Mechanic realizes his customer’s new Chevy is a lemon

@rastamanbuilds/TikTok jetcityimage/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘Check the codes’: Mechanic realizes his customer’s new Chevy is a lemon. Here’s how

'This explanation makes me feel like i can fix anything.'


Parks Kugle


Posted on Mar 22, 2024   Updated on Mar 21, 2024, 4:03 pm CDT

Buying a car can be tricky. Whether it’s new or used, you never know if a recent purchase is a lemon until you’ve driven it for a while.

According to Progressive, a “lemon” refers to a car with “a significant defect or malfunction that makes it unsafe to drive, although the exact definition can vary from state to state.”

Though new cars may have some built-in complications, there’s less of a chance of buying a defunct vehicle. The downside to new cars is they cost more. A CNBC report shows that a loan for a fresh-off-the-lot model is roughly $13,017 more than an average loan for a used car. According to Consumer Reports, used car prices have dropped from historic heights in 2021, but they still remain higher than before 2020.

These higher prices have even caused car salespeople to feel the pinch. One went viral when he shared how customers pushing for better deals are causing dealerships to lose money and eliminating any chance at a commission.

Unfortunately, when customers are too focused on saving money, they may end up locked into a deal that ends up costing them thousands in repairs down the road.

Recently, TikToker RastaBuilds (@rastamanbuilds), a veteran mechanic, filmed a viral video breaking down how one woman had mistakenly purchased a lemon. The clip has over 343,000 views as of publication, and commenters loved the in-depth explanation.

Paraphrasing his customer, RastaBuilds begins the video sitting inside the lemon. “I just bought a little Chevy for my daughter … and it’s running a little bit funny. Can you check it out for me?”

The first thing he does is “check the codes” to see if the computer will diagnose the problem.

“Just a generic engine misfire detected,” he said. “Doesn’t tell me which specific cylinder. It just says misfire detected. That’s fine. I can still work with it. Let’s go under the bonnet/hood and see what we find.”

Popping the hood, he jokes around about the plastic EcoTec engine cover before getting down to business. First, he listens to the engine and notices how it misfires when sitting in idle. Then, he undoes each cylinder from four to one. Undoing the first three causes the engine to shut off, which is what it’s supposed to do. However, when he tries cylinder number one, he observes that there’s “just a little miss.”

“So there is a greater difference between cylinder number one and the other three cylinders,” RastaBuilds continued. “So I’m going to check the compression on cylinder number one first.”

He tests the cylinder, which rises to “not even 30 PSI pressure.” When he tests the third cylinder, it goes up to 150 PSI.

Continuing his investigation, RastaBuilds performs a “wet test” where he places 12 drops of oil into the cylinder and retests it. Its PSI rose to 60.

@rastamanbuilds I got A Lemon #chevy #lemonlaw #misfire ♬ original sound – RastaBuilds

“There was an improvement, meaning that the majority of the problem is with the piston and the piston rings or the block,” he said. “It’s in the lower end of the engine, not the top of the engine. So, [I] have to now deliver the bad news that this thing is a lemon.”

RastaBuilds broke the news to the owner in a friendly and informative manner while remaining honest about the state of her Chevy. He explained that the engine was “unbalanced,” and if the cylinder wasn’t damaged, “it would run smooth, and then also it would get better gas mileage, and then it would also feel more powerful.”

When she asked if “that’s not something she could’ve done in six weeks of driving,” he responded with even worse news. “No, no. They knew,” he said. “I see they put new coils, and new plugs, and everything, trying to fix the problem, and they knew that it didn’t fix it.”

At the end of his diagnosis, he tried to offer a silver lining. “It will probably run like this another five, six, seven, eight years. Like that. Poorly, but you know it should run better,” he concluded.

Viewers praised him for his detailed explanation and offered some insights of their own.

“You did an excellent job of explaining what’s going on to the customer, I couldn’t have done it better myself!” another mechanic wrote.

A second viewer offered a rare compliment, writing, “You’re an honest mechanic. It’s a lemon but drivable.”

“Buyer beware, ALWAYS have an independent inspection prior to purchase,” a third warned.

The Daily Dot reached out to RastaBuilds via TikTok comments for further comment.

The internet is chaotic—but we’ll break it down for you in one daily email. Sign up for the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter here to get the best (and worst) of the internet straight into your inbox.

Share this article
*First Published: Mar 22, 2024, 9:00 am CDT