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I sometimes feel like the world is against Volkswagen. People are always saying “I hear VW has tons of electrical problems”. Well, I don’t really agree with that, but I will save how I really feel for another post. This is about a REAL problem I found on a Jetta.

The customer comes in and says “Sometimes my door buttons do not work”. After a conversationwith the customer, I find out that her driver’s door is not working all the time. There are times when we have to extract the right information from a customer.

When I got in the car, I checked the door. Big surprise, everything worked just fine. I pressed every button on the door, they all worked like a charm. I pressed the auto-down button for the window, and opened the door. When the door got about half way open, the window stopped, all the lights went out on the door, and the instrument cluster started beeping funny. Well you can check it out in the video.

Strange isn’t it? It turns out that the ground wire in the boot between the body of the car and the door was broken. It would make contact with the door shut, but open when the door was open. I am really glad I was able to capture it on video. Usually the strange electrical problems are so sporadic, there is no chance of catching it.

So I did a little rapid fire Q&A session. I got some really good feed back. If you have a question or a topic, article that you would like me to talk about, just contact me or post it in the comments section. I kinda liked doing it, so post it up!

Real quick, I just want to take a second and thank each and every one of you that have read my blog, liked the FB page, chatted with me on twitter, posted and comment and so on. It really mean a lot to me. The success of this site is thanks to all of you! Our little community is growing every day, and I am really excited for the things to come. Also, that you to everyone that has shared this site, that is the best way for us to grow! You folks are truly awesome!

This is inside the boot between the door and the body of the car. The wire that is broken is the main ground(negative) wire. With out it, nothing will work.

Ok, to some of you this might be a really simple thing. Lets remember that at some point ALL of us had to learn this.

I shot this video after a conversation with a customer. Like I said in the video, a customer brought her car in because the 12v outlet was not working. This is actually something that happens a lot. I replaced the fuse and pulled the car around. I put a couple of extra fuses in her ashtray so that if this happened again, she could just replace it, and save a trip in to the dealer.

When I showed her the fuse that needed to be replaced, she looked at me like I was stupid(a look I know very well) 😉 Well I showed her exactly how to replace the fuse. It really hit me and made me fell like an ass. I mean, its just fuse right. Well, there was a time when I had no idea what that meant. So here is how you check a fuse with a test light. This is not the only way to check fuses, but it is one the of fastest, and I think, the easiest.

Oh, that is not the test light I use at work. I have that for use at the house.I also recommend keeping a few extra fuses in your car just in case.

Hey, if you have not checked out Pinterest, it is a pretty cool site. It has replaced my bookmarking on my computer. If you need an invite, let me know, I will hook it up! I hope you guys have an awesome weekend! I will be fighting my allergies all weekend!

Hey folks!

Its Shop Shots time! I did a post yesterday about the new mechanic logo, if you didn’t see it, check it out. She posts on Instagram as Hammerhand. Since I can’t figure out how to link to that, just search for her. She posts all kinds of really awesome artwork and tattoos that she does. Oh, and her name “HammerHand”, yeah it’s how she tattoos. Trust me! 😉

This is a picture of a 2007 New Beetle Convertible. I had to take the front end off to replace the oil filter housing. It looks like it would be a worse job that it is. The front ends of VWs actually come off pretty easy. There are a lot of repairs that require removing the front end. VW calls it service position. I like how it looks like there is a funny mustache made into the core support. HA

I know this isn’t technically a shot in the shop, but I wanted to post it anyway. It seems that my iphone doesn’t take the best night pics, but someone asked me what my H.I.D.s looked like. I installed this kit on my 2005 VW Passat. The headlights are a 5,000k color. That is as close to white light as you can get. The fog lights are 3000k. That is a very yellow color. It actually cuts fog pretty well. I love the light output of HIDs. At some point, I will get a kit for my wife’s truck. When that happens, I will do an install video for you guys.

