At Quanz Advanced Auto Body Center, we love cars. We love taking care of cars. And we love when our customers love to take care of their cars. But sadly, that’s not always the case. And that’s why some days, we’re left shaking our heads, like the time when…
Holey Brake Rotors, Batman!
A customer brought in their car with a report of noise when they hit the brakes. Usually, brake noise is a sign that brake pads are worn, and there may be some metal-on-metal grinding between the caliper and rotor…but not on this car. The brakes were so worn through on this car there were no brake pads left, there was a hole completely through the rotor and even the caliper was about halfway eaten through. We’re not sure how they were able to come to a complete stop at all! (We’re glad they came in for maintenance rather than finding the problem after collision repair.)
Runnin’ on Empty
A customer had their car towed to our garage because it wouldn’t start. There was no “Check Engine” light, no noise of any kind to give any indication of the problem. But the battery worked, so the dash gauges were functional…and the fuel indicator was below “E.” The car wouldn’t start because there was no gas in the tank.
Top Off, Then Put the Top On
Another customer came in as soon as they saw the “Check Engine” light go on. They had just gotten gas, so they suspected it was bad gas—maybe the fuel lines were clogged or it was not mixed correctly, they hypothesized. We didn’t even need to check under the hood. A visual inspection of the outside of the vehicle was enough to identify the problem: the gas cap was hanging by the cord…and you know what happens when too much air gets in the tank.
There She Blows
A car gets towed to our lot, and the owner tells us they heard a noise and then the engine just stopped. Any other details or warning signs (of which we’re sure there were others) were left out. So we inspected the vehicle to find the engine block with a hole in it…and an oil change sticker on the windshield indicating that the last oil change was over 20,000 miles ago! We recognize that 3,000 miles may be too soon for an oil change on some newer makes and models (check your owner’s manual), but in 20,000 miles, this (and every other) car should have had at least four oil changes. That poor engine!
Automotive Urban Legends
There are some automotive maintenance stories that are so good (and by “good” we mean horrific) that they travel. We’re not sure where this legendary tale comes from, but the story goes like this:
A driver runs over a mattress on a highway but keeps driving for another 30 miles. The customer brings in the car when it just won’t go any more, but, oddly enough, the only complaint is a “shimmy” when driven at high speeds.
The culprit: 60 pounds of mattress coil wrapped around the drive shaft and rear axle. The coil had punctured the gas tank, which is the only reason the driver didn’t just keep truckin’ on.
The Moral of the Stories
We know that regular maintenance can be difficult to fit into your busy schedule, but it’s very important to avoid the inconvenience and expense of unexpected repairs. If you don’t know when your car is due for service, contact us. We can look up your make and model and let you know your manufacturer’s recommendations for oil changes, filter changes, new belts, system flushes, etc. When you need service, we’ll get your car in and out as quickly as possible. You’re free to stay and enjoy free beverages and wi-fi while you wait, or let our shuttle get you to work.
In the meantime, just practice some common sense…and avoid mattresses in the middle of the road.
Drive safely, ABQ!