Auto Mechanic

Auto Mechanic

Charles ~ Humble Mechanic

Raleigh, NC

Male, 32

I am one of about 200 master certified VW techs in the USA. I do everything from basic maintenance, to advanced diagnosis. I eat, sleep and breathe VWs. I also have my own website dedicated to helping everyone to understand their car, and see the behind the scenes of being an auto mechanic. You can see more at

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86 Questions


Last Answer on October 20, 2013

Best Rated

Looks like you've touched on this, but HOW do mechanics rip people off? Is it just as simple as telling customers they need unnecessary repairs?

Asked by bowlingfersoup over 11 years ago

Sorry for the delayed response. I wrote an entire post talking about this exact question. Please let me know what you think..

Ever see shows like "Pimp My Ride?" Are you a fan, or do you think they're just ridiculous?

Asked by JimBones almost 12 years ago

I really have mixed feelings about those shows. On one hand, they are totally ridiculous. Adding things to cars that BEG to be stolen. On the other hand, some of the work those guys do is really awesome. I have become very jealous of the folks that do upholstery work. Being able to sew custom seats, and dashes is really awesome. Basically, when they make custom stuff, I am on board. Adding 57 TVs is dumb, but making the custom enclosure for it is awesome, and a skill I wish I had!

I just took my '05 Expedition in for a tune up because the check engine light was on and it needed to pass emissions testing. It is now running way more rough than it was and the check engine light is now blinking at me. Do I have any options?

Asked by seth_208 almost 11 years ago

Sorry for the late reply. I hope that by now you got your Ford fixed. I am guessing a coil was not properly installed, or failed.

If you can, update your question so we all know what fixed your car.

My a/c will not work. 1996 Mazda B2300 I have checked the fuse, it is charged, and the compressor will cycle on and off, but it will still blow hot air. Anybody have any insight on what it could be?

Asked by kelly about 11 years ago

Hiya Kelly,
This is a pretty crappy time to have no a/c isn't it. It was 96 yesterday where I am YUCK!

Okay, back to your question. Can you give me a little more info?

  • When you say that the compressor will cycle, do you mean it cycles properly? Or does it turn on the right back off?
  • Does the cooling fan on the radiator work properly?
The other thing you need to check, is the vent temp ACTUALLY set to cold. Now, I know that you have turned the knob to cold. There is a door that moves to change the temperature of the air. I have seen the cable come loose on that temp door. You move the knob, but the door doesn't move.

The best way to check that is, with the car off, turn the knob back and forth a few times. You shoud hear a little thud. That is the sound of the door stopping at the end position. You can also look under the dash and have someone else turn the knob. Look for a cable or an arm moving.

Hope that helps. When you get it fixed, please update us with that was wrong.


what would make my 92 Honda accord Lx chug and sputter at 2000rpms and not go over that even when I have pressed the gas harder

Asked by jennifer monness almost 11 years ago

Hey Jennifer, it could be a number of things. I always recommend starting with normal maintenance. 

That symptom is also common with a clogged catalytic converter. 

How much has your blog helped your business?

Asked by billbo jackson over 11 years ago

Good question billbo, The short answer is NO. Now let me explain what I mean. I need to keep what I do somewhat off the main radar. I talk about things that some may consider not okay to talk about. I have to not only deal with VW, I have to deal with the company that owns my dealer. There are still so many companies that don't "get it". They don't want anything exposed, or given away. They don't want low level employees speaking for the company. No matter how you slice it, a mechanic is a low level employee. I have had a few customer come and ask for me at the shop, and that is REALLY awesome. But, I didn't build this blog and community to increase my shop hours. I built it to teach people about their cars, and give them the confidence to avoid being taken advantage of.

What do you auto mechanics wear on the job? Is there a particular kind of clothing or fabric that can stand up to grease etc, or do you just assume whatever you wear is gonna get destroyed?

Asked by playball! over 11 years ago

We have a service that cleans our uniforms. Off hand I don't know the material, but I will check for you. I pay about $200 a year for uniforms.