Author Topic: Fixed the car!  (Read 4063 times)

Winston

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Fixed the car!
« on: June 08, 2014, 11:18:14 AM »
I replaced the power steering pressure hose in my wife's 2007 CR-V yesterday, saving hundreds of dollars in labor and parts upcharges from a garage... best guess is at least $500 saved, based on how long it took me, the typical shop rate (approaching $100/hr nowadays, even for non-luxury brand shops), and list price on the part. IMO one of the most mustachian skills you can learn is how to repair your car (assuming you need one), simply due to the ridiculous labor rates that garages charge. It does require some investment in tools, but honestly most of my repair work is done with basic wrenches, ratchet/sockets, and screwdrivers.

Greg

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Re: Fixed the car!
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2014, 12:08:55 PM »
Congratulations!  It's a nice feeling being able to figure out how to fix stuff yourself.  I find this applies especially to cars, and there are a large number of online resources from YouTube videos to specific model forums out there to help if you need it. 

As someone who keeps an old Italian car for "fun" I can attest that the internet has revolutionized parts procurement.  Your savings might not be as big as you think, simply because a professional might not have taken as long as you, but it's still significant.  Plus, you have the piece of mind that it was done right, and new experience and confidence.

I think of it this way; someone somewhere put this together, I can surely take it apart/fix it.  This usually applies but every once in a while I find an exception, especially with things that are made today without any thought to future repair or maintenance.

Off to change the gas tank in my other car...

Winston

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Re: Fixed the car!
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2014, 03:39:57 PM »
Your savings might not be as big as you think, simply because a professional might not have taken as long as you, but it's still significant.

Yeah, I accounted for the fact that those guys might be a little quicker than me... but I'm far from an auto repair rookie. I'm in the middle of putting a 1994 Miata engine and transmission in my '76 Triumph Spitfire :)  Oh, and I've completely redesigned its front suspension, fabricated new control arms out of tube steel, moved the steering rack back, etc. Yes, it's nuts.

Greg

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Re: Fixed the car!
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2014, 03:46:35 PM »
I'm in the middle of putting a 1994 Miata engine and transmission in my '76 Triumph Spitfire :)  Oh, and I've completely redesigned its front suspension, fabricated new control arms out of tube steel, moved the steering rack back, etc. Yes, it's nuts.

That is a bit nuts.  :)

I changed the gas tank on my Vanagon today.  It went pretty easily, since I drained the nearly 2 gals. in it and have done this before.  There are some grommets and evap. hoses that I changed a couple of years ago, never even imagining that the tank would get a pinhole in the top.  It leaked when full.

My fun car (is there a more unmustachian phrase?) is a '77 Scorpion so I know about nuts.

Jack

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Re: Fixed the car!
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2014, 03:56:08 PM »
I think of it this way; someone somewhere put this together, I can surely take it apart/fix it.  This usually applies but every once in a while I find an exception, especially with things that are made today without any thought to future repair or maintenance.

Indeed: "Someone somewhere put this together" ...with epoxy. : (

I'm in the midst of swapping the transmission on my car, which is taking forever mostly because I got stuck, got frustrated, and walked away from it for a couple of [unit of time too embarrassing to say]. (We have a backup car, so it's not super urgent.) On the bright side, I'm now un-stuck and making progress again.

Winston

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Re: Fixed the car!
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2014, 04:00:16 PM »
My fun car (is there a more unmustachian phrase?) is a '77 Scorpion so I know about nuts.

Ooh, I like old Lancias. Scorpions are cool cars. If the Stratos was even remotely affordable, I'd be a buyer (assuming I could find one for sale).

Boz86

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Re: Fixed the car!
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2014, 07:11:56 PM »
I think of it this way; someone somewhere put this together, I can surely take it apart/fix it.  This usually applies but every once in a while I find an exception, especially with things that are made today without any thought to future repair or maintenance.

