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ubkev

Who Does Their Own Mechanical Work?

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Anybody? Small stuff, big stuff? Any grease monkeys?

Changing my battery is about as much as I'll take on. I'm not jacking up the car to change my own oil or brakes. If I had a garage with a lift I just may, but I don't, so I won't. Other than that, I know less about fixing cars than a beauty queen. My gf on the other hand is my diagnostic professional. She's good! She hears and identifies what's wrong with all of our cars before it's ever a problem. But she won't fix them herself because, as she puts it "***** that, I'm not getting all greasy!" 

Who knows how to fix stuff?

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I'm a rank amateur but mostly it's because I've never had a place to do any work. Being a shade-tree mechanic is hard when there's snow on the ground half the year. I like wrenching but it's a lot of time, money, blood, sweat and tears. And RUST. Most of my work has been with motorcycles.

I reattached the bumper to my Caprice when I was in high school lol

I did a heater core on my Delta 88. I'm pretty good at cooling system stuff. Did plugs and wires on it too.

I tried to do brakes on my Suburban and ***** up real bad so I've pretty much sworn off brake work since then lol I did manage to do the distributor on the Suburban though. I also replaced a bunch of seized up door lock cylinders and broken door handles. And I put a trailer hitch on it.

I replaced the air shocks on my LeSabre (the compressors always crap out) with load assist shocks which actually went surprisingly well. I also patched up a huge rust hole around the gas door and got a lot of compliments for my bondo work. And I replaced the alternator and the thermostat.

I didn't do any work on the Golf because it was new. Which honestly wasn't any fun.

On the '96 Roadmaster I did an oil cooler line (which went better than expected) and fixed the parking brake. That car was a rusty mess to work on. I sold it before I could replace the AC compressor which was seized and would smoke the serpentine belt if the clutch engaged.

The Impala has been annoying because cars are starting to get to where you really can't DIY them. I can take the whole dashboard apart in about 10 minutes with my eyes closed, but I can't actually do the repairs I need to do because I can't really diagnose the problem (electronics). I did fix the leaking taillight seals though (bad design GM).

I'd like to buy a project car to experiment on (read: ***** up) but I can't justify the cost. So I'll just have to settle for watching Roadkill videos on youtube.

 

 

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I can't do ***** unless it's on something from like 1920 because then it's just an engine bolted on a chassis haha 

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6 minutes ago, josie said:

I can't do ***** unless it's on something from like 1920 because then it's just an engine bolted on a chassis haha 

That's why I liked motorcycles lol Pick the engine up and take it to the kitchen table

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Just changed my wiper blades. Feeling pretty mechanically inclined! 

My brother is a very skilled tech, and I take full advantage of him whenever I'm home. Trouble is, I've never had the same problem twice. So I'm learning everything one at a time and over like 2 decades so I'm not retaining *****! 

Work that my cars have needed since 2005: Car 1 Supra: alternator, new filler neck for gas tank, Alpine deck with iPod capability wired through glove box(did it myself!) new tires and rims then I totaled the vehicle.

Car 2 RAV4 S: swap deck out of totaled car into new car. New front bumper(not my fault), new clutch((definitely my fault)(16 hour job, btw), new pads, calipers and rotors. Fast forward to the synchro being shot for 2nd gear and I traded it in.

Car 3 Jetta: nothing! Needed new tires after a couple years but not one single repair(headlights don't count). VW, go figure. Would have kept it forever if it were better in the snow.

Car 4 G35: pads and rotors x2 or maybe it's 3, serpentine belt, both front wheel bearings, alternator and serpentine belt again, gonna need a full tune up at the end of this month as she's getting old!

Edited by ubkev

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Spent years doing it out of financial necessity.  Everything from oil changes to re-painted a faded Dodge Dakota.

I don't do my own auto work anymore.  I'm willing to pay someone to do it in 1/3 of the time and not have to make multiple auto parts store runs.  And my weekends are me time.

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For me, brakes and rotors are still the only thing worth doing from a pure cost/time benefit. Everything else, it’s worth it to have someone else do.

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On 7/7/2019 at 10:30 PM, SwampD said:

For me, brakes and rotors are still the only thing worth doing from a pure cost/time benefit. Everything else, it’s worth it to have someone else do.

After this morning, I may be reconsidering this opinion.

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39 minutes ago, SwampD said:

After this morning, I may be reconsidering this opinion.

A little too rusty?

