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BA5
BA5 GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/16/21 6:06 a.m.

I don't understand how people afford things when they can't fix stuff themselves.

ddavidv
ddavidv UltimaDork
12/16/21 7:10 a.m.

Payment plans.

06HHR (Forum Supporter)
06HHR (Forum Supporter) Dork
12/16/21 9:03 a.m.

In reply to BA5 :

You would be surprised how many major repairs are financed in one way or another.  Credit cards, short term loans.  A guy i worked with actually found a finance company that specialized in high-cost auto repair.  IIRC, they specifically financed transmission repair/replacements (dude had a Mazda 626 with that automatic made from glass and unicorn tears) TLDR.. Like ddavidv said, Payment plans. 

hybridmomentspass
hybridmomentspass HalfDork
12/16/21 9:19 a.m.

Too poor to pay someone for most automotive services, plus I like the pride in doing something myself. 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
12/16/21 11:52 a.m.
BA5 said:

I don't understand how people afford things when they can't fix stuff themselves.

I think the owners of GRM have shared the info before, but the average subscriber has a much larger income than some think. 

Opti
Opti Dork
12/16/21 12:11 p.m.

In reply to z31maniac :

Thats why I like this place so much. You have Docwyte working on a 911 turbo or Mrelise buying up all the cool cars I want and I get to live vicariously through them, then you have people doing really cool thingw without much money. This place has a good balance of resources and skill.

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
12/16/21 1:23 p.m.

I'm also in the camp of being more and more willing to pay people to do work for me as I get older.

It still boggles my mind that there are lots of people (probably most) who don't know how to do *any* repairs. Even simple things were all you need is a phillips head screwdriver, a pair of pliers, and 45 minutes.

sobe_death
sobe_death Dork
12/16/21 1:37 p.m.

This is SO relevant as I just got a $1900 quote from VW to replace an EGR cooler hose on my Touareg, change the air filter, and refill the coolant.  Nevermind that it should be covered under the diesel warranty.

 

Declined the work and walked to the parts department, left with a $12 air filter, $6 hose, and $35 worth of G13 coolant.  I can't imagine how much where in life I'd be in without the ability to work on things!

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
12/16/21 1:51 p.m.

I think the inability to work on their own stuff scares a lot of people away from automotive fun that may otherwise love it.  I sure as hell wouldn't be doing as much racing/fun car stuff if I were paying someone to do the work.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
12/16/21 3:01 p.m.
Opti said:

In reply to z31maniac :

Thats why I like this place so much. You have Docwyte working on a 911 turbo or Mrelise buying up all the cool cars I want and I get to live vicariously through them, then you have people doing really cool thingw without much money. This place has a good balance of resources and skill.

Definitely! A lot of cool stuff going on. Hoping I'll be able to join back in with doing cool car stuff next year. 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
12/16/21 8:00 p.m.

Another way to look at it is "I repair as much as I can to save money for the repairs I can't."

11GTCS
11GTCS Dork
12/16/21 8:33 p.m.

In reply to z31maniac :

Regardless of income it’s helpful to understand how things work. Shops are so busy now and sometimes things can’t wait.   My son got cut off a while back and had to stand on the brakes of his 15+ year old Focus to avoid hitting the jerk.  “Dad, car’s making a noise”.   I drove it up the street and told him that his right front brake caliper was stuck.   Thanksgiving weekend so shop of Dad time, no way anyone would be available.   Pulled it into the garage, had him jack it up and pull the tire for me and sure enough...  I pulled the caliper and pads off, cleaned up all the sliding surfaces put it all back together, had the him put the wheel back on and torque everything up.   Test drive and fixed.   His comment was “how did you learn how to do that?”  Honest answer was that I was young and poor once too.   

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
12/16/21 8:43 p.m.

Yup. Once upon a time I didn't know how to work on cars. Every time something broke I got to learn something new.

It's nice being able to save money on maintenance and I think it's more convenient to work on stuff at home as I have time. That works because we usually have at least one extra vehicle around.

It also means we can be more comfortable with the idea of owning older inexpensive used cars. That saves a lot of money too.

Sometimes, though, when it's 10pm and I'm elbow deep in a dirty pain in the butt job, I do curse my stubborn insistence on fixing everything myself :P

There's still a lot I don't know about working on cars so sometimes I still get to learn new stuff when something breaks. Honestly, that's kind of fun.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
12/16/21 9:02 p.m.

We had an older Pastor at our church that followed as many of the Old Testament Biblical rules as he could.

1. He believed we should work a 12 hour day.  6am to 6pm and that would include commuting time as the OT guys might work closer to home than we do.

2. He said to work 6 days.  If your job doesn't allow the extra days stay at home and work on projects instead of paying someone to paint your house or work on your car.  You do the work and are actually paying yourself.

He is an interesting guy - turns 94 years of age in January and walks 3 miles a day x 5 days x week x all year round.  

So I guess that's why some people do the work if they can't afford it.  

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/16/21 9:05 p.m.
BA5 said:

I don't understand how people afford things when they can't fix stuff themselves.

I used to have mental breakdowns over this, when repairs costs would get high, because of how little money I made and I figured everyone was in that boat.

Enough people don't even flinch at $2000 repair bills, then call back to ask for additional services, that I am not bothered as much anymore.

