The Joys of Being a Mechanic

Numedal

Private
Minuteman
Jul 1, 2019
25
45
18
So,
I work as a mechanic for a "local" (40 mile commute) dealership/workshop.
Over the last few days I have had the engine and transmission out of an Opel Insignia (pretty much same as the current Malibu) and had the engine stripped to re-pack the crank case that was leaking, as well as have the transmission apart to hunt for an issue in there.

After many hours of trying to get this done with constant interruptions, finally got it back together and running today. Started fine, ran nicely, no leaks, no warning lights or noises, great!

Since I live about 40 miles away, I sometimes take cars that we want to give a good "shakedown" home for the night. Today was one such day.

Was running fine until about 3 miles from home, when it coughed a couple of times, started making an unpleasant whirring noise, lit up the dash like a Christmas tree and went to limp-home mode. Fuck.

Limped home, popped the hood, oil all over the top of the transmission and back of the engine. More fuck.

Can see the fuel line in to the high pressure pump (direct injected gas engine, 2.0 EcoTec) and the pump itself shaking violently, look closer, pump is no longer actually attached to the head. Triple fuck.

After letting the engine cool enough to actually touch things, dug out what little tools I have laying around small enough and tried getting at the pump to see WTF. Found somehow both mounting bolts have sheared clean off, so the pump was only contained by the shield/cover around it.

How these two 10.9 grade bolts have sheared is a complete mystery to me (new bolts, torqued to manufacturer's specs), I only know for now that the car was just collected on a flat bed and I have no real way to get to work tomorrow...

I am rapidly coming to the conclusion this car just doesn't want to cooperate...

Ah, the joys of being a mechanic...

/rant
 

Caihlen

Earthbound Misfit
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May 24, 2020
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Not much difference in being a chicken catcher, butthole dr, ditchdigger, or a mechanic. I despise wirkn on stuff. Especially haybaler in middle of hayfield.
That needs welded on.....
 

2ndamendfan

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Nov 10, 2010
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So,
I work as a mechanic for a "local" (40 mile commute) dealership/workshop.
Over the last few days I have had the engine and transmission out of an Opel Insignia (pretty much same as the current Malibu) and had the engine stripped to re-pack the crank case that was leaking, as well as have the transmission apart to hunt for an issue in there.

After many hours of trying to get this done with constant interruptions, finally got it back together and running today. Started fine, ran nicely, no leaks, no warning lights or noises, great!

Since I live about 40 miles away, I sometimes take cars that we want to give a good "shakedown" home for the night. Today was one such day.

Was running fine until about 3 miles from home, when it coughed a couple of times, started making an unpleasant whirring noise, lit up the dash like a Christmas tree and went to limp-home mode. Fuck.

Limped home, popped the hood, oil all over the top of the transmission and back of the engine. More fuck.

Can see the fuel line in to the high pressure pump (direct injected gas engine, 2.0 EcoTec) and the pump itself shaking violently, look closer, pump is no longer actually attached to the head. Triple fuck.

After letting the engine cool enough to actually touch things, dug out what little tools I have laying around small enough and tried getting at the pump to see WTF. Found somehow both mounting bolts have sheared clean off, so the pump was only contained by the shield/cover around it.

How these two 10.9 grade bolts have sheared is a complete mystery to me (new bolts, torqued to manufacturer's specs), I only know for now that the car was just collected on a flat bed and I have no real way to get to work tomorrow...

I am rapidly coming to the conclusion this car just doesn't want to cooperate...

Ah, the joys of being a mechanic...

/rant
Been doing it 32 years, I got that shit beat by a mile!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

acudaowner

Old Salt
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I used to feel about the same way when I cut trees for Asplundh tree company during the day then before I left each house leave a fliers for my tree company to fix the damage caused by that evil power companies tree company during the day . It was one of the best win win for me jobs I ever had paid to butcher em during the day and then paid all over again to trim all pretty like during the evenings . I even god really nice discounts on rope and saddles and from time to time could even use the company truck till I got one of my own a 55 ft extendable boom makes a lot of work really easy .
 

The D

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It’s an Opel, you’re lucky that piece of shit got past a pdi. I spent 13-ish years working on cars and came to realize that most cars, even the nice German ones I worked on, are rolling piles of shit with a few gems sprinkled in sporadically
 

2ndamendfan

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It’s an Opel, you’re lucky that piece of shit got past a pdi. I spent 13-ish years working on cars and came to realize that most cars, even the nice German ones I worked on, are rolling piles of shit with a few gems sprinkled in sporadically
European cars are the worst!! You would have to understand European laws to grasp why. The average age of vehicles in USA is around 12, Europe is something like 5.
Never, I repeat NEVER own a European car past 5 years of age.
 

