Costly Mistakes

I was going through extra pictures that I have taken over the last year. There were several that I could not use in regular posts. Generally either because it was too involved of a repair or the customer could not afford to fix the problem. Anyways I decided to just publish these pictures of costly mistakes. Maybe some one reading this will realize that the small details are the ones that really matter.

The HID bulb cover as it should be installed on the headlight assembly for a 2008 Lexus IS350. This one happens to be the passenger side.

This piece of tar or rubberized paper is not what a manufacturer like Lexus would have used to seal and protect a thousand dollar headlight assembly.

Neither would multiple layers of duct tape.

A lot of green corrosion on the HID bulb harness. If you enlarge the picture you may be able to see the heavily rusted clamping ring on the cable also. It will cost over $1200 to replace this head light assembly with a new part.

This would be a good reason to keep all of the hoses and filters installed on your 1992 Ford Econoline Van

The customer wondered why the idle speed was so high? A little over $250 to replace the IAC solenoid, clean up the debris and properly install all components.

This an orifice tube that is mounted inside the a/c system on a 2001 Chevrolet Silverado. The system had been  worked on five times before it came to my shop. I told them the front of the truck had to be re installed before I would work on it. With no bumper, grill, spoiler or air dam inserts the air would bypass the condenser and slip under the truck. The condition was made worse by using improper flush solvents and techniques. The wrong weight of refrigerant oil was also used. Many mistakes on this a/c system. Over $2000 in parts, solvents, filters and labor tor correct this problem. That did not include the needed body work.

These wires were the cause of the tail light fuse blowing on a 2002 Lexus IS300. The car had been involved in a minor accident and the rear bumper caver had to be replaced. The body shop did not secure these wires at the factory locations. They eventually fell down and were damaged on the hot exhaust pipe. Less than five minutes of effort a couple of years ago and this could have been avoided. Over $200 to locate the damaged wires, seal and secure them.

On this same 2002 Lexus IS300 that had no tail lights. Little did this vehicle owner know but she had exterior lights. They were from the sparks off of the exposed steel belts. Accident waiting to happen. A few hundred to replace this set of tires and untold pain, suffering and money if they are not replaced in time. I wish I had the power to take vehicles off the road sometimes.

I remember having a similar discussion with my father years ago. He was transporting stuff in his station wagon and it was clearly overloaded. The rear bumper was six to eight inches off of the ground. Might be okay at 10 mph or less for a mile or so. Not 300 miles on the interstate going through the Appalachian mountains. I told him he should reduce the weight in the vehicle so that he could travel safely. He told me that he was grown man and could handle the load. If it got away from him and he died so be it. Keep in mind that he was a truly brilliant man. He could conceive of and build any kind of machinery that he wanted to. I told him he was correct but what about the young family that might cross his path, that he killed or maimed as well? He hung his head down and started unloading the car. We as independent people are often willing to risk our own safety and lives. We become so strong willed about such actions that it blinds us to the fact that there are other people in this world with us.

Almost anyone can change parts. However not many can do it without causing other problems. Over the years I have realized that 99% of all of the really strange problems that I have encountered were caused by a set of unqualified hands having been there before. 

Share Your Experience: