Author Topic: Car Repairs!  (Read 8343 times)

OttoVonBisquick

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Car Repairs!
« on: June 16, 2015, 08:59:18 AM »
Hey all,

Recently purchased a used 2002 Hyundai Accent GL (manual, 4-cylinder) from a family member for $1500. The family does basic maintenance on the car (the father/husband is a contractor and does a lot of auto mechanic work).

I'm excited to see what is reasonable to expect to do myself here. The family member has ramps and tools to do the job, so I would like to get as much done as possible myself to avoid hefty mechanic fees. Who knows, I might just start getting into car maintenance as a side hobby/hustle. I know nothing about where my life is headed at my age.

So a while back, I had a mechanic check out everything that was wrong with the car. The major items are as follows:

EDIT: Got the call from the mechanic, apparently the rear brakes (drums?) are at the minimum for wear-down, and are leaking breake fluid, and the front brakes are at their minimum as well. Will update the major repairs with quotes below:

Total brake job and fluid leak fix on all 4 brakes: $946.06 (!!!)
Font CV Boot replacements: $330.27 Paid for both of these to get done, today (6/16/15)
Valve Cover Gasket Replacement: $144.10
Outer Tire Rod Ends (sp?): $307.26

I'm not happy about the brakes and CV Boot repairs, but I pulled the trigger knowing that I want to get these major repairs done quickly. I'm definitely, 100% going to invest in self-repair time and gear in the future should I have a garage.

Air filter "dirty and distorted"
New spark plugs (Engine misfire codes, I've been told it's almost certainly the spark plugs)
New Battery ("Failed load test" and was last replaced in '11)
Left rear-view mirror rattles when driving (lol, was thinking about literally shoving tape in there)
Hood sits about 1/4 - 1/2" above where it should (I assume this is costing me 1-2 MPG in catching wind on the highway?)
Oil needs changing

I assume some of this I could do under the guidance of the family member, but he's a contractor and mentioned that he'd likely be busy until early July.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2015, 10:26:28 AM by OttoVonBisquik »

Syonyk

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2015, 10:30:45 AM »
All of those are fairly easy.  Grab a Chilton's or Haynes, a decent tool set, and go to town.

OttoVonBisquick

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2015, 10:38:18 AM »
All of those are fairly easy.  Grab a Chilton's or Haynes, a decent tool set, and go to town.

Not to sound unappreciative, but if you could provide examples of what kind of tool sets, if there are unique tools for specific models, what "Chilton's or Haynes" are, and where you prefer getting parts, that'd be a lot more helpful.

paddedhat

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2015, 10:51:31 AM »
Chilton and Haynes are old school repair manuals. IMHO, they are of some value, but not much. A set of real manual that covers everything they claim to, would be about 10-15X the size of their product. I would spend a few hours online watching tutorials of everything you wish to tackle. You will then be watching somebody doing the work and observing how it's done and with what tools. You will quickly learn that if you want to save a ton and learn a lot, it's youtube and other sources for knowledge, and Rockauto.com for parts. I just did pads and rotors on our CRV. Premium parts from Rockauto were 20% less than bottom grade junk from the local auto store, and that included all the hardware, lube and shipping. Good luck. Once you gain enough knowledge, you can do that brake job for about 1/3rd of your quote.

AZDude

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2015, 11:37:58 AM »
Those are all minor things that the internet and a good set of tools can help you with. I've changed oil, spark plugs, batteries, etc... Might take longer the first time, but the experience is worth it.

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2015, 02:04:42 PM »
It's been about 4 years now that I have been doing my own repairs learning pretty much from forums and videos.  Some stuff I got from manuals but I find the manuals assume that you are already a mechanic there fore some of their steps can be confusing. I have maybe spent about $600 in tools for the 4 years buying tools as needed and borrowing others from loaner programs. If you go to parts suppliers you will also get that parts without the mark up a garage tacks on.  I have also found that parts from parts suppliers can cost less than 1/2 of that from the dealer and be a better part.  Also the wreckers is also a great place for parts and they usually charges less if you pull the part yourself.  I would also invest in a code puller to diagnosis your check engine light. They can be found for $40 for a simple one. Once you have the error codes you can search online and find out what causes it and what the fix is. On years when there were many repairs or I had to get a car ready for certification I probably saved myself an easy $2000.  It's up to you.  I am a big advocate of DIY!