Ok, Ok, this is not in the shop either, but I think I want to sneak a beer pic into Shop Shots. First, notice the car is in park. We were tailgating before a Carolina Hurricanes game. Bell’s HopSlam is one of the most sought after beers in the area. When it comes out, people FREAK OUT about it. The other one is a pretty good milk stout. My wife was drinking that one. HA, I guess I just wanted to post pictures of my car this week. 😉

This is a video I shot the other day at work. If you look at the right wiper, you can see if flopping around. The other wiper was split too. Folks, replacing wiperblades is something EVERYONE can do. If you don’t want to mess with it, buy them at the dealer, and ask them to install them for you. We install them for free. I want everyone to go out and check your wipers today. I am not kidding. DO IT! 🙂

Remember, come by the Automotive Forum. It is not just for mechanics. I added a section for customers do complain about their mechanics. So you can come by and complain about me. I have to approve you(to keep the spam out). If you don’t get an email in about a day, just let me know and I can approve you. I get tons of spam and I want to keep that crap out!

Hey guys,

I got a video for you today. A while back I mentioned a part called a Clock Spring. I didn’t say anything else about it. As luck would have it, I replaced one the other day. Since I had the spare part, I thought that I would shoot a quick video and show you how it works.

Well, that pretty much explains it. If you have any questions, post them up in the comments. Also, go to Technician Database, that is the forum was talking about. Be sure to go and post in the “First 50”! I really want to give something cool away.

Just one more thing. Here is a little tease of the rough sketch of our new logo. What do you guys think?

I moved “Shop Shots” up to Wednesday this week. I will actually be out of town for a couple of days. I don’t think there will be a post Thursday or Friday. Make sure you check out the forum too. I know its called Technician DataBase, but its not just for techs. It is for everyone, customer, mechanic, enthusiast, we got some fun conversations happening over there! Go to Technician Database, and sign up, I will have to approve you so it might take a few hours to join. Also, be sure to post in the “First 50” thread, you will be locked in as a founding member, and I will be giving something cool away.


This is a picture that I took on Monday. I was doing a 20,000 mile service on a 2010 Jetta, and this caught my eye. The bolt was out about 1/4 of an inch. I checked the history to see if the shop had done any work in this area. The customer did have an alignment done, but that was at ~1300 miles. I wouldn’t think that it could be loose for that many miles. I am surprised that the customer didn’t notice a clunking due to the bolt being loose.

It actually brings up a good point. When something like this happens, what does a mechanic do? If I say something to the customer, we would get blamed for messing the car up. VW warranty would not pay to tighten a bolt. The best thing for everyone is for me just to fix it. Not really hide what I found, but it was not worth stirring up trouble over. I torqued the bolt, and went through the other bolts on the subframe just to make sure they were properly torqued. I didn’t get paid anything to do it, but I surely couldn’t let the car go with a loose bolt.

This is an axle from a 2005 Jetta. The outer joint to be exact. The boot was split, so I removed the axle to replace the boot. This is actually a really common repair. Something that I have done lots of times. A couple of whacks with a 3lb sledge hammer and the joint comes right off. This one however didn’t want to play nice. I tried for about 30 minutes to separate the joint from the axle shaft. I beat the out edge of the joint up pretty bad. I finally had to accept defeat and tell the customer they needed a new axle. It really sucks that the customer had to buy a new axle, but I really did everything I could.

Knowing that the customer had agreed to buy a new axle, I was totally determined to get he joint apart. I brought out the big guns. I used my air hammer, but all I did was break the joint more. Since I had to send the old part back, I figured it was better just to call it quits. I don’t like to lose!

This is a short video of a crazy instrument cluster. This Jetta had several water leaks. I never found any water in the cluster, but something really pissed it off. This might be one of the strangest acting clusters I have ever seen. Also if you don’t drive a VW, the buzz that this cluster is making sounds NOTHING like it should. I recommend watching this a few times. Watch how fast the 2 small gauges move. This car is actually still at my work. The customer fixed the issues, but they have not came to get it yet. I think we are going on 3 months. I am pretty sure it was towed in before Christmas.

I hope you guys have a really great weekend. I will be spending some time in the forum, so swing by and say hello! Also, if you want to connect with me, the 2 best ways are on Twitter, or just email me!

Happy Friday guys!

Today I give you some tips on changing a tire. I also show you how the heck to use that jack for your Volkswagen. The usage of the jack is VW specific, but the tips and tricks will apply any time you have to change a tire.


I am still working out the kinks of shooting videos, but I think this came out pretty good.  No editing at all..  That is my goal, shoot and post!

Here are some close up pics of the jack, the tool kit and the proper place to put the jack!


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