When a Car Fights You, Fight Back

Sometimes working on cars is easy. Sometimes it’s anything but easy. There are times when a car will fight your attempts to repair it, and you just have to fight back. This was one of those times.

I was replacing the rear shocks on a Honda Pilot, when the bolt holding the shock to the lower control arm seized inside the bushing. I knew from seeing this happen to other techs that the only way forward was pure destruction. The car was fighting me, and it was time to fight back. I grabbed the sawzall from the body shop and just cut the bushing in half, then used my cutoff wheel to cut the nut off the control arm, heated up the bushing with the torch, and pushed the remains of the bolt out with my air hammer. Basically every powerful destructive tool I had access to. The job took a lot longer than expected, since the other shock gave me no trouble, but I never got too frustrated because I knew I would be able to do it and I could use whatever means necessary.

This is part of the bushing that my air hammer bit actually got stuck in and I had to heat it up again to be able to pull the bit out. You can still see the glow.

In the end, these are all the pieces I had from all the cutting I had to do.

I didn’t take any pictures, but later that same day I had to fight another car. I was replacing a rear wheel speed sensor on a newer CR-V, and it broke off in the knuckle. I ended up having to take the wheel bearing hub assembly out of the knuckle, which was not easy and I had to repair the bolt hole threads to be able to reinstall in, but it was another time when I just had to power through it as frustrating and time consuming as it was. Don’t let cars beat you.

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