Considering how much sprawl there is in the world, it's unsurprising that most people will find they need a car to get around. And because of that, it's also true that there are a lot more people who own cars than people who know what to do when something goes wrong with them.
So, whether it's because they're intimidated or don't know what to look for, some customers will take their ailing car to a garage without seeing what's happening inside it for themselves. And when the mechanic starts their own professional examination, what they find is a surprise to everybody!
Even those who know nothing know this doesn't look right
Reddit user No_Introduction1051 mentioned a customer driving up to their garage but being unable to pull it in once they arrived. This was because it wouldn't start, and once the employees took a look inside, it was immediately obvious why. Whatever happened to the crankshaft here, it was serious enough that it was a miracle the car ran for as long as it did.
However, it seems the customer didn't see it that way and got into a screaming match with the shop's service writer. Why? Because it was running when it got there. If they were implying that the employees had something to do with this, their explanation for how is undoubtedly "interesting."
They're going to have flashbacks about this one
When Reddit user jdnraw saw this Toyota CH-R come in for a rear bumper replacement, they were horrified to learn that this was the least of the car's problems. Although they had no idea who was responsible for these previous repairs, they could only describe them as "straight butchery."
It's easy to see what they mean with so many all-but-exposed parts barely staying in place here, but one aspect of this mess was particularly demoralizing for a professional to see. They said, "Who in the Lord's name tack welds a fuel door on?"
That really can't be safe
When the customer who owns this vehicle pulled in, they reportedly complained that their car feels like it's going through an earthquake whenever they brake. And considering that these rotors were worn down to little pegs when the mechanic had a look, it didn't take long to solve the mystery as to why that was.
As for what on Earth happened here, Reddit user the_dunc_'s theory is that the customer left the car sitting around for long enough that the rotors rusted. Once that happened, either they or someone they were unfortunate enough to trust used a grinder to wear away the surface rust. Needless to say, that decision had some consequences.
Not every strange discovery is a horrifying one
While there are all sorts of unexpected challenges and botched repairs that a mechanic will face in their day-to-day lives, some of a car's little quirks are much more likely to make them laugh than cry. And this adorable little guy fits that bill perfectly.
A happy dog like this is always good for a smile after a rough day, but the little balloons are obviously a distinct touch. There's no other way to describe this little ornament other than an "updog," which was probably what the customer had in mind to begin with.
How did things get like this?
Although it's unclear what this van was actually taken into the shop for, the mechanic could certainly be forgiven for struggling to stay on task once they got a look into the back. Most vans will attract some clutter from time to time, but this is seriously beyond the pale!
When a pile of garbage becomes so dense and disgusting that it actually seems to calcify together, it's clear that the driver has a serious problem on their hands. How long did it take those grocery bags to break down into this wall of filth?
There's no way it should ever look like this
When Reddit user _switters_ was working, a customer pulled in with a motorcycle and said the battery kept dying on them. They also noted a persistent rattling noise, and once the mechanic saw the state of this stator, that didn't exactly come as a surprise. Something had been scraping against the metal inside so hard that they exposed the mass of copper underneath it.
As for how that happened, the mechanic noticed that the stator's flywheel bolts backed out, and one of them did so to such an extreme that its head snapped off. That head is apparently the culprit for all this damage. As for how the rider ignored it for so long, _switters_ said, "You would be surprised with what some people put up with on bikes."
A nest that feels heartless to disturb
Those who live in colder climates will sometimes find that the local fauna can go to some pretty extreme lengths to keep warm during a harsh winter. And when those little critters are small enough, chances are good that they'll seek that warmth under the hood of a car.
That phenomenon is what led these adorable little squirrels to hibernate next to this engine block. And considering that they were apparently able to build a whole nest of leaves before they settled down, this car must have one inattentive driver.
It honestly should've disintegrated by now
When a customer brought this obviously unsafe vehicle to Reddit user Anonymoushipopotomus's workplace, they wanted a smoke test for a possible leak in their evaporator. And yes, they said this with a straight face like that was all that was wrong with their car.
Naturally, the mechanic was quick to bring up the corroded brakes and the tires that look like they were installed four presidential administrations ago. However, the customer refused to let them repair any of that, which makes it hard to understand why they were so worried about the evaporator.
This didn't turn out anywhere near as fancy as they hoped
Although some might look at this picture and criticize the way somebody installed the wrapping on the front bumper, that really doesn't get to the root of the issue. Even if that wrapping was replaced with Flex tape, it wouldn't get to the root of the issue.
When a custom bumper like this is installed, it's supposed to fit together with the rest of the car. If a bird can make a nest in the gap between the hood and the bumper, that's not exactly a sign of proper fitment.
