Diagnosing mechanically damaged mysteries with Samcrac! - Carly Blog (2024)

If you love watching videos on how to repair cars, you’re probably already familiar with the YouTube channel Samcrac!

Check out the video below to see how Sam uses Carly when fixing his vehicles.


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What’s going on in the video?

In this video, Sam purchases a wrecked, dead Beetle to fix up as a gift for a friend of his who is a VW enthusiast! Starting at around 4 minutes and 30 seconds in, Sam introduces Carly and shows how he has used before on his BMW M5 and VW GTI to diagnose problems and lookup information on error codes. He also uses Carly to clear the service light, instead of making a trip to the dealership. Then he explains how he has used Carly on his BMW 3 Series in the past to code out the warning screen that pops up every time the car starts and talks about how you can use the adapter to check for odometer rollback (aka mileage manipulation). If you’re looking to see exactly how easy Carly is to use, we’d recommend checking out this part of the video.

Keep watching and you’ll see Sam surprise his friend with the car and explain the potential issues and how they can try to fix them. Then at around 17 minutes in, Sam plugs in his Carly and runs a diagnostic test to see what trouble codes the engine had generated and the general status of the car. To see what he finds, and if they’re able to fix the wrecked beetle, just finish the video! And of course, subscribe to the channel to be updated each time a new video is posted!

Discovery and Initial Assessment

The journey began when Samcrac stumbled upon a Volkswagen Beetle at an auction. Despite having lost the bid, he discovered the car on-site, noting its potential as a project due to its clean title despite significant visible damage. The car had a smashed hood and bumper and a damaged quarter panel, which seemed relatively straightforward to replace. However, the interior was in better shape, needing only minor cleaning.

Restoration Challenges

The Beetle was not just any car; it was a bank-owned theft recovery vehicle, which added a layer of complexity due to unknown potential issues. Initially, Samcrac intended the Beetle as a heartfelt gift for Zach, a devoted Volkswagen enthusiast whose dedication to restoring cars had been a source of inspiration. Zach’s love for Beetles was deep-rooted, having owned several over his lifetime, and he had recently sacrificed his collection to support his YouTube channel focusing on custom projects.

The Surprise Reveal

Samcrac organized a surprise to unveil the Beetle to Zach, who was unaware of his friend’s successful bid. The reveal was planned with meticulous care, involving a staged scenario that led Zach to discover his new project car unexpectedly. The moment was charged with emotion, capturing the essence of friendship and shared passion for car restoration.

Diagnostic Efforts and Setbacks

The initial excitement soon met reality as the duo attempted to get the Beetle running. They faced electrical and mechanical challenges, with the car refusing to start. Utilizing the Carly diagnostic tool, Samcrac identified several issues, including critical problems with the camshaft timing. Further investigation using a scope camera revealed severe engine damage, with valve marks on the pistons indicating that the engine was beyond simple repair.

Community Support and Resolution

Despite these challenges, the project took a hopeful turn when J&J Auto Wrecking stepped in to provide a replacement engine. This gesture underscored the supportive nature of the car restoration community, turning what could have been a disheartening setback into a renewed opportunity for Zach to rebuild the Beetle.

The Future of the Beetle

With a new engine on the way and the backing of a vibrant community, Zach is set to transform the Beetle into something spectacular. The project not only represents a technical challenge but also a testament to the resilience and creativity inherent in the car restoration community. Samcrac’s role in orchestrating this journey—from the auction discovery to the strategic surprise and handling the setbacks—highlights his dedication and skill in bringing automotive projects to life.

In conclusion, the restoration of the Volkswagen Beetle is more than just a car being brought back to life; it is a story of friendship, community, and the relentless pursuit of passion. Samcrac’s initiative and the support from J&J Auto Wrecking exemplify how collaborative efforts can overcome even the most daunting challenges in the world of car restoration. This Beetle’s journey from a forgotten auction item to a treasured project underscores the essence of what makes car restoration such a compelling endeavor.

Keep in mind, that every car has different software and modules built-in. Therefore specific features will vary with every model.

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Diagnosing mechanically damaged mysteries with Samcrac! - Carly Blog (2024)


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