Mechanics have the honor of fixing the things that everyone else breaks.
While people come to mechanics for various "normal" car problems, some customers pop up with extraordinary issues, thanks to extreme vehicle neglect or unusual amateur fixes. Redditor u/LightsOutSpud heard some funny stories from mechanics when they asked, "What's the dumbest thing you've seen someone do to their vehicle?"
You'd imagine this could work outGiphy
"Someone tried to fix their broken windshield wiper with a squeegee zip tied to the broken wiper"
This antifreeze mistake
"I've seen someone pour antifreeze ONTO their car radiator."
Just go to the gas stationGiphy
"My dad messed up his Jetta cause he used Peanut oil as alternative fuel for the diesel engine. Only old diesels do that. And I now hate the people online who told him that because I love that car and planned to learn stick from it"
Sounds like a dealership problem
"So this guy comes into my shop in an old Jeep, and complains about the steering wheel being upside down when he was going straight, I just look in the car and see the the emblem on the steering wheel is upside down.... I spend 15 minutes trying to explain him that there is nothing wrong with the car itself, it's just the emblem on the steering wheel. The dude was so embarrassed."
Don't be cheap with your oil
"Used olive oil in there oil tank because they didn't want to buy regular oil"
Just don't mess with the brakesGiphy
"Not a mechanic, but a guy I used to know was. He used to tell us some stories.
One time a kid brought in his car. He'd just bought it from a junk yard and 'fixed' some things, including replacing all the brake lines. With copper tubing. Because it was easier to bend."
Don't abuse your car
"My friend is a mechanic and told me about this guy who would kick his car's front whenever he gets mad (for some reason). One time he broke the intercooler when he kicked his car. Guess he was very mad. That intercooler costed like 100$. That must have been a valuable lesson."
This tenacious gas tank filler
"About once a month we'll get a diesel in that somebody filled up with unleaded. Once we had a customer who put diesel in her Ford fusion, which is much more impressive. Diesel pump nozzles are bigger, to prevent exactly this. Undeterred, she got a funnel and used it to slowly fill her tank from the diesel pump."
It did not look more shinyGiphy
"Not a mechanic but my husband is. He says that he once had a customer put gearbox oil into the screen wash reservoir because he thought it'd make his screen look more shiny."
It ain't low!
"My old mechanic had a guy come in with a Ford Probe. He claimed it was 'low' on oil.
They take the dipstick out and the whole stick has oil on it. He checks again with the same result.
The guy took the oil cap off and looked into down into the hole and said see it is 'low'
He had put 3-4 CASES of oil in the motor trying to fill the entire block up"
That's so thoughtful of him
"I used to know a 30 year old who would put the car air freshener duct taped outside the exhaust, kind of just dangling in front of the opening. His logic was it makes the exhaust smell better for pedestrians."
I'm no mechanic, but I'm positive they fixed that wrongGiphy
"The previous mechanic didn't know how to patch an exhaust leak, and had tried to weld a ROCKSTAR CAN around the leak. The leak caused the 2nd oxygen bank to fail, which is why they tried to patch it with the can. Not a week later the bank read a failure again."
Boats, cars, same difference
"Had a customer once who had their oil light come on and couldn't figure out how to top the oil up. He thought it might have worked like his boat motor so he poured a jug of oil in his fuel tank."
If you're going to spend that much on a car, learn how to take care of it
"Worked as a car cleaner at a dealership one summer in high school. Guy towed in a relatively new, top of the line Corvette he had bought there sometime before I started. He was mad that it had died on the road and been running poorly before that... Ranting and raving about he spent all this money and it only went X months/years before completely breaking down.
One of my work buddies got it up on a lift and started looking it over. He opens the oil drain plug and NOTHING comes out. He pulls apart the engine and the oil could now be best described as glue.
Owner talks to the guy and asks when the last time he changed the oil was. Guy had zero idea what he was talking about - he had no idea that you had to do that. He assumed you just added gas and that's the only thing you needed to do. The engine was a complete loss, which meant the car was a complete loss to him."
Diamond Plate Guy & Focus BroGiphy
"Let me tell you about diamond plate guy and Focus bro. Diamond plate guy had two things he used to modify his truck: A drill and a ton of diamond plate. It was an absolute base model V6 Ram 1500 with the exhaust chopped off, which I thought was bad enough until I opened the hood. He had drilled or glued diamond plate to EVERY flat surface. Air filter box, Intake manifold, fan shroud, etc. This was 18 months ago. My eyes still haven't recovered, but this isn't the end. He had some crappy wheels that he had painted white himself. I know this because he painted the inside of the wheel where it seats to the hub, which caused them to seize to said hubs. I literally had to buy a bigger hammer to smack them off.
Focus bro: Guy had a custom straight pipe, full Sparco race seats, five point racing harnesses, lowering springs, and...a base model, automatic Ford Focus SE."
Don't put water in your car
"Lady stated that her car said low coolant, so she filled up the coolant. She made it about a mile and the car started running terrible and cut off, shop rollback picked it up.
She filled up the coolant by removing the oil cap and topping the motor off with water"
People are reckless...
"Bad snow day, for whatever reason we were open. Guy pulls up needing a flat repair. He pulled up in a way the car could be just pulled in. Co worker goes to pull it in and can't stop, slams into his box. Wasn't going fast enough to damage anything. Car had zero brakes, say something to the customer 'oh the foot brake? That hasn't worked in years, you have to use the hand brake'
We inspect the vehicle and discover it doesn't even have brake calipers in the front. With the hoses clamped off and not an ounce of Brake fluid in the master cylinder.
And the most surprising part, they didn't want to get the brake repairs done."
A fabulously deadly upgradeGiphy
"A customer brought there vehicle to the dealership I used to work, for an airbag recall. They had bedazzled everything on the interior dash, including the covers for the airbags on the steering wheel and on the passenger side. I'm not sure she understand the fact that airbags have enough power to turn ANYTHING into shrapnel."
Warranty does not cover hammer damage
"Sooooo many people hammer on battery terminal ends. The types of terminals have changed with modern vehicles, but people still don't understand that batteries are lead and plastic. Don't beat and hammer on that. You WILL destroy your brand new $100+ battery. And no, there is no warranty if you smash it with a hammer!"
This can go wrong so fast!
"Not a mechanic, but while sitting in the shop waiting for my own car to have work completed I witnessed a customer and their mechanic talking about the customers car needing suspension repair. The customer had tried (unsuccessfully) to do the repair himself. The mechanic asked him why some lug nuts were missing and others were loose. The customer replied how he thought he would be helping the mechanic by 'loosening the tire' for him. The customer had driven 20 minutes to get to the shop with a tire held on by a few loose lug nuts."