It's always nice to see this happy fellow, just not here
When someone saw this car sitting here with a dog's head peeking out of the gas tank, they couldn't resist taking a picture. It's certainly not a sight that people see every day, and it would only leave everyone who comes across it with questions.
After all, how did this dog get in here? Does the car's owner know about this? Is this even their dog? Whatever the answer is to these little mysteries, at least the dog seems happy enough about it.
There's a lot to unpack with this one
The longer that someone looks at this photo, the more questions this bizarre truck inspires. Indeed, there are so many discoveries to be had here that it's unlikely most people will even notice the horseshoe hanging where an air freshener should be.
Based on the fact that its windshield looks like the driver got into a road rage incident with Superman, that horseshoe probably isn't all that lucky. Also, where did they get that Mercedes hood ornament, and why is it duct taped to the hood of this Ford?
Protip: That's supposed to go inside of the car
When Reddit user BillzPaiD met the customer who brought this Volkswagen in, she said that the radiator had fallen out of her car about a week after she got her tires replaced. Since it started making weird noises after this, she figured she might need her tires rotated.
Naturally, that's unlikely to do much about the radiator scraping against the ground like this. And since there was some damage to the bumper near the dangling radiator, the tires probably weren't the problem as much as what BillzPaiD described as the "collection of curbs" she hit.
What happened to this thing?
As Reddit user goofee76 told it, their customer came into the shop with this and simply said, "I was just driving along, and it quit." Well, once the mechanic had a look at the motor, it was clear that it had some legitimate grievances.
Even assuming that those random loose parts weren't dropped in the middle of it before the customer got here (and that's a big assumption), it still looks like somebody attacked this thing with a blowtorch. No wonder it quit.
It's not a matter of if but when
It's immensely unclear as to why whoever owns this car thought strapping all of these bags and bins to the roof was a good idea. It's not really worth it to save on the U-Haul if the stuff that's being transported ends up all over the highway, worse yet, if it ends up smashing into somebody else's car.
Although it's a miracle that all of this stuff has been able to stay on the car for as long as it has, at least some of it is guaranteed to fall off when it gets moving again. It's just a matter of how much will fall off at once when it does. It's just not going to work, folks.
It was like that when they bought it
When people look at this bent rim, it's hard for them not to wonder what this truck had to hit to cause so much damage. And the really interesting question is how long it took anybody to notice it, considering how big this rig is.
So far, the most likely candidates seem to be the world's mightiest curb or a fairly average pothole. It's impossible to know without figuring out where this truck was driving, though. It seems like it would be hard for someone to make it look like that if they tried.
Oh yeah, that'll hold
When Reddit user Makhnos_Tachanka saw how badly damaged the bell housing around their customer's gearbox was, they were understandably horrified. However, the customer's concern for an even rustier one apparently didn't extend to what should be the obviously critical situation here.
Why? Well, they seemed to figure that this jury-rigged contraption consisting of an aluminum baking tray and some baling wire would hold it together fine. That should be yet another nail in the coffin of the phrase, "The customer is always right."
Cue the horror movie music
When the customer pulled into the shop with this serious problem, Reddit user SpillNyeDaCleanupGuy quoted them as saying that their Ford F-150 "wasn't braking very well." And once the mechanic saw what they were dealing with, that seemed like the understatement of the century.
Not only was there a lip on this drum that almost wore right through it, but it's also clear that the whole thing is caked in this gray gunk. Although some commenters figured it was grease that was mummifying this drum, SpillNyeDaCleanupGuy said it was actually multiple years' worth of brake fluid and gear oil.
They can't save 'em all
According to Reddit user yokaibutterfly-, this brand-new car didn't get to be in action for long before the driver apparently ran over a big rock. That's what caused this gaping hole in the bottom, but further problems resulted after the driver kept going.
As they told it, the motor locked up, and the steering rack, engine, and transmission were also affected. As a result, this car is completely totaled after having only 120 miles on it. What an absolute shame.
Probably the last thing they expected to see
When a customer leaves a car at a garage, they can end up leaving a few quirky things inside that they don't really think about. Sometimes, they're just vaguely amusing, and the staff moves on with what they're doing.
But it's also true that sometimes, something's presence is so baffling that it boggles the mind as to why it's there in the first place. And that's about the expected reaction to discovering a single, raw red potato sitting in the cup holder. Just why?
It's probably time to get rid of that tire
Whether people know why they happened or not, there are some problems that simply can't be ignored. And that's definitely true when a big air bubble in a tire makes driving so jerky and lopsided that it feels like the police put a boot on the car.
