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Coolant mixing Shop Shots Auto Mechanic

 

Hey everyone!

First let me say that I am sorry for Shop Shots being so late today. I got hung up at work longer than I expected. It’s okay because I got some really awesome auto mechanic pictures for you guys today. Enough of my yapping, lets get to it!

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GROSS! What you are looking at here is the coolant bottle of a VW Beetle. If this fluid was in good condition, it would be a nice bright pink color. As you can see here it is brown and chunky. I posted this to Facebook the other day. The comments were awesome.

Jennifer~someone poured a frappacino inside their car?
Suzanne~ Stop leak didn’t work
Stefanie~Are you brewing beer or fixing a VDub? I can’t tell!(<~ my favorite)
Jeremy~someone vomited in their coolant reservoir( <~funniest)

Joe, Chris, Alex, and Brandon all got it right! This is the result of a failed transmission cooler. In order to keep automatic transmission fluid cool, they have a cooler. This will circulate engine coolant through something like a little radiator. Normally, the coolant and transmission fluid does not mix. A failed seal in the cooler caused transmission fluid to be pumped into the coolant. I will be repairing this on Friday. I will tell you guys the super high tech secret way to fix this problem next week. HINT: think Dawn 😉

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Okay, this one might be a little harder to see. Take note of all the “rust” around the battery. What causes rust class? That’s right WATER! This is the battery of a Mini. The Mini’s battery is located in the trunk where most cars have the spare tire. Due to a water leak, the battery compartment had about 4 inches of water in it. Now, I am not sure who long the battery was under water, but it did make the car not start. If you look just to the right of the big red square you can just barely see a yellow box. The yellow box has some type of fuse assembly inside. The assembly is totally rusted. I am not sure how much of the cables, and fuses will need to be replaced. My guess is this repair will not be cheap. Oh, this was on our used car lot. We don’t service those cars.

Funny story about a Mini. The very first one I worked on was about 6 years ago. It took be 30 minutes to find the hood release. I had to bust out the owners manual. HAHA, what type of mechanic has to read an owners manual to figure out how to open the hood??  Turns out, that Mini’s hood release is on the passenger side! HAHA

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Remember a while back when we talked about Cam Shafts? Well, here is a close up of a cam shaft. The 4 lumps you are looking at are called lobes. They basically turn a rotation into an up and down motion. Ultimately, they open the valves and let air into and out of the engine. But for this picture, look at the lobe on the left. Now, check out the lobe all the way on the right. They should be the same. Now look back at the left lobe. See how there is a “U” shape that was cut into the lobe. This made a heck of a noise. Ok, now check out the next picture.

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No, you have not traveled back in time. Those are push rods. 😉 This picture goes along with the one of the cam shaft above. The long tubes are push rods. The fat tube with the wheel on the bottom is a lifter. All those little metal rods are part of a bearing set. The lifter somehow got stuck. That is what caused the cam shaft above to be damaged.

I made a little joke about traveling back in time. This type of engine design is REALLY old. VW have not used it in, well I am not really sure. This engine is from a 2009 VW Routan. AKA a Chrysler Town and Country. So does it count as a VW. I guess technically, but to me, it is NO VW! 🙂

Well, that wraps up this weeks auto mechanic pictures. We had some really messed up stuff this week. Hopefully next week I can post some more fun pictures. 🙂

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Line of Volkswagens

I want to theme this weeks Shop Shots. Since I was at training last week, I thought I would post some pictures of the training center, and some cool pictures I shot while I was at mechanic training. Years ago, the training center had a ton of cool cut away parts, but they seem to be long gone.

