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Old 10-04-2017, 07:51 AM
Location: Rathdrum, ID
4,125 posts, read 3,877,914 times
Reputation: 7846


^^^^ Please use paragraphs! I want to read your posts, but it is too difficult with it being just one huge block of text.

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Old 10-04-2017, 08:38 AM
8,740 posts, read 8,951,501 times
Reputation: 12208
Originally Posted by Dub D View Post
I deal on the other side, I deal from an insurance POV. I have heard several times, "so i was rearended and now my CD player doesn't work?"

Really, from a 5 mphs impact in a parking lot?

If it was a Visteon CD changer from an early 2000's Ford....I'd believe it. Those CD changers will break just tapping it with your finger. There's warning labels on it indicating to scrap it if dropped. I've pulled a few apart to try and repair them and the little springs and levers do easily get knocked out of alignment making the changer not function at all.

Just to ship them requires using an internal brace to install in the CD slot and to put the cd player in "shipping mode" before you power it down, remove it, and stuff it in a box. Fragile things.
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Old 10-06-2017, 02:00 AM
Location: Colorado
12 posts, read 3,807 times
Reputation: 10
I had this one customer come in with an early 2000 Japanese car compleat with lowering kit, fogged lights, big spoiler, and a fart can. The kid looked to be around 17 and he explained that his brake pedal would go to the floor and he had to use the hand brake to stop.

We pulled the car in and sure enough no brakes, I get it on the lift and remove the tires and see that his front brakes were completely shot. The drivers side had thrown the pad out and the pistons were making contact with the rotor which caused the piston to explode and send brake fluid everywhere. the rotors were almost ground in half as well.

The kid said he had recently done his own brakes and I see that there is no hardware on the brakes (hardware is usually small thin metal clips that is used as the buffer that the pads rub on to hold it firmly in place and so the pads donít wear on the caliper itself.) I inform him that he will need a full front brake job including 2 calipers, pads and rotors with a required brake flush. On cars the price ranges from $600-$1200 depending on parts.

He tells me he has no money and asks if we can just throw new pads on it for now. (Keep in mind the customer watched me as I looked at his brakes and showed him the issues.) I tell him there is no way we could do that and explained the many reasons why.

I worked out the cheapest we could go if we only replace the parts that would be required by law for us to fix. Which I believe was 1 caliper 1 rotor and new pads. Not a correct fix but it would get him by. He says he canít spend that much and again asks me if I could just put some cheep pads on and we could do the flush to make sure there was no air in the system.

Again I explained that we could not do that to his car because his caliper literally exploded. He said fine but he couldnít pay for the job so he asked for it back. He then looked me strait in the eye and asked ďdo you think itís safe to drive it home?Ē I could not control the look of disbelief on my face as I responded with ďno it is not safe at all to drive. If you try to drive it home there is a strong possibility you could badly hurt or even kill someone or yourself. You need to call a tow truck to take it anywhere."

Thankfully he did call a tow truck and towed it away. If he would have attempted to drive the car I probably would have called the police station to let them know of a car like that being driven on the road. I believe he ended up selling the car.
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Old 10-06-2017, 02:30 AM
Location: Colorado
12 posts, read 3,807 times
Reputation: 10
I don't know if y'all like the longer stories or not, but I'm a very discriptive person. If I tell a story I tell the whole story. Let me know what you think. Sorry about the no paragraphs in the first few, I didn't even realize I wasn't putting them in.

This story is not a shop story but funny non the less.

Well I came home from work one day, at the time I lived with me wife (soon to be ex) and her parents. My father in law waved me over to him out by the separate garage. He was working on his tractor (small riding lawn mower) and did an oil change, but now it's spitting all the oil out the side. He had taken off the air filter for the moment because that is where all the oil is coming from.

So he starts the tractor up and sure enough oil is shooting about 4 feet out the side of the tractor! I tell him to shut it down thinking possible blown engine. I look closer and there is a small tube inside the air filter housing that is dripping oil.

I realize that it is the "excess oil overflow tube" thing. So I pull out the dip stick and as I do I ask "did you fill it to the right spot on the stick?" He said "well I never saw it so I just kept filling it and at 5 qts I figured it would be full". This thing maybe held 2.5qts.

I look at the stick and sure enough the oil is about 1.5" above full on a dip stick 7" long and about 2/3 of the way up the stick. I told him he over filled it and he was shocked. I drained out quite a bit, and the little I caught in the bucket was about a qt.

