The Worst Mistakes I’ve Made Fixing Cars

The Worst Mistakes I’ve Made Fixing Cars


rev up your engines, today I’m going to talk
about some of the biggest mistakes I’ve
ever made as the mechanic fixing cars,
now it may be a cliche that you learn
from your mistakes, but like many cliches
there’s a lot of truth in the saying, now
I’ve been fixing cars by myself for the
last 50 years, and I fixed thousands of
cars, but I’ll tell you the ones that I
remember the most in depth were the ones
that I made mistakes on, so I never make
that same mistake again, now one of the
biggest mistakes I’ve ever made, had to
do with fixing a Porsche, but not this
Porsche, it was a 911 turbo charged
Porsche, and it had a leaking intake
manifold gasket, it was one of the early
ones that had plastic intake manifolds,
and just like many of you, I’m a DIY guy
who does it all by myself, I don’t have
a ton of really specialized equipment,
so I attempted to do it on the car by
just opening the back and working on the
engine from the top, needless to say it
took many, many hours, but I finally got it
back on and got the car running again, it
was a really gigantic pain, but then a
few months later I was at a Porsche
dealer talking to a German friend of
mine who was a mechanic there, and I told
him what I’d done and he said, Scotty why
did you even try that, he said he didn’t
even think that was possible, because at
the dealer they just got their engine
hoisting machine and they would take the
engine out of the car, drop it off, work
on it on the ground and then put it all
back in again, so I said but Hans didn’t
that cost a lot of money and he said of
course it did, if somebody wants to drive
one of these Porsches, they better be
prepared to pay to the nose to fix it
and the lesson at least for me and most
do-it-yourself guys is, I’ll never do
another one of those jobs on a 911, is
they’re going to have complicated jobs that
require very special equipment, don’t try
to do the job, it’s not worth the hassle
now the next big mistake I made was when I was younger, the first car I
bought I only paid 500 bucks and part of
it was smashed up, so I fixed the
bodywork, but then I decided I was going to
paint the whole car, and man was that a
mistake, now it was a red car and I
did paint the whole thing, so at least
now it was all one color, but it really
only look good after it rained when the
water all beaded up, because once it was
dry if you look close
at a lot of parts, you can see orange peels
all over the place where the paint
wasn’t evenly put on, so I don’t advise
anybody to paint their entire car, you
need a paint booth, you need a really
good environment that doesn’t have dust
and too much humidity, it’s something
that’s best left to a pro, another big
mistake is, I’d buy tools only to find
that I hardly ever used them or I didn’t
even use them at all, now yes you want
good jack stands, good Jack’s, a decent
scan tool, when it comes to really
specialty equipment, a lot of times it
doesn’t make sense for you to buy that
kind of stuff, now if you scan through
all these tools I have amassed over 50
years, I know I was cleaning up the other
day and I found some tools that I got
and I never even used them, that money was
all wasted, I mean now I’m in a different
situation, companies are always sending
me tools because they want me to use
them in my videos, so I’ll try anything
out since I’m not buying it, and if they
are good tools at a good price I’ll talk
about it here on my youtube channel, but
you’re not going to see Scotty forking out
his hard-earned money to buy tools that
he’s never going to use or only use once
or twice, as an example if you’re going to
do some lightweight heating, you can get a
propane torch to heat up metal parts to
get them hot to take them apart, it’ll cost
hardly anything at all, but you might do a lot of
heavy thinking before you buy even a
small welding kit like this, for four to
five hundred dollars, you may not be
using it all that much, or heck maybe a
bunch of your friends could get together
and you each throw in 40 bucks or 50
bucks, and then you can share it you’re
not using it all the time and it comes in
pretty handy for some serious problems
when metal is really stuck, the last
biggest mistake I ever made has to do
with car batteries, I was always trying
to save my customers money, so years ago
I was always going out and buying cheapest batteries I could get my hands on
to save them money, but lo and behold that bit
me in the behind many times, sometimes
six months later they’d be back and the
battery was dead, or a year later even
though it was like a four year battery,
don’t go out and buy the cheapest
batteries you
get your hands on, especially with
complex modern cars, everything’s
electronic, if the battery is weak you’re
not getting enough power, the car can go
bananas, buy good quality batteries sure
you’re going to pay a little bit more, but
hey if you amortize it over the years
that you owned it, you’re only talking
about pennies a day, so now you know some
of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made
fixing cars, and if you’re like me and
your work by yourself, hey you want to
save money but you don’t want to do
things wrong, and now heck you don’t even
have to make the mistake yourself, you
can learn from my mistakes, so you’ll
never make that mistake yourself, so if
you never want to miss another one of my
new car repair videos, remember to ring
that Bell!