The exceptions do exist, but I use your attitude a lot to think things through.
It (computer, car, blender, etc) went together, it can come apart. Drilling out welded body panels gets to the "not easy" part but there's always some point you can jump in.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Fixed the car!
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2014, 10:08:59 PM »
I replaced the power steering pressure hose in my wife's 2007 CR-V yesterday, saving hundreds of dollars in labor and parts upcharges from a garage... best guess is at least $500 saved, based on how long it took me, the typical shop rate (approaching $100/hr nowadays, even for non-luxury brand shops), and list price on the part. IMO one of the most mustachian skills you can learn is how to repair your car (assuming you need one), simply due to the ridiculous labor rates that garages charge. It does require some investment in tools, but honestly most of my repair work is done with basic wrenches, ratchet/sockets, and screwdrivers.
Sweet!  Several months ago I did some brake work on our van.  Firestone quoted the job at $850, I did it for $155 in parts and about two hours of labor, with no fancy air tools or hydraulic lift or anything, just a regular ol' jack and a bunch of wrenches.

Yesterday I swapped out the sway bar links for about $60 in parts, vs the $200ish my mechanic would have charged.  And I *like* my mechanic--he's honest and doesn't take offense when I want to fix some things myself.  And he's within easy biking distance, so we don't have to take the whole family when we need to drop off or pick up a car.

Exflyboy

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Re: Fixed the car!
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2014, 02:44:36 AM »
I'm in the middle of putting a 1994 Miata engine and transmission in my '76 Triumph Spitfire :)  Oh, and I've completely redesigned its front suspension, fabricated new control arms out of tube steel, moved the steering rack back, etc. Yes, it's nuts.

That is a bit nuts.  :)

I changed the gas tank on my Vanagon today.  It went pretty easily, since I drained the nearly 2 gals. in it and have done this before.  There are some grommets and evap. hoses that I changed a couple of years ago, never even imagining that the tank would get a pinhole in the top.  It leaked when full.

My fun car (is there a more unmustachian phrase?) is a '77 Scorpion so I know about nuts.

Oh I dunno.. My first car was an MG Midget.. And currently I am a fan of the DOHC Dodge Neons, I bought one for $350 and rebuilt the manual transmission and did a complete engine teardown.

But the best thing was a Guy I saw who had mated a DOHC Neon engine to a jeep transmission (the 2.5 L Jeep bolts right up) and dropped it into a Midget.

a 150HP Midget!!.. of course he had to use a cut down Mustang axle to handle the torque.

Now that is some serious tire vapourising nuts!....:)

not very mustachian either..:)

Frank

Greg

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Re: Fixed the car!
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2014, 01:49:45 PM »
Ooh, I like old Lancias. Scorpions are cool cars. If the Stratos was even remotely affordable, I'd be a buyer (assuming I could find one for sale).

About the only affordable Strato's is a kit these days.  Figure $20K plus donor chassis.
http://www.hawkcars.co.uk/hf3000/index.html

But, doable. I've always wanted to build a kit car.  Thinking more like a Porsche 550 replicar. 

Winston

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Re: Fixed the car!
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2014, 01:31:51 PM »
About the only affordable Strato's is a kit these days.  Figure $20K plus donor chassis.
http://www.hawkcars.co.uk/hf3000/index.html

Yeah, I've looked at those before... still quite pricey but not insane.

But, doable. I've always wanted to build a kit car.  Thinking more like a Porsche 550 replicar.

Good thing you live far away; the two of us together could be dangerous.

Exflyboy

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Re: Fixed the car!
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2014, 01:51:03 PM »
I'll show you dangerous.. I built this with no encouragement at all..:)

Frank

eil

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Re: Fixed the car!
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2014, 03:17:56 PM »
Replaced the rear brake shoes on my car last weekend. Would have gone cheaper/faster but I had to stop in the middle and hunt down an auto parts store that carried some very specific fasteners/springs because mine were all rusted out. $19 for some stupid clips. I think that's about what the brake shoes cost.

I would call it a lesson learned, except this car is already at 160k miles and the old shoes technically had some life left in them so I don't think I'll have to change them ever again.

ivyhedge

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Re: Fixed the car!
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2014, 03:21:35 PM »
Your savings might not be as big as you think, simply because a professional might not have taken as long as you, but it's still significant.

Yeah, I accounted for the fact that those guys might be a little quicker than me... but I'm far from an auto repair rookie. I'm in the middle of putting a 1994 Miata engine and transmission in my '76 Triumph Spitfire :)  Oh, and I've completely redesigned its front suspension, fabricated new control arms out of tube steel, moved the steering rack back, etc. Yes, it's nuts.


No, @Winston: that's dreamy.