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40+ Shocking Items Mechanics Found In Their Customers’ Cars

Cameron EittreimMay 23, 2022

The life of an auto mechanic is far from a cakewalk due to many factors. In fact, every day is different and presents new challenges. The things that they find under the hood of customers’ cars never cease to amaze. The things that you find inside your customers’ vehicles can be even more shocking. Whether it’s an animal, leftover food, or worse, there are often surprising finds throughout a day in the life of an automotive mechanic due to the nature of the job.

So we found 50 shocking items that mechanics found in their customers’ cars. Some of these items were about as surprising as you could imagine coming from a car. You might not expect to find a snake or squirrel under the hood of your car, but stranger things have happened. Dig in and check out some of the most shocking items mechanics have found inside of cars right here.

Photo Credit: Reddit

50: She Lost Her Smile

This woman was all smiles earlier in the day when she posted a photo of her inside her car on Instagram. She obviously enjoyed her Audi A3 a lot. That is until a tree trunk went straight through the front of the car and almost went right through the windshield. Thankfully, the occupants were not hurt as a result and she was able to walk away from the crash. This strange find shows that when it comes to driving in a storm, you can never take enough precautions to ensure that you are safe (via Dr. Graduate).

Photo Credit: Reddit

49: The Seaside Mechanic Shop

What happens when you have a mechanic shop in Seaside, California? Well, you might get an unexpected visitor in the shop now and again. This mechanic shop had a sea turtle crawl its way into the shop one afternoon. Obviously, this is shocking when you are trying to do an oil change or other repair. Nevertheless, the mechanic was thankfully able to return the turtle to the beach at the end of his shift (via Dr. Graduate). At the end of the day, it’s good this mechanic was able to save the turtle’s life due to his persistence.

Photo Credit: Reddit

48: A Surprisingly Domesticated Pet

This customer came into the shop and said he needed his truck fixed because it was overheating. The mechanic was quite surprised when a raccoon jumped out of the back of the vehicle. The raccoon ran into the lobby and went straight to the owner of the vehicle. It turns out the raccoon was his domesticated pet (via Dr. Graduate). An odd situation arose, but it was quickly averted when the raccoon was found to not be wild.

Photo Credit: Reddit

47: A Different Kind of Rabbit

When you leave a car out in the wilderness for any period, there can always be critters that get into the engine compartment. This family was shocked to find that a rabbit had built a nest in one of the family vehicles. The rabbit was alive and well and seemed to be looking for somewhere warm to stay (via Dr. Graduate). At least the owners were able to laugh at the situation and cuddle with the bunny.

Photo Credit: Reddit

46: Finding A Demon Baby In The Backseat

As we’ve seen, mechanics often find a lot of weird items in a customer’s car. When a customer visits a mechanic shop, they come from all walks of life. But they’re not usually this shocking. This time a mechanic encountered a car owned by a young family. He discovered a demon doll in the back seat of the car, which was shocking to see (via Dr. Graduate). No matter how seasoned a mechanic you may be, finding this in a backseat will make you jump due to the sheer creepiness.

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45: This Mom Puts Safety First

Here we have a happy mom taking a selfie inside of her family van. Everything is fine from the onset of the photo until you look outside the vehicle. The mom is exhibiting the frustration that most parents will encounter on a long family road trip. The thinking here is that you shouldn’t be surprised if a kid falls out along the way (via Dr. Graduate). Of course, she doesn’t mean that; at least, we hope she doesn’t really mean it.

Photo Credit: Reddit

44: A Thousand Uses For Duct Tape

They say duct tape has a thousand uses, and in the case of this driver, that would be the case. Her tire was bald and she needed it to make it to the tire shop. When the car rolled into the shop, the tire techs were in shock. The tire had been taped over using duct tape to stop it from shredding. This was both dangerous and creative at the same time (via Dr. Graduate). At the end of the day, it’s a miracle she made it to the shop safe enough for her mechanics to fix her tire.

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43: How Did A Four-Leaf Clover Grow There?

