Shop Shots Volume 62 Insider Pictures of Automotive Service

Tire damage due to bad alignment

Happy Wednesday everyone. I hope that you are all rocking it this week. As for me, I am off work the rest of the week. I will be working around the house and yard. I will be doing a little work on the Cabby, but I fell short of having her ready for the Black Forest Show. I have a few quick things to tell you guys, then we will get into this week’s pictures.

Black Forest 3rd Annual Oktoberfest
This event is Saturday! The folks at BFI are hosting their 3rd Oktoberfest. This another local car show for me. The event will be a car show, plus will have food and local NC beer. As many of you know I am a huge craft beer fan. If you can make it, do it. Check out their event page here. If you are coming, let me know. I would like to say hi. I might even have something cool for you. I will know more about that tomorrow. 😉

Humble Mechanic Podcast
I started an Automotive Podcast. I have a few show recorded. I am still tinkering with the format I want to use. Look for more episodes soon. I am thinking once or twice a week.

Humble Mechanic Gear
I have a few things in the works 😉 I will leave it at that. It will be cool.

Volkswagen electrical ProblemsVolkswagen seems to be known for it’s electrical problems. I am not sure that they are any worse than other cars nowadays. There are 2 things that will cause the weirdest electrical issues, low battery voltage, and loose ground connections. For those of you that say, “I don’t know anything about cars” don’t worry. You know more than you think. Think for a moment about your TV remote control. How do you know the batteries need to be replaced? It stops working right? Or you have to really mash the buttons. Or only the volume up works.

Modern cars have more electronic than we realize. Every module talks to other modules. Basic relays are now control modules. Some modules only function as a slave module to another module. There are even modules that run on something called virtual power. Confused yet? Good, now you can accept the fact that cars need good voltage to function.

This mess of a connection at the vehicle battery was causing low charging voltage. This is an older Jetta, so the symptoms were minor. A baking soda/water mixture and a toothbrush can clean most of the corrosion. The terminal end may need to be redone.

Overheated Volkswagen Engine DamageDid you know that when you first turn your ignition on your car does a self-test of all the instrument panel lights? For about 3 seconds your instrument panel looks like a Christmas tree. Why is this important? You need to know what the warning lights in your car look like. Why is that important? So you do not do more damage to your car when something fails.

This customer totally ignored the flashing light, the warning “STOP COOLANT” that pops up, and the temperature gauge that was pegged to hot. They continued to drive until the car stopped running. You are looking at the inside of the thermostat housing. In good condition, this would be the same color of black the outside is. Instead, you are seeing the burnt up coolant residue. Driving the car so long while it was overheating turned a $1200 timing belt/ thermostat job into a $3000+ cylinder head or more. The V6 Passat has been sitting at the dealer for about 2 months now. Just waiting for the customer to figure out what they want to do.

Tire damage due to bad alignmentI talk about getting your car serviced a fair amount. I also have voiced my opinion of the 10,000 miles service interval. THIS is why I don’t like that higher interval. Not only is this tire completely useless as far as traction, it’s DANGEROUS! When you read or hear me talk about “cords and or threads” showing, this tire is what you should think of.

This tire is worn this way due to vehicle alignment. Someone had aligned the car about 20,000 miles ago. When they did that, one of the nuts on the adjustment point was left loose. This caused the vehicle to be out of alignment. How the customer didn’t notice the steering wheel being 45 degrees off, is lost on me. If this customer would have brought there car in for a proper service at 5,000 miles from the alignment, we may have caught the issue.

We need to talk more about vehicle alignments, but I think that is better left to audio or video. Reading about alignments is confusing.

Well folks, that wraps up this weeks Shop Shots. We had some good ones this week. Don’t forget to let me know if you are going the the Black Forest show. It will be a good time. I will be posting pictures next week. Also, I will be live tweeting and instagramming from the show. One more thing. I want to throw a huge shout out to my buddies Haw River Farmhouse Ales. Swing by and check out their new website. The poke around in the “store”. You might find someone that looks kinda familiar. 😉 Wait until the 3rd picture in that link.

4 replies
  1. Jer Harwood
    Jer Harwood says:

    It constantly amazes me to see how bad tires get neglected. Even more is when I notice someone’s tires in such bad shape and kindly make them aware only to get a response that’s more of a, “oh. Is that bad?” or “it will be fine. I’ve been driving on it like that for months.” The lack of responsibility and understanding of how serious the implications of neglect is simply astounding.

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