For the time being getting your repaired at a garage is probably the best thing to do at this point but from here on if you tackle your repairs yourself you will get the knowledge, experience, tools and know the best places to buy parts.

oneday

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2015, 02:26:42 PM »
All of those are fairly easy.  Grab a Chilton's or Haynes, a decent tool set, and go to town.

Not to sound unappreciative, but if you could provide examples of what kind of tool sets, if there are unique tools for specific models, what "Chilton's or Haynes" are, and where you prefer getting parts, that'd be a lot more helpful.

You can get various "mechanic's" tool sets at Sears or the like. Ours is mainly socket wrenches, metric & "standard".

BTW, I love your handle!

Joggernot

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2015, 03:13:49 PM »
Hey all,

Recently purchased a used 2002 Hyundai Accent GL (manual, 4-cylinder) from a family member for $1500. The family does basic maintenance on the car (the father/husband is a contractor and does a lot of auto mechanic work).

Valve Cover Gasket Replacement: $144.10
Outer Tire Rod Ends (sp?): $307.26

Air filter "dirty and distorted"DIY - take out the old; put in the new one from an auto store
New spark plugs (Engine misfire codes, I've been told it's almost certainly the spark plugs) Probably DIY - You need a deep socket and ratchet to fit your plugs.  One of my cars required a special tool to get to one plug - borrow the tool from the auto store you buy the plugs from - buy the best plugs, but Bosch is not recommended by me
New Battery ("Failed load test" and was last replaced in '11) DIY Buy good battery from auto store - if it is a simple replacement the auto store might do it for you, otherwise just take one out and put one in - don't forget to get the core rebate by giving them the old battery
Left rear-view mirror rattles when driving (lol, was thinking about literally shoving tape in there) I used double back tape
Hood sits about 1/4 - 1/2" above where it should (I assume this is costing me 1-2 MPG in catching wind on the highway?) Interesting...it could be just that someone screwed out the rubber bumpers near the front.  Open the hood, look for rubber bumpers and see if they will turn down.  Otherwise, get out the manual and adjust the position of the latch.
Oil needs changing DIY Buy ramps, oil, filter, and an oil change kit.  I always have a sheet of cardboard on the ground and the catch basin on the cardboard.  Find and remove the oil plug under the car.  Let it drain while you find and remove the filter.  Clean the area where the filter was.  Screw on the new filter.  Don't overtighten the filter.  Put the oil drain plug back in and add the recommended amount of oil (look in the owners manual)

OttoVonBisquick

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2015, 03:17:11 PM »
Air filter "dirty and distorted"DIY - take out the old; put in the new one from an auto store
New spark plugs (Engine misfire codes, I've been told it's almost certainly the spark plugs) Probably DIY - You need a deep socket and ratchet to fit your plugs.  One of my cars required a special tool to get to one plug - borrow the tool from the auto store you buy the plugs from - buy the best plugs, but Bosch is not recommended by me
New Battery ("Failed load test" and was last replaced in '11) DIY Buy good battery from auto store - if it is a simple replacement the auto store might do it for you, otherwise just take one out and put one in - don't forget to get the core rebate by giving them the old battery
Left rear-view mirror rattles when driving (lol, was thinking about literally shoving tape in there) I used double back tape
Hood sits about 1/4 - 1/2" above where it should (I assume this is costing me 1-2 MPG in catching wind on the highway?) Interesting...it could be just that someone screwed out the rubber bumpers near the front.  Open the hood, look for rubber bumpers and see if they will turn down.  Otherwise, get out the manual and adjust the position of the latch.
Oil needs changing DIY Buy ramps, oil, filter, and an oil change kit.  I always have a sheet of cardboard on the ground and the catch basin on the cardboard.  Find and remove the oil plug under the car.  Let it drain while you find and remove the filter.  Clean the area where the filter was.  Screw on the new filter.  Don't overtighten the filter.  Put the oil drain plug back in and add the recommended amount of oil (look in the owners manual)

Thanks! I'm trying to get ahold of the uncle for his socket that fits the plugs, and his permission to use his tools and space while he's working 6-6 until early july, but he's remarkably hard to get to call back or text, so we'll see when this happens.

