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Thread: Butcher work seen and repairs from hell

  1. #1
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    Butcher work seen and repairs from hell

    Fun report tonight. Had a neighbor drive over with a Honda that she just had repaired at a local "Import Specialist" shop. The issue/complaint was a strange noise from engine compartment AFTER repairs. Quick peek under the hood revealed a two belt engine with the belts crossed to the wrong accessories. The A/C belt was on the inner crank pulley slot designed for the belt going to the P/S water pump. This made them either way too loose or way too tight and crossed when looking from the top. Now it REALLY needs new belts.

    You have to love on the job training with no quality control by shop management.

    OK everyone, lets post repair shop disaster stories here. Also allowed are DIY attempts gone south.
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    Current Garage
    2005 X5 4.8is Le Mans Met Blue
    2003 525iT TiSilver
    2002 M5 TiSilver
    1998 528i Champagne Met

    Former Garage Highlights
    2004 325iTs (2x)
    1973 Pantera
    1971 Dodge Dart Sport "Lite Package"
    1970 Dodge Challenger T/A 340 Six Pack Alpine White
    1970 Dodge Challenger T/A 340 Six Pack Go Man Go Green
    1969 Road Runner 383

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    My Cars
    E39 535i
    I've got an E46 compact to go look at next week.. The owner has had the brother of their partner work on it and he seems to be very good at breaking the plastic coolant fittings. This is the second one I've had to fix on this car inside a year...

    Sent from my G8141 using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    00 540it/97 M3/92 525it
    My 92 525it seemed to always be running cold, so I figured it had a thermostat that was stuck open. What I found was that it had no thermostat at all, and tons of RTV everywhere. Must've been an old Chevy guy that worked on it, those dudes just lay down an inch of RTV everywhere instead of using proper gaskets.

    2000 540i Japanrot Touring - Build Thread | 1997 M3 5-speed Coupe | 1992 525i Touring 5-speed - Build Thread
    Previously owned:
    2003 X5 4.6 - Build Thread | 2004 Range Rover HSE -Build Thread | 2000 M5 Anthracite/Caramel - Build Thread | 2003 540i6 M-Sport with 199k miles - Build Thread
    2000 540i/6 with 160k miles - Build Thread | 1995 750il with 188k miles - Build Thread | 2003 Mercedes S500 with 96k miles
    2001 540ia with 200k miles - Parts car/Garage couch

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2018
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    My Cars
    2000 BMW 528i
    This was a very long time ago, but I was a mechanic in the U.S navy. I worked in a shop when I was stationed in Japan. I told one of the new guys to change the brakes on one of our HMMWV's and grab some help if he needed it. After a while I come back and see for whatever reason two of my guys are rubbing the BRAND NEW brake pads on the concrete... I flipped out and asked what the hell they were doing. Their answer was that the new brakes wouldn't fit and so they were grinding down the friction material to be able to get it on the rotor... Morons.

    Another time we had a starter go bad so SAME GUY from the previous story was told to change it out. It pretty difficult on those machines but he does it, limited issues, goes to start the HMMWV, nothing. No crank. He goes back under, unbolts it, inspects, etc. Puts it back in, nothing. No crank. He takes it out again, replaces it with another new starter thinking the other one was faulty. Installs it, nothing.. No crank. He finally gives up and comes to get me. I walk over, look once at the vehicle, pushed the selector lever to P. Starts right up. Idiot had it in gear the whole time.

    Okay, last one. This one was my bad.. We had these giant boat-trucks called a LARK-V. I was doing some engine work and removed the intake hose to get to what I needed and placed a rag inside to keep dust and debris from getting in the engine. I finished up all my work, hooked everything back up, and told one of the guys to fire her up. He does but after a short period there's smoke and black crap shooting out the exhaust and the engine sounds like garbage. Everyone looks at me like "what do we do??" I shrugged, told him to give it some gas and wait until it stops spitting burnt rag out the exhaust.. Oops!

    I got plenty more but I'll save them for another time.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2000 528i Sport Premium Package
    17" BBS

  5. #5
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    When calling on a dealership many years ago as a sales rep for a diagnostic and test equipment company, one of the vehicles brought in for me to test was a 4,000 mile V8 State cop car with a repair history approx 3" high of thick service tickets since it was delivered. I could hear the DEAD MISS a mile away. After showing the testing skills of a digital scope and diagnostic machine capable of component pin point, it pointed to #6 cyl with ZERO fuel delivery (throttle body application). Taking a flashlight I looked down the throttle body and saw something under it that should NOT BE THERE. Pulling off throttle body I discovered the original sand casting sock that is used during casting of the intake manifolds to create the runners passages. Someone forgot to remove it and assembled the engine with it still in the intake. No passage way to Cyl 6, no air flow, no fuel to the cyl. 30 seconds later the engine way up and running 100%.
    Meanwhile the repair tickets had alternator, spark plugs, throttle body, fuel pump parts all over it. This was one of 13 cars that day that had "problem car since new" tags. The others were even easier. Like plug dropped then installed in engine, wiring harness installed with out ground wires bolted down, wrong part installed on car by shop now problem worse, etc. Long day but funny. Sold the dealer principal on training and equipment upgrades through their new car dealer franchise parts and service program.