After I got the oil to the right level it ran just like it always has.
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Old 10-06-2017, 02:41 AM
Location: Colorado
12 posts, read 3,807 times
Reputation: 10
So I worked for this 80 year old man for about 8 months. He owned a small mechanic shop that specializes in exhaust. I started out initially helping set up the new shop building, installing air lines and a lot of other odds and ends. I basically became the do any job guy.

A few months in and they didnít have enough shop work to keep me busy so the owner would bring me out to his house and we would do jobs out there. This included filling junk cars with scrap metal, fixing tractors, and basically anything that need to be done.

He had a lot of old cars out sitting in his yard some of them hadnít been driven in 30+ years. Well he decides to start fixing up the cars and seeing what all needs to be done to make them drive-able or just get the engine to run.

The first vehicle we worked on was a 59 ford f100, it had been sitting for 30+ years, and we dragged it up to his garage and began working. We went thru and checked all major engine components and almost everything should have been replaced but he didn't want to spend any more money then was absolutely necessary.

He had a f250 of the same year out there too but it had a bad engine. We ended up having to take a few parts off that truck (back then a lot of parts were interchangeable). We rebuilt the entire brake system using almost all the old parts.

Rebuilt the carburetor and used the gas tank from the other truck. We changed the oil and that was it. Made sure the other fluids were fine and just topped off what was needed. We got that thing running and driving, I even drove it into town to show his son because it was his sons truck and a surprise we were working on it. He was pretty happy about it although he never did anything with it.

The next car we pulled out was an old early 50s Packard 4door. This car had also been sitting for over 30 years and the interior was almost non existent. We pulled it up to the garage and went to work.

This thing had the, in my opinion extremely cool, straight 8 engine. (This means that the cylinders are all in 1 line going up and down not in a V shape.) the old man does not want to spend any money on this car at all and only wants to see if we can get the engine running.

I ask him if we should at least change the oil. He said no it will be fine. (30+ year oil in an engine. Yeh Iím sure itís just fine!) we look at the engine and the 3 of the spark plug wires are carroded to the point where it is basically just an exposed wire at the end so we just wrapped the wire around the spark plug and called it good.

All the fuel lines were so cracked that it would not hold fluid the transmission, 3 on the tree, would not go into any gear, Not a single electrical device in the car worked at all, and we had no keys to the car.

So we just went ahead and ďcleanedĒ the carburetor with brake parts cleaner and did very small patches here or there. We hooked a battery up to the car, had a small can of gas that it was hooked up to an electric pump and strait to the carburetor.

Using a screwdriver we jumped the engine, she roared to life blowing so much white smoke out the back that it made the garage disappear. We let it idle for a little wile noticing that it was running smooth as can be, no misfire, no shake, no noise. Ran beautifully.

We disconnected the fuel line to kill the engine and after the old man did so he realized he wanted to squirt oil into the carburetor to lube up the cylinders and keep them from rusting. So he had me just crank the engine over as he squirted this can of 25+ year old lubricating oil. (The can had really old marking on it and appeared to have been sitting for a long time.)

To both of our amazement the engine started idleing off of the oil, and not a rough sounding or looking idle like you would expect. This thing idled as if we were pumping gas into it. No misfire, no shake, nothing! We both started laughing as neither of us were expecting that. After we got it running we just parked it and went to the next car.
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Old 10-06-2017, 02:46 AM
Location: Colorado
12 posts, read 3,807 times
Reputation: 10
I had this customer come into the shop and said that he needed a new wheel bearing on the front right of his car. The car was about 20 years old so we knew that it would be a bit corroded. So we check it out, it has a few other problems but the right front wheel bearing is shot.

The customer only wants the bearing done so we set to work. Usually this job for this car would take about 1 hour to 1.5 hours. It took about 20 min to get it down to where you have to just hit the hub to pop the Bering out. Usually takes 20 strong hits with a good hammer to get it off.

We proceeded to beat on this hub for a good 3-4 hours, renting different tools to help pop it off. (This was a very underfunded shop, we did not have a lot of shop tools that could have made the job easier.) Finally we managed to get it off using one person under the car with a big hammer hitting it from behind and another guy with a slide hammer pulling it from the front.

After we realized that whoever installed this wheel bearing had soaked the thing in lock tight, basically super glueing it into place. Later when we told the customer what all we had to do to get it off, he then informed us that he had tried doing the job himself, was even using a 5lbs sledgehammer, could not get it off.

If he would have told us that before hand we wouldn’t have wasted our time going thru all the different hammers we had and trying to pop it off just using the hammer.