This mechanic had a weird encounter when a car pulled into the shop for an oil change. The wheel well had a four-leaf clover growing out of the rubber. The four-leaf clover is a sign of good luck and it might be even more good luck when one is growing out of a wheel well. It could also be construed that the driver must not hit the road very often, since this clover looked largely untouched based on the location it was growing in (via Dr. Graduate).

Photo Credit: Reddit

42: A Million-Mile Toyota

The owner of this Toyota Corolla comes into the shop to get the oil changed on time like clockwork. The mechanic who works in that shop was impressed when he got the car this time. The Corolla was about to turn over a million miles and it still runs like a champ. We all know that Toyota engineering is bar none, and that was the case with this specific car (via Dr. Graduate). Nevertheless, it’s always a bit shocking to see a car hit the million-mile mark.

Photo Credit: Reddit

41: The Know-It-All Customer

In the mechanic business, there’s always one customer who thinks they know more than you do despite you being a mechanic. The difference here, obviously, is that a mechanic is trained to know everything about a vehicle. In the case of this invoice, the mechanic had to show the customer what was actually going on with her car. Needless to say, she learned her lesson about being a shade tree mechanic and will trust the expert from now on (via Dr. Graduate).

Photo Credit: Reddit

40: A Kitten With A Telling Name

Although a kitten is not the same as a dog, you will find this pet hidden in a car from time to time for whatever reason. That was the case at this mechanic shop when the tech found a kitten under the dashboard. Upon connecting with the owner and explaining that a kitten was found in the car, the owner said that was “Dash.” The kitten got his name because he generally sits under the dashboard when the owner hits the road (via Dr. Graduate). Talk about irony because of this kitten’s nickname.

Photo Credit: Reddit

39: Never A More Specific Description

Perhaps one of the most difficult parts of being a service advisor is figuring out what is wrong with a customer’s vehicle before you write the ticket. This is gathered from information that you get from the customer. Since most customers aren’t automotive mechanics, it can be difficult for them to articulate what’s going wrong. This mechanic highlighted a work order that got his attention in a very specific way (via Dr. Graduate).

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38: Very Dangerous Conditions

Tire maintenance is one of the most important aspects of being a vehicle owner. The mechanic who snapped this photo was shocked when he saw this set of tires. The tire was bald on a day when the weather conditions were icy and dangerous. It was so bald that there was a reflective coating on it. When it comes to owning a vehicle, making sure the tires are properly designed is crucial to the safety of the driver (via Dr. Graduate).

Photo Credit: Reddit

37: How Did They Even Make It?

Again, we revisit the same dilemma with this driver, not taking tire care seriously. The tire exploded while the tire was driving, and the driver still kept going. The alloy rim underneath was damaged badly, and the mechanic was shocked to see that the car even made it to the shop (via Dr. Graduate). We can’t really blame them, as it truly is a marvel that this car was road-going in any fashion.

Photo Credit: Reddit

36: A Highly Suspicious Car

There are some highly suspicious cars that come into the mechanic’s shop from time to time. Living in a big city, this is something that will happen from time to time. For example, this 2017 Chevrolet Impala rolled into the shop and was covered in bullet holes. The mechanic knew something was wrong, but he couldn’t find out what. The car was reported to authorities and it came to be known that it was involved in a shootout and was then purchased at auction (via Dr. Graduate).

Photo Credit: Reddit

35: A Not-So-Friendly Reminder

How often have you had to remind someone to turn off the headlights? Leaving the headlights on is a common mistake that leaves drivers stranded. Not to mention leaving the headlights on will damage the battery after it happens too often. The mechanic that took this car in was shocked when he saw the rude reminder on the dashboard (via Dr. Graduate).

Photo Credit: Reddit

34: A Prehistoric Riding Buddy

Mechanics are no stranger to seeing interesting interior paint schemes. This driver decided to paint a prehistoric friend in the passenger seat. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if you’d almost mistake this for a skeleton. The interior paintwork is exceptional and it gives the car a unique look. With a new Jurassic Park film set to hit the theaters this summer, this car interior’s timing couldn’t be any better (via Dr. Graduate).

