15 Strangest Things Mechanics Have Found in Cars
Think French fries on the floorboard and stinky gym shoes in the back seat of your car is bad? That’s nothing compared to what these mechanics have found!
Mechanic stories go way beyond car inspections and tune-ups
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Stories about mechanics over-charging are almost as common as stories about the strange things they find in cars. It shouldn’t be that shocking, however, since some people treat their vehicle as a storage unit or a recycling bin. Although, those are two things you’re doing to your car that mechanics definitely wouldn’t. Click on to see some of the most peculiar things mechanics have found in cars.
A customer dropped off her vehicle on a hot summer Friday afternoon and said she would pick up Monday, recalls John Burkhauser, director of education at Bolt on Technology, maker of auto repair software. When she picked up her car, it was fixed, but she was dismayed when an awful stench came wafting out the door. “There sat the remainder of a half watermelon in plastic wrap,” Burkhauser says. “Being made mostly of water and baked for days at probably in excess of 140 degrees F, the watermelon was now a wobbling, plastic wrapped blob filled with a brown liquid ready to let loose at any moment. The customer realized she bought the melon for the weekend and accidentally left it behind.” Don’t miss these 19 home inspector nightmares you have to see to believe.
In preparation for an interview for a marketing manager of sex toy manufacturer, Gina Hutchings, of Bedford, U.K. had to peruse a lot of product catalogs for her presentation. After the interview, she tossed the sex toy catalogs in the trunk (or boot as the Brits call it) of her car and forgot about them. The next day, her car was due for an inspection and it was then she realized she left the catalogs in the boot. “The poor mechanics thought I had a serious sex addiction,” she recalls. These 74 maintenance tips will extend the life of your car.
A hidden gem
Eddie Kane, of Tadi Brothers in Los Angeles, has installed many backup cameras without too many surprises but one time a customer came in with a high-end sports car and he discovered a tiny treasure. “When I was starting to funnel the video cable from the front to back I noticed something shiny under the carpet. I found a large diamond ring. When the customer came back to pick up his car he couldn’t stop laughing. His wife had lost it and been looking for it for the last two weeks but only told her husband the day before because she was embarrassed,” Kane says. The customer was so excited he immediately Facetimed his wife and Kane got a nice tip!
Kane recalls another incident when he installed a parking and backup sensor at a customer’s house. The installs are normally done in the shop but this was an older gentleman whose car had been sitting in the driveway for at least a year. As he was removing the bumper he heard a weird rattle. Once it was completely off, he found the source of the noise: Acorns. Kane also found a stash of nuts in the glove compartment. That’s when he noticed a squirrel nearby who was watching in protest as his secret stash of acorns was removed. “Because the car sat unused for so long by a tree, the squirrel decided to use it as his secret hiding spot!”
Factory installed gift
Paul Allen of Newark, New Jersey grew up next to his dad’s auto repair shop. One day a customer came in with a brand new 1963 Ford Galaxy complaining of a banging noise, but only at certain times. The customer mentioned that the noise always started up when he left his house so they drove the car back to the house. When they drove up the steep driveway they heard the noise, a sliding sound followed by a loud thump. “Back in the shop, my Dad took the door panel off and found that a worker on the assembly line had left a gift inside of the driver’s side door—a lovely empty soda bottle. He got the deposit back on the bottle and called the bill paid,” says Allen. Here are some of the weirdest things ever found in storage units.
Bill Bender, owner of Independent Motors in Boulder Colorado recalls a time back in the 1980s when a customer brought in his Datsun for repairs. “When we opened the hood, we discovered a strange aluminum foil configuration wrapped around the exhaust manifold. I called the customer about it he said it was how he prepared his meals. In fact, he was writing a car-cooking cookbook,” Bender says. Bender was so intrigued he got a recipe for “Denver to Colorado Springs Brisket” and tried it. “It turned out to be really good! He clearly knew what he was talking about, as odd of a specialty as that is.” Sadly, car-cooking days are pretty much of thing of the past now that there is more sophisticated access to exhaust manifolds.
When an expensive car like a Ferrari 360 Modena doesn’t start, it usually means a costly fix. “After some time performing the inspection, we found a section of wire, two feet long in shambles,” says Jesse Yuvali, Owner, Jesses Garage European Auto Repair. As it turns out, rats were the culprit. It went unnoticed because the car was rarely driven. Unfortunately, it took many hours to rebuild everything. “I’ll never forget the look on his face when he realized what these vermin had just cost him,” says Yuvali.
On a hot summer day, temps inside a car can easily rise above 100 degrees, which is one of the reasons your car is not a great place to leave things behind that can explode. Charlotte Allgood, franchise owner of Glass Doctor, a Neighborly Company in Dothan, Alabama shares a story about a customer who came in after the intense heat and pressure led to an explosion of hairspray that took out the entire back window of a car. Allgood recommends removing any and all aerosol cans from the car, no matter the season—and while you’re at it, never leave these things in your car, either.
Something smells fishy
Brian Glastetter, an automotive mechanic and Tesla Technical Training Instructor in Dallas not-so-fondly remembers a time when an odor got his attention while doing a transmission repair. “It was the most horrendous punch-you-in-the-face smell you could ever imagine. I rolled down every window with little relief,” recalls Glastetter. He looked all around and discovered the source of the horrible odor in the back seat. “What I saw defies any logic. The source—a large pile of fish heads in the back seat baking in the 100-degree summer heat. Their eyes were bulging and goop was oozing down the sides of the cloth interior,” says Glastetter. He never got to meet the customer to find out why the dead fish were there.