Posts

Leaking VW water pump

Hi everybody! Just an FYI, every time I say “Hi everybody” I say it like Dr Nick from The Simpsons. Okay, back to Shop Shots! This week we have a few different automotive service pictures. These pictures come from a VW service department. It is a great way to get a behind the scenes look at what automotive technicians see.

Leaking VW water pumpFirst up we have a leaking VW water pump. This picture shows the benefit of having pink coolant. This water pump had been leaking for some time. It must have been a slow leak. As the coolant leaked out, it would dry and form a crust.

The customer had noticed that her coolant level was low. She never found a leak. I noticed a little trail on the very bottom of the engine. I didn’t really find this mess until I pulled all the engine covers off. I have seen tons of VW coolant leaks my day. This is one of the most interesting.

Broken VW Airbag connector under seatThis is another somewhat common issue. A broken connector under a Jetta seat. This car came in with the airbag light on. The code that was stored was for the “seat position switch”. That’s right, there is a sensor that monitors what position(forward/ backward) the seat is.

These connectors under the seat are probably the most damaged connectors that I find. Things roll under the seat. Then you move the seat and CRUNCH!

Water in a VW fuel tankWe get a lot of cars that come in from other shops. Usually they get towed in with some crazy statement from the other shop. Something like “The customer took the car through a car wash, now there is water in the tank”. 99% of the time, they are not even close to being right.

This time however they were spot on. There was a bunch of water in the gas on the EOS. You can see the water and the gas separate in the container. Now I am not sure if the water actually got in there from the car wash. I didn’t get the whole story from the customer. It will be interesting to hear the story. I will update everyone when I find out.

Well another week for Shop Shots in the books. For those of you that are heading to Helen,GA this weekend for the Southern Worthersee car show please let me know. I would love to meet up with you. I will be there most of the day Saturday. If you can’t make it, be sure to like the Facebook page and or the Instagram page. I will be posting pictures from the show all day. Looking forward to meeting up with you guys

Not Clean VW

Hey everyone, we are back in action with another volume of Shop Shots. This week’s pictures are a little late, thanks to the internet being down at work. But never fear, we are still rolling along. Alright, enough rambling, let’s get to those pictures.

Not Clean VWThe first picture today comes from a fellow VW tech named Matthew in WI. The tech working next to him had to pull the seat up for a repair. This is what he found. It looks like enough hair to make a little critter.

This is a shot of under the drivers seat. You can see the shifter at the top right of the picture. That may also be a nickle at the bottom left. I have seen lots of hair and gross stuff under customer’s seats, but this may be the worst.Thanks for sending this in Matthew.

Volkswagen Transmission FailureI talk a fair about VW transmission issues, and valve body failures. I figured it was time to actually show you guys what a VW valve body looks like. The valve body is what controls the fluid in the transmission. It uses solenoids to hold or release fluid pressure.

I replaced this one for an extremely hard shift from 2nd gear to 3rd gear. The job is pretty easy. The only part I don’t care for is being covered in transmission fluid. The up side is, all the tools I use on the job are really clean when I am done. Most automatic transmission fluid as great detergent packages in it. It is one of the best things for cleaning tools.

VW Flywheel failure

Staying with the VW transmission theme, we move to a manual transmission. This is a close up of a dual mass flywheel. The customer had their car towed in because it would not start. The car had severe damage to the clutch and release bearing. In addition to that, the flywheel shifted. Normally you can see the bolts through the 6 bolt holes. As you can see, there is very little bolt head showing.

I have seen that before, but this was the worst I have dealt with. I was not able to shift the flywheel to gain access to the bolts. I had to take some extra measures and cut the flywheel off. It was not pleasant, but we got it done.

That wraps it up for Shop Shots this week. Don’t forget, if you have any VW or general car questions, use the Contact me form and ask away. I will do my best to help you out. Also, if you have a question odds are others do too. So ask away!