For the time being getting your repaired at a garage is probably the best thing to do at this point but from here on if you tackle your repairs yourself you will get the knowledge, experience, tools and know the best places to buy parts.

Yeah, I figured that I should just let them tackle the important, big stuff now, I can buy the smaller repair parts and use the family member's stuff to replace the easy parts.

BTW, I love your handle!

Thanks ;) I thought it silly but funny.

adamj

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2015, 04:05:10 PM »
As for tools, I'm assuming you have some basics like a set of screwdrivers and a pair of pliers. You probably don't need (many) SAE tools for this car. Go to Lowes or Sears and buy a nice set of 8-10 metric sockets, a socket wrench (not one of the silly palm ones, just a regular socket wrench; paying a bit extra for a fancy low-angle one is worth it IMO), a couple extensions, and a universal joint. You should be able to find this complete with a case at Lowes in their higher-end Kobalt brand for about $20. Don't spend $100+ on a huge box of stuff you will never use.

Also, a pair of mechanics gloves, ramps, oil drain pan, oil filter wrench, and a tire pressure gauge.

Beyond that, you will be buying tools for specific jobs (or borrowing from your friends/relatives) as you need them.

Consumable stuff - some old rags, disposable gloves, some kind of soap that is good for removing grease/oil like Fast Orange, penetrating oil like PB Blaster.

Oil change, air filter, checking tire pressure, topping off fluids, changing light bulbs, batteries, wiper blades, checking tire condition... That's all super basic DIY maintenance stuff. Beyond that is stuff like changing serpentine belts, spark plugs, brake pads, fluid changes (transmission, brake, coolant, etc.)... not too bad but it's good to have someone help you the first time. This is all maintenance, not repair; these items will eventually wear out and just need to be checked and replaced according to the schedule in the manual.

Gaskets, tie rods, fixing leaky brakes, replacing starters and alternators, are definitely DIYable for someone who has tackled the simpler stuff a few times and is comfortable working on cars, but if you aren't making a hobby out of working on cars, it's a good idea to let someone else do these things.

OttoVonBisquick

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2015, 08:04:40 AM »
As for tools, I'm assuming you have some basics like a set of screwdrivers and a pair of pliers. You probably don't need (many) SAE tools for this car. Go to Lowes or Sears and buy a nice set of 8-10 metric sockets, a socket wrench (not one of the silly palm ones, just a regular socket wrench; paying a bit extra for a fancy low-angle one is worth it IMO), a couple extensions, and a universal joint. You should be able to find this complete with a case at Lowes in their higher-end Kobalt brand for about $20. Don't spend $100+ on a huge box of stuff you will never use.

All of that for $20?! Damn that's a good price.

I'm beginning my shopping today since the car will be done at the mechanics later this morning for the brakes/CV boot replacement.

Any recommendation on a place to buy your parts (ie cheap but trustworth manufacturer)?
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 08:06:35 AM by OttoVonBisquik »

Joggernot

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2015, 09:18:44 AM »
All of that for $20?! Damn that's a good price.

I'm beginning my shopping today since the car will be done at the mechanics later this morning for the brakes/CV boot replacement.

Any recommendation on a place to buy your parts (ie cheap but trustworth manufacturer)?
Harbor Freight for tools; any auto store (O'Reilly's, AutoZone, NAPA, etc.) for parts; Walmart for oils and fluids.  I don't recommend Bosch plugs.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2015, 10:30:28 AM »
Oh, man, I feel sorry for your $900 brake bill.  The exact same thing happened to me about a year and a half ago.  Rear cylinders leaking, front brakes worn.  Firestone quoted me $850 for the work.  I bought the parts at Autozone for $155 and fixed it all myself that evening in about 3 hours.  You have *no idea* how much money you'll save by doing your own car repair and maintenance.

I do all my own work, as well as a bunch of work for family and friends.  In terms of tools, here's the priority I would set:

Get first:
--oil change stuff.  Drip pan, funnel, set of combination wrenches (for you, metric, since it's a foreign car), shop rags, gloves, jack stands*.  Maybe I have the wrong kind of oil filter wrench, but I've never actually used it successfully--all oil filters are taken on and off by hand.
--good quality ratchets, plus sockets.  Get 72-tooth ratchets, so you get more clicks per circle.
--for spark plugs, get a spark plug wrench. It's a few bucks.