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56 minutes ago, darksabre said:

A little too rusty?

Yep. One wheel was stuck and in trying to get it off, I smashed my hand really bad (pure stupidity on my part.)

I like my fingers way better when they are playing bass, not when they are bleeding on lug nuts.

Plus, it's 186 degrees out.

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On 7/16/2019 at 12:13 PM, SwampD said:

Yep. One wheel was stuck and in trying to get it off, I smashed my hand really bad (pure stupidity on my part.)

I like my fingers way better when they are playing bass, not when they are bleeding on lug nuts.

Plus, it's 186 degrees out.

Yeah, ***** that!

Anyway, I had a heat shield rattling underneath today. Screwed that back in nice and tight. So I'm a raging ball of testosterone right now.

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I'm not going to attempt to do my own work.  What is the best nationwide service center that does quality work without being a rip off shop?  Midas, Meineke, Firestone. Pep Boys, Goodyear, Sears?  I saw a documentary on dealerships that pretty much said that after the warranty expires, you're better off going to a local shop.  Some service managers said they were paid on commission as high as 70% which incentivizes unwarranted repairs.

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11 hours ago, Tondas said:

I'm not going to attempt to do my own work.  What is the best nationwide service center that does quality work without being a rip off shop?  Midas, Meineke, Firestone. Pep Boys, Goodyear, Sears?  I saw a documentary on dealerships that pretty much said that after the warranty expires, you're better off going to a local shop.  Some service managers said they were paid on commission as high as 70% which incentivizes unwarranted repairs.

"I would never take my car to a dealership. And I would never take my car to a single place you just named. Dealership will do the job right because the techs are well qualified, but they are gonna ***** you severely on price and bull ***** repairs. Chain shops generally have the dumbest techs alive." - Direct quote from a BMW tech.

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Yeah, the dealership might be expensive, but you're going to have a hard time getting your car worked on at smaller places going forward. Too much proprietary stuff going on with cars now.

I firmly believe that the over-contenting of cars is a deliberate attempt by the OEMs to handcuff owners to the dealerships and therefore generate profit from service rather than sales. It's always kinda been this way anyway, but I think many dealers view service as the only way to make money now, and the OEMs are going along with it.

I think that, at some point down the road, you're only going to be allowed to take your car to an OEM certified tech. So what you'll see is the small private shops becoming subsidiaries of the OEMs or local dealers and they'll only service one or two brands.

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New brakes all the way around, new plugs, 3 new tire pressure sensors and an inspection later and I'm poor again. I draw the line at air filters. I can change them myself. 

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Anybody have the FIXD plugin sensor?   (www.fixdapp.com)  If so, does it work and is it worth the money?

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20 hours ago, Tondas said:

Anybody have the FIXD plugin sensor?   (www.fixdapp.com)  If so, does it work and is it worth the money?

I have one but it's really not worth it. You can't really do anything with it.

I have an Actron that's far more useful.

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I recharged my AC recently and was pretty damned proud of myself. My greatest car "repair" feat to date, edging out air and cabin filter replacements.

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6 hours ago, PASabreFan said:

I recharged my AC recently and was pretty damned proud of myself. My greatest car "repair" feat to date, edging out air and cabin filter replacements.

I replace my air filters when the air compressor won't successfully clean them anymore. Never done the cabin one though. Seems like a hassle to take out the glove box to get to it. 

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13 hours ago, ubkev said:

I replace my air filters when the air compressor won't successfully clean them anymore. Never done the cabin one though. Seems like a hassle to take out the glove box to get to it. 

Taking out the glove box is a breeze. Putting it back in can be frustrating.

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4 minutes ago, PASabreFan said:

Taking out the glove box is a breeze. Putting it back in can be frustrating.

Those were my thoughts exactly! And I get frustrated when things don't fit. Metal you can force, plastic tends to break. Then I'd lose my *****, start yelling at my car, yelling at myself, and her and I don't need that. 

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I was an ASE certified mechanic for 15 years. GM & Chrysler shops. Got sick of flat rate shop favoritism. Worked at Napa for 10 years and trained in HVAC. Became an industrial mechanic since. Getting older I don't do any work on my vehicles outside bulbs and wipers. Just ain't worth the pain crawling, stopping and kneeling.

Stay away from chain shops. Find someone close that specializes in your type of car. I was lucky. We have Toyota's and there's a ex Toyota guy in the next town.

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