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SKJSS (formerly Klayfish)
SKJSS (formerly Klayfish) PowerDork
12/14/21 2:58 p.m.

I'll go against the grain and say no.  Granted, I have very limited mechanical skills to begin with.  I started to learn some things about 10 years ago.  At my best I was never very good at it, but at least learned the basics.  I did them for a while (brakes, etc...) and that was great.  However, my free time is very limited and very valuable at this stage of my life.  Not that I'm filthy rich, far from it.  However I'm fortunate enough that I simply don't have to do it.  Even oil changes I don't do anymore.  I can get the local place to do it for $30, and it would cost me $25 just to buy the oil and filter at AutoZone.  For the extra $5, screw it.  More significant work I farm out to a specialist mechanic that I trust and doesn't charge dealership prices.  Obviously if there's a repair like you guys talk mention (i.e. $150 part and one hour work vs. $1200 at a shop) then I'll do it myself.  Other than that, no thanks.

 

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
12/14/21 3:01 p.m.

Some jobs I just don't want to do, or have the time to do.  Those I happily farm out, like the limited slip rear differential install in the 996.  Most "regular" maintenance jobs I do myself.

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
12/14/21 3:05 p.m.

Having simple jobs done by someone else probably eats almost the same time that just doing it yourself does.

Schedule the appointment, take time off work, wait for someone to pick you up, get a ride back, etc. No thanks. I'll waste the same amount of time and keep my money.

Ever worse when it's something like the plumber. I have to be home between the hours of 9am and 5pm to hope they will show up when they say. No thanks.

New York Nick
New York Nick GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/14/21 3:08 p.m.

I like having the choice. Interesting I do more non automotive work that a lot of people need to farm out. Residential wiring and plumbing and concrete and things. I have gotten better about picking and choosing what I farm out and what I do myself. As far as car mechanics two brothers that I went to high school with have a shop a mile or two from me. They are very competent and always treat me fair. A lot of times they can do a job and save me enough time to justify the $. 
 

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
12/14/21 3:10 p.m.
ShawnG said:

Having simple jobs done by someone else probably eats almost the same time that just doing it yourself does.

Schedule the appointment, take time off work, wait for someone to pick you up, get a ride back, etc. No thanks. I'll waste the same amount of time and keep my money.

Ever worse when it's something like the plumber. I have to be home between the hours of 9am and 5pm to hope they will show up when they say. No thanks.

This is exactly it.  Changing the oil in a car typically takes me less time than having someone else do it, and it improves scheduling flexibility.  If I have time at 9PM on a Tuesday, I can just do it, rather than waiting until I can get the car to someone on their schedule. 

No, but I've say back and thought "why can't I be dumb about cars and pay someone else to do this crap?"

akylekoz
akylekoz SuperDork
12/14/21 3:22 p.m.

A coworker told me his temp gauge is sitting a little low now that it's cold out and his truck takes longer to heat up.  Classic stuck thermostat...$600 repair bill including testing the thermostat, fluid flush and fill???!!!???!!!!   He has tools and I told him exactly where it was and how to change it.

I just reupholstered the rear seat in my wives new car, had to buy hog ring pliers and learn a new skill.  4-5 hours later it looks great, hate to guess how much that would have cost.

j_tso
j_tso GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/14/21 3:29 p.m.

My previous daily driver was an old Accord that came with a stack receipts going back to the original owner (I was the 4th). I found a receipt for $30 to change a turn signal bulb from the late 1990s/early 2000s. This guy went to a particular garage so frequently I assumed he was trying to chat up the receptionist.

rodknock
rodknock Reader
12/14/21 3:34 p.m.

I like saving money doing the work myself but if it's a big job on the daily I will send it to the shop. I had my rear main seal and clutch done on my FoST because there was no way I'd get away with doing that job in my apartment parking lot without someone complaining. 

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/14/21 3:39 p.m.

A bit of both. While I can do almost anything I put my mind to, actually getting the motivation lately has been tough.  

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
12/14/21 3:52 p.m.

Lack of trust of others is more my motivation than saving money.  If I didn't know how to work on cars, I'd probably spend the same amount I do now, just have a daily driver under warranty and no project cars.

06HHR (Forum Supporter)
06HHR (Forum Supporter) Dork
12/14/21 4:06 p.m.