Photo Credit: Reddit

33: A Hero In The Backseat

You usually don’t have a hero like Batman riding in the backseat of your car. That’s what this mechanic was thinking when he took this car in for routine service. The car seat in the back had been transformed to resemble Batman. Needless to say, this is a pretty unique way to keep a superhero near the driver (via Dr. Graduate).

Photo Credit: Reddit

32: Mistaken Minor Repair

This person brought a vehicle into the shop because the left tire was trembling on the road. They thought the vehicle needed a minor repair. But the mechanic quickly disabused the thought of this as a minor repair. There were a pair of plyers sent right through the wheel. How the vehicle managed to keep driving with this in one of its tires is a miracle and the owner was shocked (via Dr. Graduate).

Photo Credit: Reddit

31: Regular Customer

Because many automotive repair shops are located in industrial areas, it’s not uncommon to get an animal visitor in the shop. That is the case with a regular visitor who frequents this repair shop at least once a week. The mechanic was quick to snap some photos of his favorite customer getting a bite to eat (via Dr. Graduate).

Photo Credit: Reddit

30: Right To Refuse Service

There are instances where a vehicle is past the point of repair. When it comes to the personal safety of the mechanic, there is no problem with refusing service to certain cars and their situations. That was the case when this truck was brought into the shop for a plethora of repairs. There was a huge hornet’s nest in the camper shell of the vehicle. Needless to say, the mechanic refused the owner any work until the hornet’s nest was removed (via Dr. Graduate).

Photo Credit: Reddit

29: A Curious Case Of Mice

As we’ve previously showcased, there’s nothing worse for a vehicle than to leave it stored outside for long periods. That is what this mechanic encountered when he opened the hood of this car. Mice had torn through the air filter and started to target the rest of the engine bay. Once mice get into a vehicle and start causing damage, it can be irreversible; and looking at this case, it’s not a surprise why (via Dr. Graduate).

Photo Credit: Reddit

28: The Steamy Engine Stand

Sometimes when business is slow, mechanics will make some shall we say, unique creations out of the parts available in the shop. Take this mountain of metal that has been welded together to look like a bent-over figure. The unique look of this engine was sure to get some laughs from the boys in the shop. There’s no report on if some of the mechanics got in any trouble for this creative use of an engine as a result, however. You can tell that the base of this creation is a real engine block (via Dr. Graduate).

Photo Credit: Reddit

27: Another Kitty

The fact that you can find animals in old vehicles is not a mystery to anyone. Auto mechanics find shocking things in a car from time to time and small cats are often among them. The mechanic pictured here found a baby kitten stashed in the backseat of a car. The owner claimed to not know where the kitten came from. These days, the kitten is still part of the mechanic shop and has grown into an adult cat (via Dr. Graduate).

Photo Credit: Reddit

26: Too Much Fun?

What happens when you get a bunch of mechanics together in the same room? You’ll have a photo like the one above. These mechanics had a bit too much fun working on this Corvette. While this photo doesn’t illustrate what all mechanics do together, it shows they had too much fun (via Dr. Graduate).

Photo Credit: Reddit

25: The Old Calculator Trick For Cheap Laughs

This mechanic was shocked when a little old lady brought this Caravan in for service. She said it wasn’t running right, but the mileage shocked the mechanic. This mechanic gave us all an example of an old trick we may have punched into our calculators in elementary school to get an elementary laugh out of our buddies (via Dr. Graduate).

Photo Credit: Reddit

24: The Perfect Gift For A Mechanic

What is the perfect gift to get an automotive mechanic? Well, take this pair of drill bit dentures out for size. The unique look of this gift is unlike anything we’ve seen. It was made by a fellow mechanic, and you have to admire the fabrication skills that went into it. These are a real pair of chompers that will resonate with anyone who knows how to pick up a wrench (via Dr. Graduate).

Photo Credit: Reddit

23: Mazda vs. Honda

The battle of Mazda versus Honda has been brewing for years. That was the case when this mechanic got a message from one of his customers. Yet it wasn’t the typical battle of Honda vs. Mazda that you might expect. She was having an issue with mice getting into both of her cars. As you can tell by the screenshot, the Mazda is not the most favored car in the mice vs. mice battle scenario (via Dr. Graduate).

