Shop Shots Volume 83 Insider Pictures of Automotive Service

Hey everyone. A ton of you have been asking me to bring back an old series from the blog, Shop Shots. For those of you that are new, Shop Shots was started VERY early in the blog. I would post pictures of some weird things in the shop, and write a little about each one. I was a really fun way for the reader to get an inside look at what I do. When I moved to a video platform, that dropped off. Since it is Friday, I thought it would be fun to bring it back!

TDI Fuel System FailureTDI Fuel System Failure
First up we have another exploded TDI HPFP. This is on a car with just over 100,000 miles. The customer said they use high quality fuel, and there was no trace of gas in the tank. There are a lot of times that you can blame a failure on poor maintenance habits. That is not the case here. This customer is a perfect customer. They have done every service at the dealer. They even did their oil changes every 5k instead of every 10k.

The “junk” you are seeing is metal in diesel fuel. Part of the HPFP comes apart and shoots metal shrapnel through the entire fuel system. The repair is not an easy one. All parts of the fuel system get replaced, or cleaned. We clean the tank and the lines from the tank to the engine. Any other part that has fuel in it gets replaced. The total bill if a customer has to pay is about $7000. At this point we are waiting to see if VW will be offering the customer any help

Air Filter Failure

Air Filter Failure
This is not technically a “Shop Shot” I guess. It was something that caught my eye on my way back from lunch. This folks is an engine air filter. It looks really dang dirty. I am not sure why anyone would feel the need to remove their engine air filter at a stop light. Then just leave it on the ground. There was no evidence of an accident. There was no broken down car either.

So what do you think happened? Did a car start running poorly, and the driver remove the filter for better performance? Did someone leave the old filter under the hood and it just fell out? Post in the comments YOUR best guess.

Bent Wheels

Bent Wheels
This is a very common issue we find at the dealer. We seem to have a customer come in with a bent wheel daily. The odd thing is, most folks do not complain about a vibration. Some customer mention it, but most do not. We generally find the issue while balancing the tires. It is also strange to me that people do not remember hitting anything. Well they say they don’t remember. I have a slightly bent wheel on my Passat. I clearly remember hitting a huge pothole that caused the damage. This wheel was bent too much to even repair.

Failing Exhaust

Failing Exhaust and Bad Repair
We don’t see this type of “work” that much these days. This is a welding repair on a MKIV Jetta. The flex section of the catalytic converter came apart. The customer chose to have an exhaust shop fix the issue. I would normally say that is a good move. But in this case, it clearly was not. In addition to doing a bad job repairing the pipe, the repair caused more issues. The heat shield and O2 sensor fell on to the exhaust pipe. This cause the wires of the O2 to melt to each other. We found it due to a MIL with a lot of fault codes. The issue was causing a fuse to blow.

We are still waiting to see if there is more damage. Sadly I think there may be damage to the ECM due to this issue.

Well that wraps up an other volume of Shop Shots. As always, if you have any questions or comments, post them below. You can also this contact me form, or email me Charles(at)humblemechanic(dot)com

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3 replies
  1. Matt
    Matt says:

    I only hope VWoA continues to covers these HPFP failures. With the closing of the NHTSA investigation I believe the day will come when they cease to help owners and they will be stuck with a $7000 repair bill for doing nothing more then putting USA diesel into their tanks.

    I am curious if the owner ran any lubricity additive in the fuel?


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