Why You Should Always Be Honest With Your Mechanic

A couple of weeks ago, we asked you readers/ wrenchers/ mechanics/ whatever-you-identify-as to tell us your craziest shop stories. Anything you have encountered while working on cars that was unbelievable, between an accident or an owner’s negligence, is what we were looking for. I got a lot of emails from you, but don’t worry, there is still a chance you will get to be interviewed for a future video.

For this first episode though, we picked a reader whose story involved something you never want to see in a shop: FIRE. Sure, I don’t have the most experience working on cars myself, but I think I have heard that the spontaneous appearance of fire is bad.


I won’t spoil the story for you, it’s pretty dramatic, but the lesson to be learned is that you should always be honest with your mechanic and own up to stupid mistakes, no matter how fancy your car.

If you missed my initial post and have something you think would make for a great video: you tell me your story, I post the interview with your pictures on jalopnik.com, you get famous, please email me at elourd at jalopnik dot com.

Video Producer for Jalopnik. In a committed relationship with her 2007 Nissan Sentra named Layla.


In college, I went to my friend’s house to help him replace the timing belt on his beloved 1985 Civic. It’s a pretty straightforward but lengthy job. We collected the new belt and a few small new parts and placed them on the garage floor next to the car.

We were humming along, and everything was going great. Everything came apart easily. There no broken bolts. There was only a slight amount of swearing and no other issues were uncovered.

We were hunched over the fenders tightening the final bolts under the hood, getting ready to pour a celebratory beer. At that moment we both looked on the floor...then looked at each other. The spark went off in both our brains as we realized what lay on the floor - the brand new timing belt. We had actually re-installed the old timing belt!