    Everyone was amazed. For me as it was just basic testing and diagnostics not parts hanging. The old "Test don't guess" process.....
    Current Garage
    2005 X5 4.8is Le Mans Met Blue
    2003 525iT TiSilver
    2002 M5 TiSilver
    1998 528i Champagne Met

    Former Garage Highlights
    2004 325iTs (2x)
    1973 Pantera
    1971 Dodge Dart Sport "Lite Package"
    1970 Dodge Challenger T/A 340 Six Pack Alpine White
    1970 Dodge Challenger T/A 340 Six Pack Go Man Go Green
    1969 Road Runner 383

  6. #6
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    2000 BMW 528iA
    About eight years ago I took my car to a local BMW dealer (not my usual dealer but closer to home) and had them do a coolant flush and change the drive belts. Got the car when they finished and drove home. About 15 minutes later I go out and see a puddle of coolant under the car and pop the hood. This is what a "factory trained BMW technician" did with the coolant hoses. Idiot!
    hoses pshop.jpg
    Last edited by Dave Sal; 06-14-2018 at 01:38 PM.
    2000 528i sport
    EMP Stewart water pump
    Dice iPod adapter
    Alpine amplifiers
    MB Quart speakers
    MTX BGE12 subwoofer
    AudioControl EQL equalizer

  7. #7
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    I got up one morning and decided it was time to change the oil in the e39. Car was sitting in the garage with the nose pointed toward the outer door so i just decided to jack it up and put the ramps underneath the front wheels instead of starting the car, moving it and driving it up on the ramps. First thing I did was open the oil filter housing to allow the oil to drain back into the engine. Did a few other things and remembered that I wanted an oil sample to send to Blackstone and I needed to start the car to circulate and warm the oil. Fired it up and sat there for 3-4 seconds before I remembered that the oil filter housing cap was open (not removed but completely open). I shut it off immediately and went out to see the mess I created. Luckily I lost only about 2 quarts of oil but it was flowing out like lava from a volcano. Took me awhile to clean everything up but luckily there was no damage to anything.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    I helped a friend of mine replace his valley pan on his 740 (same engine as our 540's).
    Took the top end off, cleaned everything up & installed the new valley pan & VCGs. Finally get the engine totally together & try to start 'er up & it cranks & cranks but no start. Neither of us can see anything wrong, and all wires were back on correctly.

    We finally decided we needed to open up the top one again, only to find the clear mailing tape over the intake manifold we put on to keep dirt out of the intake was still on there!! We both missed it.
    Doh!!
    Funny, started right up, no issues, without the tape....
    <== Steptronic Sealbeach740
    2000 740i sport: 74k Green/Tan chrome MPars, clear corners, quad brake lights, AIC hi-beams, Hoen fogs, 16x9 screen, MKIV, TFT LCD screen in back, license plate backup camera with "on demand" switch, iPod audio/video (CDC/iPod audio switching, iPod video on 16x9 screen), Basslink, gauge rings, ///M pedals, switched steptronic +/- shifting mode, E46 paddle shifter steering wheel, Dinan engine & tranny software upgrade, DDEs controlled via Euro fog light switch, painted calipers with "BMW" lettering, windows up/sunroof close via remote.

    2003 540i sport: 81k, Sterling grey/grey, MKIV Nav, PDC & CWP - Added license plate backup camera with "on demand" switch, paddle shift steering wheel, windows up/sunroof close via remote, Akebono's, painted calipers with "BMW" lettering, quad brake lights, iPod audio via AUX mode/video via 16x9 screen, BMW TV tuner, ///M pedals & gauge rings.

  9. #9
    JimLev's Avatar
    JimLev is offline Artifically Aspirated Moderator
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    Many years ago we bought a 99 Saab (the model not the year) that needed a clutch. At the time we lived in Boston and didn't have a place to do it. I got the car for a good price. Took it to the Saab dealer in Brookline to get it replaced.
    After picking it up I drove to Bentley college in Waltham, maybe a 15 mile drive. A few hours later I went to the parking lot to find a 4 foot puddle of tranny fluid under the car.
    I had it towed back to the dealer, they made up some BS story and said it was good to go.
    Drove it to my apartment and the same thing happen. Had to take the car to the Gaston Andre Saab dealer in Framingham to get it fixed correctly. The first dealer put the pilot shaft seal in backwards which allowed the fluid to blow out.
    This drivetrain has the clutch assy at the front of the engine just behind the radiator.
    The next day I bought the repair manual.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
    Many years ago we bought a 99 Saab (the model not the year) that needed a clutch. At the time we lived in Boston and didn't have a place to do it. I got the car for a good price. Took it to the Saab dealer in Brookline to get it replaced.
    After picking it up I drove to Bentley college in Waltham, maybe a 15 mile drive. A few hours later I went to the parking lot to find a 4 foot puddle of tranny fluid under the car.
    I had it towed back to the dealer, they made up some BS story and said it was good to go.
    Drove it to my apartment and the same thing happen. Had to take the car to the Gaston Andre Saab dealer in Framingham to get it fixed correctly. The first dealer put the pilot shaft seal in backwards which allowed the fluid to blow out.
    This drivetrain has the clutch assy at the front of the engine just behind the radiator.
    The next day I bought the repair manual.
    Those SAABs are the reason I will go out of my way to never lay a spanner on one ever again lol

    Sent from my G8141 using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    JimLev's Avatar
    JimLev is offline Artifically Aspirated Moderator
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    Back in the 70's they were a pretty solid car. After I sold that one I bought another one, a 99EMS, which was the sport model.