Get second:
--a set of deep impact sockets. Walmart has a set of SAE and metric for $20 that my brother has.  I borrowed them so often I eventually bought my own. Add an 18" breaker bar so you have something to turn the sockets.

With that, you've got all the tools you'll need for 90% of repairs.  Seriously, just about everything I've done is doable with wrenches and sockets and an occasional screwdriver.

Everything else I get on an "as needed" basis, or borrow from your local parts store.  When I replaced my brother's wheel bearing, I bought a seal removal tool.  Replacing drive axles?  Borrowed a slide hammer, axle nut socket and axle removal gizmo from Autozone.  Replacing spark plugs in an awkward place on our van?  A couple socket extensions.

*-- I used ramps for a long time, and frankly, I'm still paranoid that I'll run off the end (and I *have* done that a few times).  I prefer jack stands now, especially now that I have a trolley jack

OttoVonBisquick

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2015, 12:27:43 PM »
Oh, man, I feel sorry for your $900 brake bill.  The exact same thing happened to me about a year and a half ago.  Rear cylinders leaking, front brakes worn.  Firestone quoted me $850 for the work.  I bought the parts at Autozone for $155 and fixed it all myself that evening in about 3 hours.  You have *no idea* how much money you'll save by doing your own car repair and maintenance.

I do all my own work, as well as a bunch of work for family and friends.  In terms of tools, here's the priority I would set:

Get first:
--oil change stuff.  Drip pan, funnel, set of combination wrenches (for you, metric, since it's a foreign car), shop rags, gloves, jack stands*.  Maybe I have the wrong kind of oil filter wrench, but I've never actually used it successfully--all oil filters are taken on and off by hand.
--good quality ratchets, plus sockets.  Get 72-tooth ratchets, so you get more clicks per circle.
--for spark plugs, get a spark plug wrench. It's a few bucks.

Get second:
--a set of deep impact sockets. Walmart has a set of SAE and metric for $20 that my brother has.  I borrowed them so often I eventually bought my own. Add an 18" breaker bar so you have something to turn the sockets.

With that, you've got all the tools you'll need for 90% of repairs.  Seriously, just about everything I've done is doable with wrenches and sockets and an occasional screwdriver.

Everything else I get on an "as needed" basis, or borrow from your local parts store.  When I replaced my brother's wheel bearing, I bought a seal removal tool.  Replacing drive axles?  Borrowed a slide hammer, axle nut socket and axle removal gizmo from Autozone.  Replacing spark plugs in an awkward place on our van?  A couple socket extensions.

*-- I used ramps for a long time, and frankly, I'm still paranoid that I'll run off the end (and I *have* done that a few times).  I prefer jack stands now, especially now that I have a trolley jack

Awesome response! I'll look into those things. I really was hesitant about pulling the trigger on the brakes and CV boot, but I know literally nothing, with no tools nor experience, so I figured I'd call this "my last dumb expensive car repair".

The trick is, where should I do my auto repairs? I have a parking spot in the parking garage that belongs to the building that I live in, but I don't that would be appropriate/allowed. I have a massive dirt/stone lot out in back, but is that safe to put jack stands or ramps on, given that the ground is mildly loose?

Also, another dumb question: What clothes/shoes should I use? Having recently moved out, I wanted to bring as little with me as necessary, so I scrapped a lot of shirts and pants that I didn't want to wear. Should I buy a big mechanic suit and patch the name "Otto" on the front for fun? haha

a1smith

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2015, 05:12:26 PM »
Later on, when you start doing more challenging repair jobs it will be nice to have service manuals (from manufacturer).

I bought a used car and got the service manuals for it used on eBay for around $40.  Two books, service manual and another with all of the electrical schematics.  Brand new they are around $300-400.

cjottawa

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2015, 07:08:32 PM »
I hate to be "that guy" but at some point you have to decide if you're throwing good money after bad.

