The Erebus ace spent his single-lap qualifying effort battling clouds of smoke, believed to be coming from the power steering system.
Thinking it was an engine issue, Reynolds says he radioed engineer Al McVean mid-way through the lap to let him know he was going to shut down the car.
McVean, however, told him to press on, Reynolds charging to an unlikely second place – just 0.004s down on pole-sitter Jamie Whincup.
"The smoke started coming in on my warm-up lap and I thought I was in a Cheech and Chong movie," said Reynolds.
"I started my lap and it started getting worse and worse, and I'm like 'my engine is gone, it's done'.
"I got through [Turn] 1 and I'm like 'it's not too bad', got through [Turn] 4, 'it's not too bad', and then got onto the back straight.
"I got on the radio and said 'we're done Al, shut it off' and he's like 'nah keep going, sectors are good'.
"I pushed hard through [Turn] 8; I was committed, if something let go there I was in the fence hard.
"I finished my lap pretty well, at the last corner there was so much smoke coming in I could barely see the track."
Erebus boss Barry Ryan admitted there were some nerves in the garage as Reynolds turned into the high-speed Turn 8, although he trusted the Bathurst winner to know if the car was safe to not.
He also made a light-hearted jibe about last year's Bathurst controversy, saying there must have been some "debriss" in the power steering system.
"We were a bit nervous when he tipped it into Turn 8, thinking 'what's going to go wrong here', but lucky he got through the lap," said Ryan.
"Maybe just a bit of 'debriss' or something got in there and hurt the power-steering or something. We saw his run out of [Turn] 7 and Al decided there's nothing wrong with it.
"It was up to Dave then; if he wasn't happy he would've backed off. He was smart enough and fastest through Turn 8 by a tenth, so he was pretty ballsy there, which is good."