A rollover wreck involving a Ford F-250 and a pair of vise grips in Wisconsin this past weekend is a good reminder that there are some car repairs that are best accomplished full-ass, as opposed to half-ass. Brakes are in that category, as the driver of the truck that rolled likely learned when they used a pair of vise grips to not-fix a brake problem.
The Barron County Sherriff’s department seemed to have some fun with this one (no one was seriously hurt, so don’t get all judgy on me):
I especially like the hashtag #heylookthatcamoactuallyblendsin because, yeah, you know what, those rocker panel grass camo decals there really make it look like the rocker is just reflecting the grass the truck ended up in! Good eye there, Sheriff!
From what it looks like in the picture and the statement that the owner was working on their brakes, it looks like a perhaps leaking brake line was just clamped off with the vise grips, which could mean that the other three wheels’ brakes were still functioning, but not the front driver’s side one.
That kind of braking imbalance could have been the cause of the rollover—if all the wheels brake except for one front one, that’s not great. It’d almost be better to have disabled the other front one too, from a control standpoint, if not a braking distance one.
There was a dog in the truck too, but happily the dog was uninjured. The driver sustained some minor physical injuries, but more serious legal ones, as there was a felony warrant for the driver who was also driving without a valid license.
Not a smart move, but also at least a little understandable; sometimes people aren’t always able to do exactly what’s needed in car repair, and we do the best we can. Hell, I made a control arm bushing out of garden hose just this weekend:
So, I can sympathize to a degree, but there’s a limit. Best not to mess with really crucial safety systems like brakes — those are worth fixing properly.
Otherwise, you could end up like this guy, putting his camouflage to use. And nobody wants that.