Volkswagen Mechanic Training Engine RoomIn the back of the training center they have a storage room with all the training aids. Here are some of the engines that VW mechanics use to learn the ropes. That thing in the middle of the picture(blue and grey) is the engine lift table. We use that to remove engines and transmissions for Touaregs and Phaetons. I can’t identify all of the engines, but I spy a few VR6s

Old School VW mechanic equipmentHere is some old school VW diagnostic equipment. The VAG 1551. It was built solely to talk to cars. Nothing fancy or crazy. The good thing about it was how fast it was. The bad thing, you had to remember everything. There was no built in repair information, no tests, just values. I was only able to use one briefly in training. I am sure the guys that have been around a long time really miss this scan tool. Right now, it is obsolete. Looking at it, it looks like that robot from the movie “Short Circuit”. HA

VAS 6150 VW scan toolFast forward to today, here is the newest scan tool. This is a VAS 6150. All of the functions are windows based. This scan tool communicates with the car via a blue tooth. This is a much slower scan tool, but the information that it contains is far superior to the VAG 1551. I will say that the blue tooth communication is really cool. Yeah, until someone leaves the connector in a car.. To give you some prospective, this is about $6000 worth of test equipment.

VW mechanic training center Here is a shot of one half of the training center. There is another room just like it next door. As you can see there is a shop, and a place for lecture. It is usually filled with the newest VWs on the road. I was actually in the class next door. I have spent many many hours training in the room. There is usually a good mix of techs in each class. Some of the classes get only top level guys. They are the ones that I find the best. When you have a class full of mid-level techs, they like to try and out do each other with stories. Each will tell a story about how awesome they are, the next will have to out do it. It is actually pretty funny. I think you have to have a bit of an ego to do this job. 😉

Line of Volkswagens

I know, this is not really a SHOP, but it kinda is. I took this pictures when I got home after training. The crazy looking car at the front is the Cabby. Next in line is my Passat, and last is the VW Tiguan that I drove. I liked the Tiguan more this time than the last. I also averaged 30.2mpg! I think that was pretty awesome considering the traffic I sat in. All in all a good trip!

Well, that wraps up another volume of Shop Shots. Any questions about this week’s pictures? To be sure you never miss an update, be sure to click the subscribe button on the upper left of this page. You will get update before everyone else! Also, I did a little pro quality shoot with a really great photographer last night. As soon as I get the pictures I will post them for everyone(another reason to subscribe to the site, just sayin 😉 )

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Volkswagen TDI timing belt damage

Hey folks! It is that time of the week again. I got a few good picturs for you guys today. By the time you are reading this, I will be on my way to VW technician training. ~enjoy

Damaged rim Volkswagen CCIf you check out last weeks “Shop Shots” you will see a video of a CC with a messed up suspension. Listen hard and you will hear a noise that sounds like a whale. What you are hearing is the lower part of the front suspension hitting the rim. Here is the damage to the rim. The mechanic working on the car fixed the initial damage, estimate of ~$2400. Then found that there was more damage. The steering rack and more of the right side suspension needs to be replaced. The estimate is now just shy of $5000. Sad to see that type of damage on a car with only 950 miles. DANG!

 

Removing engine on VW Touareg

Thankfully this is not me in the picture. It came from our sister store across town. Here is what happens when an engine repair needs to be performed on a VW Touareg. The engine and transmission are unbolted from the car. The table that it is sitting on is acutally a lift table. You can see the pins on the table holding the engine up. They are strategically placed to fit the engine carrier. The picture doesn’t really capture the scale of the engine and transmission. The table is about 8ft long, and about 3ft wide. The brakes hang over just over a foot on each side. As scary as it looks, doing engine repairs a table like this is really easy. It’s just a lot of work to get to this point.

Volkswagen TDI timing belt damageWhat you are looking at here is a timing belt on a VW TDI. In the middle of the picture you can see a bunch of strands of fiber. That is part of the serpentine belt. The customer brought his car in saying that he was having a hard time starting the car. He told me that the serpentine belt broke. He said that he was worried about the timing belt. I told him not to worry, I had seen lots of broken serpentine belts break, but only 1 damage a timing belt.

