are a hack mechanic, you aint got time fo dat!

VW transmission problemThis type of picture makes me feel a bit like a curios kid. When ever I see an engine or a transmission taken apart, I get excited. Especially when I am not the one taking it apart. 😉 Not that I mind doing this type of work, it just doesn’t pay that well.

This is the the top view of a manual transmission. One of the boys had this apart to replace a syncro. After a few times taking the transmission out and putting it back in, he ended up having to replace the entire transmission. There was some noise issues. I don’t have much to add, I just love taking pictures of this type of thing.

Volkswagen Wiring ProblemI feel like this is the things that mechanics have nightmares about. You are looking at a wiring harness in a 2014 Tiguan. The customer had about 400 miles on their car. They brought it in because the 12v outlet wouldn’t work. When I got the car the fuse was blown. Each time a new fuse was installed, it would pop. That could mean the power wire was shorted to ground(which is the brown wire in the picture).

I got a great tip for finding a shorted wire with your multi-meter

  1. Set the meter to continuity check. Most meters have an audible tone when continuity is achieved.
  2. Place one of each lead at each wire If they are shorted, the meter will beep.
  3. Start moving the harness in various places
  4. When the meter stops beeping, you have found the source of the issue.

After messing around with the front console for a while, it was time to move on to the rear console. I set the meter up and was getting nowhere. When I moved to the back, I took one of the screws out of the trim panel. As soon as I started taking the screw out, the meter stopped beeping. With the panel off, this is what I found. When the panel was installed the harness got smashed, and the screw driven through the wires. A quick wiring repair, and the car was good to go.

Well that does it for another round of Shop Shots. I hope you all have a great week. Also, feel free to share this post. I tried to make it really easy to share. You can use either the buttons on the top, or the buttons under the “You may also like” links.

Failed Vw starter

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Okay, don’t panic, it is actually Thursday. I am still trying to catch up from bring in Houston for a week. I have been putting together a lot of good info about oil and fuel for you guys. Plus some cool round table interviews. Alright, let’s get cracking on the Shop Shots!

Failed Vw starterThe story behind this picture could be a post all by itself. It is the typical “You messed up my car” story, that is just a matter of a problem showing itself at a bad time.

The customer brought his car in for a simple service and an alignment. We did the service and the alignment with no problems. When our alignment guy went to pull the car off the alignment rack, it would not start. The advisor tried to sell the customer a battery. The customer declined, so I offered to jump start the car and pull it around.

When I jumped the car, it still would not start. No crank, no click, nothing. I took a quick look and found that the starter had corrosion on it. I could only see a small section of the starter. We told the customer we needed a little time to find out exactly what was happening. The customer kept asking over and over “So this is just a fluke thing?” I can see from his point of view. The car started fine before the service. Heck it started 4 times of us.

Once I got a better view of the starter I could see just how corroded it was. I tried to wiggle the wire while someone tried to start the car. All that did was make the starter smoke. I finally could see what had happened. It looked like the last battery leaked down on the the starter. That is what caused the wire to be corroded. Hey, at least he broke down at the shop.

Failed VW ClutchNext up in the “this is a total bummer” series, a failed clutch. Well it was not really the clutch that failed, it was the release bearing. The bearing is the part that pushes on the pressure plate when you push the clutch pedal.

If you are not 100% sure what I mean, that is okay. Basically a part broke, and caused the clutch to be 1/2 engaged. This caused some severe hot spoting on the flywheel. If you look you can see a lot of blue spots on the surface of the flywheel. That is where the metal got really hot. A new clutch, flywheel, pressure plate and release bearing and she is all good.

VW oil SludgeI feel like this is a picture that I have to post way too much. The story is about the same. Car comes in with the oil light on. We check it out and find that the pickup tube is clogged. We spend a few hours cleaning the crud from the bottom of the oil pan.

The crud comes from the break down of engine oil. It is either lack of oil changes, running the engine with too little oil, or using the wrong oil. Obviously they did not use Pennzoil Platinum with Pure Plus Technology. 😉 That is what happens when you spend a week learning about engine oil and fuel.

The moral of this story is change your oil. Check the level regularly, and use the right stuff!!! My “sludge box” 1.8t has 128,000 miles on it, and no sign of carbon/sludge build up.

That brings another volume of Shop Shots to a close. I am currently uploading a driving video of the Cabby. I will be doing a post about where the Cabby sits on Friday.

One last thing
I am thinking about doing some more live type events on Google + or You Tube. Is that something you guys would be into? I need a few people to help me test drive 1 event. If you are interested please post it in the comments, and I will get up with you.

Bad VW gas Cap

Happy Wednesday everyone. It is time for Shot Shots again. There is not many updates beyond the pictures today. Things around the shop are absolutely insane busy. That is a good and bad thing. When it gets this type of busy I feel like we miss things. But as a flat rate technician, it makes for a nice pay check. Okay, lets get to the pics!

