"Grinding noise in front end" (2001 MB E 350 4Matic, 180k mi.)
Someone installed a used front differential and forgot to add lubricant. It got so hot that the transfer case seized up as well.


'No power over 3000 RPM' ('04 VW Jetta Diesel, 152k mi.)
The cam (left) has worn down a full millimeter, reducing valve lift. Notice absence of the shoulder compared to the new cam (Right). Premature wear is due to improper hardening of the cam, a common problem in these cars. Good job VW!


"Running Rough" ('03 BMW 325, 86k mi.)
Customer followed BMW's recommended oil service interval of 15,000 miles. Note solidified oil in the head. BMW should be ashamed, but they are not. Are you 'gellin?


'Coolant Leak' (1985 BMW 325, 250k mi.)
We've seen Duct Tape, Coathangers, Socks, Fishing Line, Hose Clamps. This is the first drywall screw. Well Done. Ineffective, but well done.


'Gear Noise' ('04 BMW 325xi, 102,000 mi.)
BMW continues to recommend against fluid changes, claiming their fluids are 'Lifetime Fill'. We believe this is a dishonest policy which ultimately cheats their customers. This Transfer Case fluid (upper) is, of course, way past the end of its life. BMW has fallen to 26th (out of 33 brands) in reliability. No wonder. Once our favorite, BMW continues to astound us with its disdain for logic.


"Oil Leak" ('06 749R)
Leaking? Torque that Sucker Down. Never mind using new copper sealing washers.


"No Defrost" ('98 Saab 9-3, 120k mi.)
Air flow is distributed by a plastic box with various doors. Heat causes plastic to become brittle and break. It would be a simple repair, but it takes 6 hours to disassemble the dash and another 6 to put it back together.


"Losing antifreeze" ('01 Saab 9-5 4Turbo)
The photo is of the oil cooler. Some genius designer put the oil cooler into the engine coolant, so that when the cooler leaks, the two fluids mix. The cooler is needlessly difficult to replace, and one must then flush the cooling system and replace the radiator hoses, and thermostat. Inelegant design.


How do I replace my battery? ('06 Pontiac Solstice)
We put a turbocharger on this cute 4 cylinder roadster. Note that the battery is under the power steering reservoir and inaccessible. One must remove the fender to get to it. Clever. We will refrain from smart aleck remarks about GM.


"Engine Rattles" ('01 Jetta 1.8 turbo, 100k mi.)
The noise and metal pieces in the oil indicate bearing failure. Inadequate lubrication was due to the oil pickup screen being clogged with sludge. This is why regular oil changes are money well spent.


"Blam" ('06 Boxster, 30k mi.)
This is the water pump shaft, which broke cleanly when the water pump seized. The water pump seized because Porsche installs a bushing, rather than a bearing. Ask any customer who has been stranded what they think of that policy. Note to Dr. Wiedeking: The Bronze Age ended 3000 yrs ago.


"No power" ('03 Jetta TDI 91k mi.)
And no wonder. The base of the throttle body (and the intake manifold too) almost completely clogged with diesel residue. We did this same car 3 yrs ago. Stupid design.


"What's up with this?" ('96 MB E 320)
Dr Doofus' protege did not have the right water pump, so he put in the wrong one. Outlet on the wrong side? No problem. Snake some heater hose around. Obviously the cooling capacity is compromised. Stoopid.


"I drive through water all the time and it never caused a problem before." (2007 MB C280)
Water must have gotten into the engine. Water will not compress, so when the intake valves closed, the piston hit the water and stopped. But the connecting rod kept going, bent, and broke. The other end of the connecting rod thrashed the block and piston almost to smithereens. Click the photo. (Since you asked, $18,000.00)


"Cletus fixed my seat; but it didn't last." ('88 BMW 735)
The four basics of Ad Hoc repair: Duct Tape, Hose Clamps, Wire Scraps, and Clothes Hanger. These are rarely seen together.


"Left front is lower than the right" ('05 MB ML 500)
Germans, you gotta love 'em: A sauerkraut machine mounted on a neutron flux capacitor with the (optional) outboard thrusters! This car is two years old, 54,000 miles. Mercedes would not return the customer's calls. An $1,800.00 repair. Whatever happened to Springs and Shocks.