Hobo Hilton

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I've worked on the gamut of mechanical stuff.......... Retired now and still work on stuff every day.... Being mechanical is the "Double Edged Sword".... Pick up something for a song and a dance, tear it apart, get it going and that's one more thing I don't have to buy new. God has given me everything a man could need. All I have to do is fix it when it shows up..... LOL

Bolts could have been over torqued, heated up and snapped.

Hobo
 

The D

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European cars are the worst!! You would have to understand European laws to grasp why. The average age of vehicles in USA is around 12, Europe is something like 5.
Never, I repeat NEVER own a European car past 5 years of age.
Nah man, I love Euro cars so much more than American cars. I drive an ‘05 Volvo right now and drove a ‘93 Mercedes 300D before that. My next cars will be a VAG and BMW diesel something. I worked on Benzes exclusively long enough that anything else is a little weird to work on, even though my wife drives and loves a ‘13 Explorer
 

The D

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I've worked on the gamut of mechanical stuff.......... Retired now and still work on stuff every day.... Being mechanical is the "Double Edged Sword".... Pick up something for a song and a dance, tear it apart, get it going and that's one more thing I don't have to buy new. God has given me everything a man could need. All I have to do is fix it when it shows up..... LOL

Bolts could have been over torqued, heated up and snapped.

Hobo
I haven’t tried flipping cars too often and have both succeeded and been fucked.

I bought a severely overheated ‘95 E320 that only needed a water pump and head gasket to net me about $500

And more recent I bought a ‘95 E300 that needed an engine. I bought a fleabay engine and was in the middle of a drawn out process to replace it(my wife had just had our second monstrous son) when one of my bitch-ass neighbors called the fucking city on me. There was zero chance I was going to get it finished in time before I was extorted by the city so I had to get rid of the car for basically scrap.

I still have the engine if anyone needs one for straight replacement or do a badass swap into a rock crawler
 

The D

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My next daily driver will be purchased so I can do a ton of work to my Volvo then either sell it or keep it for a backup
 
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Ravenworks

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Ah, the joys of being a mechanic...
/rant
I use to work on heavy equipment and around 1988 I got fed up with lying in the mud and snow.
I ended up putting my roll away boxes in my basement just in case I EVER decided to play mechanic again.

I spent the next 30 years running cranes and enjoying life.
 
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thejeep

https://youtu.be/uj0mtxXEGE8
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2019 f250 anyone know how to turn the cargo light off manually with the doors open? Besides taking the fuse or bulb out?
Also how to disable the ridiculous door beeping that lets me know the door is open while in gear and self belt off bs.?
 

plong

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2019 f250 anyone know how to turn the cargo light off manually with the doors open? Besides taking the fuse or bulb out?
Also how to disable the ridiculous door beeping that lets me know the door is open while in gear and self belt off bs.?
And... the stupid effin auto tailgate lock...! Oh how I freakin hate that “feature” 🤬
 

thejeep

https://youtu.be/uj0mtxXEGE8
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^Manual windows and locks here. Pretty much the poverty pack except I couldn’t find one with manual tcase .
 

Bradu

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And... the stupid effin auto tailgate lock...! Oh how I freakin hate that “feature” 🤬
Pretty sure you can unplug the connector on the electric actuator on the tailgate without any issues if you wanted to disable it
 

jphil108

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The problem is people got sold on solutions to problems that don’t exist, COO of the last company bought a brand new 2017 f 150 short bed platinum with every damn gadget a guy could purchase including an automatic tailgate and lid; he also swore on his mother’s grave that the 5.0 liter in it was the exact same as the boss 302 from the 69 mach 1. ( so stupid and cross fucked you can’t make this shit up)asked me what I thought of his truck and then got mad when I said I didn’t see a truck, I saw an SUV with external storage, he then proceeded to tell me that my 1999 7.3 6spd 8’ bed f250 was obsolete. I agreed and said it will still be obsolete in another 15 years when I sell it with another 250,000 on it. One of us had a good laugh a week later when he needed to borrow the shop truck (2005 2500 6.0) to get home because his cam phaser had shit the bed and his truck was in the shop. Old shit worked fine, the emissions were in need of some refinement but the car companies have gotten greedy, so how do you sell an $80,000 pick-up? Add back up cameras and satellite radio with your cooled seats, I’ll keep my vinyl seats and floor, crank windows, manual transmission, no AC, and my cassette player.
 

