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Most Dangerous Fault You've (Unwittingly) Driven With.


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Rotten fuel lines on my first car ('97 Civic). I wasn't too experienced back then and was wondering what could leave a (black) puddle under the middle of the car. I drove that car home from Austria, sold it to an exporter (mentioning the leaky fuel line) who then continued to drive it to hamburg lol. Fuel economy was similar to my Lincoln.

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had a wheel wobble this time last year on the picasso

no big deal i thought, i'll pop it over to ATS for a wheel balancing

and see if they can diagnose that weird banging creaking sound i got........

i suspected maybe a dried suspension bush etc, something not a big deal that didn't need sorting right now

NOPE

okay a slightly leaky shocker, no biggy i suppose

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NOPE AGAIN

as it turned out it had snapped internally, and the wheel wobble (okay it was more a very violent shaking) was actually the drivers side front wheel moving around at 70 mph

and the banging was the strut nearly coming apart

did i mention it took 3 of us to push that corner back down after we jacked it up

very glad i decided to get that wheel balancing

could have been extremely exciting*

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1973 mini 1000- pressing the brake pedal and not actually slowing down! drove back with hand brake!

i had just changed brake light switch and didn't realise it was taper thread so stopped when tight!

luckily my friends dad worked for ARG and knew his way round a mini and showed me the error of my ways- prolly at least another turn on the thread!

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Probably the most dangerous one was driving my van back from having had £600 odd worth of work done for the MOT and discovering a day or two later that all of the wheel nuts on the offside were barely finger tight.  That could have been exciting halfway up the M1.

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Piaggio Xevo 400cc scooter that i commuted 120 miles a day on. Apart from the six miles a day along twisty country lane  the rest was all dual carriageway/motorway.

Coming home one night, i got to the rounabout where my run along the lanes started. Thought i had hit some diesel as the back slewed around a bit. It felt a bit "loose" the rest of the way home, going a bit wide on a couple of bends. 

Got home and had a look. The rear exhaust mount, which was also the swingarm had lost the top mounting bolt. This had wiped out the rear wheel bearing and the wheel had about 10mm of play on the spindle. 

It wasnt the best handling bike i ever had, so have no clue how long the bolt had been missing.

20200507_210325.thumb.jpg.1db536469298b04025b1d3c86ba8b076.jpg

 

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Many moons ago, I had a 1986 Peugeot 205 GLD, which had covered a gargantuan mileage but still managed a daily commute between Stoke and Chester. I generally used to use the A533 but occasionally the M6.

Driving back to stoke on the M6 one day, it was a 60mph traffic jam. Anyone who knows the long straight section near Sandbach will understand what it can be like. 

Suddenly the truck in front of me in the centre lane swerves violently, nearly taking out cars on either side, as I'm distracted by the potential cataclysm about to occur in front of me, I run over a metal wheel in the carriageway. It looked like the kind of thing used on a tanker to wind open a valve. Que massive bang and clang as it ricochets along the underside of the poor Peugeot.

I pull off at the next junction to have a check around the car, and all seems ok luckily!

 

Three months later, some friends and  I are on  a camping trip to North Wales. It's a stunner of a day, so beers are drunk, and we are all laid out on the grass. My partner at the time, is using the shade of the Peugeot, when he exclaims 'What the Hell...!' 

He points under the back of the car, just ahead of the rear wheel, where the metal brake pipe has been cut. It was severed perfectly to the point where it had sealed itself! 
All sorts of conspiracies sprang to mind, had someone done this on purpose? When I remembered the above incident on the M6. Seems the wheel I hit, had smacked into the brake line and crushed it against one of the sharp edges on the rear beam but with such force it had cut the line and sealed the ends!

 

Never noticed three months of commuting on three brakes.. oops. 

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I had a clunk from the rear on my first Capri, looked underneath but couldn’t see anything. Driving home down the A52 I came off at Lodge Lane Spondon, anyone who knows the junction will know that traffic joins from behind and the turn off is a tight 90 degree corner with the chapel on the other side. The clunk was a broken rear spring that had kindly worked its way through the rear brake line. When I hit the brakes the pedal went to the floor and only furious pumping and luck got me around the corner narrowly missing the barriers. I overhauled the brakes and found that the master cylinder was fucked as well. Being 17 I went everywhere stupid fast in that thing, late braking etc.