100 Replies to “The Worst Mistakes I’ve Made Fixing Cars”

  1. ⬇️Scotty’s Top DIY Tools:

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    5. No Charging Required Car Jump Starter: https://amzn.to/2CthnUU

    6. Battery Pack Car Jump Starter: http://amzn.to/2nrc6qR

    🛠Check out my Garage to see what I use every day and highly recommend:
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  2. I wiped my phone off pretty hard when that Porsche was behind Scotty thinking there was something on my phone. Nope it was paint damage. Damn.

  3. All of Scotty's tools are stolen, He's known throughout the neighborhood as a tool thief, people can't even go inside for a drink of lemonade when fixing their gutters, because Scotty will be over their stealing the ratchet set they bought at Walgreens.

  4. This guy is like an anime character with all his body languages and high spirited voice.. which is very entertaining to watch while gaining some of his knowledges 😁

    I wish my school teachers were like him.

  5. Wow I got you beat, I had a Saturn SC2 dual overhead cam. Well it overheated so I'm reinstalling the machined head, got all the bolts torqued down and then noticed the gasket seemed too long even though it lined up with the head bolts and locating dowels. I had the gasket backwards!!! Don't work on a car when you have poor lighting.

  6. My biggest mistake.
    Changing the starter on a 2009 Honda Civic on jack stands without removing CV axle or exhaust pipes. It took me a good 7 hours. What an incredibly difficult and hard to reach place to put a starter. Never again!

  7. Biggest mistake..doing my own oil change I stripped the head of the drain plug..guy at the auto parts store says they don't have the O.E.M. part but they do have a plastic replacement so I bought it and put it on. Days later while on the freeway I hear a noise from and oil light comes on..I coast to the side of the freeway but the car has already died from losing all the oil…never buy a plastic drain plug nut!!!!! I can laugh at my mistake now but I killed a good Volvo 242 that way

  8. An 84 Lincoln with the BMW 2.4 diesel was the worst car I ever took on to repair.
    The only engine I have ever seen without timing marks, they were only on the dealer service tools. And if the dealer was not in business then, they would never have it.

  9. Personally, this is just me, but I don't hire mechanics that keep their place such a mess like that. It makes me think they don't keep a clean workspace and it's likely they are disorganized and might not fix my car with the utmost care to details.

    As much as I like Scotty Kilmer's videos I probably wouldnt hire him as my mechanic.

  10. AutoZone has a free loan-a-tool program that lets you choose the tools you want to use for a certain amount of time. You do have to put down a deposit but you get it back after bringing the tools back.

  11. Installed the clutch master cylinder on an 07 accord…forgot to clip on the hose from the reservoir…not looking forward to ever do that job again!

  12. Best battery in the world is an Interstate car battery. I stocked them when I had my garage and the always lasted the longest

  13. In the end, car batteries are a lottery, inexpensive or expensive. The warranty may be different however.

  14. Hey Scotty, years ago I watched you till now I have watched you. You inspired me and I opened my own diy garage. I work on European vehicles only… Yes laugh but I love that challenges! Anyways, how you prevent those 1time customers from going after you.. I’m an honest mechanic that only fixes what is needed I don’t over charge. I do take pictures of my before and after work. But currently I have this customer that want full money back case they claim nothing has been done… How do we protect ourselves from customers like that… thanks Scotty!

  15. 1 Open the hood.
    2 Remove dead battery.
    3 Measure the battery tray.
    4 Measure the maximum height of hood clearance.
    5 Buy the biggest battery that you can physically shoehorn in, under hood.
    6 Ensure you place rubber protector on hot post top.
    Life in general…go big or go home.

  16. I once spent 14hrs replacing the roller bearings on a Hesston 1320 and then it came back because the gearbox was low on oil (which i had failed to check). I feel ya

  17. 9/11 porch mistake fixing it.
    9/11 when terrorists attacked America World trade center. Very sad story I'm still giving all my condolences for all those people.
    N.Y

  18. It's awesome to see a mechanic who can not ONLY admit to himself that he is human and has messed up, but also tell thousands of random strangers he has.
    Thank you for the info as well!

  19. When I was a teen my friends and I pooled tools, we kept them at one friends house where we all use to fix our cars, worked out great, 55 now, and my brother in law and his wife's father and I buy tools and share them as opposed to keeping them all at one house, but we live within 5 miles of each other so it's not a problem sharing the tools or work space as my house has the most room by far.

  20. You don’t need a pant booth. You just have to be willing to sand and sand to get the paint smooth. Wet sanding = great paint job!

  21. My last shop I was told to replace a fuel pump on a CAT motor. I looked at it and told my boss. I never have done one. I was yelled at to do it. It came with a long bolt. I removed it and a shitload of springs came shooting out. 3k mistake.
    Did a throttle bracket on a fuel pump on a Dt motor. Lost the spacer. Tried another one. I hydrologic the side of the pump apart. 2k mistake.