Check the used values of the Accent: http://www.vmrcanada.com/used-car/values/2002-Hyundai-ACCENT.html

(Canadian prices but probably comparable in the USA)

To help keep parts costs down, consider visiting your local auto wreckers, often. This vintage of Accent shows up a lot in scrapyards. In my experience, you'll often find cars of this vintage with brand new parts on them where someone has put money into the vehicle before getting into an accident or just deciding "they can't even" anymore.

Reach for the low-hanging fruit first: air filter, plugs and plug wires, oil & filter.

I highly suggest something like a 0W-20 fully synthetic. If you need any convincing of that: http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/motor-oil-101/

The lighter grade oil is actually going to make it easier to turn the engine over, to the point where you might be able to keep that battery a few more years.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 07:15:09 PM by cjottawa »

a1smith

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2015, 08:21:04 PM »
I hate to be "that guy" but at some point you have to decide if you're throwing good money after bad.

Check the used values of the Accent: http://www.vmrcanada.com/used-car/values/2002-Hyundai-ACCENT.html

(Canadian prices but probably comparable in the USA)

To help keep parts costs down, consider visiting your local auto wreckers, often. This vintage of Accent shows up a lot in scrapyards. In my experience, you'll often find cars of this vintage with brand new parts on them where someone has put money into the vehicle before getting into an accident or just deciding "they can't even" anymore.

Reach for the low-hanging fruit first: air filter, plugs and plug wires, oil & filter.

I highly suggest something like a 0W-20 fully synthetic. If you need any convincing of that: http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/motor-oil-101/

The lighter grade oil is actually going to make it easier to turn the engine over, to the point where you might be able to keep that battery a few more years.

I agree with getting parts from junk yard to repair vehicle.  I pulled an entire power steering system from a junkyard car (without breaking into hydraulics to keep system clean) and added it to my car; viola! power steering added for $50.  My wife was very happy.

I don't know if I would use junk yard parts for air filter, plugs and plug wires.  Rockauto.com prices are so low you can get new parts there and get a good deal.  Their website also lets you check on which warehouse parts are shipping from so you can try to change brands of some items so that everything ships from one place and you then save on shipping.

I would use either the oil weight recommended by the manufacturer or if you have worn piston rings (low compression) a high mileage oil.  I would not use a 0W-20 oil.  Trust me, the auto manufacturers are fully aware of how multi-grade oil viscosity varies with temperature when they specify the oil to use.  All of the auto manufacturers test vehicles from -40F to 140F.  A quick check of some other sites shows your car should use 10W-30.  Also, if you want to save money on service, don't bother buying synthetic oil and just get regular oil which is what a 2002 vehicle will be spec'ed for.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 08:26:36 PM by a1smith »

OttoVonBisquick

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2015, 08:38:45 AM »
Well, once I start needing more parts I will absolutely investigate the junkyard route. I'm in Denver, so I have to assume there are thousands of Hyundai's lying around.

And as for throwing bad money after good, you're right about the repair price being stupid and not worth it, but I was told by a mechanic that "the brakes are fine"! I guess the joke is on me for not listening to plenty of people on here talking about the incompetence of many mechanics. I got it at a good price, so I'll just have to stick with it and do the rest of the maintenance myself (including a timing belt in about 9500 miles).

I'm hunting on rockauto now for an oil filter, valve cover gasket, air filter, spark plugs, and battery, all looking pretty cheap. I'm headed to my uncle's to do the oil change and other maintenance on Sunday.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2015, 10:38:42 AM »
Awesome response! I'll look into those things. I really was hesitant about pulling the trigger on the brakes and CV boot, but I know literally nothing, with no tools nor experience, so I figured I'd call this "my last dumb expensive car repair".

The trick is, where should I do my auto repairs? I have a parking spot in the parking garage that belongs to the building that I live in, but I don't that would be appropriate/allowed. I have a massive dirt/stone lot out in back, but is that safe to put jack stands or ramps on, given that the ground is mildly loose?

Also, another dumb question: What clothes/shoes should I use? Having recently moved out, I wanted to bring as little with me as necessary, so I scrapped a lot of shirts and pants that I didn't want to wear. Should I buy a big mechanic suit and patch the name "Otto" on the front for fun? haha
For doing repair on gravel, you could get a couple scraps of plywood to put under the jack stands, so they don't sink in.  I also highly recommend getting wheel chocks, to keep the car stable while jacking it, and as additional safety once it's on the jack stands.