Strange VW

Hi folks, welcome back to another volume of Shop Shots. If you are joining us for the first time today, let me tell you a little bit about what Shop Shots. Over the years I have seen some crazy things at the dealership. Everything from severe failures of DIY, water leaks that have totaled Volkswagens, and so many other strange things. This is a way for me to share those things with you. And let’s face it, me tell you about them is one thing, seeing them is another. So let’s get in to the shots.

Volkswagen Wiring problems This is a shot is the trunk of a VW Phaeton. The car has a million and one features, that means a bunch of wiring. VW really pulled out all the design stops on this car(they really should have left some in 😉 ) The trunk wiring harness is designed so you never see any wires. Unfortunately, the contraption they use fails from time to time. The repair is replacing the harness in the trunk lid. It is not a bad job, but there are a bunch of wires. Those wires just control the trunk. Think about how many the rest of the car has.

VW Waterleak issuesLooking at this, I wish I could have gotten a better pictures. You are looking at a wiring harness under the carpet of a Touareg. At some point the customer had a water leak. My guess would be the windshield, but I don’t know for sure. This customer was passing through and their car just shut off. The tech working on it did some heavy diagnosis to find that the drivers carpet was wet. Wet carpet is a BAD thing.

We pulled the carpet back and found the wiring harness had be opened and wires were repaired. We dug further and found a corroded splice of 4 main wires. It was a somewhat simple fix. We had to cut the wires back, and solder the connection. It reminded me of a post I did when I first started the blog. If you want to see what Touareg water damage really looks like, hit that link.

Strange VW To finish up today, I thought I would post this. You guys know, I am all for doing what you want to your car. This however, I do not understand. This is one of the weirdest steering wheel covers I have ever seen. I just don’t understand how someone could drive with their hands touching that. I was not the one working on the car. If I was, you bet I would have worn gloves.

Well, we have another week of Shop Shots in the books. Thank you all for tuning in, and welcome to all the new readers. If you want to see some of the older volumes of Shop Shots, just hit the tab at the top that says “Shop Shots” That will take you back through all of them. Well, all the ones I properly categorized.

Volkswagen Exhaust problems

Hey everyone It is Wednesday, for real this time. So That means we are rocking some Shop Shots today. Now this is actually the first post of the week. I have been crazy busy this week so far. If you follow on Facebook or Instagram you know that I just picked up another Cabriolet. And if you are reading this, you know that my wife has not killed me yet. 😉 I will have more on that tomorrow. Let’s get into this weeks service pictures.

 Volkswagen Exhaust problemsThis first one comes from a fellow VW tech. The customer brought the car in for a check engine light. When the tech checked the car out, he found this SHOE jammed into the exhaust. They called the customer to see what happened. The customer said that her daughter was in a small accident. Thankfully this is not something you see every day.

VW air conditioning not workingNow that spring is here, it’s time for nonstop air conditioning work. This is the time of year when everyone realizes their car’s a/c is not as cold as it was last year. There are many reasons why a/c stops working. In this case it was due to the customer hitting something.

The customer said that she had hit something in the road back in December. She didn’t realize that her a/c was not cooling until last week when it was 80 degrees here. If you look at the spot just to the right of the flash, you can see the impact damage on the condenser. What ever she hit, put a small hole in the condenser. This caused all of the refrigerant to leak out.

When I took the condenser off, I found that it had also damaged the vehicle’s radiator. I couldn’t see the damage to the radiator until I removed the condenser. Luckily the radiator was not leaking any coolant yet.

VW engine problems You have seen similar pictures to this before. A VW Touareg or Phaeton with the engine sitting on the table. This is a VR6 that came out of a Touareg. This Touareg came in for running poorly at idle. After some diagnosis and help from VW, the tech working on the car replaced the cylinder head. It doesn’t matter how many times I see this, I always take a picture. It is just so different to see an entire power plant of a car resting on a table.

Last I wanted to share this little video that someone sent me. I get a TON of requests to share and post things to all of you. Generally I don’t do it. Most of it is poor, or packed full of ads. I don’t want to waste your guys time with that crap. This one is about tires, or most specifically tyres.