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Drove 75 miles noticing the back end was a bit jigglier than usual.

5 psi in the rear left tyre.

Also had a spongy brake pedal, that I put down to my new shoes at the time. About 30 miles later, just before joining the dual carriageway, the pedal went to the floor and stayed there. Brake pipe had rotted through and burst on the rear.

6 months later, same thing happened on the other side.

All these faults where on the same Ford Puma, and after an engine bay electrical fire, I called it a day and sold it.

Sent from my VOG-L09 using Tapatalk

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I remember being out in my Saxo with some mates for an evening of "boy racing"
Or listening to metal music, smoking and looking at girls down Cleethorpes sea front.

Next morning at about 6 going to work I noticed a large wet patch underneath it.
A wheel cylinder had failed and had pissed all the brake fluid over my old man's drive.

Also my fiat Panda, that underneath was more fresh air than fiat Panda.
It went tits up on its last MOT, made me wonder what might have happened if something important had fallen off..

Sent from my VFD 710 using Tapatalk

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1 of my early Talbot Sunbeam Ti's developed a bit of a front wheel wobble whilst hammering it around Clocaenog's " close private roads " one night

A bitof mud in the wheel I thought,solved by tapping the brake to calm things down

On the spirited drive home it kept reoccurring,almost becoming a full tank slapper by the time we got home

Investigating the next day found a chassis rail had completely rusted away from the inside out,finally breaking away where the front lower track arm mounts

The tyre getting down to the wires was the icing on the cake!

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10 hours ago, Grumblespeed said:

Think I'd be as nervous of that single spring compressor as I would have been driving the car!

The strut was so buggered that there wasn't much resistance in the spring, we used the compressor to help remove it from the car as the whole assembly was stuck as it was longer than intended by Volvo due to the breakage. 

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I sent my car to have some work done that I couldn’t do myself. Magically there was a weird clunk on the front driver’s side when I got it back. Thought it was a snapped spring. Turns out the giant shitbag had somehow  wound part of a spring around my perfectly intact front spring. After much cursing and bafflement, the added bit of spring was removed and all was well. Needless to say never took it back to them! 

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worst thing i think i have inadvertently done was when i bought Marvin the Metro, now some 10 years ago.

i got it off a fella in Sheffield, and on the drive home the temperature gauge climbed up towards the red, so much so that i ended up at Doncaster Services while it cooled down. got into the carpark, and you could feel the heat coming off it, with the electric fan on the radiator running full pelt. 

balls, bloody marvelous, i've bought a right "dud" here, i thinks.

once it had cooled off, checked and topped off the water and on we went, though by the time we got it back to Kerry parents house i was finding the brakes somewhat underwhelming, well more that just underwhelming, they plain weren't working!

so, we popped the wheels off for a looksie, and found that the back brakes had more fluid over the inside of the drums than in the system cos both had blown wheel cylinders, and the fronts the pads were that worn down almost to the metal. 

oops.

fortunately i was able to get all the new bits needed to put the brakes right close to home, and all were in stock,  something that would not happen today i'm sure. 

and the over heating? well that turned out to be a banjaxed thermostat and a radiator full of tea coloured water. 

it took maybe a dozen of so flushes before the water out of the engine ran clear!!

a few days later, kerry was following me, as we didn't really trust the car, while i drove it home. she said that she didnt see the brake lamps come on once all the way back here, some 45 miles.

well it turnes out that i had indeed used the brakes, and found them, this time to be excellent - it was the crappy cheapo BL-spec switch on the top of the brake pedal this time had packed up. that was i think a couple of quid to buy,  and a sweary and fiddly bugger about to fit.

old cars, don't you just love* them.

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Some scary stuff on here...

