OT- Is it just me or do you guys just hate having to hire someone to fix something? - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    I have mixed feelings on this.

    While I do many things myself not only to save money but also due to the often poor quality of contractors, on occasion it is a delight to farm things out to competent pros.

    We had the roof redone not long ago and they did a great job quickly and cleaned up nicely.

    I do most auto repairs myself but occasionally a job is either too large and I don't have the time or it absolutely requires a lift and special tools. I use a local garage that is top notch, not the semi-skilled parts changers at a dealership.

    It all come down to value for money, time saved for other projects, and getting exactly what I want. Too many contractors agree to do things a certain way and then come up with excuses to try and justify shortcuts. I also have spent far too much time fixing others' mistakes and poor workmanship.

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  3. #22
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    Due to a couple bum shoulders and a fused lower spine playing DIY guy can flat out suck sometimes, especially because of the opioid crisis people with lifelong pain cannot get pain killers or muscle relaxers any more. I am ridiculously slow now but keep soldiering on. A 4 wheel brake job can take me 6 hours just to change pads, that used to take 60 minutes. A couple years back I finally broke down and took my SUV to a shop to get the knock sensors changed, first time in almost 40 years of vehicle ownership I paid someone to do something other than tires, mufflers, plus the required safety and smog inspections. I do it because as others have said what passes for quality work gets worse and worse by the year.

    You should see the house I live in that I am fixing up. The best one is a water heater less than a foot from an electrical circuit breaker box. The house was built in 1981, yet there are some two prong electrical outlets that should have not been used after something like 1974. There is electrical cabling often called by the brand name Romex that is right up against the water shut off valve. The front door to the house is hung inside a frame that is so out of square there are places I can almost fit a pinky finger in the gaps and I have had baby snakes get in the house on multiple occasions. Fortunately they have all been the harmless types.

    There is decent work done in this house, the slab, roof and load bearing walls look fine. I think hacks did all the finish work. Another wonder is the well is connected to the house with Orangeburg pipe, something else that should have been long out of use by 1981.

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  5. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Rogers View Post
    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
    A small sample but it seems to me a lot of the chains try to take people to the cleaners on vehicle inspection repairs. I was in a Merchants Tire getting tires when a guy with the exact same vehicle as mine came back with close to $4,000 of needed repairs. What I found odd is his vehicle while the same year had way less miles than mine and I had never needed any of those repairs, plus his vehicle looked nice, not something someone abused.
    It looked like a city SUV that someone washed every week and detailed it once a month. I am guessing some of these inspectors at these places flag anything that isn't in almost new condition even if it is fully functional.

    Getting tires again I ran into the same thing, not my identical vehicle but another nice appearing SUV with low miles coming back with a laundry list of needed repairs for $2500. I personally take my inspections to mom and pop garages off the beaten path and the only failure have had is for lights, the thing just hit 170,000 miles and is 15 years old.

  6. #24
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    In a rural area sometimes it is just faster to take on your own projects. Few "specialists" exist close by. The nearest independent shop that I trust to work on my vehicles is 30 minutes away. Gets complicated, not going to sit their and wait so involves another driver, loaner car something. Have resorted to loading vehicles on trailers at times and hauling just to simplify. Do I like auto repair, absolutely not but I do it when ever it seems like the easiest solution.

    Large hydraulic cylinders, those I have learned that it is easier to drive the 75 miles each way to take to a shop with the tools and knowledge to rebuild efficiently.

    Most other stuff, I will attempt to fix myself or destroy trying. Although my wife is not happy with my backlog of broken things.

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  8. #25
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    I do own a tire machine & spin balancer, and while the back doesn't like it, I really like changing tires.

    I spend a little extra time getting the bead cleaned and sealed, extra time on the spin balancer
    getting it "extra fine".

    I have outfitted that area of the shop with bins of tire valves, extensions, etc.
    from a professional tire supplier down the road from me.

    Also, when the first blizzard hits, the tire shops are all booked up for a week.
    I can take 2 hours on Sunday, at my leisure, changing the snow tires.

  9. #26
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    When you do work yourself, you learn things.

    When something dies, you are not at the whim and random schedule of a repair person

    35 years of British car ownership

    I also do my own work when I am doing something lunatic that no one else will do.

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    I did all my repair work on everything, automobiles, house, appliances, etc. This past year I decided that I did not want to do oil changes anymore, and took the car to the dealer I bought it from. Other than the cost, I was pleased with the results. I did not want to do the grass trimming around the house anymore, so I hired the weed eating done. Now the same guy cuts the grass. I will celebrate my 89th birthday on February 3.