Double-edged sword. I work on my older stuff but the new car goes to the dealer while the warranty is in effect.  Random people find out you can work on a car gets you asked all manner of strange questions (my friend has a *insert car here* with a bad *whatchamacallit* can you fix it?) that i say "no" to a lot.   Besides, most stuff within the last 10 years requires a dedicated scan tool to properly do some repairs (steering angle sensor calibration for Nissan vehicles for example) which can cost some $$$ for just casual use, probably going to buy one anyway because my ownership window will be down to 10-ish year old cars soon.   I'm happy I can fix my stuff, but tired of getting harrassed by people who find out i'm a "car guy" and think that means I should be able to fix their E36 M3 with duct tape and bailing wire for a dollar.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
12/14/21 4:42 p.m.

When I learned a buddy paid $1,300 to have BMW change a headlight bulb, yeah, I'm glad I can do what I can do.

RX Reven'
RX Reven' GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
12/14/21 4:51 p.m.

In reply to Appleseed :

Last Saturday I happened to pull out of my driveway right behind the sweet little old lady that lives across the street from me and I noticed that one of her brake lights was out.  Her retired school teacher son lives with her and he happened to be outside when I got home so I let him know about the brake light.

Based on previous discussions, I knew he wasn't at all mechanical so I explained the basics (there'll be a little panel in the trunk, change both of them, etc.) and he said "nah, I think I'll just take it to the Chevy dealership".  Oh...My...Gauuud...way to turn a five minute / five dollar non event into a major undertaking dude.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
12/14/21 4:55 p.m.
SKJSS (formerly Klayfish) said:

I'll go against the grain and say no.  Granted, I have very limited mechanical skills to begin with.  I started to learn some things about 10 years ago.  At my best I was never very good at it, but at least learned the basics.  I did them for a while (brakes, etc...) and that was great.  However, my free time is very limited and very valuable at this stage of my life.  Not that I'm filthy rich, far from it.  However I'm fortunate enough that I simply don't have to do it.  Even oil changes I don't do anymore.  I can get the local place to do it for $30, and it would cost me $25 just to buy the oil and filter at AutoZone.  For the extra $5, screw it.  More significant work I farm out to a specialist mechanic that I trust and doesn't charge dealership prices.  Obviously if there's a repair like you guys talk mention (i.e. $150 part and one hour work vs. $1200 at a shop) then I'll do it myself.  Other than that, no thanks.

 

This 100%. I'm not rich by any means, but I also value my time a lot more these days. I did an S52 swap into an E30 on a gravel driveway with no protection. I have the skills to do everything this side of a engine/transmission/differential rebuild. 

But now I can afford to pay someone who knows what they are doing to take care of tasks I don't want to bother with. 

Perfect example, the car the lady and I share is coming due for an oil change. I'm happy to pay the dealership $60 to take care of it vs spending my saturday morning crawling around on the garage floor. Then having to deal with recycling the oil, etc. 

It's all about what you value with your time/money. It's kind of like the manual/automatic garbage you see so often on car forums. There is a weird sense of machismo for certain things.

Mr. Peabody
Mr. Peabody UltimaDork
12/14/21 5:13 p.m.

I've often wondered what it would be like not being able to do my own repairs. Some call me frugal, but most call me cheap. I can't imaging having to pay what it costs to maintain and repair a car, or even pay full price for a car or parts, for that matter.

I've been driving 45 years and never taken a car in for an oil change.

yupididit
yupididit GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/14/21 5:38 p.m.

In reply to rslifkin :

I just scheduled my oil change around something that the lady and I will be doing. I'll drop it off and run errands or hang with the family and pick it up at the end of the day or another day. I don't have any free time in weekdays and on weekends I prefer to do everything I couldn't get done during the week. And most of all, spending my weekends with my little one's and wife > saving $5 doing my own oil change. 

It takes me weeks to months just to tinker with my projects/toys. I still haven't done the fluids on my Mercedes and I bought it in October. I've also only driven it maybe 6 times since then too. 

I did do the plugs on my Expedition the other day. It should probably take 30-45 min but it took me hours because I had to do more important things. 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
12/14/21 5:46 p.m.
Mr. Peabody said:

I've often wondered what it would be like not being able to do my own repairs. Some call me frugal, but most call me cheap. I can't imaging having to pay what it costs to maintain and repair a car, or even pay full price for a car or parts, for that matter.