  22. Lol to get a great finish on a car…. You DONT need a paint booth! I have painted atleast 30 cars in my driveway 🤣

  23. I agree with almost everything you say – here or in any other video. Here is one exception: batteries. Yes – just like everything else – there are good batteries, and there are bad batteries but battery lifespan mostly depends on charging system. Normal optimal voltage is 14 give or take .2-.3 but when gm OFFICIALLY considers "normal" 13-16, and their alternators are all over the place except where they are supposed to be, batteries (and computer stuff) don't last. From my personal and professional experience, the cheapest Walmart batteries last 7-8 years. Granted, on Hondas and Toyotas. Not detroit stuff.

  24. I have owned a socket set for twenty year, and use it all the time. I've only used a few sockets, most of the others I don't need.

  25. In 51 years he's made much bigger mistakes than those. He's human. He wants to ensure he keeps his reputation so doesn't talk about the real mistakes.

  26. Really, These are your biggest mistakes? Really. Calling yourself a mechanic is your biggest mistake. Just buy a Toyota and you will never have to work on it. Right?

  27. Once did a heater box/control unit on a late 90s explorer. Whole dash comes out. Pays 8hrs. Customer brought his own junkyard part. It had the same problem. (I didn't test it) He bought the part so he paid to have it replaced again. My mistake but the boss dodged the bullet on that one cause the customer brought his own part. We ended up getting a new unit and installing it. After the extra 8hrs of labour. He would have been better off getting a new part from the beginning.

  28. Well a few weeks ago when you showed how to fix a door handle on a ford van, you forgot to put the inner black plastic piece back inside the door panel and then you put it all back together without that piece. That was a mechanic mistake😯😯😯

  29. This video confirms what I always suspected: It was worth it to pay a collision shop to paint the new header panel I'd gotten. People thought I was nuts for not DIYing it. I DIY lots of stuff, but knew that appearance-related things rarely look professional if actual professionals weren't involved.

  30. A friend had a 70 Nova and the paint was faded and oxidized. He painted it with Rustolium and a roller. Hey it was a Nova.

  31. True about not buying cheap batteries, had 3 alternators fail on different makes of my own cars. The one thing they all had was Walmart Batteries. They would be under warranty but would cause the alternators to need replacement. No problems with alternators since.

  32. I dropped a flashlight
    in the engine bay and it got stuck in the radiator fan, after 3-4 years when I changed the alternator I managed to take it from there 🤣🤣🤣

  33. When I was working at a paint/decal application place a while ago I had to use the bathroom bad enough to actually take the 5 minutes to do so and when I got back I found that the new guy had started applying the hood bird decal on a turbo trans am…. It was off center and you could see the bumps from stuff under it

  34. I don't know… "good batteries" doesn't seem to have anything to do with cost. Best battery so far I have had in several years is the $45 wal-fart battery I bought 2 years ago. I bought expensive batteries that couldn't keep charge after 6 months.

  35. Lol Scotty I did the same thing in high school in 01, tried to paint my first car that was made in 88' , even wet sanding I never got past the hood bc the electric sander couldn't get the paint off made it down to the undercoat not even bare metal and said f it and spray painted the whole car primer gray since the clear coat was peeling!! Haha I'll never make that mistake again!

  36. Good point. I buy special tools or sometimes I look at the special tool and make the tool myself. Not as hard as it sounds

  37. Doing favors for friends, that's a big one. I mean sure some are ok but eventually, it gets to where the only tome ya hear from them is when they're broke down. I suppose at a certain point, they can't be called a friend.

  38. When i worked as a pro, if i had to barrow or rent once twice I went ahead and got it. Typically I would get the cheapest i could find at a discount tool store, depending on how often I barrowed it.

  39. nothing beats greatness with humility. great & honest mr. scotty set the good examples. virtues must never fade even with modernization.

  40. When I comes to the battery in my car it’s not even the battery that came with the car I have a 2013 Nissan versa and I stuff the truck battery in there. I couldn’t put a bigger battery and if I tried it would not be able to fit. It’s a 12 V battery so it works fine but the amperage is way above what I need but I like it that way.

  41. My biggest mistake was being under the car working the fuel and it leaked into my ear . Boy was I in pain. Worst pain ever.

  42. One of the biggest mistakes I ever made was attempting to adjust the valves on a 71 Porsche 911s. It can't be done with the engine in. It ain't a VW.

  43. Mistakes I’ve made
    -wrong oil
    -forced bits to fit/bodge
    -forgot base coats when painting
    -various incredibly expensive events

    Scott
    -bought tools didn’t use

    🤷🏻‍♂️

  44. Christ Scotty, you have one hell of a messy garage.

    Plus what are you talking about…special tools? What special tools do you need? I've worked on these and other cars, I hardly ever need any special tool.

    Talk about a guy spewing verbal diarrhea.

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