Shop Shots Volume 20 Insider Pictures of Automotive Service

Published on June 20, 2012 under Humble Mechanic

Time to get over “hump day” with some Shop Shots. All right, it’s time to get rollin~GTI button on a VW GTI


Check out the button on the far right. It says “GTI”. As you can imagine, that is not a normal button on a GTI. In this case, that “GTI” button was a push button start. Kinda cool right? I didn’t have a chance yo talk to the customer and see how he wired it up. It might have been a kit or something, I am not really sure. The part that I didn’t like was, you still had to put the key in the ignition. To me, it seems silly to have the push buttons start work that way. But hey, it is his car. I really do dig the button.

Dead Snake in a VW belly Pan Shop Shots


I was doing a service on a TDI this week. I started to take the belly pan off and a little tail peaking out. I could tell that whatever it was, was dead. Around the shop we were making bets on what it was. I am not an expert in creatures, so my guess was a gecko. When I took the pan all the way off, I found this little guy. Yep, that is dead snake. It looks like he was about a foot and a half when he was alive. That is the very first snake I have found in a car. As long as I don’t find any live snakes, I am good to go. 🙂

Damaged Engine Mount Shop Shots


Check out that picture framing. 😉 Lets start at the top left and more clockwise. The top left picture is a bolt hole in an engine mount. If you look carefully, you can see that all the top treads are missing. Compare that to the picture on the right. That is what a proper bolt hole looks like. Now check out the bottom picture. That is the bolt that came out. Here you can see some of the threads. When the mechanic removed the bolt some of the threads came with it. He didn’t do anything wrong. The threads were fatigued and failed. The bad part is, it cost the customer another $180, to buy a new mount.

I felt bad for the customer until I heard what she said about this. She told the service advisor that we were incompetent, and that other shops would have known this would happen. Well, here is the truth, NO other shops would not have found that before it happened. A bad shop would have rigged it up and never told her. We did the right thing, and I will stand behind that 100%.

CLick and Clack from Car Talk Shop Shots


When I heard the news that Click and Clack were not doing new shows I was pretty bummed. I love listening to these guys. The show is obviously less about car advise, and more about entertainment, but it had me listening for years and years. In 2008 my wife and I took a vacation to Boston. As luck would have it, Click and Clack were Emceeing a street fest in Harvard Square. We went to the festival and got a great spot. After the fest, I was able to sneak around the stage and chat with them for a minute. I am not really one to geek out over meeting people, but I was pretty dang excited.

Well, that wraps up the 20th edition of Shop Shots. I hope it helps everyone get through the mid-week blues. I know it does for me. Don’t forget to sign up for email updates. Just fill out the little box on the right side of the page. EASY! Oh, don’t worry about spam or any junk like that. I don’t do that crap.

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  1. Brandon

    Some people! She was probobly one of the people that think a certain way from another post of yours, about not trusting the mechanic, it happened on his watch so it must be his fault kinda thing. Also, what would you say the weirdest thing you’ve found in a car you were serviceing?

    1. Charles

      Yeah, she was 100% on guard the whole time. There is more to the story. I will post the rest when I get all my facts right.

      As far as weirdest, that is tough. Off the top of my head, that snake is up there.

  2. Joseph Frederick

    I’ve encountered one live snake and live mice before. Didn’t like either occasion. lol As far as that bolt goes, my guess is that another “incompetent” shop over tightened the bolt causing the threads to fatigue and fail. People that don’t work on cars have no idea what mechanics have to do to fix their cars…

  3. Joseph Frederick

    I forgot the part about “A bad shop would have rigged it up and never told her”. That is so true! And people are too stupid to realize that, which I can’t figure that out!
    A co-worker was going to change the plugs and wires on his brother-in-laws Chevy Tk. (returning a favor to him). I don’t know what happened between the two however the brother-in-law had a garage do it. There are suppose to be metal heat shields on the boots (plug end). This garage didn’t pull the shields from the old wire set and install them on the new wires. I just amazes me how some garages out there don’t do the job right and stay in business….

    1. Charles

      The bad part is, most people will think they are doing the job right. The bad shops get a good rap because they are cheaper, and cover stuff up. Good shops are honest and up front with customers. It might not be something they want to hear, but it is the TRUTH!

  4. Garrett craven

    I actually just went thru the whole motor mount deal lol.very similar story…my old mechanic did a clutch job for me a few months back an doing my oil change the other day I put my hand on my trans and lifted my whole motor/trans :/ yikes. Come to find out he replaced the wrong bolt and stripped the bolt and mount (making it work). because of that I had to replace my trans mount AND front mount from the beating it took….130 bucks compared to a 50 cent bolt.

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