What crazy things have you mechanics been asked to do?


Our dealership service manager once told us in a meeting that he expected us to pull over and help any broken down cars with our dealer plates, even if it was on our way home, and/or on the weekend

When asked if there were any questions, a guy raised his hand and asked if we would be paid for our efforts, or otherwise compensated, rewarded, etc. When the answer was no, not surprisingly, there were no more questions

Needless to say, we did NOT meet his expectations :smirk_cat:

afaik, only the auto club and our roadside guy . . . who was VERY well compensated for being on call and even more so for actual roadside visits . . . were the only ones that helped our customers in broken down cars


How do you get to the oil below the end of the dipstick?



Speaking of crazy and anti freeze, I recall my dad telling how early in WW II his tank division was moved from Texas to Chicago for deployment and while on the docks someone realized that most of the vehicles were not filled with enough anti freeze for the coming cold front so the decision was made to drain all the cooling systems immediately so all the petcocks were opened and the dock was flooded with coolant.


Another example of a ridiculous request!
Hard to believe he was serious. They act like you’re part owner of the business or something.
Even people who are salaried would get some type of compensation for going above and beyond where I have worked.


Quite a few years ago, I had a supervisor who gathered the staff together, and announced, “I just get too many professional journals in order to be able to read them all. I am going to give one of these journals to each of you, so that you can read them over the next month or so, and then send summaries of the articles to me. When you are ready for the next journal, please let me know”.

This reading and writing, of course, was supposed to be done during our leisure time.
Trust me…he never received any summaries from anyone.


I might have been tempted to NOT read the journal, either, but give the supervisor a fake summary of something entirely different

Chances are, that wouldn’t have gone over well, either :smiley_cat:


I work on computers and have many similar stories. As for the elderly, I have found these are either the best or the worst customers with no middle ground.


This is typical of people. You work on one thing and they will blame you for something else until the end of time. I saw the one above about someone having their computer fixed and then their car wouldn’t start so they blamed the person who fixed the computer. I work on computers and get this all the time. Sometimes people even become threatening. So you work on something completely unrelated and when something else breaks in a year it is somehow YOUR FAULT.


I just recalled an older couple in a pristine K Car with a bad starter and flywheel. When they picked up the car and paid the bill the husband was irritated that I had lined out the warranty printed across the invoice. After I read the note detailing how the repair was due to damage done by the starter being engaged while the engine was running he became hostile and insisted that no one in their right mind would do that. After relutantly paying the bill I followed him out of the office toward his car where his wife sat in the passenger seat with the engine running and the AC on. The customer jumped in behind the wheel and turned the key to start the engine and the noise was unmistakeable. When he looked out I shrugged. Lucky for me he never returned.


In defense, some of these cars are hard to hear running now. In the old 57 Ford you could hear the rumble of the engine but now you almost have to look at the tach.


I do not work on car for a living (just a hobby) but people are people. Fill in the blank with whatever service you provide and people are all the same.

I always notice that when the entitlement checks come out, the real nutcases come out of the woodwork and blow all their money within a day or two. These are the third of the month people, the walking dead, or the zombies. I don’t care what you call them but this is when the people on “disability” come out and pull all their nonsense. The full moon and the ides of March do not scare me. The 3rd of the month does! I know some people need help but these people do everything they can to make sure anyone in business wants nothing to do with them. I mean the rancid body odor makes you want to puke and their attitudes are even worse! You talk to the police, people who work in casinos, and those at grocery stores. Their world becomes a freak show and my phone rings with nutty people calling wanting a handout in the form of free service.

Here are some things I have experienced doing service work myself.

  1. I have been asked for sexual favors many times. These are usually people I don’t want anything to do with, much less in that way. One was even another man.

  2. I have people not want to pay for their repairs and then expect their stuff back without payment. Then they become threatening when you get back into your car with their equipment. A few have threatened to kill me because they were unwiilling to pay like $30-50 to finish the job. I about ran some guy over once when he jumped in front of my car and threatened to kill me because he wouldn’t pay and I wouldn’t give him his XBOX back. I revved the engine up and yelled “You better get the hell out of my way, otherwise I will pop this clutch and send you to hell myself.” He got out of the way. Then I have had a couple where my concealed weapons permit almost came into play. It seems these types know EXACTLY when to back off and do so right when they realize the other party isn’t going to mess around. These people are sociopaths and have done this type of thing many times so know exactly how people react. It isn’t worth dealing with these people with all the stress and the wasted time of filling out police reports and the like. These usually relate to gaming consoles as they attract a different breed.

  3. Some advertising works great. Other stuff not so much. Those little weekly readers attracts a bad crowd. Social media also attracts a bad crowd and I have found that overall it isn’t worth the trouble. It seems that social media brings in the group that is basically illiterate and non-functioning in society. I once had a small engine up for sale on FB. The title of my post was “26HP side shaft Subaru-Robin engine for sale.” You would be amazed at how many people asked how many horsepower that engine was. I mean really??? I guess it isn’t 26HP or something. My issues with social media just go on and on. I call it antisocial media for a reason.

  4. Then, the cheaper something is the more people expect. You tell people that something is cheap for a reason but they expect premium quality.

