Shop Shots Volume 48 Insider Pictures of Automotive Service
It is Wednesday, so you all know what that means, Shop Shots! We get back in to the shop this week for some pictures that come straight from a VW service department. Generally all of the pictures you see come straight from my Iphone. This week I have an extra picture that came from a fellow VW tech. Let’s get to it.
The famous duct tape repair. This is a breather hose on a 4 cylinder Beetle. I don’t recall what the car came in for, but it was something like a headlight bulb. When I popped the hood this little gem cough my eye. The hose had split. That hose splitting is pretty common. The oil vapors that run through the hose can deteriorate the hose from the inside out. The customer did not want to fix the hose. I am sure that tape will hold for a little while. They will have to replace it come state inspection time.
The car came in today with a concern about air conditioning. The customer said that the A/C did not work. One of the other guys on my team was working on it. When he checked the refrigerant level, he found it empty.
One way for a mechanic to find a leak in an A/C system is to slightly charge the system. Sometimes you can hear the refrigerant leaking. If that doesn’t work, the system has a UV dye in it. We use a UV light to locate the leak. The dye glows bright bright yellow or green.
When the tech charged up the system, it started leaking instantly. After that, the leak was easy to find. Finding an A/C line that is split is not very common. It does happen from time to time. Usually after a car has been in an accident. This one was a different. This hose was split clean. Like it was cut. The other strange thing is the car was missing the belly pan.
We didn’t find out exactly what happened yet. It is fun to make up stories. My thought was an angry ex-boyfriend did it. I hope that is not the case. I will update this story in the comments when I find out the truth.
This is the picture I got from a fellow VW tech. I will tell the story as best as I can. A tech was cleaning off the engine bay of this Touareg. He was dumping brake cleaner on to the engine. Now cleaning off an engine with brake cleaner is not an uncommon thing. I do it all the time. This tech was dumping it from a coolant bottle. THAT is a bad idea.
The tech that took this picture said he warned him about using that much cleaner. A few minutes later the Touareg was on fire. All mechanics make mistakes, but this one is big time!
Well that does it for another volume of Shop Shots. I am still looking for other folks in the industry to feature in my interview series. If you run or work in a shop, parts store, have a cool automotive related product, sell tools, or even a performance shop, just use the Contact Me form. I have a Behind the Wrench coming up in the next week that you all are going to love. That is all I will say for now 😉
Is it a bad idea because enough gets on the engine to hit enough hot spots to start a fire?
It creates an excess of highly flammable vapors. Even the small spark of a relay can ignite a fire.
Ah, I hadn’t thought of that, but it makes sense. And you would be able to smell it too.
Expensive mistake, and I bet he had quite the sinking feeling when he realized it.
Will the dealership be responsible for paying for the damage, or replacing the Toureg?
Not sure how this dealer will handle it.
If it were my dealer the tech would have to pay $1000 deductible. Then the dealers insurance would pay the rest.
Either way, it’s a very expensive mistake. Especially when the car belongs to someone else.
that touareg…. damn that’s a bad day of work
So are you telling me if I mix coolant and brake cleaner I can start a cool fire? Also that place would be buying me a new car for sure, not just fixing the one they messed up, a whole new car 🙂
@Kristin I would not chance it. 😉