When we hand our keys to a mechanic, we trust them to take care of our beloved cars. We drop them off in rough shape and expect our mechanics to take good care of them and return our cars to us in improved condition! Unfortunately, that’s just now how things always work out. Mechanics have been caught doing some pretty crazy things with customer cars, and when they get caught, there’s a big price to pay. Taking advantage of a customer’s trust is a huge deal, especially when it comes to something they depend on and have such an emotional attachment to. Cars carry people’s children, their memories, and often have deep-rooted sentimental value….you don’t want to mess with them!
Some of the mistakes that mechanics have made with customer’s cars are downright stupid, while others are so crazy that we can’t imagine how they’d mess up to such a degree!
20 Screwdriver Broke Off In-Cylinder Bore...on a Ferrari
This mechanic was from Sports Auto in Connecticut, and Hagerty's reports that he had to fork over $20,000 to rebuild the engine he blew on a customer’s Ferrari. His screwdriver broke off in the Cylinder Bore and the rest is history. We’re pretty sure he’ll never work in the automotive industry ever again.
19 Pulling Out Sensor Instead Of Repairing Car
Those sensors are so annoying. They light up our dashboards and they can get very frustrating, very fast! The flashing light and beeping sound is an indication that our cars need immediate attention. Unfortunately, some mechanics charge for that attention, but all they do to “remedy the problem” is yank out the sensor to make the noise and lights stop – without fixing the car. This situation was featured in 20 Something Finance, geared towards educating people about this dirty little secret!
18 Sipping On The Job
Most of us would not be comfortable knowing the person fixing our brakes or working on our cars is inebriated. Drinking while working on a customer’s car is just not acceptable. CBC reports a Detroit Chrysler Plant had this issue with several of their mechanics in 2010. This should be such a common-sense situation; we’re not sure how they thought they’d get away with this.
It’s obvious fact that mechanics are not to take customer cars out for a joyride. Clearly some mechanics don’t think this is a big deal – until they get caught, that is! In Ohio, a client’s Limited Edition Camaro was dropped off at the shop in September of 2017 and ABC reports she then saw it on the road a short time later, being driven by the mechanic…to get lunch. Completely unacceptable!
16 High Speed Joy Ride
A test drive is one thing, but to go 97 mph on the freeway is another. In New York, in 2015, CBS2 news station reported that a client’s Chrysler 300 was taken for a joyride by their trusted mechanic. Well, they won’t be trusting him anymore. We're sure his career came to a grinding halt that day.
15 Metal Shavings In A/C
Metal shavings were accidentally left within the a/c compartment during the repair of the a/c unit, by a mechanic named Kevin in San Jose. Needless to say, that was a dangerous and really unprofessional moment that this mechanic won’t soon forget. Thankfully, Popular Mechanics reports he realized his own error and nobody was hurt!
14 Hack Off The Gasket
When the old gasket isn’t removed after an oil change and the mechanic tried to remove it, it was practically stuck to the engine block. In order to grip it, a mechanic from San Diego punched holes in it and tried to wretch it out with force. Then, he lost his job. Originally a tale told in a recent Popular Mechanics article, this mechanic's error has since been viewed many times online.
13 A Short To The Alternator Ground
This always results in fire; it’s just a matter of time. A mechanic from Arizona named Terry knows this all-too-well. He was featured in Popular Mechanics, as he was able to locate this issue pretty quickly when he saw the car. Thankfully this car owner took it to Terry for a reputable second opinion, and they were able to save the car. It was just a matter of time before the car went up in flames. The first guy was fired!
12 Shredded Spark Plugs
Just an idea here but maybe don’t leave shredded parts of a spark plug inside! This should be a simple job, and we’re not sure how anyone can mess it up so badly. We’re sorry to hear the story of a mechanic named Dave who made this mistake. His colleague spilled the beans about this story online on Reddit, and apparently, Dave was so poorly trained and unqualified. He deserves to be out of work.
