The great escape
When a dad sheepishly asks how much it will cost to find a snake in his wife’s car, it’s probably not going to end well. Glasetter says the snake escaped the son’s hands when they were driving home from a pet store. The father’s frantic search yielded no snake and his wife refused to drive the car. “We systematically removed the interior of the car beginning with the front and rear seats, center console, interior trim, and carpet, gingerly removing each piece not knowing if the serpent would suddenly greet us,” says Glasetter. The search didn’t produce a snake until the next day when another tech decided to look. Unfortunately, the snake met its fate and was coiled up tightly inside a floor ventilation duct. For more stories of animal mishaps, check out these 14 cringe-worthy exterminator nightmares.
A customer brought in a car to Auto Drs complaining the fan was making a noise before it stopped working completely. Mechanic Robert Hill checked the cabin air filters in the Mercedes-Benz, as small animals often get stuck there. When he did he found about two pounds of dog food there—and a rat in the fan motor! “When we went to pull it out, the rat took off running out of the car and thankfully out of our shop,” says Hill. It took more than two hours to clean the entire vent system of the dog food. “Needless to say the customer started checking his cabin air filter from then on.”
Most oil changes are fairly quick and easy: You pull into the stall while mechanics work underneath you and within minutes you drive away. That wasn’t the case when Benjamin Jerew, mechanic turned freelance automotive writer, worked on a Toyota Previa, a mid-engine mini-van from the 1990s. The engine is actually under the seat and accessed through a small door panel in the floor. “After having lifted the vehicle and drained the oil, I put the van back on the ground and attempted to open the engine access cover. The seat wouldn’t tilt back far enough to open the panel, so I figured something must have been back there, but I wasn’t exactly expecting a litter box!”