Well after about an hour of checking, the car would not start at all. I was getting a faults in the engine computer saying the car was not timed properly. I checked and found that the camshaft and the crankshaft were not lined up properly. It turns out that the wad of serpentine belt shifted the tension of the timing belt. That caused the engine to be out of time. I installed a new belt, retimed the engine, and BAM, it fired right up. There was no permanent damage done to the car. The customer was almost due for his second timing belt replacement, so it was money that he would have paid either way. I was mad that I was wrong, but the car is running and the customer was really happy. It all worked out in the end.

Volkswagen Showroom Remodel I may have mentioned that my dealer is doing a remodel. We are adding on 2 new sections to the showroom. They are also changing to a new setup. Everyone is calling the “White Box”. I have seen pictures of other dealers. It has a similar feel to an Apple Store. I snuck up stairs and took a picture for you guys. Right now, it is just a lot of banging as they remove all the tile. I will keep the updates coming. I am really excited for the remodel. The building has looked the same for about 9 years. It was time for a facelift.

Well, that about raps it up. As I said I will be in training the rest of the week. Do you guys have anything you want me to ask while I am there? Something about the future of VW? I will do my best to find out. Ok, time to hit the road. I95 here I come.

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Volkswagen Jetta Seat Auto Mechanic

Hey everyone! We got some Shop Shots for ya today! Remember that all of these pictures come to you from behind the scenes of a VW dealer. These are some of the things that an auto mechanic will see from day to day. Some good, some scary, some super gross, but all of them are the real deal Okay, let’s go~

Here is a picture of a catalytic converter on a 2007 GTI. The customer had a performance exhaust installed on his car. At some point, he had an aftermarket catalytic converter welded in. That bright shiny elbow is a cheat. It is a way to trick the cars computer into thinking that the cat is functioning properly. It moves the rear oxygen sensor further away from the flow of exhaust. That reduces the amount of air it sees. This will let someone install a high flow cat, or no cat at all, and the MIL will not come on. I think some stuff like this is really cool. I like when people find a work around. Of course I officially don’t support cheating the system.

20120509-092515.jpgThis was the very first car I worked on the other morning. The customer was saying that the seat back would not adjust. He very cleverly took some bungee cords and secured a couple of pillows. To be honest, it was a pretty cool setup. I would imagine that it would be super comfortable on a road trip. One thing to consider is that an improperly adjusted seat back can be a safety issue.

If you have ever had a VW, you might have noticed that the seat back adjustment is strange. It has that knob on the side that needs to be turned. I have had lots of folks tell me the knob didn’t work. The trick is to lean forward just a little, and the seat back will move just fine. This setup is suppose to be a safer design than the lever that most cars have.

Oh, this car’s seat worked just fine. I lubed his squeaky door and sent him on his way.

20120509-092634.jpgThis is another shot from outside the shop. I was visiting a buddy who is restoring a GTI. We were in his garage having a good craft beer, and chatting about his plans for the car. I looked down and this caught my eye. How cool is it to have a 25+ year old car with that logo on it. AWESOME! Yeah, that was just a little VW nerding out on my part

20120509-092724.jpgThis picture goes along with the video below. This is a CC with about 900 miles on it. The customer slide into a curb and restored the wheel and bent the control arm. That piece should be NOT be bent like that. When you watch the video, you will see what it looks like from the outside of the car. The rumor is the guy was wasted when this happened. I have no way of confirming that!

So, you might have noticed that sweet intro on this video. A good friend of mine built that for me. I can not take any credit for it (I wish I could). This will be on all of the videos going forward. I almost peed my pants when I watched it for the first time. This dude is so damn talented!

Ok, back the video. You can see how close the tire is to the back of the wheel well. The whale noise that you are hearing is the rim scrapping the control arm(the bent part in the pic above). We were really cracking up about the damage.

Well, there you have it, another round of Shop Shots in the books. A quick Cabby update, I drove her home yesterday. She is now safe and sound in my garage. I have to swing by work today and pick up the Passat..

If you think that the intro is totally amazing, mash one of the share buttons! It will help me thank the guy that made it.