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
12/17/21 12:49 a.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

Plenty of people are in debt up to their eyeballs too. Another $2k might be a drop in the bucket as long as they can manage that monthly payment.

Not for me.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
12/17/21 1:33 a.m.

In reply to 11GTCS :

Never said it wasn't. What I've been trying to point out is there is weird machismo aspect about "I can fix it" vs "I'm perfectly capable of fixing it, but I'd rather pay someone else to do it."

 

The same thing happens around the auto vs manual debate. But I've said this multiple times and it seems to be ignored so I'll just shut up about it now.

wae
wae UberDork
12/17/21 6:39 a.m.

I know a guy who does mobile brake jobs and he just bought a 20 year old Lexus off one of his customers.  Apparently he did a brake job on it - front pads and rotors - and after a couple months the pedal started going to the floor.  The owner took it to a tire shop who sold him 4 crappy tires, new front rotors, pads, hoses, and calipers.  For $2k - and the tires were only about $300 of that.  Car still had no brakes and now also leaked brake fluid from the caliper because the hose wasn't torqued down properly.  They told the guy it would be another $4k or so to put in a new master cylinder/ABS unit, so he decided to get rid of the car.

A used brake booster unit was around $300 and the book calls for 3.6 hours of labor and two bottles of DOT3 to install.  But these guys took the previous owner for a $2000 ride throwing away nearly-new parts, doing work that didn't need to be done, left the car in worse condition than when they started, and happily took a chunk out of the guy's credit card.

I know that every shop isn't like that, but having some basic clue about how to work on stuff at least reduces the chances that I'll run in to that sort of thing.  And it's why I don't mind when family, friends, and neighbors want me to take a look at their stuff.

yupididit
yupididit GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/17/21 8:34 a.m.
BA5 said:

I don't understand how people afford things when they can't fix stuff themselves.

 

Well poor people buy cheap cars that they can barely afford and they are one breakdown away from having no money at all. But, they need a car to work but don't have time and resources to fix their own either.

11GTCS
11GTCS Dork
12/17/21 9:26 a.m.

In reply to z31maniac :

I'm 100% with you, no disrespect meant if that's the way it came across.  Most of the time I end up paying the man car wise.  There's been a few times that hasn't been the option and in those times it's helpful to have a clue.   Trust me, there are things I can do and things I like to do.  Those two places don't always intersect. 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
12/17/21 9:29 a.m.
yupididit said:
BA5 said:

I don't understand how people afford things when they can't fix stuff themselves.

 

Well poor people buy cheap cars that they can barely afford and they are one breakdown away from having no money at all. But, they need a car to work but don't have time and resources to fix their own either.

This. 100%. Until youve been there, it will never make sense.

P3PPY
P3PPY GRM+ Memberand Dork
12/18/21 12:38 a.m.
Olemiss540 said:

Used to deploy this hobby as a method of affording a toy that would have been otherwise out of reach. That transitioned to wrenching as a social activity with my local like minded enthusiasts. Now, forced to wrench because I have become competent enough to know how bad a job techs do when I try to farm anything out. 

Envy those with a trustworthy side mechanic. Muchas envy. 

Yes. This. All of this.

And the downside to knowing how to wrench is that I'm also an optimist so I figure I can "get a good deal" and then fix whatever is wrong, which ends up with me having a piece of crap car that never works right. OR me having a $7,000 Z4 for $2,500 that I love. i suppose that filters down as "you win some you lose some". 
 

My wife and I were having just this discussion a while back about how now that I don't have time/motivation to work on cars, we're getting glimpses of just how stupidly expensive car ownership is for most people! But recently I've gotten into this no-man's-land. Like with the Saab I didn't want to do the rusted rear brake lines, I just didn't. So I took it in and they quoted me like $400 for what I know is a 2 hour job in the driveway with some unions and tube. So I declined the work, got it home, and let it sit in the driveway since I didn't want to do the two hours of work. 
 

I resonate with all the "I learned it because I had to" stories. I'm just glad my mom (ha not my dad) had some hand tools back when I had my first car-repair need. One time no joke the guys at a pick-n-pull took pity on me and just gave me the well-worn brake pads I'd just pulled. It's touching to me, the kindness of that simple act. I was SO hard up, man. And so I've done thousands and thousands and thousands of repairs for free over the years, sometimes roping in friends to help, sometimes for people I don't know or just met because I saw their hood up alongside the highway and it didn't look like they were going to be able to swing it. I love troubleshooting so I enjoy being "that car guy". God blessed me with terrible cars so I could learn to help other people.

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
12/18/21 11:27 a.m.

In reply to P3PPY :

This illustrates savings compared to shop rate.  The Porsche dealer wanted to charge me $1500 to change the spark plugs and coil packs on my 911 and that was just labor, since I already had the parts sitting on my work bench.

I went home and did it myself in under 3 hours, even though I'd never done it before.  I've heard that an experienced tech can get it done in under 2 hours.

RaabTheSaab
RaabTheSaab New Reader
12/18/21 1:16 p.m.

In reply to 11GTCS :

I'm 35 and I still call my dad at least once a month and ask him to teach me how to do stuff--whether it's fixing a sticky brake caliper, a broken dresser drawer, or a broken garbage disposal. A lot of these skills used to be passed down from generation to generation, but I think the tone of the later half of the 20th century and early 21st century has discouraged acquiring general skills, especially ones that encourage fixing a broken part rather than buying a new one. 

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