Mechanics share their dumb customer stories

I am sure some of these have been posted here before but some of these folks are beyond help. How can you not know the car needs gas and stuff like that? I swear anyone with a service business has to deal with this type of nonsense from time to time. I sure do in my IT work. I had a good run of not having this for a while but had two crazies lately so hopefully that will take care of it for a while.

My common dumb customer falls for scams over and over, losing thousands or tens of thousands of dollars each time. It is like people ENJOY getting scammed or something as this never stops. How do they have that much money just to throw away? The sad part is they are funding overseas criminal gangs, often state sponsored by those who hate us, by doing this.

A few years ago one of our regular customers retired. He bought a 3500 Silverado with dual rear wheels and a big camper. He asked if he could pay us for our time to show him a few things. He was planning to drive from Oregon to Alaska.

One thing he wanted help with was how to change a tire, since he had never done that. So as I was showing him how to safely jack the truck under the rear axle, he asks “If the inner tire is flat, do I need to remove the outer one first to get to the inner?”


I can understand that if you aren’t familiar with duallies. At least he was willing to pay you for the help. I get lots of people wanting free advice/work “because it isn’t anything complicated or hard for someone who knows what they are doing.” No thanks. You can’t do it so you better be willing to pay.


Ohh, so so so many things I could post here… lol

Had a young lady that we had sold a set of tires to, and a few days later she came in the shop running her mouth being very loud and just down right belligerent complaining that we sold her a bad/defective tire that could have caused a wreck and how the tires were junk and bla bla bla…
I held my composure and told her that we would pull it right in and find out what happened, she was starting to upset customers, and when you work for a company that thinks all customers are always right, you bite your tongue a lot… According to the way she was acting I figured the tire was going to be in shreds and partly missing the sidewall and tread…
Well we pulled her car up to the shop and pulled the only tire in the trunk out (spare was on the car), looked in the back seat and only found the one tire we had just installed new… Well the tire was flat but it was in like new condition other then a roofing nail in the dead center of the tread, perfect for a proper patch, there was no burn ring (heat ring) or anything, looked great…
Soooo me being me, rolled the tire right to the center of the waiting area and asked her if this was indeed her tire that went flat, just to make sure I didn’t miss the blown out tire as she described, she confirmed it was the correct tire in question, I said are you sure this is the tire you said that was junk and blown out and dangerous, I said again (in front of the entire lobby full of customers that she had said we sold her a junk set of tires) just making sure I have the correct tire ma’am cause this one has a small nail in it and there is no other damage to the tire as you explained nor is the tire blown out (again while showing her and everyone in the room the tire)… Now I was very polite while doing this but I made my point and she changed her tone and was very thankful when she left… lol


If only diy’ers would share their dumbest ideas, that would really be funny … lol … I tried to repair one of those torchier floor lamps one time, halogen bulb. I decided the best method was to totally dissemble it. Mostly to see how it worked. When putting it back together, somehow I got the parts at the top installed in the wrong order, and bulb was sticking up so high above the shade that it made your eyes hurt to look at it when it was on … lol

I worked with a damper test technician that kept trying to work on his own car… then he’d take to a local service station to get it actually fixed. They begged him to stop trying to fix things and that they’d give him a discount so they wouldn’t have to UN-do his fixes!


Had a younger tech recommend rear brake on a F150 or maybe a Chevy, been awhile, but I walked over to check on him as he was having trouble installing the drum and I about fell over looking at the way he installed everything, I told him to move and was going tot try to move things around but he had it so messed up that I just stripped it back down and started all over, he had the star adjuster at top threaded all the way out and the parking brake bar at the bottom, I was like how the beep did you screw it up that bad… lol… I was like dude you have a cell phone, take pictures next time, we didn’t have that or YouTube back in the day… lol
Had to go to the rescue more than once for rear brakes…

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Ha ha, that reminds me when I got back from a test drive and walked in the shop and everyone was at the shop desk with 2 customers and phone, wallets etc was on the desk, well the General manager asked me without given a reason to empty my pockets, I had nothing to hide so I did, well then I asked what was going on and the GM said that the couple said they were missing some prescription pill bottles from there car after we had serviced it… I knew and trusted everyone in the shop and thought hummmm… I immediately picked up the phone and started dialing a number, the GM asked who I was calling at a time like this, while we were trying to figure out what happened to their Pills… I said I am calling the Police to come out and take statements and investigate what happened… Funny, the customers said never mind and left right away, we never heard from them again… :rofl:


Probably about 10 years ago, we had a post from someone regarding his “Toyota Accord” (or, maybe it was his “Honda Camry”? :thinking:).

In any event, proper answering of his question required that he/she clarify exactly which make and model he/she owned. Despite a few requests for clarification, there was never any response from the OP.

There is an entire YouTube channel dedicated to mechanics’ videos of bizarre vehicle defects that the customer… somehow… failed to mention. This is just one of the videos on that channel:

I think that @cwatkin might appreciate this cartoon.


Hard drives are yesterday’s tomatoes.

I have had the “I did my own brakes” and they forgot the inner bearing, cost them ball joints out, was not replacing the damaged spindle with out replacing the worn out loose ball joints also… lol
That was expensive front brake job… lol

Back in the 70s at my first gas station job, I answered the phone to a very angry woman yelling at me. Her husband was in the driveway trying to remove a flat tire and had snapped several lug nuts already.

They blamed us because we had removed their snow tires a few weeks earlier. She said we over tightened the lugnuts.

I asked what kind of car it was and what side had the flat tire. It was a Dodge and the flat was on the driver’s side.

I then asked if the husband knew which way to turn the lugnuts to loosen them (probably not my brightest way of wording things because it was a direct insult to her husband). She became more furious, to which I explained the reverse threading to her.

Ten minutes later she called back and apologized.


Nice she apologized. Yes, I discovered the reverse threads on my brother’s 57 Dodge.

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I could imagine a diy’er mixing up the inner bearing with the outer bearing, but hard to imagine how a diyer could forget to install one of the bearings? When they thought the job was done, they’d still have a leftover bearing on the work bench staring them in the face

Not too many reverse threads on modern cars, but common problem w/bicycle repair. I had to make up a list of all of my bicycle’s reverse threaded parts. It’s a surprisingly long list.

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They just removed the outer bearing and pulled the rotor off without flipping it over and looking for an inner bearing, cause they didn’t know there was an inner bearing… So they never saw the inner bearing much less removed it from the old rotor because the seal held it in place… I imagine they did it in there driveway, probably did one wheel at a time and didn’t even have a work bench…

I think I understand. The rotors were being replaced, but the diyer didn’t transfer the inner bearing to the replacement rotor. I can see how that would be problematic … lol … You’d think they’d notice that the replacement rotor was wobbling on the spindle. Diy’er probably didn’t make use of an aftermarket repair manual.

What else is there besides the left pedal axle and the left bottom bracket cup?