Hobo Hilton

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The problem is people got sold on solutions to problems that don’t exist, COO of the last company bought a brand new 2017 f 150 short bed platinum with every damn gadget a guy could purchase including an automatic tailgate and lid; he also swore on his mother’s grave that the 5.0 liter in it was the exact same as the boss 302 from the 69 mach 1. ( so stupid and cross fucked you can’t make this shit up)asked me what I thought of his truck and then got mad when I said I didn’t see a truck, I saw an SUV with external storage, he then proceeded to tell me that my 1999 7.3 6spd 8’ bed f250 was obsolete. I agreed and said it will still be obsolete in another 15 years when I sell it with another 250,000 on it. One of us had a good laugh a week later when he needed to borrow the shop truck (2005 2500 6.0) to get home because his cam phaser had shit the bed and his truck was in the shop. Old shit worked fine, the emissions were in need of some refinement but the car companies have gotten greedy, so how do you sell an $80,000 pick-up? Add back up cameras and satellite radio with your cooled seats, I’ll keep my vinyl seats and floor, crank windows, manual transmission, no AC, and my cassette player.
Yep..... If you took a Chevy and a Mercedes and disassembled each one and put all the parts in respective 5 gallon buckets and totes..... The average American could not tell one from the other....

Hobo
 

tiger13

deadly at 100m
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Aug 31, 2017
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European cars are the worst!! You would have to understand European laws to grasp why. The average age of vehicles in USA is around 12, Europe is something like 5.
Never, I repeat NEVER own a European car past 5 years of age.
Look at the depreciation rate of a BMW. It is literally the worst investment of your money that you can make.
 

vh20

Gunny Sergeant
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Dec 2, 2012
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So,
I work as a mechanic for a "local" (40 mile commute) dealership/workshop.
Over the last few days I have had the engine and transmission out of an Opel Insignia (pretty much same as the current Malibu) and had the engine stripped to re-pack the crank case that was leaking, as well as have the transmission apart to hunt for an issue in there.

After many hours of trying to get this done with constant interruptions, finally got it back together and running today. Started fine, ran nicely, no leaks, no warning lights or noises, great!

Since I live about 40 miles away, I sometimes take cars that we want to give a good "shakedown" home for the night. Today was one such day.

Was running fine until about 3 miles from home, when it coughed a couple of times, started making an unpleasant whirring noise, lit up the dash like a Christmas tree and went to limp-home mode. Fuck.

Limped home, popped the hood, oil all over the top of the transmission and back of the engine. More fuck.

Can see the fuel line in to the high pressure pump (direct injected gas engine, 2.0 EcoTec) and the pump itself shaking violently, look closer, pump is no longer actually attached to the head. Triple fuck.

After letting the engine cool enough to actually touch things, dug out what little tools I have laying around small enough and tried getting at the pump to see WTF. Found somehow both mounting bolts have sheared clean off, so the pump was only contained by the shield/cover around it.

How these two 10.9 grade bolts have sheared is a complete mystery to me (new bolts, torqued to manufacturer's specs), I only know for now that the car was just collected on a flat bed and I have no real way to get to work tomorrow...

I am rapidly coming to the conclusion this car just doesn't want to cooperate...

Ah, the joys of being a mechanic...

/rant
I hear you. I had to bury Mom's 15 year old Border Collie after we had to put him down last week. Dug the grave with the backhoe and as I was covering it back up the drive for the main hydraulic pump disintegrated (rubber isolator between the crankshaft pulley and the pump driveshaft, typical John Deere setup). There is NO WAY to access this without pulling the hood, air intake duct, fuel return line, and (groan) radiator and hydraulic oil cooler. Got it apart and found the pump driveshaft was worn out and caused the isolator to fail. Ordered parts and got them in today. Back to the farm and it's 95 degrees, probably 70% RH, full sun, and of course it broke down right out in the wide open. Spent a couple hours getting it all back together (with the major hurdle being reinstalling the radiator and hooking up all the hoses and hydraulic lines to it). I was soaking wet 10 minutes after I started, and by now I'm sloshing. Went to reinstall the air intake duct and what do I see underneath it on top of the engine...? The *&$#!! fan shroud that I forgot about before reinstalling the radiator. I spent about another 30 futile minutes trying to figure a way to get it in without pulling the radiator. All I managed to do was get it wedged and make pulling the radiator even more problematic. Resigned, I pulled the rad again, with the added difficulty of the stuck shroud. Fixed my mistake and finished up probably an hour and a half of sun-baked misery past where I would have finished without the mistake. Test run was good and I dragged myself into the truck to go to the house, completely exhausted.
 

Drew M

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Jan 13, 2020
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I always told the customers if I intended to take a car home.

Even had a AMG C63 to drive while the customer was overseas, He asked me to drive it everyday to make sure it had no bugs when he picked it up after the mods were done.
Got a call the morning after he picked it up to tell me it was coming back on a truck,


I near shit until he said it was coming back because he found a quiet carpark & blew the rear tires off it.
 