Volkswagen Beetle Sticker

Ah Shop Shots, some of my favorite posts are the pictures from the auto shop. Ok, no messing around, lets DO THIS!

VW Jetta TDI PictureIf you look close, you can see that the BACK of the car is covered in bug guts. Yep, this brand new car has been traveling at high speeds in reverse. Well, kinda. It just came off the shipping truck. Someone had to back the car onto the TOP level of a shipping truck. That is NUTS to think that someone backed the car onto the truck. I would have a panic attack trying to do that. Now, this is not really a life changing picture, but I swear I crack up every time I see it. Like EVERY time. 😀

Volkswagen Beetle StickerHAHAHAHA. WTH?? I am laughing about this still! See I take pictures almost every day. I don’t always use the pictures the same week I take them. I found this one again today. Why the heck do people put this on their car? Do they get paid for it? Are just really be fans of “$weep$take$”? You have actually seen the other side of this Beetle before. It is the wrecked Beetle I posted a few weeks ago. If anyone knows why people do this, please post it in the comments.

Tiguan Water LeakI have talked about Volkswagen water leaks in other posts. Here is a Tiguan that had a slight leak. This actually belongs to a buddy of mine. We had been trying to get his car in to be checked. Finally we got the leak fixed. I pulled the carpet up to dry it. I think it came out great. A little shampoo, a little scrubbing, and a lot of fan, the car dried up nicely. If you ever find water on the carpet of your car, understand that the water is probably deeper than you think. The carpet on most VWs sits about 1.5 inches above the body. That means there can be a ton of water standing before it is at the carpet level. If you find you have water, get the carpet pulled and dried. A shop vac will not do the trick.

Pig Volkswagen BeetleI think this goes in the “What the heck were they thinking” file. Then again, I bet my Cabriolet does too. 😉 This was sent to me by Steve in Chicago. Thanks Steve! I can’t really comment on what, of why someone did this. I have be be honest, it looks like they put some time into it.. The detail is pretty good. I am sure that Jim LOVES his little pig. HAHA!

Ok, this video is AWESOME! What you are looking at here is called the Leak Detection Pump(LDP). This pump is part of the Evaporative Emissions system on your car. This system controls fuel vapors from your car. Whether it is when your car is being filled with gas, or that hot summer day, it will control the amount of vapors released in the atmosphere. The pump pressurizes your fuel system to check for leaks. When the system fails, your Check Engine Light comes on.

This car came in with a check engine light on. I did a “smoke test” on the system. Basically I charge the system with nitrogen, and add a chemical that smokes. When I unplugged the electrical connector for the LDP, this is what happened. I have seen it before, and I always like to watch it.

Well, another week of Shop Shots is done. There is one more thing that I want to say to everyone. This post is my 100th post. I want to tell each and every one of you THANK YOU! I truly appreciate the fact that you take time out of your day to visit the blog, read the posts, comment and so on. I just cant say THANK YOU enough. Thank you to all everyone that likes the facebook page, or follow on twitter. I appreciate every “share” every “retweet” especially the one that said, “check out this VW blog, sans skinny jeans”. That one might be the funniest.  I feel really lucky to get to know all of you and I am really looking forward to the next 100,300,500,1000, and beyond! I hope that you enjoy the site,and get a good laugh all while learning some things about cars.. Seriously, THANK YOU ALL!!!!

I don’t need to say it, you know what to do. 😉

MFI display in VW EOS

Hey everyone! We got some more Shop Shots today. I am really starting to LOVE doing this post, I hope that you guys enjoy reading it as much as I do writing it!!

MFI display in VW EOSNow, if you just looked at this picture, you would say, “Charles, there is nothing wrong here. The back doors are just open”. HAHA, I would have to agree with that statement, but here is the real story. A customer brought their car in because the battery was dieing. When the advisor went out to the car, she found that the rear doors were showing open. Where is gets awesome is, this car is an EOS. The EOS is a 2 door convertible car. It doesn’t have rear doors.

