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DIY car mechanic mishaps.

A thread to laugh and gasp at amateur and professional car mechanics.

I'll start with myself doing work in my engine bay, going for a test drive, looking in my rear view mirror and wondering why there are spanners bouncing in the road behind me.
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Oh dear god...where to start....?

Left the haines on the roof before a test drive....
Forgot to tighten the wheel bolts on the astra gte....
Dropped a cavalier off the side jack on to my foot....
Most recently...put coolant instead of washer fluid in the washer bottle...ruined a two day old set of wiper blades...
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(Post Link) post #3 of 60 Old 21-08-13 Thread Starter
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Oh dear god...where to start....?

Left the haines on the roof before a test drive....
Forgot to tighten the wheel bolts on the astra gte....
Dropped a cavalier off the side jack on to my foot....
Most recently...put coolant instead of washer fluid in the washer bottle...ruined a two day old set of wiper blades...
Amazing how many of us leave wheel nuts/ bolts loose
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My biggest mistake?

Buying a 147 off a bloke with an irish accent in woolwich.....he wasnt irish, possibly turned up on a horse and deffo shafted me!!!
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Forgot to replace the oil filler cap somewhere , won't do that again .
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(Post Link) post #6 of 60 Old 21-08-13 Thread Starter
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Forgot to replace the oil filler cap somewhere , won't do that again .

Messy.
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I knew this thread would come along shortly... See my earlier thread "it was all going so well"

When doing my cambelt on the Alfa, left the large end bearing cap which holds the camshaft oil seals on top of the strut mounting.

Closed the bonnet (as it started raining), snapping one of the bonnet struts clean in two, had to do the rest of the work with the bonnet resting on my head

Last edited by amfalconer; 21-08-13 at 21:33.
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Put the fork that holds the thrust bearing on the wrong way so it wouldnt do its job on a Frogeye Sprite, had to drop gearbox again to rectify.
Forgot to put oil filler cap on twice
Car fell off jack and hit wall
That'll do as I need to spare my embarrasment
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I recently took the water res off to clean it up and ti was hard to see the level.
I blocked up the return hose hole with a little screw and the main outlet with a bit of plastic.

After much caustic soda, water and vigorous shaking it was cleaner so i refitted and and filled up with anti-freeze.

For weeks later I could not work out why it kept getting really hot when in traffic. It was fine on the move - I was glad to have fitted a fan override switch.

Finally I decided to take a look and my dad pointed to the return hose and said take it off (perhaps to blow through it incase it was blocked). I really didn't think as to what difference it could make but there was the little damn screw!!!

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Mmmm....putting oil in my 'sud without the sump plug in place!! lol!
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Workin below bonnet. Went a drive. Parked her for the night. Opened the bonnet next morning to find my sockets, pliers and bolts sitting where is left them!!
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(Post Link) post #12 of 60 Old 21-08-13 Thread Starter
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Workin below bonnet. Went a drive. Parked her for the night. Opened the bonnet next morning to find my sockets, pliers and bolts sitting where is left them!!
Lol you was lucky, mine went bouncing down the road.

This week whilst driving to auto lusso, blasting down the m1 and the new grill badge I fitted the day before came flying off, bounced of my windscreen and hit a golf behind. I'm crap, I can't even fit a bloody badge
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Threw the wheel spanner onto the passenger seat , on top of a new pair of Rayban sunglasses, opz !
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Fitted a new thermostat, filled up the coolant and watched it run all the way down the street, forgot to connect the bottom hose...
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Lossen the bolts on the front passenger side wheel whilst doing cambelt. Ended up just removing drivers side. Completely forgot about it and on test drive it sounded like a wheel bearing. Booked it in for work to find out the wheel was loose
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Dropped my old BMW on its brakes, fell against the car and pushed off the axle stands and shafted the trolly jack.

Replaced the EGR, forgot to remove all tools from engine bay..... Magnetic tray purchased and has paid for its self many many times.

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Once upon a long time ago , after getting work done on a Renault Clio the nearside passenger wheel developed a noise of which I thought was a wheel bearing . While driving back on the M8 to the garage some 50 mile away there was a bang that I thought was a puncture , after slowing down a lot and entering the hard shoulder my passenger reported he saw the wheel come off ..
True the wheel nuts were loose and studs failed , the wheel was quarter a mile down the road in a field and the brake disk was worn down an inch



In my defence It was a hire/lease van and all maintenance was included in the price

Had to do the Forest Gump trick and use three nuts instead of four to get back to the garage
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LONG time ago servicing a Renault Laguna, forgot to release the oil filler cap before letting the sump plug go. Subsequently took a jet of hot oil to the chest. Doh!!!!
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Oil filler cap left off, what's all that white smoke coming from under the bonnet?

I also remember wondering why 'my' old '77 GTV didn't seem to jacking up very well. The jack had gone straight through the floor
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First time I changed a set of brake pads, I put the springs back on wrong so they forced the pads off the disc.

Took it to a garage, they pointed and laughed at me.


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I knew a lad who put one of the pads in the wrong way round on a customer's car.... Didn't end too well
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Had a MkII Ford Escort once that had worn bushes in the starter motor. So I tried to disconnect the terminals on the motor that lead directly from the battery and managed to touch them together. This shorted the battery which then melted its earth connection to the body, the current then tried to earth through the clutch cable setting a rubber housing under the car on fire. In amongst a huge cloud of smoke I managed to disconnect the battery and dive under the car put out the fire before any real damage was done.
Entertained the neighbours that day for sure

Last edited by A1f4; 22-08-13 at 15:56.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amfalconer View Post
I knew a lad who put one of the pads in the wrong way round on a customer's car.... Didn't end too well
Similar thing, my first car MKII Orion had a failed alternator which I was replacing in the evening. I recall it had a wire clip that secured the connector. Fumbling around as it was almost dark, I managed to short the clip across the connector. Wire clip very quickly heated to red hot with my finger on top of it. I still have a scar.
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My very first car was a peugeot 104 that a neighbour gave me with a burnt out wiring loom.

I spent weeks re-wiring it and servicing it until I was finally ready for its MOT. I drove it the 7 miles to the test centre (I did live right out in the sticks) feeling very pleased with myself.

Unfortunately it failed due to emissions and a loose wheel bearing. Only slightly deflated, I drove it 7 miles home to prepare it for its re-test.

When I got home I discovered that the wheel nuts were loose and the wheel bearing was fine. Happy days, I thought.

Then I discovered that I had also forgotten to replace the engine oil. How it managed 14 miles without any oil whatsoever, I still have no idea. I scrapped it, having only made one trip in my first car.

Not long after, I was the proud owner of a yugo zastava (I have owned all of the classics) and a classy casio watch with a metal strap. When reaching into the engine bay to reconnect a wire that had come loos on the starter motor I shorted the battery across my watch strap.

The strap was very nearly red hot by the time I got it off and I had a pretty nasty burn to show for it.

Amazingly I am now a mechanic for a living but 22 years later have learned a few lessons the hard way

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I once fitted a set of front pads to a mk1 fiesta then took it for a test drive with out pumping the pedal first I hit the brake never stopped and ended up in someone's front garden will never do that again
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