OT- Is it just me or do you guys just hate having to hire someone to fix something?
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  1. #1
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    Default OT- Is it just me or do you guys just hate having to hire someone to fix something?

    Is this a universal problem for guys who spent their whole life just getting it done?

    I had to drag a car into a shop to fix a burnt valve.
    Boy there is just nothing I like about it.

    I guess the days are gone when I would have just torn down the engine to fix it but I am not really liking talking to some service ‘advisor’ about getting this fixed.

    Hard to pin down what I don’t like about it- not trusting the shop, not wanting go hat n hand asking someone to take care of my gear.

    Anyone else get the same problem- I never ask anyone to do my work and paying them to do so doesn’t help.

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    I think perhaps it's a universal problem for those of us who have a knack for taking things apart, figuring out how they work and repairing the problem. I absolutely HATE taking a car to a mechanic, mainly because I don't trust them to do a good job!

    Have had too many times where I or someone I know decided to just let someone else do it only to find all manner of problems later. Whether it's stripped threads, harnesses not plugged back in or hammer mechanic'ing. Last one was a misfire, I figured a bad coil. The mechanic (dealer mechanic no less) replaced a coil all right. And left the old one lying under the hood. The aluminum hood that bent when it hit the coil and thereafter wouldn't latch correctly.

    As it goes, "if you want the job done right..."

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    for sure. I absolutely hate spending really good money to have a specialist do 95% of the job right and then fuck up the last 5%. Which fixing takes me 50% of the time it would have taken me to do the whole job.

    The problem is some stuff just takes too long to do yourself. My wife and I are building a complicated house ourselves. I hired out the siding. There was 5 experienced guys working fast for two weeks to do the job. Just no way to work 14+ hours at the shop and be able to get the job done myself in a reasonable timeframe.

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    its not just you

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    Ekretz hit the nail on the head. The fundamental problem is what passes for quality among the stooges you outsource work to.

    I recently hired a plumber. Did an ok job. But 300% markup on parts. If I charge more then %20 my customers never come back.

    Hired a surgeon. Piss poor but couldn't do it myself.

    Deck contractor. Didn't pick through the wood. Knots everywhere.

    Etc.

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    I'm part of this me-too-movement. To a fault. On the other hand, been doing it all my life and pretty damn good at most stuff now. Unfortunately I get to be the go-to-guy, at home, neighborhood, work... lol

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    100%... I also find that if I try and fail and bring in a pro the knowledge I gain in the try pays dividends in getting things done.

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    I'm with you on hating to farm it out.

    OTOH, I can remember a time early in life making a living at a foreign car garage. Some stuff was just no fun. In the winter, trying to fix rusted exhaust systems under a car on the lift with snow and ice melting and falling down my neck, I hoped some day to be rich enough to have someone else work on my car. So now I can. I do the ones I want (or have the equipment for) and hire the scut work or specialized.

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    To some degree it's the way it is.
    Our old service trucks 1960 through 1970 and even into the 80's were all gas engines that just about any high school auto shop student could work on, dirt simple ignition systems, dirt simple carburetors. Clutches could be installed in a couple of hours.
    We did all our repair in house back then. Then the 90's hit and we purchased Diesel engine 1 and 1-1/2 ton trucks that still weren't all that hard to repair but now we needed a code reader to diagnose computer, brakes and transmission problems.
    Not a big deal but we found it was just easier to sub out repair to the guys that do it every day.
    Now we just added 2020 Ford F-350 and F450 diesels to the fleet and I can tell you there's no way we should do anything under the hood except oil changes and maybe alternator/starters, water pumps beyond that forget it. These days they pull the cab to do just about any engine repairs. l

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    Y'know, I became a pretty decent mechanic, because I flat out could not afford to pay shop rates at first, then would not. Took me three times as long, still made me a pretty good wage, at 1/3 of the dealer's shop rate, and my hours were not padded out book rate either.