As for clothes, I have a set (well, now multiple sets) of "grubby clothes"--old jeans with the knees worn through, t-shirts that got stained somehow or other.  I kinda want to get a set of coveralls, and I'm kicking myself for decluttering a set when we last moved.  I'm not sure on your location, but long sleeves might get a bit hot.

Oh, one more thing I'd recommend--rubber/latex/nitrile gloves.  It's a hassle tying to get all the grime out of my skin!

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2015, 10:42:10 AM »

And as for throwing bad money after good, you're right about the repair price being stupid and not worth it, but I was told by a mechanic that "the brakes are fine"! I guess the joke is on me for not listening to plenty of people on here talking about the incompetence of many mechanics. I got it at a good price, so I'll just have to stick with it and do the rest of the maintenance myself (including a timing belt in about 9500 miles).
Changing the timing belt is the most involved repair/maintenance I've done.  For older cars (like my '95 Corolla), I'd classify it as "the biggest repair that's still worth doing."  If you can do that, you can do pretty much anything.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2015, 02:57:24 PM by zolotiyeruki »

vegasdude

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2015, 01:16:20 PM »
I can't imagine how outer tie rods are going to cost $307. That's one of the easier DIY jobs. The ends are cheap on eBay. Just need standard tools, a jack stand, and a little tool to break off the ball joints. Then pay for the alignment at Pep Boys or wherever. Should cost you $100 if you really need it at all. That tie rod end tool will come in handy because you'll use it again when it's time for ball joints, axles, or suspension. Also not that hard to replace FWD axles--easier than replacing just the CV boot, and also not as expensive as you would think. Youtube and eBay are your friend. It helps to have an AutoZone within biking distance too!

cjottawa

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2015, 03:39:56 PM »

And as for throwing bad money after good, you're right about the repair price being stupid and not worth it, but I was told by a mechanic that "the brakes are fine"! I guess the joke is on me for not listening to plenty of people on here talking about the incompetence of many mechanics. I got it at a good price, so I'll just have to stick with it and do the rest of the maintenance myself (including a timing belt in about 9500 miles).
Changing the timing belt is the most involved repair/maintenance I've done.  For older cars (like my '95 Corolla), I'd classify it as "the biggest repair that's still worth doing."  If you can do that, you can do pretty much anything.

Water pump is usually done at the same time as the timing belt, if the Accent is anything like the Elantra of that vintage.

I can change an alternator, brakes, plugs, window motors etc.

I would never, ever consider doing the timing belt on an interference engine myself; one thing wrong and you just bricked your engine. That'll be $2,000 for a new engine. Hire a professional for a timing belt job, even if you're providing them with the parts.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2015, 03:42:11 PM by cjottawa »

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2015, 04:02:59 PM »
Water pump is usually done at the same time as the timing belt, if the Accent is anything like the Elantra of that vintage.

I can change an alternator, brakes, plugs, window motors etc.

I would never, ever consider doing the timing belt on an interference engine myself; one thing wrong and you just bricked your engine. That'll be $2,000 for a new engine. Hire a professional for a timing belt job, even if you're providing them with the parts.
I think most cars have the water pump buried under the timing belt.

It's DIY-able, if you take your time putting everything back together. The big thing to look out for is making sure the timing is correct.  If it's off by a tooth in one direction or another, it won't destroy the engine, it just won't run well, and you can go back and fix it.

I'll admit I was very nervous the first time I started the engine after changing the timing belt.  But if you follow the steps and take the time to get it right, there's nothing to worry about.

paddedhat

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2015, 08:59:32 PM »
I would never, ever consider doing the timing belt on an interference engine myself; one thing wrong and you just bricked your engine. That'll be $2,000 for a new engine. Hire a professional for a timing belt job, even if you're providing them with the parts.

If you can operate a sharpie, yardstick and a spray can, there is never anything to fear.
#1  clean the pulleys well with a can of brake clean, and a rag.
#2 Use yardstick as a straight edge across the face of the pulleys. Hold yardstick in a vertical position.
#3 Mark top and bottom edges of pulleys with sharpie. Write "TOP" on top face of pulleys.

