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Subject: do you fix your own car?

Written By: Shacks Train on 09/12/08 at 7:36 am

These days with the "high"cost of repairs .Do you (& are you capable?) of doing your own repairs?

Most common thing is that damn "service engine soon" idiot light on the dash!
A lot of after market car part stores will plug your car in for FREE & let you know ...what the problem is..
"Part Source" in Canada will do this for you.(after all it means a sale).Dealerships will charge you an hours labour for that diagnostic!!!!

These days a "Tune Up" is a complete rip-off as all they do is change the plugs/oil&filter/airfilter/& reset the computer!.....Wanna know how to do that....Take off your negative lead off the battery..Now take off the positive lead........Wait 1 min....put back on the positive lead..put back the negative lead!....Your done!!
This dumps the computers settings & reset everything back to factory settings!The "service eng"Idiot light goes out!!!

For me I do everything & if you get stuck the internet is an excellent resource to find out how-to info!
Original car dealerships will do the right thing.but beware of the johnny joe garages as alot of them just don't know or will rip you off....Usually you pay for them to "learn" how to fix your car!
In Canada the Consumer & Commercial Relations..........Run a car purposely De-tuned so they can evaluate just how honest a car garage is......Quite a few of them get shut down if public trust is suspect!

Subject: Re: do you fix your own car?

Written By: danootaandme on 09/12/08 at 3:49 pm

Cars used to be made easy enough that almost anyone could  be a backyard mechanic, but those days are gone.  I used to do some basic stuff, now I leave it up to Sig who doesn't have kind words for the way cars a made today, or some of the people who call themselves mechanics.  I live next to a guy who used to own an auto body shop, he said that 99 percent of them will rip you off with inferior parts or paints.  Sad situation.

Subject: Re: do you fix your own car?

Written By: Shacks Train on 09/13/08 at 7:21 am

Body Shops are known for quoting accident estimates for parts they never change!
These computers aren't so bad as one thinks.........But theres not much to do tune-up wise!
Still pisses me off for what you pay for a car these days & they won't last much beyond 10 years...I can't justify paying 30k+ for a car that won't last.....Crappy thin steel.average is no more than .022" thick..
Whats that.eleven sheets of common paper thick.& very poor undercoatings.....I go under mine each year & take a wire brush to the loose stuff & spray undercoating over everything.....Dust & dirt collect on top of line etc & with the wet cycles start to corrode the steel it sits on...Especially the gas tank...I just did the brakes on mine & saved about $600. on labor!I laugh at those bumper stickers that say..."buy foreign still got your job?"...In Canada their all foreign!.beside the Most cars are produced for North America right here in Ontario.....Detroit is a has been memory now........The majority of cars produced comes from here.....Toyota just put up a monster plant in Woodstock On to make Camrys.....Bye Bye GM!!!.....Bye Bye Ford.....See Ya Chyrsler.......These days it pays to buy something a few years old as prices drop like bombs! & you get a better bang for your buck!.I'll never buy new ever again!

If you go buy parts don't bother with the "premium" parts as its just a scam for more bucks...China casting p[lant A is just like China casting plant B .....I got brake pads for $45. where Ford wanted to sell me "Nascar"pads..Oooooh!an extra $50. bucks for a cardboard box!??????
More BS involved with parts than one would ever know!
When I worked at a Bike dealership I was told the manufacters could give them away cause they'd make their money back + with parts & service.......Yes all cars have built in defects so they generate parts & service!!!.....They destroyed Tucker for his principals way back when !!!!

"A car is a hole in the ground we pour money into!"

Subject: Re: do you fix your own car?

Written By: diofan on 09/14/08 at 8:23 am

Lessee...Minor stuff like Oil Changes, Radiator flushes, Spark plug changes and Oxygen Sensor replacement I do myself. (Midas muffler quoted me over 400 bucks for the O2 Sensors, I did them myself for about 160 bucks...if you can replace a spark plug, you can replace an O2 Sensor.)

Major stuff like replacing the motor mounts I buy the parts at autozone and my mechanic puts them in for just the cost of labor. This way I KNOW where my parts came from. Plus most mechanics here use Napa, which is good quality but WAY overpriced.

Subject: Re: do you fix your own car?

Written By: La Roche on 09/14/08 at 10:53 am

I do a lot of my own work.

I'm running three vehicles now. One is an old tank with the most simple configuration under the hood possible. You can follow every lead and hose to everything else, I don't think there's much of anything I couldn't do with that.

My Sedan is a little more complex but again, the only thing that it would have to go to a mechanic about would be something major (for instance, I'm not replacing a Transmission - not necessarily because I can't do it, just because if the tranny died, I'd get it done as cheaply as possible and sell the car).

The little truck I picked up is easy to work on as well, in fact, it's a dream. But it has an almost brand new 3800 in it so I can't envision any major issues for a while.

Subject: Re: do you fix your own car?

Written By: Red Ant on 09/14/08 at 12:04 pm

I do a fair amount of routine maintenance to my truck myself, but quite a bit of it I get my brother in law to do. He has a shop right across the street from me and gets me good deals on parts and labor.

When the radiator split last year, he was able to get the part and install it cheaper than I could get a radiator. Ditto the a/c compressor and manifold hose assembly.

I'm sure I could remove and install a windshield, but going that route was again more expensive than calling a glass company to do it.

Re: thin steel...


Subject: Re: do you fix your own car?

Written By: Shacks Train on 09/14/08 at 11:32 pm

Re: thin steel...

Yup but when its layered together & welded.thats what gives it the strength!.Its amazing just how many bits it takes to make up a car body.....& if you look under the car.all those strange shaped holes are there from the building phase.They all had something to do during construction...Jigs etc...(someone had to figure out just how to hold that piece in place while a construction part was done!....I had a small contract in the Honda plant in Alliston Ontario where a Civic rolled off the line every 68 seconds...(kinda makes you wonder what their really worth).....The cars were assembled all by robots.They took their own parts off the racks & did the whole body.(no human contact).If there was any trouble the line shut down & a warning light showed exactly where the trouble was....The problem with thin sheet metal is the rust!!!.....Sure robots do a consistant job but have you looked at the paint jobs they do.most cars have an "orange peel" type paint job.not smooth at all........Most cars are slapped together as fast as possible & with built in design flaws really can't last beyond 10 years before starting to fall apart...If you can take some steps you can make them last longer.......I think its hard to justify the costs of some models & if you own a trailer or boat to tow your at the mercy of owning a gas pig!.Most car plant workers in Ontario earn about $30 per hour so the labor costs are enormous!This is why the unions whine when closures are forecast!........Buddy of mine worked at the GM truck plant in Scarbough Ont just before it closed & told me some horror stories about what went on there.....Quality job 1 .my ass!..he said the roof of the plant was like being at the beach on Friday nights & he found syringes up there as well..........
My Taurus....They must have smoked Crack when they assembled the oil pan as the gasket got blown out right on the main crank bearing.....I fixed it myself for a $34. gasket & a tube of silicon.Ford wanted over $500 to do that job!..........In the automotive world there are no crooks...Just good business men

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