'But the kids at Jiff-Quick are so nice...'
Wrong Oil Filter, improperly installed, is not filtering. (Mini Cooper)


Oops...my fault
We replaced a blown head gasket in a '91 MB 300. There are 8 different 6 Cylinder configurations that year, each with a different bore diameter. We received the wrong head gasket, slightly small in diameter. Note where the pistons struck the rim of the gasket. The engine ran, but sounded like marbles in a trash can.


"Could you change my timing belt?" ('99 VW Jetta TDI)
Only if I can get the crank pulley off. Someone rounded the mounting bolts by using too small an allen head (probably on an air wrench). The right hand bolt is normal. The left one was only removed with a chisel and some luck. Click the photo.


'Engine Quit' ('99 Audi A4)
Apparently Prof. Wristpin AND Dr. Doofus disassembled the engine. We could tell because one of the bearing cap screws was incorrect. During reassembly, care was not taken to torque the bearings exactly as specified. The engine had 2 overhead camshafts. Now it has three.


My new alternator quit after 60 miles
'New Alternator' in this case means 'Used, rebuilt, lame junk' This one came from the corner 'Twilight Zone' store having been rebuilt by a troll under some bridge. In our experience, these alternators often are defective. Had it worked when installed, it still would have failed eventually because it is the wrong alternator. (In this case it was the battery which lasted 60 miles)


'I can't steer' ('89 Volvo)
The left front wheel was turned 90 degrees to the direction of travel because the ball joint came apart. A good ball is smooth, packed in grease, and sealed inside a rubber cap. With age, the cap cracks, the grease goes away, the ball grinds itself up and finally pops out. They make noise to warn you before they come apart. The owner declined to have the other side replaced. A gambler.


The Thousand Dollar Flat Tire ('02 MB SLK)
A nice gentleman had a flat on the busy interstate. He put on the temp spare. The car went 5 feet and stopped dead. Because the dinky spare requires short lug bolts. He used the long ones, which penetrated the hub and snagged the emergency brake mechanism. The resulting torque deformed the wheel bearing. $1,100.00 repair. Mercedes, known for over-engineering, dropped the ball here.


'My seat won't move'
Coins are usually the problem, but it can be wood, pens or almost anything. Once lodged in the seat track, the seat may need to be removed. Who ever heard of a Needy Seat.


'I thought the engine was going to fall out'
This is the notorious BMW water pump with the hand-carved oak impeller. The customer stopped at a red light and thought the pickup in front of him was going to come apart. Until it pulled away and the noise stayed. Stupid design.


'Something exploded under the hood'
Plastic (what genius thought of that) accessory belt pulley becomes brittle from age and heat and....explodes.


'Overheating' ('99 BMW 325)
One Cause: Plastic Thermostat housing broke, causing Thermostat to fail closed. Water cannot reach radiator; engine overheats.


'My window makes noise/won't roll up' (All Makes and Models)
Most window mechanisms are fragile and complex, (Save a dollar, a million cars, a million dollars) providing job security for the mechanic. Click to enlarge. Stupid design.


'No Power' ('93 BMW 740)
Doktor Doofus was unable to diagnose loss of power, assumed (incorrectly) it was a blocked catalytic converter. He illegally (and unnecessarily) reamed out the Guts of cat which then went and clogged muffler. NOW it's the cat. This cat is $1300.00. And there are TWO.


'Engine Quit...' ('86 Volvo)
...because it overheated and perforated. Most engines don't operate well with a hole in the piston. Maybe a small hole. When your engine overheats, STOP and call a tow truck.


'Check engine light is on'
Diagnostic Computer fingers the Oxygen sensor. We check: New sensor connected to old plug-in. (Doktor Doofus again) Computer senses incorrect resistance, sends fault warning. New $150.00 Sensor thus ruined, must be replaced.


'Check engine light'
Diagnostic Computer identifies faulty Oxygen sensor. Sensor had been Installed incorrectly (Doktor D.) with cable contacting driveshaft. It lasted 3 days.


'Clutch stopped working' ('96 Audi)
When confronted with the evidence, the driver admitted to riding the clutch to hold the car at a stop light on a hill. Click the picture if you can't see what happened.


'Wont move in reverse' ('98 BMW 540)
She thought the car would stop faster if she put the gear lever into 'R'. We are not sexist.You know who you are. These teeth were in the transmission sump


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