Mine was picking up my Jag XJ40 from the MOT station then driving 100 miles to see my parents. When I got there I had a quick look underneath and the front spring had snapped and popped out of the spring seat and was resting nicely against the anti roll bar

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S124 Mercedes: Balljoint was about to give way as the steering got stupidly light but thankfully held on enough as I was completing a 40-mile round trip with a few miles done at higher speed. At the time I wasn't to realise it was about to give away.

It gave way the next morning on a small roundabout at very low speed as the roundabout was small and the car, quite large. 

Zafira: Driving up the motorway, I heard something small dragging. Thinking it was the cage for the spare wheel I decided to pull over into one of those stupid "smart" motorway laybys to check. As I pressed my foot on the brake I heard a loud 'bang' then a chugging noise like an old train pulling away, the caliper had failed and 'fell off' the disc. I managed to nurse it to a motorway services until it was recovered.

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I brimmed the tank on a spitfire for the first time (just before a long trip) and after setting off I realised I could smell fuel and it was leaking into the Car; the tank had rust hole half way up. I ended up syphoning the fuel out, aborting the trip and replacing the tank.

an s124 had the rear suspension barely attached to the car as rust had eaten the subframe mounting points to the bodyshell.  I was accustomed to rear wheel steering From a worn multilink rear end with tired w124s But that was something else. When you braked the leading edge of the subframe jerked downwards toward the road surface and put strain on the propshaft joint.

w124 - after one winter I jet washed the inner arches and found the coil spring perch on the body was peeling away from the rest of the bodyshell due to corrosion. Not a lot of metal was keeping that corner of the car in the air. I now have a good nose there on every Mercedes with that set up that I look at.

a 2cv had a very worn driveshaft joint- you could hear it clacking about on certain corners when it was loaded up a certain way under “power” . Coming out of a fairly tight sweeping curve (taken flat- as is the way) it detached itself and flailed around mauling the bodywork. I was going quite a high speed so I was relieved I could stop without locking up a wheel and being  sent off course somewhere nasty.

Also 2cv- I completed a 600 mile trip in a 425cc example whereupon the chassis snapped right at the end of the journey. 

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10 hours ago, MikeR said:

the arse end was a bit wobbly on the way home .....

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MK3/4 Escorts and Orions are prone to that, a couple of mates have experienced it and described it as somewhat bum-clenching at motorway speeds

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My first car, a Beige 1985 Austin Metro 1.0 City (I started strong)..

I bought it with a full MoT from a lady at work - but as I put many miles on it, it developed a rattle. I didn't really pay much attention and just turned the radio up. Come MoT time, they discovered that the crossmember that the front seats bolt to was only in place due to Austins patented levitating steel.

I used to drive that car HARD. 🤢

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My 2cv! 

I suppose that I should elaborate, although there are many examples.

Many years ago, coming home from an evening class, one of the front side lights was out. Not particularly unusual. Popped it out, a little percussive maintenance and all was ok. Got home about 10pm to find that it had no back lights!  Strangely, about 5 years ago, I was driving back up the M2 one night, car was running really well and I was bombing along (for a 2cv) Dad was following me and I was a bit surprised that he was so close behind, but drove all the way home to find 17 missed calls and messages about "didn't you know that your rear lights weren't working?" Well, no actually!

More seriously, a long time back, it came back from MOT missing two wheel nuts on each rear wheel - it only has 3! We don't go there any more!

Another time, the day after MOT (different place) I was driving to work and something was clearly wrong. It was running fine, but as I got up to about 20mph it felt like it was going to shake to pieces. Called the AA, who checked and said it was fine. So I asked him to drive it a little way. He returned with a very white face! Turned out that both ofthe bolts to the track rod end had sheared, so the n/s wheel wasn't attached to the steering! Got it towed home (fortunately not far) and my mechanic had it fixed quickly, but said that he'd driven it on the M2 the day before and could have been killed! We don't go back to that garage either!

Or the time that the wipers jammed on the M3 in a hail storm (It doesn't like motorways!)

The time that we found that the floors were mainly held together with rivets and mastic ......