I've been driving 45 years and never taken a car in for an oil change.

There is a big difference between not being able to do something and being willing to pay someone to do something you don't want to do. 

I've been driving for almost 25 years. I'd much rather spend a Saturday morning hanging with my lady and the dogs instead of getting greasy in the garage. Again, people value different things and there is nothing wrong with that. 

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/14/21 5:46 p.m.

There are days that I wish I could hand over the plastic and be ignorant of the fact that I can usually do the repair for %25 or less of what a shop charges.

Sometimes ignorance really is bliss.  

slefain
slefain PowerDork
12/14/21 5:48 p.m.

Daily driver got punted last night (other driver's fault) and the driver door wouldn't open from outside. At lunch today I popped off the interior door panel, performed a few well placed "Hadouken!" flat palm hits on the door skin and got the latch working again. Took maybe 20 minutes because I used it as a teaching moment with my son to learn more about car repair. I'm lucky to have the space, the tools, and the talent at this point in my life.

I've saved tens of thousands of dollars over the years working on my own stuff. I've saved other folks thousands fixing stuff for them. It's my gift, so I use it the best I can. I'm "that guy" in the neighborhood that everyone knows is the car guy.

My kids see me fix stuff all the time, I just hope I can impart some of that wisdom on them.

mfennell
mfennell Reader
12/14/21 6:08 p.m.
Datsun310Guy said:

Regarding interior and exterior house painting.  

I just paid to have several rooms painted.  3 of them with vaulted ceilings that needed a bit of work.  Man, they were awesome, and worth every cent.  They requested up front that I not even move anything out of the way for them because "sometimes people actually make it harder on us by accident".  No. Problem.

OTOH, I was happy to change the oil in my VW (the one with the warranty I have happily and thoroughly voided) the other evening with my topside suction thing.  I just set it up and walk away, returning every so often to give it a few more pumps while I puttered around the garage cleaning up.  I was done in about the time it would have taken just to drive to the local dealer.

mfennell
mfennell Reader
12/14/21 6:15 p.m.
tuna55 said:

It's annoying sometimes. I don't like being forced to repair a thing, especially under duress. I don't like the thanklessness of those around me who I help, esp wife. It not normal to be married to a guy who can pull the torque converter in a minivan in the driveway and fix it for $200 rather than $5000.

The rear diff in my wife's E30 failed a few years ago.  I sourced a used one (small case LSD 4.11!) and sent the car off to a pro, who went through it first and took care of a bunch of mostly minor stuff I had been neglecting.  It was a real eye opener for her to see what things actually cost when not done by your captive mechanic.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 PowerDork
12/14/21 6:34 p.m.

Yes. I have trust issues that stem from working at a dealer tech for so many years. I couldn't trust my co-workers to leave my toolbox unlocked while I took a doo doo. Why would I trust any of them to wrench on my car. 

rob_lewis
rob_lewis GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
12/14/21 8:57 p.m.

The right tools, however, can make a difference.  Son works at the Ford dealer as a lube tech.  7 to 7, Tuesday through Saturday (he's a workaholic).  His Fit axle seal was leaking.  I offered to do it last weekend since he's working hard (and trying to move).  Went ahead and replaced both.  Took me a day and a half.  Finished around 2:00 Sunday. 

Passenger seal was still leaking.  He called me about an hour ago because he had it on the lift at work and wanted me to walk him through what needs to be taken off.  SIX minutes later he calls to tell me the spring around the seal had popped off.  It took him SIX FRIGGEN MINUTES to do what took me most of the day.  Joked that I'm never working on his car again.  (Which, tbh, I still work on it because he's busting his ass at work and I have weekends off). 

He told me I should buy a lift.  Told him I need a house to put the lift in, first!

-Rob

 

1kris06
1kris06 HalfDork
12/14/21 9:03 p.m.
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) said:

I especially appreciated that after the local dealership recommended a transmission replacement to my wife. Fixed it myself in an afternoon with a series of three drain and fills, adding a tube of Lubegard Shudder Fix on the last one. The recommendations for the fluid and the additive came from my questions on this forum.

 

Was it for a honda?

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