Thanks for tuning in today for another volume of Shop Shots! Be sure to sign up for email updates. You can subscribe by filling out the form at the right. EASY!

Totaled Volkswagen Passat

Hey everyone, happy Wednesday, it is time for this week’s behind the scenes pictures. Don’t worry, you are not a day behind. It is Thursday, I am just pulling your leg 😉 Shop Shots is just running a day behind this week. Some times things happen and we have to adjust our schedules. All right, now that we know tomorrow is Friday, let’s get in to the insider pictures.

Volkswagen Fuel FilterI really do like when folks do their own thing on their cars. there is nothing wrong, it is just odd. This customer added an inline fuel filter to their car. This filter, in theory, will keep contaminants in the fuel out of the engine. The Passat does not have a serviceable fuel filter. So it actually may work. I wish that I could have talked to the customer about it.

  • Is there a reason that you installed the filter? Was there a failure of some sort that caused you to install it?
  • Have you had to replace it?
  • Have you inspected the filter for debris?

When I see things like this, I have so many questions.

Loose Suspension on VWIf you ever listened to Car talk, you may have heard of Lucinda Bolts(get it, loosen da bolts LOL). The master of guaranteed repeat business. That is not her exact title, but you get the idea. This is a car that came in for a noise while driving. I took it on a test drive, and the noises were more than clear. The sound of loose suspension bolt is some what distinct. This is one of 4 bolts that a technician left loose on this car. Seeing things like this makes me made. A simple post repair test drive, and the tech would have known something was not right. All the more reason to give your mechanic the time to fix your car. Rushing jobs, no matter what the reason, leads to mistakes.

Totaled Volkswagen PassatI posted this on Facebook when it happened. Since many folks are not on FB, I wanted to be sure to share it here as well. This is a pictures of my sister’s Passat. A week or so ago, someone hit her while she was stopped at a red light. She was a bit sore, but not injured. Sadly the damage to the car was severe enough to total it.

Based on the pictures, the damage does not look that bad. But I am not surprised that the car was deemed a total loss.

  1. The car is 14 years old. It didn’t have a ton of value to begin with.
  2. There is a lot of flat surface metal to rework. That may have involved cutting and welding new metal.
  3. Odds are the rear axle beam was shifted. There is very little adjustment to the rear axle. It would have most likely needed to be replaced.
  4. There will be hidden damage.

When you total up just the parts needed, I would be you get close to $1000. The labor to repair the rear quarter panels would be pretty high too. Plus there is always hidden damage. I hate to see this happen to my sister’s car. But it did, and totaling it was the best possible outcome. And most important, I am glad she is okay.(Other than being really mad about her car)

That does it for another volume of Shop Shots. If you missed it yesterday, I did a post about the Eurowise kit I picked up for Project Luv-A-Dub. I also shot a little video review Mk1 Vr6 conversion review. If you are thinking about doing a VR6 swap, check out the video.

Volkswagen wiring issue

Welcome to this weeks edition of Shop Shots. There is a funny thing that happened with the pictures from last week. I posted the pictures, you guys commented on them, everything was great. I went back today(I copy and paste some of the SEO type stuff) and it was gone. It doesn’t show up in the list of posts. I can see the comments, but the post has gone rouge. So that was the long way around saying there is no longer a Shop Shots Volume 49(you may want to remember that for the future). Okay, let’s get to it.

Volkswagen wiring issueIf you search the web for VW problems you will find a few things. VW is “known for” electrical issues and wiring problems. This little gem is nice find. I was doing a service on a Golf, 2000 I think. I opened the rear hatch to check the customer’s spare tire. This caught my eye. It looks like someone repaired a leak, and maybe some wires.?. I can tell you this was not a wiring or a parts failure. Someone had their hands on this.

I didn’t mention it to the customer. He had a ton of other things wrong with the car. It would have been last on the ‘important’ list. Not only that, getting your hands in something like this can get really messy.