Small rant
(For all of you that bring you cars to a shop for repairs please please inform the mechanics with ALL the info you can give them. If you lie or try to hide some things from us for any reason it will only take longer to work on it than if you had been honest up front! I always compare mechanics to doctors in that way as in when you go to the doctor do and you lie about your symptoms or do not inform them of possible issues, the process will take much longer, they might give you the wrong treatment and things will just get worse. Same with your cars people!)
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Old 10-06-2017, 02:49 AM
Location: Colorado
12 posts, read 3,807 times
Reputation: 10
I had this guy come in one day with his 5 year old son driving a brand new 1/2 ton pick up. He had been in just a couple days before and had an oil change done. I was an assistant manager/tech at the time and it was only me and a lube tech that was in that day.

This guy walks in screaming at me calling me a f****** idiot and cussing at me because he has a spot of oil on his garage floor. I calmly ask about what is going on and explains to me that he was in for an oil change just a few days before screaming, cussing, and belittling me the entire time.

I was right on my edge of what I will tolerate from someone, I’m 6’4” and stood a bit taller than this guy and he wasn’t very big looking at all. So I turn to him and in a very respectful but stern voice I said “sir I am willing to look at your truck and fix whatever is wrong. But if you continue to scream and curse at me in-front of your kid (point to the little kid cowering behind his dad) I am going to have to ask you to leave, if you refuse to leave I will force you out one way or another.”

After I said that his attitude completely changed and he spoke more calmly, still verbally upset but no cussing and not yelling. I pulled his truck in and looked and well the stupid tech from a couple days ago did not tighten down the drain plug.

We tightened it up, checked the levels, apologized for the inconvenience, and sent him on his way. ( he was livid about the mistake that was made. To the point where he was threatening to sue us.)
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Old 10-06-2017, 03:01 AM
Location: Colorado
12 posts, read 3,807 times
Reputation: 10
I have received manny phone calls with people wanting estimates over the phone. I absolutely hate doing this because 90% of the time the customer does not know enough about the car or what’s wrong for an accurate estimate. I have had a few people call in to ask about brakes.

I would ask what kind of car they had and they would respond with the brand of car. I would then have to ask for every little detail like the year, the model, what size engine, what ABS, wheel size, and few more specifications depending on the vehicle. These people wouldn’t know anything more than the make and model and would say “but I only need a quick estimate on my brakes."

so I would have to ask what’s wrong with them, answers varied from "I need them" to "it’s making a funny noise". So I would always have to tell them just our basic pricing for a simple brake job (pads and labor) then inform them that it may be a bit more depending on if it needs any other components.

To which it’s about 50/50 on their answers about rotors. 1 “no I know it doesn’t need rotors!” 2 “well can you tell me if it needs them?” To which I would respond to both with "I will not know until I have it here to look at for myself.

Most people would get so upset I couldn’t give them an exact price for the repair. To witch I would always say “well sir/mam if you could inform me with what exactly is wrong with your car, what type of car it is and exactly what parts need to be replaced, I would be able to give you an exact estimate.”

To which they would usually say “well that’s your job to know what’s wrong with my car!” So I would respond “yes mam/sir and if you bring it in we will be happy to look it over and find out what is wrong but until then the price range I gave you is the best I can do.” Sometimes the price range would hundreds to thousands of dollars apart. If you want a specific price you need to be specific about the issue!
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Old 10-06-2017, 03:03 AM
Location: Colorado
12 posts, read 3,807 times
Reputation: 10
I can’t tell you how manny times we had people come in with there cars complaining about brake noise. And so we would ask them to describe the sound and 90% of the time if the noise was a grinding noise they would add “but it only started a couple days ago.”

So we would check the car out and only about 5% of the time would there be grinding equivalent to a couple days old. Most of the time, if they were telling the truth, they would have had to drive coast to coast about 3 times in those couple days to cause as much damage as was present.

Any time there was substantial damage we would bring the customer out and show them their almost non existent rotor. Almost every time the customer would ask or demand us to resurface the rotor (put it on a lathe and machine it smooth) but 99.99% of the time the rotor is far to gone to fix.

Almost every time this happens the customer will get pissed off saying we are just trying to rip them off. Which i always respond with “well if you take it to any other shop in the US they will tell you the same.” That usually shuts them up and lets us get to work.
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Old 10-07-2017, 07:03 AM
Location: Lake Grove
2,753 posts, read 1,800,105 times
Reputation: 4439
A combination of ignorant consumers and the bad guys who made everyone suspicious, you have these problems for many years and it will never go away.
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