  12. #12
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    hiss by my window
    Some guys just need to turn in their tools and become greeters at WalMart. Sadly, the general public is ignorant and these guys persist, often with decent reputations.

    One of my favorite stories involves Jiffy Lube. A friend's wife brought her then new Jetta in for oil service and the "TECHNICIAN" left a wrench dangling on the drain bolt which, as she exited the service bay, caught and broke a large chunk of the cast oil pan clean off. After JL finally coughed up, kicking screaming all the way, for proper repairs done by VW they still wanted to be paid for the oil change.
    Last edited by ross1; 06-15-2018 at 09:24 AM.

    If you can leave two black stripes from the exit of one corner to the braking zone of the next, you have enough horsepower. - Mark Donohue

  13. #13
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    2000 BMW 528i
    These are some funny stories. I have a few more...

    Again, back in the shop in Japan, we get brand new batteries delivered. For shipping purposes they don't fill the battery with the acid so I had a few of my guys handle it. I showed them EXACTLY where to fill each chamber to and specifically told them not to overdo it. I also gave them some baking soda in case they spilled and told them to get their protective gear on and be careful and reminded them they're dealing with acid. They come get me and say they're all done a while later. I go and check on the batteries and there is just shhtuff everywhere... battery acid all on the table and floor. All over the tops of the batteries... I open the fill holes to inspect and the battery acid is filled to the brim.. There's even baking soda and acid on their uniforms. IDIOTS. Later one of the guys is on the smoke deck and in the middle of a few puffs just casually says "My hands hurt". Yeah I wonder why you fool..

    Another one, my step sister is not one to take care of her vehicles.. Like the kind of person that doesn't do anything or say anything until something is wrong and then maybe she'll say something. She asked my brother and me to do her brakes, I said "Oh is it making that squealing noise?" She says "Oh, no, it stopped doing that a while ago..." Great. I get the car propped up and take the wheels off.. ZERO friction material. Looks like she was driving at least a few hundred more miles with nothing but metal on metal. It was even to the point where the metal of the brake pad was half gone and there were some pretty decent grooves in the rotors. Yeesh.. I told her all of that and she didn't care at all.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2000 528i Sport Premium Package
    17" BBS

  14. #14
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    Caulking all around the broken window trim of my front and back windshield..


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ross1 View Post
    Some guys just need to turn in their tools and become greeters at WalMart. Sadly, the general public is ignorant and these guys persist, often with decent reputations.

    One of my favorite stories involves Jiffy Lube. A friend's wife brought her then new Jetta in for oil service and the "TECHNICIAN" left a wrench dangling on the drain bolt which, as she exited the service bay, caught and broke a large chunk of the cast oil pan clean off. After JL finally coughed up, kicking screaming all the way, for proper repairs done by VW they still wanted to be paid for the oil change.
    Anyone that brings their car to Jiffy Lube deserves whatever hell they get served. There’s a reason why those ding dongs only make $9.99 an hour....
    Set the controls for the heart of the sun

  16. #16
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    2000 528iAT
    Air shock failure sent me to Chesapeake Import Services in Annapolis. When I got the car back there was a rattle in the rear so I took it back to CIS. Shortly after they "fixed" it, the rattle returned so I checked it out myself and found that their "anti-rattle system" had failed. The actual problem was that they forgot to clip part of the SLS system to the tab by the battery.
    The CIS anti-rattle system:
    Cheasapeake Import Services Repair Kit.jpg

    The tab CIS could not find:
    DSC01124.JPG

  17. #17
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    You can’t say they didn’t try, awesome custom fabrication. LOL

  18. #18
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    Buddy of mine had worked at a Speedshop/ Automotive service center.

    Well the guys from the Automotive side brought a car that they had just installed the clutch but would not engage, while pushing the clutch forward the vehicle would begin to move forward without engaging properly/ in to gear.

    Upon disassembly we found the pressure plate installed backwards, on the pressure plate “clearly indicating engine side on it” flip it around, done deal.

  19. #19
    Join Date
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    Not really an example of a "repair from hell," but there is always the lug-bolts-too-tight situation. My mom got a flat in her E61 and the AAA guy couldn't get the wheel off, as the shop that put the summer tires on had way over-torqued the bolts. He ended up having to drive back to his garage to get a larger breaker bar but told my mom that he might have to flatbed the car if he couldn't get the wheel off... luckily, he got it on take two. Goes to show the importance of checking the bolt torque when the car gets home from the shop...
    "You know you've done a great job when you have miscellaneous plastic pieces and screws left over."

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