Carbon on a VW engineI am sure that I have posted pictures of this type of thing before. You are looking at the intake valves on a VW Touareg. These valves let air into the engine. Notice that they are coated in a crusty goo. That is carbon build up. This car was mis-firing when the engine was cold. The chucks can actually get caught in the seating surface and prevent the valve from fully closing. We are starting to see this on the 2.0 turbo FSI and TSI engines. This is not the worst I have seen, but totally bad enough to cause your car to run poorly.

VW lighting issueThis is one of my favorite pictures of the year. Just when you think you have seen some crazy stuff, something like this comes through. This customer made a hole at the top of the headlight switch. He then inserted a zip tie into that hole. The zip tie just sits there looking cool.

The more I looked at it, the more I thought about why a customer would do this. I mean it can’t just be for good looks right? 😉 Then it all made sense. It is to tell if the headlights are on. Now, you might be thinking, who doesn’t know if their headlights are on? Well, the car has daytime running lights. So the headlights are always on. It also has a fully lit instrument cluster, so that doesn’t help. The customer may not have known that there is a little green light on the cluster that says DRL. When the light is on, the DRLs(daytime running lights) are on. So I gotta say, not as crazy as I thought.

Well with that we are going to wrap up Shop Shots. I hope that you all enjoyed this weeks pictures. If I can figure out what happened to last weeks pictures, I will repost it. One last thing, are any of you planning on attending Southern Worthersee? It is a German car event in Helen, GA. I am most likely planning on going. Post in the comments if you are going to be there, maybe we can arrange a cool little get together.

Duct tape Auto repair

It is Wednesday, so you all know what that means, Shop Shots! We get back in to the shop this week for some pictures that come straight from a VW service department. Generally all of the pictures you see come straight from my Iphone. This week I have an extra picture that came from a fellow VW tech. Let’s get to it.

Duct tape Auto repairThe famous duct tape repair. This is a breather hose on a 4 cylinder Beetle. I don’t recall what the car came in for, but it was something like a headlight bulb. When I popped the hood this little gem cough my eye. The hose had split. That hose splitting is pretty common. The oil vapors that run through the hose can deteriorate the hose from the inside out. The customer did not want to fix the hose. I am sure that tape will hold for a little while. They will have to replace it come state inspection time.

Split AC Hose on a VWThe car came in today with a concern about air conditioning. The customer said that the A/C did not work. One of the other guys on my team was working on it. When he checked the refrigerant level, he found it empty.

One way for a mechanic to find a leak in an A/C system is to slightly charge the system. Sometimes you can hear the refrigerant leaking. If that doesn’t work, the system has a UV dye in it. We use a UV light to locate the leak. The dye glows bright bright yellow or green.

When the tech charged up the system, it started leaking instantly. After that, the leak was easy to find. Finding an A/C line that is split is not very common. It does happen from time to time. Usually after a car has been in an accident. This one was a different. This hose was split clean. Like it was cut. The other strange thing is the car was missing the belly pan.

We didn’t find out exactly what happened yet. It is fun to make up stories. My thought was an angry ex-boyfriend did it. I hope that is not the case. I will update this story in the comments when I find out the truth.

VW Touareg fire damageThis is the picture I got from a fellow VW tech. I will tell the story as best as I can. A tech was cleaning off the engine bay of this Touareg. He was dumping brake cleaner on to the engine. Now cleaning off an engine with brake cleaner is not an uncommon thing. I do it all the time. This tech was dumping it from a coolant bottle. THAT is a bad idea.

The tech that took this picture said he warned him about using that much cleaner. A few minutes later the Touareg was on fire. All mechanics make mistakes, but this one is big time!

Well that does it for another volume of Shop Shots. I am still looking for other folks in the industry to feature in my interview series. If you run or work in a shop, parts store, have a cool automotive related product, sell tools, or even a performance shop, just use the Contact Me form. I have a Behind the Wrench coming up in the next week that you all are going to love. That is all I will say for now 😉