    Now, I am more inclined to hire out those skills that I do not really feel the need to practice, provided I can find a competent and reliable person to hire.

    I could do my own roofing, but having a crew come on site and run like a well oiled machine, leaving no crap laying around my house, and a decent job done, is pure gold!
    Being able to phone a fellow who is a mean hand at running heavy equipment, and have him show up same day, when needed! Awesome!

    I even have a pretty decent Mechanic I trust.

    Some things are worth hiring the guy that has the skills and the tools.

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    I am now 76 YO. In my younger years I would do a lot more myself. AC, washer, dryer, auto, etc. I built a couple of shops and tackled a couple of easier roofing jobs. I had help on some of it, like the concrete pours and the larger roofing jobs, like the house roof. In the past ten years I built my garage shop. Added insulation and a lot of electrical. I had an electrician replace the breaker panel because it would have taken me a couple of days while he did it in hours. But I ran all the new circuits for the shop equipment. I installed the AC; actually three of them by now. I still need to do the shop air. I did hire a guy to speed up things a couple of years ago when I was under some pressure from the city to get my trailer shop out off the property.

    It was more to save money than for any aversion to hiring someone. Well, on the auto repairs, I did have problems trusting many of the shops I was using. So I tackled a lot myself.

    But now I am glad to have more and more done by others. I watch them. If I don't like their work, they don't come back. I have a good auto mechanic that I really do trust. And another one who is very good, but is so busy that he just can't get to anything I bring in for at least two weeks, usually more. He works on foreign cars and his crowded schedule is an indication of just how good he is. I found a body shop that I like too. I have done a lot of body repairs on my vehicles in the past.

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    I absolutely loathe it.

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    Had to chip in on this one.

    Used to run my own little one man band excavation business. Did all the maintenance myself from really simple stuff to hydraulic pump/motor rebuilds, engine rebuilds, hydraulic ram rebuilds (including machining up new chrome rods and heads), pin/bush changes, etc. Set up an in-line boring system too and successfully did that, including machining and case hardening an EN36A pin. A lot more I haven't mentioned.

    An old lady drives out in front of me and the excavator slew ring teeth are busted, as is the teeth on the pinion of the slew motor. Quite a big job splitting the machine in two to install a new slew ring. So because the ladies insurance is footing the bill, I get the excavator dealer to do the repair. SIX WEEKS later I get the excavator back, cost to her insurance was $9000. A couple of months later and the slew ring is locking up. Turns out some complete idiot had used an undersized ball end allen key to ATTEMPT to tighten the cap screws holding the hydraulic slew motor in place. There were round indentations in the middle of the flats in the cap screw heads. No Loctite used either. So basically the bolts came loose, the motor rocked and the pinion teeth started chipping off and mixing in with the grease, locking up the teeth.

    Dealer accepts no responsibility and said the problem came from contaminated grease ???????????????????????????????????????????

    I bought the parts and done the repair again all by my lonesome in my back yard. Took me 4 days and the repair lasted 7 years of hard use until the teeth simply wore out. Did the repair a 2nd time and going strong. So Joe Blocks (me) in his back yard, does a shit load better job than the multi-million dollar machinery dealer who charges a fortune.

    THAT is just one of the reasons I also hate letting others fix my gear.

    Also had several issues with car mechanics. The latest one diagnosed my car with a blown head gasket. My diagnosis afterwards said nope, the head gasket is fine. Turned out to be the inlet manifold gasket. Found it by making a smoke generator and blowing smoke into the air intake.

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    years ago i had trouble with my car idling up and down.
    made an appointment with the dealer for diagnostics.
    drove the car onto the diagnostics stand and the head mechanic came over.
    as he took a can of startpilot i wondered wether he was aware that it was fuel injected.
    he sprayed some startpilot on the inlet manifold and the idling was perfect for a second or two.
    he turned around and told me the gasket was leaking.
    it took just a couple of minutes and cost about $ 80.
    the best spent money on a car ever.
    i did replace the gasket myself of course as i did not trust them to do a good job on it.