  5. They want you to do a quick fix for cheap. Again, you get what you pay for. I used to band-aid jobs at a reduced price and tell people it could last 2 days or 2 years. Not anymore! They have totally forgotten when they come in hopping mad because they had a failure a week later that I told them this was only a temporary repair. I will not refund their money or redo the job. I have quit doing these types of jobs. One guy insisted that I do one. I insisted that he sign a form acknowledging that he was requesting substandard work and that there would be no warranties on any work and that he would likely cost himself more money in the long run. He refused to sign the form but agreed to pay me to do it right. I never heard from him again so apparently the repair worked.

There is a guy in town who caters to these people. They get burned and then come to me. I don’t view him as competition as he sends plenty of work my direction in the form of mad customers. I can’t say his customers are my favorite. They got what they deserved by demanding a cheap product and then it is my job to convince them that this is why they are in the situation they are. They are a lower-end demographic and overall pains.

  1. Gaming consoles are a different animal… I have decided you must be on drugs, welfare, and be absolutely filthy in order to own one. I mean it must be a requirement for them to sell you one. It is really common to get them in filled with cat urine, cigarettes, and cockroaches. Yes, roaches are common. Lots and lots of them. There are living ones, putrid decaying dead ones, roaches in the fans/cooling system, etc. I require extra money upfront with these and won’t touch them unless I have $75 in hand upfront.

  2. Certain cultures are really bad about wanting to haggle on the price. Indians and certain Africans are really bad about this. They will never pay my upfront fee so I rarely get jobs with them.

  3. Advertising on talk radio seems to bring in a good clientele. These are people who are educated and in the upper income brackets. I suggest anyone that owns a business advertise on talk radio. It is the second most popular radio format in the US behind country and will get you the cream of the crop customers.

  4. This was mentioned before. There are customers you DO NOT WANT. Figure out a way to filter them out. Require money upfront or something. Requiring money upfront has run off so many bad customers of my business that I can’t even count. This is a great idea if you don’t want to have to deal with people abandoning their equipment without payment or becoming threatening when you don’t return it to them without payment.

I have noticed many of the small auto shops around here went from “Auto Repair” only to “Auto Repair and Sales.”. Basically they get vehicles they file a mechanics lien on and then are able to sell them as their own once all the waiting periods and steps have been completed.

I now require money upfront on all jobs before I will even touch anything. This has greatly reduced my occurrence of nonsense. I also mainly cater to serving other business owners and people with jobs. Avoiding the lower-end demographic has saved my so much grief. I know many would say I am cutting out a large part of the population and thus lots of business but I don’t care. Some people are not worth the hassle. We have lots of meth and heroin in this area and that compounds the problems.


I noticed the auto-correct changed my numbers. I changed them back but that didn’t work. Gotta love this website…


Hee hee. When I bought a lot some years ago ten trees came with it. I had to ride along with the developer in his tree truck to get them and plant them though. When we were heading out to get another tree, a guy flagged him down. He wanted some trees moved or something and my guy just told him he was so busy he just couldn’t do it. We took off and he looked at me and said that guy is a chisler and I’ll never do business with him.


Someone had mention poured babbit bearings last night and I really never understood what they were. It was a interesting diversion to take a look at some of the youtubes on guys doing these bearings-boats, model T, etc. I don’t know how they ever did it on a production level for the model T engines though.


The leather bearings really get me though. I just can’t see that lasting all that long but I guess low RPM low compression engines could make do with this.

I have changed the oil in a few mowers that looks like tar only to have them fly apart shortly afterwards. They somehow seem to run OK with this broken down thickened up oil. The stuff is just pure sludge. I think that the thick oil was cushioning the worn bearings. I doubt the engines would have held together long but I have seen several times where changing the oil in a severely neglected engine leads to their demise.


That’s very odd. Checking the tires with a gauge will mean they’re pretty close but the thump of a mallet can be very subjective. I don’t understand the reasoning behind the supervisor’s order.


Folks with professions like physicians, fighter pilots, what else, CEO’s, police maybe, they sort of need to have the kind of personality where they’ll not be overly cautious, not let caution completely rule their behavior. They need to hold to a certain amount of throwing caution to the wind to be successful. They can’t ever succumb to paralysis by analysis in other words. So their managers, bosses, etc allow that kind of stuff so as to not damage the personality traits thought to be needed for the job. Unfortunately the people that work for these personality types take some abuse b/c of it.


Although it is nothing new it seems be increasing at an alarming rate. Personal responsibility is a dying concept. Every misfortune has to be someone else’s fault.


I don’t recall my Father saying he used leather bearings just that it was done. I’m sure it was a very temporary “fix”.


I was working as a helper on an owner driven delivery truck in the mid-50s. My boss had a cabinet, window and built in distributor and 4 furniture stores under contract. We were delivering a new refrigerator to an old mansion on Lake Erie 25 miles South of Buffalo.

What was unusual was the invoice said we were to remove the old one for $15. The usual procedure was the customer would ask and pay us at the time of delivery.

When we went into the kitchen, we saw no refrigerator, the owner said it is that room there. The old one was an entire room built onto the house with an ammonia evaporation unit build into the walls and on the roof.

My boss argued with the customer who claimed he had a contract to get the addition removed for $15 and then with the furniture store who was insisting that my boss remove the room for $15 or lose their delivery contract.

My boss made a decision I would not have, so all afternoon and for two more days we attacked that room with crowbars, an axe and hammers, filling that truck 5 times and driving to the dump and hand unloading it. The walls were built with true 2 x 4 lumber, two rows of it with lath metal mesh and plaster on the inside, wood sheathing outside and in between metal tubing locked into poured pitch.

When we left with the last load, the homeowner was asking if we were coming back to replace the siding on what was now the outside wall.