Photo Credit: Reddit

22: Airplane Burnout

This tire tech had a unique situation when an airplane came in for tire service. Apparently, the plane had made an emergency landing, and the tires took quite a beating. The tire is visibly burned just by looking at it, and the metal wires are now showing. Airplane tires are meant to take a lot of weight and friction, but this is a whole different type of problem (via Dr. Graduate).

Photo Credit: Reddit

21: Another Furry Surprise

It can be stressful for a mechanic when animals are found forgotten or left unattended in vehicles. But sometimes you’ll get a customer who just leaves their animals in the vehicle for a quick oil change. That was the case when an oil tech found these two lab puppies on the floorboard of an SUV. The dogs were well cared-for, but they decided to stay in the car while the oil was being changed (via Dr. Graduate).

Photo Credit: Reddit

20: Prescription For A New Ride

What happens when a car is too far past servicing? Well, some mechanics will just tell you like it is. In this car, the engine was just too far gone to fix. The solution is listed here in a very simple format as the mechanic didn’t want to mince words with the vehicle’s owner (via Dr. Graduate).

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19: Not Sure Why The Tire Pressure Light Came On

We’re not sure why so many people have issues with their tires, but that was once again the case in this photo. A person brought a vehicle in for the tire pressure light coming on. They also complained about the rough ride quality. The picture illustrates that the tires were quite far past being safe. It just shows that proper tire maintenance is beyond important for vehicle owners (via Dr. Graduate).

Photo Credit: Reddit

18: Cat Gets a Home

In the recovery business, you will take vehicles with everything inside. This mechanic/recovery agent got an abandoned car that also had a cat inside. Needless to say, the cat has since found a new home, and it is much more comfortable than being inside an abandoned car (via Dr. Graduate).

Photo Credit: Reddit

17: A Weird Hissing Sound

This large truck was brought into the shop due to a weird hissing sound. The owner said a hissing sound kept coming from the engine bay after the truck had been sitting for a few months. Turns out the problem was a cat that had made the engine bay its home and also had kittens in the process. Needless to say, this was a comfortable cat that just wanted somewhere warm to stay (via Dr. Graduate).

Photo Credit: Reddit

16: A Deadly Post

There have been many crashes where tree branches and posts go straight through a vehicle. This tractor unfortunately met a post head-on in the field. Luckily, the operator was not hurt when the incident happened. The operation of a tractor should be taken seriously. Accidents like this can happen instantly and cause serious harm (via Dr. Graduate).

Photo Credit: Reddit

15: Drug Into The Shop

Nothing is worse than having to repossess a vehicle that has no key. The person in this photo had to drag a car to the shop with the emergency brake engaged. The result was a beautiful set of factory rims being destroyed in the process. Who knows how much other damage this Jeep Compass might have endured by being dragged as well (via Dr. Graduate), but it’s just an unfortunate byproduct of not being able to get into a repossessed vehicle.

Photo Credit: Reddit

14: The Smart Dashboard

Sometimes when a car is involved in a flood, being able to save it can be questionable. This Honda Civic Hybrid was completely flooded, but the new owner still tried to rehab it. The dashboard told them the answer to trying to drive the car in clear letters. Every once in a while, you’ll have a car that tells you when it just doesn’t want to be driven (via Dr. Graduate).

Photo Credit: Reddit

13: A Bit Moldy

Nothing will ruin a vehicle faster than interior mold. This mechanic saw that first hand when he encountered a Toyota Echo that had been left in a field. The interior was covered in mold, on top of all of the plastic being ruined. Even with a good cleaning, the interior of the Echo will never be the same. If you do store a vehicle it is imperative to keep the interior clean and free of mildew and mold (via Dr. Graduate).

Photo Credit: Reddit

12: Turn It Into a Game

Got a frustrated mechanic in your life? Well, chances are this is a game they will love. This mechanic posted a photo of the game his wife purchased for him. Diagnostic dice are the perfect way to roll the dice on a repair. Just don’t let your customers know what the secret to your diagnosis is. Imagine if mechanics used this in real life (via Dr. Graduate).

