Follow Us:

Saul's Autotek White Logo


Hey guys. I’m Saul Reisman here at Saul’s Autotek. Today we’re going to show you one more Sharpest Rides vehicle that failed inspection and endangered somebody’s life. In the case of this vehicle that we’ve got behind us, somebody brought us this vehicle today because they saw our ad. They know we inspect these vehicles for free because we care about your safety, and we’ve seen so many Sharpest Rides and Family Trucks and Vans vehicles that endangered people’s safety. Let’s take a look at this vehicle and show you what we found.

Mercedes is a CLS 500. It’s a 2009 model year. The owner’s complaint with it was simply that he knew there was a few minor oil leaks, a few concerns, but he wanted us to take a look. Well, we started looking at the body, the motor, the transmission, anything we could find on it. In addition to, say $5,000 plus worth of mechanical work that it needs just to the motor and another three or four into the suspension and steering, we weren’t worried about the eight to ten grand it needed there.

We’re worried about your safety, so we want to inspect the vehicle and make sure that there was nothing dangerous about it. We followed the entire body around with an electronic thickness gauge. Everything was less than five millimeters. They actually did not paint this car, which is really rare for these guys. But they did do something a little bit out of character and out of context. When they do something out of context, we always like to see what it is.

Well, we were ripping down the trunk, and we found a missing speaker and a disconnected wire. I know we’re thinking, “Not a big deal.” Right? Somebody just ripped a speaker out of the car. Maybe they had a sound system in the past or something like that. Well, you’d be correct in assuming that. However, when they modified this vehicle to install an aftermarket sound system, they did some pretty haphazard things that could’ve gotten somebody killed. Let’s take a look.

First and foremost, we noticed that there’s a flat-head sheet metal screw that’s not attached to anything. Just floating around in this hole in the back pillar. We also noticed that this pillar, which provides structural integrity and safety of the occupants inside it, has a big old dent and gouge mark in it. We then saw that there was a bolt sitting here also not attached to anything, just wedged into this corner. We were really confused as to what was going on there, so we ripped apart the other panel to find out. That’s where it got fun.

Let’s take this one. We pulled apart the bottom of this seat pillar so that we could find out what else was going on. Here’s where we started to get really concerned. We saw this hole cut into the side of the vehicle. This hole is approximately an inch and a quarter wide and looks like it was made by somebody drilling multiple holes and then folding the metal between them to break them out. When they did this, not only did they leave exposed metal that is now subject to corrosion, water intrusion, and by all means not protecting the occupants of the vehicle, but they passed this piece of plastic through it. We’re going, “What is this?” Well, you can see right here it says, “O GUAGE”, and you can see right here where there’s burn marks it.

That’s because this O GUAGE, live positive wire, is hooked directly to the battery positive with no fuse, nothing in between, and is riding against cut sheet metal inside the trunk of the car. This could have literally been the definition of an arc welder, caught this car on fire. Who knows? It could have even melted a door shut as we’ve seen in some of the other ones they’ve sold. We saw this wire. We saw where it was eating directly into the metal, and we pushed it back to see if it had any fragments. There’s exposed copper into the corner of it, and then the other end of this wire is literally routed into the trunk and taped off.

Now, electrical tape is a great insulator, which means if there’s moisture in here, it gets trapped inside here. So we looked at the other end of the car to see where this is going. Since it’s disconnected here, we’ve got to hope for safety sake it’s disconnected at the other end. Right? Here’s the other end. Not only is it still connected directly to the battery, but there’s actually no terminal or anything between it. They didn’t tighten this 10 mil. They just hammered it on. You can actually see the gap right here where they literally just wedged this on here and hammered it into the car. Now, we could talk for days about the glued together front end, or the front clip that had been replaced, or about all the oil leaks and suspension problems, or about the junkyard fender, or any or all of the other problems that this car has.

But all that matters to me is that we keep you safe. So when we see something like this, we document it, we record it, we take pictures of it, we write a report, we send it to the state, and we send it to Carfax. Nobody should be in a car like this because it could kill somebody. This car could literally catch on fire with you or your loved ones inside of it. If you’re concerned about your vehicle, if you’ve bought a vehicle from The Sharpest Rides of Family Trucks and Vans, and you’re worried this might be happening to you, please come and see us. We would be happy to inspect your vehicle completely free of charge so that we can make sure you’re safe. Give us a shout here at Saul’s AUTOTEK. (303) 919-7769. We’re here 365 days a year because we know you never skip a beat. Can’t wait to show you the next one.

If you’ve got concerns about your Denver car or truck repair, come and find us at Saul’s AUTOTEK. (303) 919-7769, 365 days a year. We’re here to keep you safe.

Share on Social Media


About the Author

Picture of Saul Reisman

Saul Reisman

Saul Reisman has been helping the residents of the Centennial State with their automotive needs for over ten years now. He finished his Associate Degree in Physics at the Community College of Denver. Saul is an active member of the Specialty Equipment Market Association and a board member of the Young Executives Network. He undergoes constant educational training through GMC, MOPAR, Ford, Snap-On, Borg-Warner, and Ozark Automotive, with an emphasis on diagnosis, repair, and improvement.

Related Posts

Skip to content