Now you have "indexed" the two pulleys, and established their relationship. When you put the new belt on, if the marks all line up with the edge of your yardstick, you are good to go.

OttoVonBisquick

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2015, 11:07:55 AM »
All very helpful, relevant advice, as my car is at ~140,500, and will need belt replacement at 150,000, by which time I assume I will have had plenty of time both under the hood and underneath. I drive relatively little (weekends only, or for a round of errands), so I'm hoping that all this money I'm dumping in will last a while, especially since it's DIY from here on out.

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #25 on: June 19, 2015, 01:00:00 PM »
I used to own an Accent (a 2003, but same difference) and changing spark plugs is incredibly easy. It's literally the easiest thing to do on the car (including being easier than changing a tire) because you don't even have to jack the car up to do it. The only hard part is to remember to change them one at a time so you don't mix the wires up.

I would never, ever consider doing the timing belt on an interference engine myself; one thing wrong and you just bricked your engine. That'll be $2,000 for a new engine. Hire a professional for a timing belt job, even if you're providing them with the parts.

If you can operate a sharpie, yardstick and a spray can, there is never anything to fear.
#1  clean the pulleys well with a can of brake clean, and a rag.
#2 Use yardstick as a straight edge across the face of the pulleys. Hold yardstick in a vertical position.
#3 Mark top and bottom edges of pulleys with sharpie. Write "TOP" on top face of pulleys.

Now you have "indexed" the two pulleys, and established their relationship. When you put the new belt on, if the marks all line up with the edge of your yardstick, you are good to go.

This is dangerous, bad advice!

For some cars with interference engines, it might be okay. But for others, such as VW diesels, such a procedure is not nearly precise enough. Go to the TDIclub.com forums and search for "mark and pray" to find many, many stories of people whose engines were destroyed because their mechanic was so irresponsible or incompetent as to try it.

paddedhat

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2015, 09:35:35 PM »
I used to own an Accent (a 2003, but same difference) and changing spark plugs is incredibly easy. It's literally the easiest thing to do on the car (including being easier than changing a tire) because you don't even have to jack the car up to do it. The only hard part is to remember to change them one at a time so you don't mix the wires up.

I would never, ever consider doing the timing belt on an interference engine myself; one thing wrong and you just bricked your engine. That'll be $2,000 for a new engine. Hire a professional for a timing belt job, even if you're providing them with the parts.

If you can operate a sharpie, yardstick and a spray can, there is never anything to fear.
#1  clean the pulleys well with a can of brake clean, and a rag.
#2 Use yardstick as a straight edge across the face of the pulleys. Hold yardstick in a vertical position.
#3 Mark top and bottom edges of pulleys with sharpie. Write "TOP" on top face of pulleys.

Now you have "indexed" the two pulleys, and established their relationship. When you put the new belt on, if the marks all line up with the edge of your yardstick, you are good to go.

This is dangerous, bad advice!

For some cars with interference engines, it might be okay. But for others, such as VW diesels, such a procedure is not nearly precise enough. Go to the TDIclub.com forums and search for "mark and pray" to find many, many stories of people whose engines were destroyed because their mechanic was so irresponsible or incompetent as to try it.

Having the misfortune of having been an owner of what was arguably one of the biggest pieces of rolling shit on the planet, an early 2000s Passat, I generally view any comment made about the VAG products with great suspicion. Especially, if it appears to come from an enthusiast, or refers to an enthusiast website. (my own son, BTW is a rabid enthusiast with a nearly new GTI that is scary fast, stick to the road like Velcro, and is an awesome toy.   But in the end, it's still a complex, unreliable POS)

 I did in fact take you up on your advice, and looked for the horrors of properly indexing timing pulleys on the site you refer to. I could be wrong, but it appears that they are referring to a process of counting teeth, while using a paint marker occasionally to keep track of the count. Not really comparable to doing a neat job of indexing with a straight edge. Not saying that using a legitimate indexing method in any VW product is  good idea, but there are plenty of common mechanical techniques that will causes issues when you are discussing a grossly over-engineered, poorly built, piece of German shit.