Photo Credit: Reddit

11: You Can’t Buff That Dent Out

The owner of a Santa Fe, New Mexico, body shop was in disbelief when an angry parent brought this dented-up sedan in. The mechanic told them that the dent could easily be buffed out. However, taking a quick look at the car, you’d be hard-pressed to find an easy solution to this problem. The teenager was grounded for taking the car out without permission, and in addition, the family got full coverage insurance (via Buzzfeed).

Photo Credit: Buzzfeed

10: Moldy Watermelon

You never know what you’ll find left behind in a filthy vehicle. In this case, the tech found moldy watermelon in the backseat. The car had been left out in a courtyard for a few years. The watermelon was so badly gone that the driver couldn’t identify it at first (via Buzzfeed).

Photo Credit: Hot Cars

9: A Diamond Ring

Cleaning out an abandoned vehicle as a mechanic can lead to some real prizes. This mechanic in Albuquerque, New Mexico was left a Mercury Cougar after a customer couldn’t pay the repair bill. Buried deep inside the center console was an authentic diamond ring worth 10k. Now that is a nice payment for a hard day’s work (via Buzzfeed).

Photo Credit: Buzzfeed

8: Collection of Nuts

We’ve covered it over and over again, but there is one thing that animals love to do, and that is burrow in abandoned vehicles. The mechanic in this instance found a squirrel that had built a nut reserve in the trunk. There were hundreds of nuts stashed throughout the trunk of the vehicle (via Buzzfeed).

Photo Credit: Reddit

7: Exploding Hair Spray Cans

When you abandon a car for a long period, leftover trash can become deadly. That was the case when a mechanic opened the trunk of an abandoned car to an explosion. The explosion in hand was leftover hairspray cans exposed to the high temperatures outside. Pressurized aerosol cans are nothing to joke about, and in this case, it could have hurt the mechanic (via Buzzfeed).

Photo Credit: Reddit

6: Bags Of Cash

Mechanics encounter strange things that happen, and every once in a while you find something shocking. A mechanic in Los Angeles was shocked when he opened the trunk of a Cadillac El Dorado and it was packed with cash. The mechanic didn’t touch the cash and the car was promptly returned to the owner (via Buzzfeed).

Photo Credit: Reddit

5: Slithery Surprise

Mechanics find animals that made their way into certain parts of customers’ cars if they left them unattended. This tire tech was shocked when it pulled a full snake out of the wheel well. The snake wasn’t venomous but it did scare him enough to move back away from the vehicle. The snake was returned to the wilderness and the car was returned to the owner (via Buzzfeed).

Photo Credit: Reddit

4: Cat Litter Box

The mechanic that snapped this photo found something interesting with this car owner. He had made his kitten a cat litter box by using an oil drainage pan. Not to say that this is a bad way to use an oil pan, but you won’t see this every day. The cat is also quite comfortable using the oil drain pan for a bed as well (via Buzzfeed).

Photo Credit: Reddit

3: Live Bomb

There was a scary life-changing minute for this mechanic when he found something shocking in the trunk. The car was dropped off at the shop with a live bomb in the trunk. The mechanic quickly called the authorities, and the bomb was disarmed. It turns out that it was a too-realistic toy that the owner’s son had placed in the trunk. Needless to say, the mechanic shop owner was not too pleased with this practical joke (via Buzzfeed).

Photo Credit: Reddit

2: 50 Nails In A Tire

Some vehicle owners are careless when it comes to their vehicles. You’ll often find the off-road guys trying to do just about anything in their trucks. This involves running over everything in sight and thinking that their trucks are invincible. That isn’t always the case, though, and in this case, there were roughly 50 nails found in the tire. The owner had to pay a pretty penny to get these expensive tires replaced. We bet he won’t be showing off again (via Buzzfeed).

Photo Credit: Reddit

1: Rear End Cowbell

Just when you think you’ve seen everything from the rear end of a car, you see something new. The mechanic that owns this shop was surprised to find a cowbell hanging from the rear of the vehicle. Cowbells are not traditionally found on the rear end of a car, so it was a funny sight nonetheless. There are many weird and quirky accessories that you can stick on your car, but a cowbell isn’t one of them (via Buzzfeed).

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