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    First time new vehicle (getting tired of working on them all my life)

    Take to dealer for oil change cost $60 (with discount coupon), family illness (hospice)
    so I needed it done now. Took 1 hour.

    Got it home, was installing mudflaps next day....see a drop of oil.

    Reach down there, and unscrewed oil pan drain with my fingers.

    I call them up, service manager irate, no apology, nothing.

    I wasn't asking for a free oil change, nothing offered, just excuses.

    Said they would have covered the engine replacement if it locked up....yeah right.

    I have a pit, doo my own oil changes.

    Oh yeah...for $60 they didn't even hit the qty (5) grease fittings..."oil change only" ya know....

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    “ he turned around and told me the gasket was leaking.
    it took just a couple of minutes and cost about $ 80.
    the best spent money on a car ever. ”

    My first experience, (and the only other time I landed in a repair shop), bringing a truck to a shop decades and decades ago went different.
    Rough running and I couldn’t pin down why.
    Mechanic comes back with a laundry list to fix the truck for about $1500 bucks- far more than the thing was worth.

    I took the truck home and found a accelerator pump seal way down on the list.
    About thirty cents and I had the truck running.

    I haven’t trusted shops to give me a fair shake since.

    I really wouldn’t have minded a shop rate to figure that out and drop the seal in- hiding that repair in a loaded list of crap soured me to the bastards.

    So I guess that’s it- I don’t favor relying on anyone and I hate being cheated.

    You guys are watching a guy turn into a grumpy old bastard or real time ...LOL.

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    Back in 1983 my dad bought a brand new forced air gas furnace from Sears, and we pulled out the old coal fired gravity furnace.

    we re-did the duct work, new gas line, everything.

    Last year, I paid a "professional" to install a new 95% efficient gas furnace.
    Simply remove old, rework ductwork, I welded up a nice stand for it (get it up off the floor
    and provided leveling feet) replaced a basement window wood & plexiglass for the new exhaust.

    Good thing I installed a basement exhaust fan (120 year old farmhouse, keeps it fresh in the basement)
    before hand....

    2 months into the new furnace, springtime, I'm out mowing the lawn, I pass by the exhaust fan....I smell gas.

    Go down, and soap all the new gas line joints....union was finger tight....

    Start looking around, some of the ductwork was never sealed, so I go at it with caulking.

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    I'm probably the exact opposite, I hate working on anything these days (and I am 45, not a millennial!) , I would just as soon pay someone and have my time. I am a fairly generous person (money, help, etc), except with my time. I want my time for me, not coming home and working around the house, or busting my knuckles trying to get a rusted bolt free on the car...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    I'm probably the exact opposite, I hate working on anything these days (and I am 45, not a millennial!) , I would just as soon pay someone and have my time. I am a fairly generous person (money, help, etc), except with my time. I want my time for me, not coming home and working around the house, or busting my knuckles trying to get a rusted bolt free on the car...
    True.

    I also believe in "Doo what you are good at, and pay someone for what they are good at"

    But these stories show the exceptions.

    Like I refuse to pour concrete, bad back and an innate fear of messing it up.

    Realize that once you hear that cement truck downshifting and turning into your drive,
    (it still gives me the shivers when I hear it)
    it will be 30 minutes max. that all the cement will be on the ground and setting up.

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    Spent over 40 years as a certified auto tech. I feel you guys as I saw some bad things happen in the shop. I have to hope I qualified as a trusted tech though. I never tried to up sell any work until I identified the problem that had the car in my bay. And it was the first item on the estimate. Other needs were listed in triage order with safety being the first qualifier. Understand that a big ticket sold to a customer was the easy way to make a good payday. There may be some overlap and not having to move many cars for little jobs cuts wasted time.

    Time and knowledge were the only commodities I had to trade for income. Tools were expensive.
    Joe

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