In cases like this, there's really nothing to be done besides replacing it. Because while it may seem tempting to try and pop the bubble, that's a seriously dangerous thing to do. After all, all that pressure has to go somewhere.
This could have gone so much worse
Although many of the chilling automotive discoveries a mechanic has to deal with every day are the result of neglect and carelessness, this bizarre sight is a sign of something that could happen to anybody. But it doesn't usually work out like this.
In case it's unclear, this is a piece of antler that got lodged in this tire after a deer ran in front of a truck. It's already very lucky that the driver lived to tell about it, but this perfect embedding seems like a one-in-a-million shot.
They struck oil, but that's not a cause for celebration
A Redditor who goes by idiot_with_a_phone_ described this motor as going "ol' faithful," and this big oil spill doesn't leave a lot of room for interpretation. At first, they could only wonder whether all that oil shot out of the dipstick tube because of a coworker's mistake or because the motor was just that far gone.
However, they soon made a follow-up post that cleared up this messy mystery for everyone. And they had quite the public service announcement after several hours of cleaning. In their words, "Remember kids, DON'T USE COMPRESSED AIR TO SUS OUT VACUUM LEAKS!!"
When it's wheel versus curb, the curb always wins
Reddit user hpshaft described this scene as "$17,000 in two pictures." Considering that it depicts a Lamborghini Urus's wheel and CCM rotor after it ran into a curb at 50 miles per hour, it's easy to see how they arrived at that number.
The damage was shocking to hpshaft, who said they had never seen a 23-inch forged wheel get torn apart like this. It's a great reminder that any car that tries to eat a curb will bite off more than it can chew.
A pretty gross but familiar sight to a lot of people
It's very easy for a car to get dirty, and when people take a look around inside, they're sure to find a lot of dust and sticky stuff after they've driven it long enough. However, none of the mess that's shown here comes naturally to the car.
That's because the driver of this vehicle has been using their shift pad as an ashtray. That's not really something that most people would want to clog up, but this car is part of a fleet, so it's not like they owned it anyway.
This is a sign of a larger problem
Despite how it looks, Reddit user Gilgamesh2000000 explained that this pry bar wasn't stuck in the wheel when they got there. Instead, this little mishap simply told them how big the job ahead of them was.
It turns out this tire didn't want to come off the wheel, which means the workers were going to have a whale of a time getting it off without taking the wheel with it. And since those stains indicate that they already tried tire lube, it looks like it's going to be a long night.
How long has that been there?
Generally, people can tell when it's time to replace a tire by how much tread that tire has left. By that metric, bald tires are either a sign of some unspeakably difficult terrain or a worryingly long period of neglect.
However, that smoothness isn't the only way that a tire can tell a driver it gave up the ghost a long time ago. All that fraying indicates that it's been rotting for so long that it's starting to bulge out. When was the last time this car drove anywhere?
Nobody should ever get into this car
Reddit user ajaydizzle showed off this Volkswagen Beetle that their brother somehow managed to sell. In all likelihood, he's selling it for parts because it's obvious that this thing has an entire ecosystem in the driver's seat. The steering wheel alone looks like it's ready to give someone at least three different diseases.
So, how did this happen? How did this Beetle get to the point where it was more mold than car? Apparently, it had spent a long time sitting near standing water and had a broken door seal. Still, people were surprised it hadn't been stuck in a flood with a mold case this extreme.
Aww, what a magical moment
Although mechanics never know what kind of problems their customers might bring in, they also don't know what vehicle they'll end up seeing. That's because some days will bring on a wave of intense nostalgia when something like this rolls into the shop.
However, this time, it was something of a two-for-one because while the customer wanted this Ranchero serviced, they also used a ramp truck from the car's heyday to deliver it. Due to their strange shapes, it almost looks like one of these vehicles is giving birth to the other.
Beware of "temporary" solutions
Although it's generally a pain to replace a broken car part, it's a necessary step in many more cases than some people would like to admit. And that's a reality that definitely comes to mind when people are faced with a sight like this.
As wonderful and versatile as zip ties can be, they aren't a replacement for a bump stop. Unfortunately, it's hard not to see things that way when a temporary fix ends up working well enough to seem permanent.
This fix wasn't exactly subtle
For the uninitiated, it probably looks like the car is leaking some strange, viscous ooze everywhere. However, those with a little more experience can tell that something went wrong here, and all that stuff is an unsightly attempt to fix it.
