Shop Shots Volume 58 Insider Pictures of Automotive Service

Nail in tire

Hi everybody! You read the title right, Shop Shots are BACK! We are on volume 58 of the pictures that give you a behind the scenes look at automotive service. For those of you that are new to the community, all of these pictures are taken with my Iphone 4s(for now 😉 ) One quick thing before we get into the pictures. I am working on getting the email alerts system worked out. If you have subscribed to updates, you should be in the new system. If you have any problems please let me know. You can contact me, or email me Charles(AT)humblemechanic(dot)com. I hope to have it totally worked out in the next few days. Alright, it is picture time.

Nail in tireThis type of thing really stinks. A customer came in for a tire that was loosing air. The nail entered the tire pretty close to the edge. Based on the place the nail entered the tire, it looked repairable. When I took the tire off the wheel, I didn’t expect it to be a giant nail. As you can see, the nail dug into the inner part of the tire. This damage can compromise the sidewall of the tire. Any time something like this happens, the tire needs to be replaced. Luck for this customer, she bought the wheel and tire coverage. I should do a post about the “extras” that dealers try and sell you. Some are junk, but the wheel and tire coverage is worth the money.

Vehicle tire vibration We are continuing the the tire theme. I didn’t really plan that, it just happened 😉 This customer brought her car in for a basic service. She also mentioned that she thought her car had a vibration on the highway. As part of the service she was getting we balanced the tires, and do a ton of visual inspections. The tech that was working on her car, found that the left rear wheel was packed with mud and rocks. This probably added a pound of weight putting the wheel assembly out of balance. When I told her, and showed her this exact picture she just laughed. She lives on a gravel road so this type of thing happened to her all the time. The tech cleaned the junk from the inside of the wheel and she was good to go!

Failed Diesel TDI fuel pumpThere is so much talk on the internets about VW diesels. Everything from the high pressure fuel pumps that “always” fail on the new TDIs, to failing cam shafts on the older Pump Duse engines. I wrote a post a long time ago talking about the Volkswagen TDIs. My opinion is basicly the same as it was back then.

What you see in the picture is the fuel pump that lives inside the fuel tank. It is coated in black goo. That goo is the result of failing seals in the fuel injectors. The bad part about this repair is it can be expensive. The issue of failing seals gets worse because of the high compression of the TDI. That causes the injectors to walk around in their holes. The “walking” causes the holes to no longer be round. So what is the repair? A new cylinder head to the tune of $5000 or so. Never a fun thing to tell a customer.

Well friends, that wraps up this weeks Shop Shots! I know it has been a while be it really feels great to be back in action. Remember if you have any topics you want to talk about just post them up in the comments of a post. I always like to know what you guys want to know about. Hopefully the email thing is worked out and you all can get the updates again.

9 replies
  1. Brett Donadeo
    Brett Donadeo says:

    I definitely want to see that post about extras the dealer tries to sell. I can see why the wheel and tire warranty could be worthwhile with modern tires that have so many sensors in them.

    • Charles
      Charles says:

      Good deal man! If you ever need to know just how awesome that wheel and tire insurance is, just ask Neil. He bought it on his Beetle. I am not even sure how many repairs he has had. Fancy wheels usually means expensive tires.

      I will chat with our sales manager and see just what we offer, and talk about whether it’s worth it.

  2. Pat ~ The Muscle Car Guy
    Pat ~ The Muscle Car Guy says:

    I can see if you drive where there are a lot of road hazards, that a tire replacement plan would be a good idea. Here in MN with the roads we have, I have seen people with short sidewall tires hit a pot hole and take out a rim.

  3. Jer Harwood
    Jer Harwood says:

    Totally worth the insurance with low profile tires. You can bend a wheel without knowing. I had the not so cheap factory BBS wheels on my 2005 GLI get replaced 4 times with the insurance and two tires. The insurance was a fraction of what the cost was to replace everything.

    On tires, I just rotated mine last weekend to discover the belt was exposed on the inside of the tread – no insurance here currently (used car). I dropped my other wheels off at the tire shop who ordered new tires Monday. This morning I ran over a nasty screw just in time to find the tires came in and we’re being installed. Typing this as I sit waiting for the wheel change. 🙂

  4. Ameila
    Ameila says:

    Tire replacement is the best. Driving on good tires not only means safety for us but for others on the road. Under inflated tires are a road hazards. Knowing exactly what tire pressure you have on any vehicle at any one time is very important. A friend recommended that i get a pressure monitoring system from to have instant knowledge of exactly the tire pressure of each of my tires is.


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