Weird things VW drivers Do

Sometimes you see something and just thing “What the heck?”. This is one of those times. One of the boys in the shop called me over to show this to me. This customer has a bungee cord wrapped around their drivers seat. Maybe it is for holding the trim on? Maybe it gives them a little extra butt support? Post up your thoughts in the comments. I am out of ideas LOL.

VW electrical ProblemsWe have heard that all VWs have electrical problems or wiring problems. This one was a good one. This Jetta came from one of the rental car companies. I think the original concern was rear lights not working. The tech went round and round with chasing wires, and he even replaced the main electrics module(Body control module). The car was blowing 1 certain fuse in a strange way.

I think he did almost everything right. Where he got hung up was dismissing a key bit of info he had. The interior lights didn’t work. No matter what he did the lights would not work. When he pulled down the front light he found this. When the light was installed (I am not sure if it was from the factory, or a repair) the screw that holds the light was ran into the harness. The symptoms were tricky, but I am glad he found the issue.

The key here is to always pay attention to all the symptoms of a car. I have a post coming soon about this exact thing.

Bad VW gas CapThis might be one of my all time favorite Shop Shot picture of all time. This customer brought their car in for a minor service. On this service we add a fuel treatment. I was working on something else when I hear the tech next to me laughing. I walked over to see what was up, and this is what he found.

I guess the customer lost his gas cap. So until he got a new one, this was the solution, foil and rubber bands. Looking at it while I write this post, I am cracking up! Don’t worry, he bought a new gas cap. 😉

That does it for another Volume of Shop Shots! Remember if you have any car questions, just use this contact me form, post it to Facebook, or you can even call it in!

p0171 system lean

mk1 VR6 Cabby I didn’t realize that it has been over 3 months since the last volume of Shop Shots! That is just insane. Well let me tell you guys about what has been going on around the Humble Mechanic garage lately.

At the shop
We are short handed at work. That can make for a nice pay check, but always makes for more work. Not just more cars, more nick-knack type stuff too. I also feel like VW is in the middle of a strange transition period. We are doing much more maintenance than before. The cars are getting better, but when they break it seems to be in really crazy ways. I will probably save more of my thoughts for another time. It just “feels” different.

At the house
We do a ton of spring planting in the garden. Those of you that have been around a while may remember my wife and I moved about a year and a half ago. We bought a house with a much bigger garage and 3.6 acres. That means plenty of yard work and tons of planting. We planted about 15 trees this spring. Along with the trees we planted lots of support plants too. Let’s just say we are on track to build a food oasis.

Project “Luv A Dub”
A few weeks ago I had my first real break down in the Cabby. It turned out the main engine connector came loose and shut the car down. I also feel like the torque of the engine is a little much for the engine mounts. I ordered a 4th mount from my boys at Euro-wise. Once that comes in I will start driving it a little more.

Okay, enough yapping, let’s get to the Shop Shots!

Poor exhaust repairI always love a great DIY repair. There are times when you can hodgepodge parts together to fix a problem. I am a big fan of that. I did plenty of that type of thing on the Cabby. This is the exact opposite of a good DIY. This is a nightmare.

You are looking at about 1 foot of exhaust on a Jetta. In this one foot section, you can see:

  • 4 clamps
  • 2 attempts at hangers
  • a bolt through a hanger that shouldn’t be there
  • some type of plastic “sealing” the exhaust

As you can see this is not a factory repair. If this car was in for state inspection, it would fail!

Turbo Carbon build up

If you drive a 2.0t VW, you may have heard of this issue. Carbon building up on the back of the intake valves. This is actually an issue on almost all gas engines with direct injection. The issue usually shows itself as a check engine light, or as misfires when the engine is cold.

There are a few theories floating around about what is causing this. One that makes the most sense is from the folks at B.G.(they make oil and fuel treatments). They say it is due to a small amount of fuel left unburnt when the engine is shut off. This can settle on the intake valves when they are open. That varnish catches small deposits of oil as it comes through the intake runner.

That is probably the most sound theory I have heard. We have tried a few different methods to clean the valves. Sadly the best way is to clean it by hand. Some shops use a modified walnut blaster. Other shops soak and scrape each valve by hand. Either way, it is a messy and expensive job. The next time I have the chance, I will snap a “post cleaning” picture for you guys.

VW transmission problemsThis is one of those things you see happen to a car and think “how in the world did that happen?” This is a small hole in a transmission. You would not see this hole with the transmission installed in the car. Something on the inside of the transmission broke. That break caused inside parts of the transmission to become outside parts.

I don’t think the tech working on it found the exact failure. Some parts have what is called a “core charge”. That means we have to send the part replace back to VW. Often times we do not disassemble core parts. VW can be strict about what they will and will not take back.

That wraps up another volume of Shop Shots. I know that it has been on a big time hiatus, and for that I am sorry. When the blog was young, I committed to do a blog post 5 days a week. I don’t think that I can keep that level of posting up. But I have recommitted to putting content out for you guys. If you have any topics you want us to talk about, please use the contact me form and let me know!