Bradu

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Do you customers know you take homes overnight?
It's not uncommon for shops to do this. I had tuning issues after I supercharged a mustang and told the shop to drive it until it like it was his until it was fixed. Sometimes it is the only way to replicate the problem without paying a mechanic hours of diagnostic time. Most of the customers will let you do that if it saves them money.
 

Bradu

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So many of the new “features” lack the benefit. It’s nothing more than a selling tool. New and modern disappointments.
Yep and as a mechanic I want nothing to do with most of it on my personal vehicles. I prefer a manual transmission and the shit like a/c, cruise control, and power windows. They can keep most of that bullshit.
 

myronman3

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i tell you, the jeep wrangler i got is so nice because i can do just about everything myself. yeah, it rides like a haywagon and only gets 19 mpg, but being able to take care of it all myself is great.

the other one i have is a buick lesabre with the 3.8 v6. old, but very reliable.
 

Mr.BR

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European cars are the worst!! You would have to understand European laws to grasp why. The average age of vehicles in USA is around 12, Europe is something like 5.
Never, I repeat NEVER own a European car past 5 years of age.
Average European car is 10.8y old .
US market if of course much different most popular car being F150 vs Europe where it a VW Golf or something similar.
The Euro car for US is generally a generation old design that was already phased out of Europe tells you something .
All the fancy new smallish engines below 4L that are appearing in new US cars and trucks are in many cases old euro machines.

End of the day most US manufacturers simply fell behind the curve and are totally uncompetitive outside the home market, uncompetitivness breed by the complacency that the domestic market is enough, many are now owned by Euro manufacturers or are incorporated with them. Ford is one of the few that has a sizable euro Bussines and can draw from tech developed for euro markets.

Euro van, truck and bus diesel engines are particularly likely to migrate to US manufacturing as they have conformed to emissions standards closer to EPA standards, where NOx is more penalized than C02. ,than the engines in euro cars where CO2 is more regulated than NOx.

Will see if Tesla gets to be a player, so far its mostly a financial scheme and something like 5% market share after a decade on the market, with very low quality cars and it does look like most manufacturers will catch up with them before they sort their shit out.
 
Last edited:

Cynical

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2019 f250 anyone know how to turn the cargo light off manually with the doors open? Besides taking the fuse or bulb out?
Also how to disable the ridiculous door beeping that lets me know the door is open while in gear and self belt off bs.?
there’s a button by the headlight selector that should turn the cargo light off. A9ED96C0-CBC4-4D16-A806-8B7568743B5E.jpeg

There’s also a procedure to disable the seat belt chimes. It worked for me.

Forscan software can do it too, I believe.
 
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vh20

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I had an 86 lesabre with the 3.8, that engine was nearly bullet proof. the rest of the car fell apart around it.
TRUE! Same here with an '88 Olds 98 that belonged to my Mom. 3800 engine
 
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coachtech

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Been doing it for 30 years. I use the ditchdigger/janitor analogy. Doin' shit work or cleaning up other people's shit(lack of maintenance, poor engineering, fucking stupid people, etc.)
 

BytorJr

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haha...Mom had one of those (or actually 2 I think). Yes, I hate to admit it but that 3800 (sounds more "Murican" than 3.8L) was damn near bullet proof. Decent torque as well. No guts about what I suspect was about 5000 RPM (since Buick had no tach and that 70's like speedo).
 

346ci

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I made some good money off those 3800 intake and power steering leaks.

While at Nissan, got to drive a fairly new 350Z home for the weekend, for a "lack of power" issue. That was fun.

Had a murano towed in for a no start and gas smell. Driver hit a turtle and the shell was wedged in the tank, a recall for tank shields followed soon after.

Good times, hope I never have to turn wrenches for a living again.
 
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myronman3

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haha...Mom had one of those (or actually 2 I think). Yes, I hate to admit it but that 3800 (sounds more "Murican" than 3.8L) was damn near bullet proof. Decent torque as well. No guts about what I suspect was about 5000 RPM (since Buick had no tach and that 70's like speedo).
idk. the two i’ve owned (3 if you count my son’s car) get just under 30 mpg and if you get on it, have almost as much go as the 98 mustang gt i had. and with a good set of snow tires, they’ll shock you with what they’ll go through. it’s a hard car to beat. i’ve heard them refered to as “the banker’s cadillac”.
 
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jphil108

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Well whoever can design a truck that can’t be butchered into that retarded “I could only afford half of my lift kit” “Carolina squat” look will get my respect. It makes it look like a cow just back from the bull. Idiots around here are fascinated with a 1500 Chevy with a squat, low profile 33’s, muffler deletes, and stock cams. Sounds like shit and you have to hear it sound like shit for like 4 minutes while it struggles to get to 60.