Mechanic coated under side of my car with gear oil

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  #1  
Old 01-30-15, 05:30 PM
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Mechanic coated under side of my car with gear oil


Help, took my 2001 Jaguar to get a new fuel pump The mechanic, and older Hungarian guy cleaned the undercarriage and sprayed everything with gear oil to lube and protect. Says he does this all the time. I have never heard of it, and it smells terrible. What should I do? Smells like an old clunker with a differential leak.Name:  Car.jpg
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Old 01-30-15, 05:45 PM
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Take it back and tell him to clean it with hot soapy water. That's the stupidist thing I've ever heard someone doing.
 
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Old 01-30-15, 07:03 PM
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tried taking it to the car wash and having the underneath washed, it did nothing. He tells me that they do this with cars all the time in Europe and for his customers here. I couldn't believe it and wondered if this is something anyone else does. Stopped payment on the check and am taking it to be cleaned by someone else. Then subtract from what I owe him and pay. Garage smells rancid, can even smell it in the house. Will steam cleaning it from a detail place help?
 
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Old 01-30-15, 07:33 PM
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Yes, steam cleaning would be the best if they are careful around suspension and body panels.
And hopefully they will spray a detergent solution on first.

I've never heard of such a thing in my life.
 
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Old 01-31-15, 04:00 AM
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I've heard of oil being used to coat metal to prevent rust but haven't heard of anyone doing so in over 40 yrs and never heard of anyone using gear oil as it probably has the most offensive oil odor.

Steam cleaning should be fairly effective. Make sure they know what they are dealing with so they can have a good chance at being successful. Solvents would break down the oil but then that poses a new set of issues. I'd think a good heavy duty detergent along with steam cleaning will work.
 
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Old 01-31-15, 05:56 AM
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I'm not saying that I endorse the practice; but I know several people who use the old crankcase oil that is collected at some garages and they slosh it around in their wheel wells every fall to retard rust . . . . some might even spray it on the under carriage.

That old crankcase oil isn't so readily available any more since many garages have discovered methods for filtering, thinning, and burning it for heat. I take my old drain oil to one such garage for disposal, as I accumulate it in 5 gallon pails.

But I don't recall any obnoxious odor from that process . . . . messy, yes; smelly no. Maybe this "gear oil" has more of an odor ?
 

Last edited by Vermont; 01-31-15 at 06:36 AM.
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Old 01-31-15, 06:17 AM
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Oh, gee, used 180 gear oil was probably sprayed, thus the smell. Was this at an additional charge? A fuel pump replacement is nowhere near the undercarriage, so I wonder why it was done in the first place. I'd have him steam/detergent clean the undercarriage, and work a deal for the inconvenience he caused.
 
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Old 01-31-15, 06:36 AM
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My kind of mechanic. I like the guy. I like ol' people ways. They are usually based on hundreds of years of practical experience, not commercials. Sorry about the smell though. From what I can smell in my gear oil cans, it does have rather strong odor. But that'll weather away in time, antirust coating won't.
Guy totally reminded me of my Grandpa, who was Austria trained carriage maker (1914) and then became one of the best body guys in then Sverdlovsk. We had similar things done to his Moskvitch.
 
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Old 01-31-15, 06:56 AM
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I don't know, Igor. It may work in places with totally snow/ice weather in the winter such as you are accustomed to, but I'd hate to have that smell every time I picked someone up to show a house, or take them to church, or park close in at the grocery store. Our weather is a little more moderate than where this guy is from, even in Chicago
 
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Old 01-31-15, 07:04 AM
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I bet gear oil isn't very good for some rubber parts either .....

Take it back and have him remover the unauthorized/unrequested oil from the undercarriage.
If he refuses then have it done yourself and take him to small claims court.


"My kind of mechanic. I like the guy. I like ol' people ways. They are usually based on hundreds of years of practical experience"

You may be right but he has to get permission first.
 
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Old 01-31-15, 08:15 AM
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First time I had to have any work done on my car. I immediately liked him, and there was extra work to get the gas tank out. Two years ago I backed over some snow by accident that was frozen like a rock, and it pushed the underside of my trunk up, making it impossible to get the gas tank out. So he had to fix all that just to get the tank out. I hadn't even realized that the damage was there. That's why he had it up on the rack. He liked that there was no rust, so he cleaned it all, and painted undercoat on, then put the "heavy oil" all over everything else. I didn't mind that he didn't ask about the undercoating, actually appreciate that he did it while he had it there, and he took very good care of my car. He's a great old dude, I enjoyed talking with him and meeting him.

His little shop is so thick with that smell that I doubt he even smells it anymore, and is usually working on old Mercedes that are in pretty rough shape. I want to have a good relationship with him, I know he knows his stuff. My husband who worked as a mechanic and RV technician for 35 years, is the one who is just livid about this. He wouldn't even let the car stay in the garage the first night! He is sick to death of the smell of gear oil and hated when he had to work with it, because of permeating stench. Well, will tell the folks at the detailing place what they are dealing with, and maybe a detergent product will get it off. Husband is afraid the old guy is off his rocker and doesn't want me to take it back to him, afraid of what he'll do next. ha Either way, I want to get this off my car, get the man paid (husband stopped the check) for his work, and take him and the younger guys that work with him some lunch and cookies. He's a good guy, I know he meant well.
 
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Old 01-31-15, 08:24 AM
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It probably does help, its just such a bad smell. Husband can walk through a parking lot and tell who has a differential leak.. now my whole car smells like that. wah
 
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Old 01-31-15, 08:37 AM
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It definitely wont hurt anything. I know old time mechanics in Pa. that undercoat cars routinely with used motor oil. Your mechanic probably didn't use straight gear oil. He probably mixes all the waste oil products together and it only takes a little gear lube to make itself known. That sulfur smell is hard to miss.
 
  #14  
Old 01-31-15, 06:47 PM
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We routinely coated undercarriage with molten tar. You could buy it in large heavy bags. They used to mix asphalt right in the street, melting that tar and adding whatever filler is used to create tarmac. Thick heavy tar coat not only protected from water but, also, from rock chips.
Rust was a plague due to rather low sheet metal quality.
My gramps bought somewhere same compound they used on sea vessels below the water line. Basically was like a thick rubber when solid. That's how our Moskvitch never rusted. Or, maybe because it had lucky plates - 31-13 ЛВЖ Thirtenn both ways.
 
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Old 02-01-15, 07:32 AM
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Correction. We used bitumen. Not coal tar.
 
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Old 02-01-15, 10:09 AM
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The gear oil certainly won't do any good things for the environment. Will be leaving an oil slick on wet roads for the next 6 months or so.
 
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