Why I’m my own mechanic

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theunz
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Why I’m my own mechanic

Post by theunz » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:29 am

Unless it’s under warranty I seldom ever take any of my vehicles to a mechanic. Last summer however, I was undergoing chemo and radiation for neck cancer and was extremely limited as to what I could do. By this point it was all I could do just to have my wife drive me to my treatments. Her Volvo was due an oil change that I new I didn’t have the strength to perform. After calling a couple of quick lube type places and them saying that I would have to bring the car in and then they would have to to get a filter, I decided to just take it to the local Pep Boys. Thinking that they would have the filter in stock and I wouldn’t have to worry about the quick lube having the wrong filter delivered it seemed a good choice. WRONG!!! After noticing the “mechanic” make several trips to his tool box and seeing him HAMMERING under my car, I went to the service manager. Having a pretty good idea about what was going on I said what did he do, round off the plug? His reply was it’s ok we are going to put in a new plug off the shelf. Now normally under these circumstances I would have gone into the shop and inspected the work, but as I mentioned I was extremely weak so I didn’t. Wrong on my part! This is what I found when I went to change the oil yesterday! No new plug, just the butchered oem plug. So not only did they destroy my plug, they lied to me as well!
42E77134-28DE-4A91-B3CE-0495C87E159B.jpeg
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__________

Mike M
1969 2000 solex mine since 1972, under resurrection. 1969 Porsche 911s -worth more, but not as valuable!

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bakerjf
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Re: Why I’m my own mechanic

Post by bakerjf » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:41 am

Good lord.
J. Baker
Cupertino, CA
'69 2000 (Solex)

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Curtis
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Re: Why I’m my own mechanic

Post by Curtis » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:45 am

Well that looks about right. Hope you're getting fully recovered. Chemo brain is no fun, my wife is finally back to normal after 10 years.
66 stroker
67 basket case, the renewal has begun.

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2mAn
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Re: Why I’m my own mechanic

Post by 2mAn » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:50 am

yikes
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jhayden
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Re: Why I’m my own mechanic

Post by jhayden » Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:46 pm

Here's hoping he didn't use an impact wrench to reinstall that plug. :shock:

Jon

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nismou20
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Re: Why I’m my own mechanic

Post by nismou20 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:02 pm

I’m cringing! Sonabit—es

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Gregs672000
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Re: Why I’m my own mechanic

Post by Gregs672000 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:01 pm

Ya, why not just come and tell you there's a Problem? A local oil change franchise did the oil once on my Celica. I was fortunate that the drain bolt fell out in the driveway, dumping the entire sump, and not on the freeway I had just come off of. I was given 3 free changes after that.
Greg Burrows
'67 2000 #588
Tacoma, WA

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redroadster
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Re: Why I’m my own mechanic

Post by redroadster » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:57 pm

Service manager is slang for salesman anymore.
Most garages want one top tech then very green low wage guys
In the other bays.
I was at a 3 or 4million $ dealership that had such bad parts replacers that I did pretty well fixing there f ups. The one "tech" was a fry cook before his dad worked a deal with hotdogs ( the place had free hot dogs on Sat. ...hey ,it worked) this. 19 yr old kid
never put frt. brakes on before
He ended up getting the whole crew fired when I left .
He put 2 3rd members in a montero sport for a bad axle bearing that I found putting his #3 diff. the factory tech trainers accessed the techs and wanted all new ones and service manager.
They got the techs but the SM stayed because the owners son and him were from the same towns, he once was puzzled what ASE was and where the valves were in the engine
Just had to share that.

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theunz
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Re: Why I’m my own mechanic

Post by theunz » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:29 pm

Couple of thoughts here. First, thanks Curtis, I feel great and have been cancer free for a year now. The only lasting effect is the loss of the ability to eat solid foods, however I did loose about 50 unneeded pounds :D . Second, like Greg said why didn't they just tell me they had to reuse the bungled plug instead of lying to me about putting in a new one? Did they not think that it would be reveled at the next oil change? If they had just come clean I could of got a new plug the next day and have them swap it out before it became difficult to remove. Instead I spent about an hour today trying different methods to remove it. Finally had to use a dremmel with a tiny cut off wheel to restore the flats and corners and take it down to a 16mm from a 17mm. You don't expect a master mechanic to be doing oil changes, but you do expect someone with enough skill to remove a bolt. Most of all you expect honesty, and that I did not receive!
__________

Mike M
1969 2000 solex mine since 1972, under resurrection. 1969 Porsche 911s -worth more, but not as valuable!

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bobd
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Re: Why I’m my own mechanic

Post by bobd » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:31 am

Sadly, that kind of problem is not unusual these days. I totally agree with the diy method. My diagnosis skills are not always on target, but I can throw a few parts at a problem and still come out ahead over paying high labor rates. I'll buy the special tool and even if it raises the cost to dealership prices, at least I'll have the tool for next time.
My feeling is, if I screw something up, it's on me and I can deal with that much easier than paying premium prices and still getting the screw up!
Just got done putting a water pump and thermostat in my 350Z, total cost under $100 with quality aftermarket parts.
Obviously this subject is a hot button for me!

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Re: Why I’m my own mechanic

Post by C.Costine » Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:30 am

I have been doing a lot more of my own work in recent years. I used to have ready access to shops that did good work. These were usually one man or small shops. Sadly there are far fewer around than there used to be. The last one that I left had grown a lot over the prior two years. He added on in both space and techs. He got me very discouraged with jobs that soon caused another problem, and upon inspecting it myself I would find a shoddy job done. I find that I can buy the parts for around 60% of what I would pay a shop, and like Bobd I will go and buy a tool here and there when needed. I have an advantage in that I have a nice shop to work in.
located in Chester NH
1967 1600 in restoration
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Curtis
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Re: Why I’m my own mechanic

Post by Curtis » Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:59 am

I used to take my Hondas to the dealer here in Burien, Wa. They sold out to a big chain here. Took my car in for a water pump, somehow the timing belt was included in the estimate and something else. The previous owner of the dealer hadn't changed the water pump which is standard with a timing belt. Estimate was over $2000 and red flags went up when I learned the dealership had been sold.

So I went to Burien Japanese Auto, paid less than half and have been going there ever since. Top work and good price. When I told them about the estimate they couldn't figure it out and noted they were getting a bunch of new customers.

I fix some little things but not much else, don't want to mess with it.
66 stroker
67 basket case, the renewal has begun.

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theunz
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Re: Why I’m my own mechanic

Post by theunz » Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:33 am

Bottom line is..NO ONE cares as much for your car or your pocketbook as you do!
__________

Mike M
1969 2000 solex mine since 1972, under resurrection. 1969 Porsche 911s -worth more, but not as valuable!

auggiemize
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Re: Why I’m my own mechanic

Post by auggiemize » Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:33 am

Glad the neck repair went better than the Volvo...After our daughter had a bad accident with a semi a few years back, we had about four or five doctors to deal with in each of several 24 hr periods in a university hospital (good as it gets, sans Mayo, etc). We learned that you have to manage your health care just as much/more than that "service tech". Stay healthy; we need you around here.

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2mAn
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Re: Why I’m my own mechanic

Post by 2mAn » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:58 pm

Im in the camp of doing everything I can, but Im at a point in my engine rebuild that Im going to have a local shop (M's Factory) finish it. Miki seems like the right guy for this job... its still a bit nerve wracking
Simon
Current Cars:
-1986 BMW 325e - pursuit of happiness
-1968 Datsun Roadster 2000 - happiness of pursuit