Shop Shots Volume 78 Insider Pictures of Automotive Service

Funny Car Signs

Happy Wednesday everyone. I hope that y’all are having a great week so far. Yesterday was the first day of fall. That means cooler temps, leaves changing, and prepping cars for winter. Before we get rolling with this weeks behind the scenes pictures, I have a few updates.

Video Podcast
As many of you know, I started a “daily” video podcast. I say “daily” because I will have a show coming out daily around late next week. I learned that the Internet at my house is painfully slow. It takes forever to upload videos. I am still recording new content, it is just slow coming out.

Show with Rusty from BRG
In addition to my podcast, I also started shooting a show with my buddy Rusty from Bench Racing Garage. We talk about many things in the auto world. It usually involves 2 buddies, having a few beers, and chatting about cars. I have a blast doing it, and I think that you will enjoy watching.

Okay, that should be all the announcements I have. Let the Shop Shots roll!

Damaged VW Drain PlugFirst up is something that makes me want to smack a technician. This is a drain plug that I took out of a VW last week. This drain plug was tightened so tight, the crush washer is folded over the “nut” part. I would guess that this is probably twice as tight as it needs to be.

I see this far more often than I care for. Not only does this make it a pain to get the crush washer off, it can put unneeded stress on the oil pan. If you have been around VWs, you know that many older pans were aluminum. Over torquing this much can damage the threads of the pan. This can result in the need for oil pan repair, or even replacement. So if you are a tech, and you are reading this STOP THAT CRAP!

Damaged VW Cam ShaftI wish that I could say, I wont rant about this picture. But, I have to rant. You are looking at a picture of a broken timing chain, cam shaft, and cam adjuster on a 2.0 Jetta. I have posted pictures before of cam followers wearing out, but this one takes the cake. This is what catastrophic engine damage looks like.

I am not really mad at the failure. Cam wear, and follower wear are an issue with the BPY engines. That is why VW did a warranty extension on many of them. I am really mad at what the customer said.

The customer had the car towed in. He said that the car drove fine, then one morning it would not start. He told us there was no noise, and no check engine light on before it would not start. Now, I am not one to say something is impossible. I have seen enough crazy things in my days working on cars. But there is no way that this car didn’t have a check engine light, or make any strange noises before catastrophic failure. The follower was the most worn I have ever seen. The check engine light must have been on for many miles before this happened. In the end the customer traded the car, so it didn’t really matter. It’s just frustrating getting bad info from a customer. Or even worse when they lie to you.

Funny Car SignsSo this is not really a “Shot Shot”, but I think it’s worth posting. My wife and I were leaving a store, and she pointed this out to me. WOW! I have seen people put “lemon” stickers on their cars, but this takes it to a whole new level. I asked the lady if that really happened. She told me that is flew off while on the highway. That is pretty scary.

Now, I know what you are thinking. This thing does not look like a top quality vehicle. I would agree. It also looks like that tire is almost flat. In addition to that, it is missing a valve stem cap, and has weights on opposite sides. I just keep looking at this picture with amazement. Does anyone have a funny caption? I would love to read some.

Well that wraps up this weeks Shop Shots. Thank you all for stopping by and seeing these pictures. Check back later today, I will be posting the video with Rusty. It is already live on the Humble Mechanic YouTube Channel.

4 replies
  1. Peter
    Peter says:

    What an animal and by the looks of the nut it seems the damage was done by hand. Gorillas should not be allowed in the service bay. I wish computers would date and time stamp fault codes so you could go back to the customer. There should of been all kinds of bells and whistles going off when that 2.0L was coming apart let alone the mechanical sounds of death. I honestly believe some people when they say they didn’t hear anything, they live so far out in left field there’s not a chance their paying attention to anything important. Good stuff, enjoy the site.

  2. guy who had a bpy
    guy who had a bpy says:

    As far as the cam follower on the BPY goes, when it failed in my Passat there was no check engine light, fuel cutout, just a new noise from the car for on the way to work… When I got home I pulled the HPFP off for a look and sure enough the follower was almost completely disintegrated.. Not a single mark on the cam… $500 in parts and I was on the road again (well past warranty extension…)

    This was all maybe 15000km after dealer had inspected the cam follower and found no signs of wear.. So it can fail and drive fine for a while (about 100km in my case, who knows how much longer)


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.