Basically, I've had some adventures in that car, and these are just the ones that spring to mind!

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Cb500 and the front brake of death.

Am fair sure this only slipped my mind as the fear it induced is something I’ve been henceforth trying my hardest to suppress.

Come of the a2 as needed to stop for some snout. This was in the days when you could make progress and then brake like fuck for the cameras. Anyway, shop quick smoke then back roads home. Came off the lights at Avery Hill turned piled on the beans then wham! Ohmybumfuckingchristonabike am doing monster stoppie. Came to balance point with my arms stretched and arse pretty much on the tail light then thumped back to earth. Wtf. Hadn’t touched the brake immediately thought some shit got stuck between pads and disc though all clear. Lever was rock hard solid though disc no warmer than usual. Had a spanner so dropped the fluid and rode home slow and scared. Any more speed and would of been out the front window. Happened on the A2 braking from ahem 55 ish to legal limit. Dead. Chucked the hole brake system in the scrap pile and fitted one off the spares bike after never really being pleased id rectified the mystery inbuilt death. Turns out years later it was the master cylinder. It must have fell out the scrap pile as I gifted it to a friend in need after he crashed and snapped his and same happened to him. This was highly amusing though only as no one died.

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Along the lines of @wuvvum
I gained a Fiat 127, called; and I quote "Super Five Speed Shirley" 
These had a ratchet seat recline, not a winder,

 A block of wood was procured to stop me disappearing into the back seat on Shirleys overly vigorous acceleration .

 

Those 1050cc Fiat motors were grand!

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Possibly the most memorable was a kart I was trying to diagnose why it had been red carded and taken out of use.  I checked everything on the usual list and could only come up with the brakes being a bit spongy.  Asked the gaffer for a new cable, "none in stock, cut some off this reel and use a choc block for the end" did as instructed and all seemed fine so put my lid on and took it onto the track.  At the first bend I learned 2 things;

1, The reason for the card was a bent bumper that held it on full throttle once the pedal was pressed down.

2, My choc block wasn't on tight enough.

I did 3 laps of full throttle and no brakes before I worked out how to stop.

This has stood me in good stead for the 2 times I've had a throttle jam open since (VW type 2 camper and Citroen C15) and a brake failure (405).

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On 3/20/2021 at 3:43 PM, Noel Tidybeard said:

1973 mini 1000- pressing the brake pedal and not actually slowing down! drove back with hand brake!

i had just changed brake light switch and didn't realise it was taper thread so stopped when tight!

luckily my friends dad worked for ARG and knew his way round a mini and showed me the error of my ways- prolly at least another turn on the thread!

Oh this reminds me. I did a cross-europe jaunt in an old Camry auto in the mid 00s. We had spent a morning bounding over some alpine passes and stopped for lunch after which we all jumped back in the car, out of the parking space and the brake pedal hit the floor, and i landed in the side of a friend’s car. 
 

Quick inspection showed utterly filthy black brake fluid so we changed it at the side of the road and bled the brakes up (sorry, the Swiss) and set off, only for one caliper to lock on the next time someone hit the brakes. So that was freed as best we could with with hammers and big screwdrivers, and we drove the rest of the way to Naples on the handbrake. 
 

I guess a sticky caliper + alpine driving had led to boiled brake juice that day. Considering the driving we had been doing that morning, it could have been a very sticky outcome. 

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1980 something in a Triumph Herald. As I drove down the motorway on ramp I noticed a shimmy from the steering, it stopped and I went on my way at motorway speed. About 12 KM's later I went up an off ramp and stopped at the lights. pulled away to turn left and all hell broke loose. It turned out that the steering was only connected to the LH wheel. Just imagine if the RH wheel had hit a bump or a bit of debris at 100 KPH

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17 hours ago, Chris2cv said:

 

More seriously, a long time back, it came back from MOT missing two wheel nuts on each rear wheel - it only has 3! We don't go there any more!

 

You do know that MOT testers aren’t allowed to remove wheels ( and ive never known one that does ) or are they allowed to remove any wheel trims or hub caps to check wheel security either . 

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