Wrenching Tips Bonus: Check Other People’s Work

Every once in a while, or like all the time for me, we entrust our vehicles to the [so-called?] professionals. Chances are they will do the work faster and better, and without all the spilled blood, oil and beer. I prefer smaller shops myself rather than dealerships where often you don’t even get to see the guy who is working your car.

No matter where you go however, it is always a good idea to inspect the car yourself. It’s worth doing even if you don’t know what you are looking at as sometimes major eff ups are in plain sight. My friend Baer who owns Ace Performance sent me the above picture last night. A new customer came in for a basic tune-up and the complained about poor gas mileage.  

[Source: Ace Performance]

The shop that worked on the car previously used self-tapping screws to secure the heat-shield to the fuel tank. Oops.

After you pick up your car it’s always a good idea to pop the hood and check if things such as oil/coolant caps are on, that no tools are left behind, and if all the covers are on. Depending on your level of OCD it’s a good idea to check a random lug-nut too or perhaps pull out the dipstick.

At home be on the lookout for stains on the driveway or garage floor, and make sure to tell your non-car-friendly people to report back if they see anything. Smoke is another indicator of potential eff-ups or of things about to go bad… I know that you hoons know all this, but it’s worth reminding others.

The proper way to fix the pictured eff up is to replace the fuel tank. This is not a quick or inexpensive fix on a convertible 3-series and it will be interesting to see if the other shop owes up to it.

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