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  1. #1
    Money List Winner Slab's Avatar
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    Angry Doing your own DIY Car Maintenance

    Prompted by the post in RI thread

    After a trip to Halfords or a motor factors, Sundays were often taken up doing unwanted, but fairly straightforward, jobs on the car such as changing brake pads, oil, bulbs, new battery and other jobs like that but it seems now that even these basic things are minefields or just un-achievable by the car owner

    Even popping down to local scrapyard to get things like a starter motor or even a new bumper, door panel or power window solenoid off another wrecked vehicle to fit to our own was not uncommon

    It seems now that changing a bulb has changed from a £5 DIY job into something costing three figures by appointment with the car off the road for several hours at a dealership

    Why arenít we saying sod off to cars that need this kind of attention for mundane tasks that typically wonít be covered by a warranty

    It used to be that the day after buying a second hand car the first purchase would be a Haynes manual which was worth its weight in repair charges, do folks still do this?

    What DIY would you have previously done that youíd no longer attempt?
    What jobs in your view are by design, just veiled Ďscamsí to prevent home maintenance
    Do you think enough Ďpressí coverage or information is available to highlight these kind of negatives before you buy

    Any related stories to share?

  2. #2
    Journeyman Pro Bunkermagnet's Avatar
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    Re: Doing your own DIY Car Maintenance

    I have usually tried to sort anything electrical on the car, or paint/bodywork minor issues, but anything else I give to someone who knows all about the car.
    Sadly I think the days of home DIY on your car are gone, looking at how many cars needs the front bumper removed just to change a headlamp bulb (if it has a bulb that is), or the multitude of sensors and PCBsís let alone canbus wiring. Technology has done this, along with the modern car design. Even changing brake pads can sometimes need telling the car computer theyíve been done.
    So for me tinkering or fettling with the car only goes so far as keeping the insides and outsides clean, regular wax for the body and checking and maintaining fluid levels.
    Forever trying.

  3. #3
    Journeyman Pro adam6177's Avatar
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    Re: Doing your own DIY Car Maintenance

    I cant help thinking that the manufacturers have deliberately designed cars so they cannot be easily worked on.

    In my old megane (2004) you needed to jack the car up and take off the wheels if you wanted to change the bulbs in the headlights - unless you could find someone with the slimmest arms ever.

  4. #4
    Money List Winner Slab's Avatar
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    Re: Doing your own DIY Car Maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by adam6177 View Post
    I cant help thinking that the manufacturers have deliberately designed cars so they cannot be easily worked on.

    In my old megane (2004) you needed to jack the car up and take off the wheels if you wanted to change the bulbs in the headlights - unless you could find someone with the slimmest arms ever.
    Its mad when you think about it. Isn't this really the kind of thing a government should be doing. Legislation that no car is permitted for sale in the UK unless the primary bulbs can be changed at the roadside with no more than the in-car toolkit/owner handbook

    Just on safety grounds this would make sense

  5. #5
    Journeyman Pro Bunkermagnet's Avatar
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    Re: Doing your own DIY Car Maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by Slab View Post
    Its mad when you think about it. Isn't this really the kind of thing a government should be doing. Legislation that no car is permitted for sale in the UK unless the primary bulbs can be changed at the roadside with no more than the in-car toolkit/owner handbook

    Just on safety grounds this would make sense
    How many new cars leave the factory with bulbs in now though? With the move towards LED lights youíre talking changing the whole lamp unit.
    I donít see how the Government can legislate on car design like that, but we the consumer could stop buying those cars that donít allow easy owner jobs to be done.
    That might carry more weight, but then I think we have moved on from the time when dad spent Sunday morning under the car fixing that oil leak or whatever it had.
    Forever trying.

  6. #6
    Money List Winner Slab's Avatar
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    Re: Doing your own DIY Car Maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by Bunkermagnet View Post
    How many new cars leave the factory with bulbs in now though? With the move towards LED lights youíre talking changing the whole lamp unit.
    I donít see how the Government can legislate on car design like that, but we the consumer could stop buying those cars that donít allow easy owner jobs to be done.
    That might carry more weight, but then I think we have moved on from the time when dad spent Sunday morning under the car fixing that oil leak or whatever it had.
    Yeah point taken, 'this is the kind of thing a government should have been doing'

    I don't see it as regulating or legislating on design, just setting a required safety standard not unlike numerous other safety standards that already exist. How a manufacture achieves it is up to them

  7. #7
    Grand Slam Winner murphthemog's Avatar
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    Re: Doing your own DIY Car Maintenance

    In my time I have rebuilt engines, gear boxes, prop shafts, brake calipers, all sorts. I ran a Rover P5B as my main car for about 6 years, and worked on pretty much all of it. I would not bother now though. Spending all weekend getting oily doesn't do it for me anymore.

    Last time I got under a car was to change a starter motor. It cost me £80, and £400 in physio bills.

    I can also now afford to pay someone else to do it, as my time is now more valuable to me. Joys of getting old.

  8. #8
    Journeyman Pro Bunkermagnet's Avatar
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    Re: Doing your own DIY Car Maintenance

    Thinking more about this, I feel thereís a lot to do with how we buy cars now, with many being on lease or PCP. If you have a car like that, youíre hardly going to risk mucking it up by tinkering with it more than fluids checking. I seem to remember reading an article that said about 90/95% of all new Mercs were sold on pcp, which I know are an expensive car but even so...thatís a lot that donít own their new car.
    As a result of the way we now buy our cars, I feel itís given the manufacturers the ability to build them in a way that suits them and their businesses. If you also factor in crash ratings and all the regulations regarding emissions and the like itís no wonder we have cars. We canít do anything with other than lift the bonnet and suck in our teeth.
    Forever trying.

  9. #9
    Money List Winner Rooter's Avatar
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    Re: Doing your own DIY Car Maintenance

    I grew up in a financial meltdown, so our family cars were being fixed every weekend, so i was chief helper and learned pretty much everything off the old man. I can strip and rebuild and engine, gearbox, clutch etc no problem. I rebuilt my first entire motorbike age about 11. So I could do pretty much any job, however if diagnosing the fault is required, i would have to go borrow my mates IBD2 code reader first, gone are the days of mechanics being 'experts' they just do what the computer says these days.

    Simple stuff like discs and pads, oil change i will do, it all depends how flush my wallet is or how busy i am, some jobs i will do, others i will pay some spotty oik to do.

    Proper mechanics are few and far between these days IMHO.
    Owner of golf clubs, dusty golf clubs...

    Talks a lot of sense on twitter @scottroots

  10. #10

    Re: Doing your own DIY Car Maintenance

    Simple stuff like discs and pads, oil change i will do, it all depends how flush my wallet is or how busy i am, some jobs i will do, others i will pay some spotty oik to do.

    Even these jobs arenít simple any more on certain makes, I recently had to do rear brake pads on a Land Rover, it wonít let you wind the calipers back in without first being put on a computer to tell it to go into maintenance mode and again when youíve finished to tell it to go back to driving mode.

    Proper mechanics are few and far between these days IMHO.[/QUOTE]
    H/C 17

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