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damaged VW beetle headlight

Happy Wednesday everyone. As you have come to expect, it is Shop Shots day. For those that are new to the blog, here is a little about Shop Shots. This all started in the early days of the blog. In an effort to share more about what a mechanic does, I thought sharing pictures would be cool. I posted a few and wrote a little blurb about each one. It was a big hit. My good buddy Brett came up with the name Shop Shots. Here we are 79 times in and still rocking. Actually, 79 is not the correct number. There are one or two times I messed up the number. 🙂

Automotive Podcast.
Really quick before we get into the pictures. I just want to be sure you all have seen the Podcast I started a few weeks ago. This is a daily show about all things related to automotive service. We talk about being a tech, car maintenance, being a good customer, finding the right tech, and on and on.

This is really meant to bring the customer and the technician back on the same page. The more we understand each other, the better everyone’s experience will be.

One last thing about the Automotive Podcast. I am working on stripping the audio and making an audio only version. That way if you want to listen while you are driving, it is no hassle at all. I am really a podcast fan, so this should be awesome.

Okay, let’s do some Shop Shots!

Bad VW tire repairFirst up we have a horrible tire repair. This is a plug that was done basically in the sidewall of the tire. If you look in the red circle, you can see the plug. Then you can see how chunks of the tire are coming off. There is a lot of flex in that area of the tire. This position makes for a very dangerous repair. This is one reason why many tire shops will not patch or plug a tire in that location.

damaged VW beetle headlightNext up is an issue that plagues Beetle Headlights. That plague is front end damage on 1998-2010 VW Beetles. The problem comes when either a Beetle has damage, or a headlight is not installed properly. This makes installing the headlight extremely difficult.

In this case, someone or something damaged the headlight in a way that it should have been replaced. As you can see, it was not replaced. It was epoxied back together. This may have solved the issue of water leaking into the headlight. It did not solve the, it’s a pain to properly install issue.

Not installing the headlight properly doesn’t just look bad. On the facelift Beetles (2006-2010) it can make the headlight not work. On that generation Beetle, the electrical plug is connected when the headlight is properly installed. Officially, I have no opinion about that logic of that 😉

Failed VW TurboLast up is something that I have never seen before, and I have seen some CRAZY stuff. This 1.8t Passat got towed in. Another shop told them they needed an engine computer. The tech looking at it called me over to check this out.

The top red circle is the line that supplies oil to the turbocharger. This both cools and lubricates one of the hottest parts of the engine. For sum reason, that line is blocked off. That means the turbo is getting NO FREAKING OIL! Why? WHY? WHY????

I don’t understand why this would be a thing. It would be like driving your car around with no engine oil, on purpose. Who ever did this, may have ruined the turbo. To be fair, it may have been toast before. Well, at least we had a good laugh at the shop.

Well, that does it for another round of Shop Shots. I was wondering what you guys thing about the red highlights on the pictures? Is this something that works better than just a picture? Post you thoughts in the comments.

Happy Thursday everyone! As you probably know, I have been on vacation this week. This is actually the second time I have ever taken a week of vacation time in my working career. It has been a week filled with working in the yard, and hanging out with the family.

I also updated my phone a few days ago, in typical Iphone fashion, the update crashed my phone. I had to restore it from the last backup in February. Since all of the Shop Shots come from my phone, I am missing a lot of pictures. So, Tech Tip of the day, be sure to back your phone up! Ok, lets do this!

This is a picture of a screw I found in the tire of MY Passat. (yep I got screwed) I was leaving the store and noticed it. I did not remove the screw, it was holding air, and I didn’t want to have a flat. The thing about the location of the screw is, it will not be repairable. An object that is in the outer most of a tire tread is not repairable. The flex of the tire at that point to really high. Any repair, plug or patch is not safe. I will most likely be replacing this tire.

When it comes to repairing tires, we have 3 types of repairs, patches, plugs, and patch-plugs.

  • A plug is installed from the outside of the tire. Think of using gum to plug a water leak, Clark Griswold style. It is actually a little better than that, but you get the idea. This repair is fine for a temporary repair, but not the best way to fix a tire.
  • A patch is installed from the inside of the tire. It is a great way to repair a tire. This must be done by a professional, because the tire will need to be removed from the rim.
  • A patch-plug is the BEST way to repair a tire. It combines both methods. Covering the hole from the inside, and filling the hole with a plug. If you have a choice when getting a tire repaired, use this type of repair.

Any mechanic will tell you that we see dumb stuff like this all the time. People run wiring in the door jams is the most common dumb thing we see. The worst is when it is a big power wire from the battery to a radio amplifier. If you notice not only are the wires ran through the door jam, but it is secured with, you guess it, DUCT TAPE! I think that is was a GPS that was wired in this way. PLEASE do no do this.

I literally laughed out loud when I found this picture again. This is a picture of a Jetta airflow meter, and intake hose. I think the customer thought they had an air leak. They sealed it with tape. Then they put tape on the connector. I don’t remember what type of tape it was, it was not duct tape. I remember it came off pretty easy, but I wasn’t happy about messing with it.

This is another pride and joy picture I have. We had an EOS come in to the shop for the semi-common EOS water leak issue. The seats and seat belts were moldy, so I have know idea how long the water was in there. I removed the seats and found these little guys growing. Yep, little tiny mushrooms. Let me say that again, MUSHROOMS growing in an EOS. How awesome is that. I am sure it was really unhealthy for me to be working on that car, but live and learn!

If you have some of your own Shop Shots, come by and post them in the Humble Mechanic Forum. Don’t be stingy with your good pics. The community over at the forum is really cool come by and check it out.

1 more thing, yesterday I was featured on a really cool technology blog. I did an interview with Matt talking all about car technology. He has a great blog with a lot of awesome information. Swing by and check out my interview!