Every mechanic has a few auto repair horror stories. Cars which, whether due to design flaws, the rarity of parts, or just poor upkeep, take an eternity to repair and drive the technician around the bend trying to get the job done.
Auto mechanic students are generally quite lucky to be training to work in an area they are passionate about. Most technicians enjoy their jobs and look forward to coming to work every day. Nonetheless, a few models are still guaranteed to strike terror into the hearts of most mechanics when they pull into the shop. The list below contains some of the most complicated, expensive, and just plain awkward repair jobs a mechanic student might come across in his or her future career.
Want to know more about some the toughest cars to repair out there? Read on to find out.
1. Jaguar XJ-12: A Tough Task for Even the Best Auto Mechanic
On the road since 1972, as the XJ-12 gained popularity as one of the fastest four-door sedans on the market, it gained a reputation among mechanics for very different reasons. The engine design isn’t exactly what students enrolled in auto technician courses might expect when they picture a V12—a mess of vacuum lines and spider webs of wire, with fuse boxes fitted at random intervals along the fenders inside the engine bay.
Engine access is also difficult, and with two fuel tanks, two coolant tanks, and a battery that requires its own cooling fan, the XJ-12 was a jungle for mechanics to explore, and given its famous unreliability, one they got lost in far too often.
2. Mercedes Benz 600: An Engineer’s Dream, An Auto Technician’s Nightmare
The problem with the 600 is that it’s designed too well. The luxury sedan, first introduced in 1963, is an intricate piece of engineering, boasting a powerful 6.3L V8 engine that still delivers an incredibly smooth, quite ride.
However, perfectionism can come at a price, as it is also one of the most difficult and expensive cars to maintain. The air-cushioned suspension design is fragile, and features like the windows, trunk and sunroof are all rigged to the complex 2,176i hydraulic system, which can be almost impossible to get working again once it breaks down.
3. Mercedes Benz CLA250: The Repeat Auto Mechanic Patient
If Mercedes is guilty of over-thinking its 600 model, the opposite is true when the company launched its CLA250 in 2013. The entry level model boasted great sales but many customers were far from happy, with many reporting various engine glitches and other issues as Mercedes struggled to work out the kinks on the new model.
A consumer report survey rated the CLA250’s reliability as ‘140% worse than the average car.’ For an auto mechanic , a car like this can present major headaches, as they uncover problem after problem during a repair job that becomes never-ending. Worse still, it often won’t be long before the car returns to the shop with even more issues.
4. Porsche 928: An Economics Lesson for Mechanic Program Students
The 928 model was originally intended to replace Porsche’s popular 911 model, but it never quite caught on, and was discontinued in 1995. While originally more expensive than the 911, and despite boasting an impressive 5L V8 capable of 300 hp, demand for used models was low, and only a handful remain on the road.
As a result, parts for 928’s are extremely hard to source, and can be incredibly expensive. Even simple components like a speedometer can cost as much as $800, which eats into profit margins, and scarcity of parts means lengthier repair jobs. While not a bad car, the economic issues in repairing the 928 present major problems for mechanics.
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