I am not sure what the tech found wrong. I am suspect of the drivers or passenger window motor/module. That or a coding issue. When I find out, I will update everyone

Volkswagen KeyI am not really sure that everyone can appreciate how hilarious this is. A co-worker of mine brought this to me. It is a VW key, that has a battery terminal as a “fob” of “key chain” or something. I would bet that they hide it under the car somewhere, but I am not really sure. The worst part was, it was all sticky and gross. I would have loved to unwrap the tape to show you guys. It would have been cool to ask the customer why they did that.

Volkswagen EOS top in service position

I posted this to InstaGram, but I wanted to show everyone this. I got this car in last week. The customers concern was the top would not work. It had some faults stored in the module for the top. The cool thing is, our VW scan tool is we can activate almost everything remotely. There is a procedure that will allow me to open and close the top. It SHOULD work no matter what. I could not get it to open the top. I had to trick the module into thinking it was working correctly so I could force it open.

With the top open, I could put it into a service position. That extends the trunk, and allows access to almost all of the components of the top. In the “Behind the Wrench” interviews I do, I ask “what job would you not want to do again”. This would not be my #1, but it is up there. This top has about 30 sensors that monitor the position of the top, windows, doors, vehicle speed, trunk, and so on. This is really one of the most sophisticated parts of ANY VW!

I actually had another picture I was going to post, but I think I will save it for next week and dedicate an entire post to this picture.

In other news, I FINALLY found my project car. I will take some pics and write a full post about it tomorrow. All I will tell you today, is that it is a Cabby. 😉

Don’t forget to sign up for email updates. That is the best way to make sure you never miss a new post. Also, I have a YouTube channel. Maybe instead of pictures, I will take a video of the project. You can make sure you connect with me by using the icons on the right side of the page.

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VW Beetle TDI with damage

Well folks, it is that time again! We got Shop Shots of automotive service today! This week we have 3 “shots” and one quick video of a smoking Tiguan! 3….2….1…. GO

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What you are looking at here is the result of a Beetle doing some “off roading”. The part that is sticking out is the Tie Rod. The tie rod is part of the steering system. It is the link between the steering rack, and the wheel. As you might be able to guess, it should not be belt at a 90degree angle. The tire you see is the left tire. notice how it it turned all the way to the right. What you can’t see is that the right tire is completely straight. I have seen many bent tie rods, but I don’t think I have seen one ripped from the steering rack. I am pretty sure the damage totaled the car. Sad to see a TDI go out like that.

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This is a picture of the screen of our VW scan tool. We have a program called Guided Fault Finding. This program has several tests for almost every system of the car. If a car has a fault, it can automatically load a plan to test the fault. It usually works pretty good, despite what some mechanics would say. Every now and then, you get some random repair instruction like this one. It is basically telling me to

  1. Check the connection
  2. Find the problem
  3. Repair it

HAHA, Duh! What the heck else would I be doing? I always get a kick out of this stuff. That and when you get a random screen that is in German!

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If you read the post the other day called “Throwing Automotive Logic Out The Window”, you would have read the story about an alternator causing the engine not to start. Well here is the failed alternator. You can see the ball bearings at the bottom of the pulley mount. That should not be that way. I do not really have an explanation as to why this happened. Thankfully it fixed the no start problem. I wish I could have taken it apart, to find the failure. There are some parts that we have to return to VW. They will manufacturer this and resell it after fixing it.

Oh hello pollution! This is a little video of a VW Tiguan that is obviously smoking. The problem here is a fuel injector that got stuck open. It causes way too much fuel to be sent into the engine. The high amount of fuel is not able to be fully burned. The only place for it to go is down the tail pipe. The result is awful smoke coming from the tailpipe. I hope that the customer had the car towed it. I would be mad if I was driving behind that car!!

I hope you all have a really great Wednesday. I am off work, but will be busting my butt to get some flooring finished. Don’t forget to signup for email updates. I know I keep saying “I got things in the works”, but I do, and the email list will get 1st dibsies!

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