11 Cam Belts Overtightened On A Ferrari
It should be a no –brainer to be careful when tightening the cam belts on a car. Especially when the car in question is a Ferrari. Apparently, this is not as simple as it seems - this mechanic had to fork over 30k in repairs, and Hagerty's used his story as an example to caution other mechanics about the risks involved!
10 Car On Fire
It’s not a good situation to see a car go up in flames at an auto shop. This happened in December of 2018 and caused a partial collapse at the auto shop. Poor car! It went in there for a facelift and some improvements under the hood, and it came out on a flatbed, heading straight for the junkyard. This mechanic has a lot of explaining to do, and a new resume to create.
9 Customer Car Taken To Get Lunch
This one hit the YouTube channels and the news pretty fast. Breakfast Television reported that on April 5th, 2019, a mechanic at a Mercedes dealership in Mississauga took a customer’s car to the local Wendy’s drive-through, during the time he was supposed to be fixing it. The best part of all of this was that this was recorded on the customer’s dashcam. That was the fastest firing process in history.
8 Unlicenced Mechanic
Yeah, maybe check to make sure your mechanic is licensed. Anyone can open up a shop – that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re skilled enough to do so. It’s no wonder an unlicensed mechanic was the cause of a blown engine in his shop. The customer needed a new engine, and the mechanic needed a new job. CBS Sacramento ran an entire segment about this scary situation, which seems to be more common than we'd like it to be!
7 Mechanic Hits On Customer Via Texts
When a customer drops a car to the shop and leaves their phone number, the assumption is they will be contacted to pick up the vehicle, and that’s the end of the correspondence. “The Independent” reports that in January of 2019, a lady’s mechanic kept sending unwelcome messages that were personal and not tasteful in the least. It was all there in writing, so we’re sure his firing process was a swift one.
6 Forgot To Put Oil Cap On
Forgetting to put the cap on the oil after an oil change is a rookie move. This is the simplest of tasks, and everyone knows that you can’t just leave the cap off after changing the oil. A service technician was slammed on Metafilter for forgetting this critical step and boy was the customer ever mad!
5 Car Stolen After Left Running
Can you imagine finding out your mechanic left your car running and then the car was stolen? Whoa. That’s a real two-punch, and it really happened to a customer in Toronto. Consumer Reporter Sean O'Shea from Global News reported on this incident and the client's shock at the lack of accountability on her mechanic's part. We're sure he had a hard time finding a job after this hit the airwaves.
4 Old Gasket Not Removed After Oil Change
Yeah, so, when doing an oil change, maybe remove the old gasket before installing the new one. This seems to be a problem that happens more often than it should. Forums such as the one on Mechanics Stack Exchange, are full of stories where a technician forgot the old gasket which caused a real mess, and in some cases blew the engine of a customer’s car. Ouch – that is an avoidable mistake!
3 Sleeping on the Job
On July 26th of this year, The Baltimore Sun released a report that stated: "auto mechanics have the highest rate of on-the-job snoozing at 65 percent, followed by government workers at 51 percent." Wait, what? Imagine taking your car to the shop for repairs, only to find your mechanic fast asleep? That's insane, and we're not sure how anyone gets away with it!
2 Goes In for One Thing, Comes Back With More Problems
This is the worst feeling – when you take your car to a mechanic to remedy one issue, and it comes back and seems to have more issues that suddenly appear. Diane Walker from NBC "On Your Side" reported about this incident back in 2015, involving a 2001 PT Cruiser. A customer took their car into a Richmond, VA shop due to overheating issues, and was under the impression the repair was complete. Shortly thereafter, it was smoking from the hood and up in flames. Of course, the mechanic denied any negligence or wrong-doing.
1 Damaged Vehicle
Imagine dropping your car off for a routine repair at a trusted auto shop, only to find that the mechanic had damaged it? That's just not how things are supposed to work, yet it seems to happen quite frequently. While we understand that accidents happen, it would be nice for the mechanics to own up to the mistake! NBC reported that a woman named Nefertiti Haynes dropped her Cadillac at the shop, and noticed significant damage at the time of pick up. Hopefully her experience helps to keep shops accountable for their errors!
Sources: YouTube, Motor One