As far as Reddit user quiveringcalm could tell, this panel broke off the car's interior, and the customer used a red RTV sealant to patch it back up. Although they wondered why this person didn't use a less obvious color like black, commenters figured that they had the red stuff and didn't want to buy more sealant.
Mileage may vary
To gauge how horrifying this picture is to somebody, it helps a lot to know where they're from. That rusted-out bottom may make the eyes pop out of some people's heads, but commenters on mtld83's Reddit post were quick to point out how common of a sight that is in the Midwest.
That part of America can get cold and icy in the winter, and all the salt and other kinds of grit they use to keep the roads from getting slippery can have a destructive effect on a car's undercarriage over time. But even for the most hardened Michigander, that spring being so extremely out of place is a bridge too far.
They wouldn't even let this in the shop
As Reddit user Key_Hearing660 explained in their post, "He was coming in off the interstate for a fuel smell and 100 foot from the door I yelled at him to kill it and grabbed an extinguisher." If nothing else, that certainly solves the mystery of what was causing the fuel smell.
While it's unclear how exactly the fire in this car started, what is clear is that there wasn't much the mechanics could do after it did. At that point, it's less a matter of fixing the car and more a matter of preventing it from destroying anything else.
Sadly, it doesn't work that way
In case it's unclear what's going on, it appears that somebody had the bright idea of putting mints in this car's air filter. And the only explanation for why is that they likely got it into their heads that it would make the car smell fresher.
But if this photo doesn't dispel that notion on its own, it should be noted that this isn't quite how it works. It's a clever move if a kid was somehow responsible for this, but it's a little more embarrassing if it was an adult.
This job shouldn't be too hard
Although many customers can keep a mechanic guessing with their vehicles, professionals can sometimes find that the weirdest jobs aren't always the biggest ones. After all, RC cars need oil changes just like the regular versions do.
That said, it's pretty clear that the mechanics were having a lot of fun with this one since they used the same lift for it that they would for that truck in the background. And it's a good thing it's a simple job because those blue and red lights might get a little distracting.
Hard mode for a mechanic
There's nothing seriously wrong with this brake line, but it's a lot to deal with for those who aren't used to working on large trucks or seeing them in mid-sized ones. Trying to bleed this seems akin to an explosives disposal expert sweating while they try to figure out which wire to cut in a movie.
Although some mechanics are used to seeing this, it was a definite first for Reddit user Ross047. As they put it, "For once, I'm glad the customer is doing the work himself." That's not something one often hears a mechanic say.
Sometimes, a mechanic's biggest problem isn't the car
While it's understandable that some customers would be wary of their mechanic after a dishonest experience, others are better described as a little too precious about their cars for their own good. And that nervousness can have some pretty annoying consequences.
Judging by this sign, it's obvious that this mechanic has exactly this kind of customer lurking around the shop right now. And they apparently haven't learned that just because they want the work to be done, that doesn't mean it is done.
They're lucky to be alive
In a sarcastic description of what they encountered at the shop that day, Reddit user DavyJonesThrowback wrote, "If you keep brakes long enough, the squealing stops on its own!" Judging by this photo, the customer's car passed that threshold a long time ago.
When brakes go from squealing to silent, they go from barely working to completely non-functional. That bottom pad looks a little bit like a skull and crossbones, which couldn't be a more appropriate way to illustrate why this is such a serious problem.
Well, there's the problem
As Reddit user AdOld5079 described it, the customer who brought this Mercedes in was incensed that the mechanics didn't see a coolant leak in her car's radiator during an earlier service. And sure, that is a pretty glaring problem to miss. But it isn't the garage's fault.
Why? Because that radiator leak was caused by this bullet that somehow ended up puncturing the radiator after that service took place. Unless they were supposed to bulletproof her car during the last service, she's really mad at whoever fired this shot.
A series of unfortunate events
When Reddit user shrewdlogarithm showed these burnt-out fuses, they described a customer with a strange and frightening predicament. The fuses in their tailgate keep blowing to the point of nearly starting on fire. Naturally, they wanted to know why that was happening.
And while this mystery is certainly bewildering on its face, the culprit soon became obvious to the mechanic. Apparently, there are about three inches of water under the carpets at the tailgate, which kept shorting out the fuses.
This is why patience is a virtue
It's understandable to look at this partially-scorched wheel and wonder what terrible accident befell it. However, it's probably even more disappointing to learn that, according to Reddit user Angeleyz1025, this was no accident at all.
Apparently, the customer was trying to remove this lug nut but couldn't get it to budge by conventional means. So, they decided to take a blowtorch to their rim, which damaged the wheel and melted its plastic cover. Unsurprisingly (for everyone but them), that didn't turn out to be a very good idea.