We’ve all worked on cars that are absolutely filthy. Unfortunately, it happens all the time. Not only are they gross, but sometimes they’re just full of stuff! How often have you needed to get into the trunk only to find it jam-packed with everything from wet gym clothes (P.U.) to a year’s worth of plastic grocery bags? Or, how often have you put the sun visor down on a test drive, only to have seven months’ worth of mail and receipts dump into your lap?
Then there’s the time a car was towed in, and it appeared the fuel pump may have gone bad. Access to the pump was gained through a panel in the trunk on this particular car, but why did it sit so low in the back? It turns out the owner was an encyclopedia salesman, evidently stocked up for the week. Ugh!
But that’s all child’s play compared to the filthy ones. Banana peels and apple cores seem to be magically attracted to the area directly under the driver’s seat, and they release a really nice pungent funk after a few weeks. And why is it that every time you need to remove a center console, the jellified coffee or soda-pop residue is holding it in place tighter than the screws?
I once had the idea to incorporate fast food with the automotive business. All I would have needed was to buy some containers and a microwave, then look under the back seat of every car that had a child seat. Then I could say to every customer, would you like fries with that? Or maybe a side of Goldfish crackers?
I was forced to scrap that idea when the local health department wouldn’t go for it. That’s when I learned the real reason technicians started wearing latex gloves. It wasn’t to protect our skin from dirt and grease, rather the occasional steering wheel that is so filthy that it’s actually sticky. Yuck!
Here’s a good one for you: the old Cadillac with a chocolate milkshake spilled on the passenger front seat. It was a brutally cold winter, and it was still frozen when I pulled the car in. The owner later confirmed that since it had been so cold, it never melted on their short drive to work, so they weren’t worried about cleaning it up right away.
I’ve never said anything to a customer about the cleanliness of their car, but I sure have formed my own personal opinions! In many cases, you wouldn’t know by the way the person dresses or acts, and I often wondered if they really realize how bad it is in their car? Then, recently, I was amused by the note a customer left on the night-drop envelope. It said, “We apologize in advance for the inside of this car and the filth. Best to leave all windows DOWN while working on it.” At least they were honest about it! Do we have the best careers or what?
I’m sure you have stories of your own. Please share them in the comments section below or send me a note to [email protected].