When every bit of plastic under the hood crumbles to dust when bumped, and you need to remove the entire front end of the vehicle to do a belt and pump swap,  I learned that the best course of action would of been to dump the thing before suffering through the DIY process, but I guess I am a slow learner. To any member of the forum who has suffered with a VW product long enough that it now needs a timing belt, you have my deepest sympathy.  As a current Honda owner, I can assure you that life doesn't need to suck that bad, and watching your VW fade into the distance, with a pile of the new owner's  cash in your hand, can be a magical moment.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 09:40:47 PM by paddedhat »

OttoVonBisquick

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #27 on: June 24, 2015, 11:32:48 AM »
Spent Sunday putting in a new fuel pump, air filter, new sealant on the valve cover gasket (it was leaking but looked totally fine, so this should do the trick), changed the oil, replaced the spark plugs, and gave the entire car a good power-washing and vacuumed the insides, all with the supervision of an uncle that knew about all this kind of stuff and had owned my car for the last 10 years.

It came with a beer, 4 pork ribs and some free hash browns, so it was a hell of a day.

All that being said, my next step is to slap some tape in the jittery left side-view mirror, find new windshield wipers since mine grab the water elsewhere on the windshield and put it in front of where I'm trying to look, as well as get a new battery since my current one is old and "failing load tests". Then I'll need to probably find out how the hell to clean the nasty upholstery and carpeting.

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #28 on: June 24, 2015, 01:56:04 PM »
Well done! Glad your uncle came through for you.

paddedhat

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #29 on: June 24, 2015, 10:01:21 PM »
. Then I'll need to probably find out how the hell to clean the nasty upholstery and carpeting.

Go to your local grocery store and rent a "Rug Doctor" with the upholstery cleaning kit. Don't let them sell you their horrifically overpriced cleaning chemicals, or  rent you the wide version, since it costs more, and you aren't going to be using that part anyway. Next stop at Dollar General or similar, and pick-up a half gallon of "Awesome" This is a lemonade yellow, all purpose cleaning solution that is dirt cheap and works miracles.  Fill the machine with the hottest water you can find, and add the Awesome, per the directions on the bottle. You will be amazed and horrified at not only how well it removes the gunk, but how many full buckets of black waste water you will dump. Once you have made a few passes, the rugs and upholstery will start to look pretty good. The trick is to keep doing it until the waste water is no longer getting real dirty. For removable carpeted floor mats, you can't beat clipping them to the wall at the car wash, and blasting them with the high pressure hose, an inch or two above the surface.

less4success

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #30 on: June 24, 2015, 10:30:18 PM »
Spent Sunday putting in a new fuel pump, air filter, new sealant on the valve cover gasket (it was leaking but looked totally fine, so this should do the trick), changed the oil, replaced the spark plugs, and gave the entire car a good power-washing and vacuumed the insides, all with the supervision of an uncle that knew about all this kind of stuff and had owned my car for the last 10 years.

Impressive! Can I rent your uncle for a day or two?

OttoVonBisquick

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Re: Car Repairs!
« Reply #31 on: June 25, 2015, 08:21:34 AM »
. Then I'll need to probably find out how the hell to clean the nasty upholstery and carpeting.

Go to your local grocery store and rent a "Rug Doctor" with the upholstery cleaning kit. Don't let them sell you their horrifically overpriced cleaning chemicals, or  rent you the wide version, since it costs more, and you aren't going to be using that part anyway. Next stop at Dollar General or similar, and pick-up a half gallon of "Awesome" This is a lemonade yellow, all purpose cleaning solution that is dirt cheap and works miracles.  Fill the machine with the hottest water you can find, and add the Awesome, per the directions on the bottle. You will be amazed and horrified at not only how well it removes the gunk, but how many full buckets of black waste water you will dump. Once you have made a few passes, the rugs and upholstery will start to look pretty good. The trick is to keep doing it until the waste water is no longer getting real dirty. For removable carpeted floor mats, you can't beat clipping them to the wall at the car wash, and blasting them with the high pressure hose, an inch or two above the surface.

Excellent! I will probably do that next time I'm out in Golden (where my uncle lives) when I replace the battery and do some cleaning

Impressive! Can I rent your uncle for a day or two?

Oh boy, he's quite the character, and can take a lot of getting used to lol. I think he just has a soft spot for me ;)