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How To Replace or Reseal Brake Vacuum Pump

Leaking valve covers, and valve cover gaskets are common. In this video I will show you step by step how to replace a valve cover gasket, or a valve cover. We will also cover the valve cover breather, or PCV valve built into this valve cover. Valve cover failure is common on the VW BPY engine. Thanks to FCP Euro for sponsoring this video and the MK5 Project.

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It is finally here! The audio only version of the Humble Mechanic Podcast. So many of you wanted to listen on the go, in the car, working out, and now you can. While I wait for iTunes, Google approval you can listen to the show here on the blog. Once those approvals come, you will be able to subscribe and download the audio podcasts from your favorite place. 

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Trouble viewing? Watch “How To Replace or Reseal Brake Vacuum Pump” on YouTube.

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Volkswagen Oil Leak

Hey everyone, normally I don’t repost a post. Last week something got messed up with all of my websites. It was something with a malware or virus that affected the back end of all my blogs. It is all worked out and everything is working properly. Host gator got everything worked out, except Volume 56 of Shop Shots. I am really impressed by Host gator. They spent all day fixing all of my sites. If you ever need hosting, I can’t recommend them enough. There is a link at the right of the site, use it, don’t use it, it doesn’t really matter to me. But if you need hosting, they are the folks to use. Alright, lets get these pictures rolling.

Volkswagen Tire IssueWe start off with this tire blowout. This poor customer was driving on the highway, and had her tire fail. Many times when you hear folks talk about having a blown tire, it is not to this extreme. The reason for her issue was due to having old tires. The tires on her car had good tread. The problem was, the tire was dry rotting. When you look at your tires, or have them looked at, be sure the entire condition of the tire is examined. If you look at only the tread depth, you could be missing a safety issueVolkswagen Oil LeakIt doesn’t matter how many certifications that a mechanic has. We do more oil changes than just about any other repair or service. That means we never mess up oil changes right? WRONG! This is a drain plug for an oil pan. It is the primary thing that keeps the oil in the car.

The tech that performed this oil change, made a small mistake. He installed 2 crush washers. Basically he put 2 gaskets on. Despite what you think, 2 gaskets are not better than one. The crush washer takes up any space between the engine oil and and the oil drain plug. This also means that the drain plug is not properly torqued. Luckily it there were no issues. But that did not stop me from harassing the guy that did it.

Customer beer holder Growler boxOkay, this may in fact be the coolest thing on the planet. If you have followed the blog, or know me at all, you know that I LOVE craft beer. Seriously, it is crazy. I also have an amazing wife that works in the beer industry(it’s a tough life I know). Well she hooked up this super awesome beer holder from Growler-Box.com. Mike was able to take the Humble Mechanic logo and make a custom 6pack beer holder. If you like beer, swing by his site and check it out. He also has a Growler-Box Facebook page go ahead and give him a like.

I have also talked Mike into making me another one just like this. When I have the other growler box(I am not giving this one up 😉 ) Mike and I are going to do a fun give away. I will do a post about it, so stay tuned.

That pretty much wraps up Shop Shots. Sorry for the site issues last week. I am really glad things have been repaired. Thanks for hanging in there everyone. Also, be sure to stay tuned for that Growler-Box give away.

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Shop Shots Automotive serivce pictures

This is a swollen seal on a coolant flange, caused by an oil leak

We have talked before about repairs you can wait on. Things that are not safety items or are not vital systems are the most common. There are a few repairs that seem like they can wait. But may have consistencies to waiting. Let’s take an oil leak for example.

Let me set the scene for you. A customer brings their car in for a service. During that service the tech finds the car has an oil leak coming from the valve cover. The customer did not see any oil leaking onto the ground. The customer declines the repair. A month later, the customer has their car towed in because it is over heating. On further inspection the car has leaked all the coolant out. Now the car has an issue with the coolant leak.

So what in the world happened? Well, the oil leaking from the valve cover leaked on to the plastic coolant flange. The oil causes the rubber gasket to swell. That makes for a heck of a coolant leak. Now the car has a coolant flange that needs to be replaced, on top of that oil leak.

Times like this is when having a great service advisor and mechanic team are vital. They can fully evaluate the leak. Mechanics can not predict the future. What we can do is tell what might happen if a repair is not made. Valve cover gaskets leaking on the coolant flanges is a really common example.

If you are not seeing oil leaking on the ground, or smelling oil burning doesn’t mean oil leaks are not serious. That is one of those repairs that can cost a lot more if put off too long.