Tag Archive for: check engine light

On Tuesday 11/22, I wrote a post with a story about me getting my butt kicked by a Jetta. I hope that it didn’t bum everyone out.  I will be honest, that really put me in a bad mood that night.  I was going to go out with some friends after work.  I decided to pass on the party, I didn’t think that I would be that much fun to be around.

After stressing out about that Jetta for 2 full days, I went in to work to “face my music”.  I rolled in early to get a jump on what I figured would be a nightmare. When I got to work the first thing that I did was try and start the Jetta.

Before I tell you guys what happened to the Jetta, I need to make sure everyone understands the way a mechanic’s mind works. After a few years of working on the same cars, a mechanics mind adapts to certain things.  You stop questioning WHY the car company does the things they do! Its basically a survival tool.  If I spent time trying to figure out WHY, I would have lost my mind years ago. I try to focus on HOW things work, not WHY they work the way they do.

Ok, so I get to work, I get in and try and start the Jetta. What happens, THE CAR STARTS?!?!?!?! It started right up like nothing was ever wrong. Even as I write this, I have no idea what happened.  I have been trying to build a story where this could happen. I got nothing. I just have to remember not to figure out why!

I test drove the car, ran the test that would not pass, and now the car is good.  Its crazy how the car just sat for 2 days, and “fixed it self’!

Do things like this happen in other jobs, or is this an auto industry thing?


I started this site to help folks with their cars, and to give everyone on inside look at dealer life. I try really hard not to make this a place for me to just bitch about my job. Today however, will be a different story.

The day started out pretty normal. I did a waiting oil change(that is were the customer waits, instead of dropping off their car), and replaced a bulb in the same car. I knew that I had a timing belt to replace when I was done. To be honest, that is the start of a good day!

Well, I worked on the timing belt for a few hours. I usually can’t finish one job without getting pulled off for something else. That is actually no problem for me. I enjoy being the go to guy.  One of those interruption, was the machine shop telling me that a cylinder head I set to be repair, was unrepairable. I will write a post about that story in a few days. With the timing belt wrapped up, time to move on to the next job.

I had ordered a part for a 2008 Rabbit on Saturday. It was a carrier for the passenger side door handle. This is where I think the day turned bad. It took me about 2 hours of messing with the carrier to get it fixed. I had to remove the outside of the door about 7 times. This is on top of the 3 times that I took it apart on Saturday. I skipped lunch to get the job done, but finally finished it.

I looked at a 2000 Passat for the sales department. We do what is called a “Used Car Inspection”. Its a check out of a car before it hits the lot. That car didn’t make the grade.

Next up would be the car that RUINED the day. I had been working on a 2001 Jetta with a really strange fault for the cam position sensor. I narrowed it down to being the adjuster for the cam shaft. In order to replace this part, both cam shafts need to be removed. I have replaced lots of these adjusters with no problem. I went to town on replacing the adjuster. Its not a hard job, just takes some time, and carefully marking the parts before removing them.

The replacement went pretty smooth. The trouble started when I when to start the car. It cracked, but would not start. The car had a fast crack. Usually a fast crank is a sign of low/no compression.  That means the engine won’t start. I took everything back apart to recheck my work. Everything was fine. I checked, and  checked, and checked and checked my work. Everything seemed to be inline.

I spent about 3 hours going back and forth with the work I did. I stayed about 2 hours late racking my brain, with no conclusion. I still don’t really know what the heck is wrong with the Jetta.  I will be heading in on my day off to figure it out.

Well, basically what I think is that something internal happened to the engine.  I am not sure what, but something went wrong.. I will update you guys when I figure out what the heck is going on.  I am pretty pissed about what ever I did to this car.  I just hope it doesn’t cost the dealer too much.. GRRRRR!

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