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  13. #28
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    I don't mind working on my cars as long as it doesn't have to run the next day. So I do our little cars (Mini convertible and Alpine) and my truck as long as something else is available. But my wife's car goes to the shop. It's still mostly under warranty, so there's that. Plus it's 10 years newer than anything else in the driveway or garage.

    Current project is a '98 Ford Ranger 4-banger that needs plugs and a brake line. (It was a long-term loaner to an out of town relative.)

    So, whoever at Ford decided that one plug per cylinder wasn't enough should be fired. The second set of plugs is under the intake manifold, injection runner, and quite a few hoses. WTF, dudes? Anyway, the task that takes 5 minutes on my 50-year-old sports car takes an entire afternoon and counting on the pickup. (Waiting on plug wires and pull-boots from afar...)

    So yeah, as long as it doesn't need to run the next day, and wasn't designed by a doofus, I'm good to go.

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

    No doubt, I hate to pay for anything that I can do (time and tools etc., pending...)

    But what about trying to hire contractors to build a house, shop addition, gradework...even deck addition? Good gawd what a nightmare!
    Last edited by cnctoolcat; 01-25-2020 at 10:29 AM.

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  17. #30
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    I hate paying people to fix stuff.

    I hate wrenching on vehicles, but 99% of the time, its just too easy to do to
    pay somebody. In my life I've had a vehicle in a shop 4 times. 17 years old
    was a blown automatic transmission. 18 years old, blown motor, 19 years old,
    stripped ring gear on the flywheel. 29 years old, trashed steering box, warranty
    work, they wouldn't just give me the new box to install myself.

    Even tires. They always try and friction stir weld your lugs, studs and rims together,
    and they always seem to find a bad ball joint, no matter what.

    So I bought a spare set of rims for my truck. Oldest set of rims and tires goes to
    the tire store in the back of my truck, and the 4 on the truck are saved as spares,
    until the next 60 or 70 thousand miles, and then we swap.

    My philosophy is that when I go in to do one thing, I just do everything. When I
    needed new ball joints, I said F'it. Ball joints, front u-joints, all
    the seals in the front axle, unit bearings, rotors, calipers(and pads ), all
    the tie rods and the track bar. even the sway bar links and bushings. All for
    less than it would have cost to have the ball joints done by a garage. And I
    don't have to worry about it for 10 years.

    I've even got a spare low miles motor and tranny from a truck that hit a cow and
    spun into a ditch. Just in case.

    Electrical work, only if its something over my head, or I would need to get a permit
    or deal with the electric company.

    Plumbing, again the limit is "do I need a permit"?

    Yard work, I'll farm that out all day every day. I've got a guy that lives across
    the street from the shop, head trauma*. He's good at it, it makes him some extra
    money, and my dogs like him.

    (*) the head trauma, he stole a lettuce truck back in the 70's when he was young
    and really really dumb. He was being chased by the cops and went head on into
    a huge pecan tree and ended up with the engine block on his chest.

    The one I was going to do my self, and couldn't afford to was chain link fencing.
    It was cheaper to hire somebody to do it right than I could have even bought the
    materials for.


    I guess the do-it-myself attitude comes from my Dad. Has anybody ever emptied a
    septic tank by hand? I have.. TWICE!!! Wonderful childhood memories.

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  19. #31
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    If you go to fix it shop one gets the feel that I have to watch over what is being done.
    So as a machinist, how is that guy looking over your shoulder at every move doing?
    A very hard deal to let others go and and trust.

    The problem here is not trusting others to do a good or at least decent job.
    You will also have this distrust with employees.

    I freely admit that I do this a a do it right myself guy. That is a big shortcoming.
    This gut feel is the not wanting to delegate or let others do what you know dam well you can.
    Like watching a guy trying to break a frozen screw and you have an idea. Keeping you mouth shut or not jumping in is hard.
    Bob

  20. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    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.
    Leave a 1 star google review and watch how fast the attitude changes.

  21. #33
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    Most folks my family has hired never do the job properly. No these weren't the cheapest option, not by a long shot, but they still don't do a decent job.

  22. #34
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    Used to do everything myself, because
    A) I liked it and had time and no money (young kid in Navy)
    B) didn’t trust anyone to do a prefect job.. wipe the dirt/dust off the oil fill cap and Diff plugs, actually torque lugnuts vice holding air gun on it until it stops or strips.

    30 years goes by and now I have some money and no time. So I take stuff to the dealer in town.
    1) several stripped lug nuts on my Ram HD
    2) left the oil fill cap in the shop and a funnel in the hole.. found that in my driveway.
    3) got a free 14mm Snapon combo wrench left on my inner fender .
    4) tie rod replaced under warranty, failed to bolt the safety clamp on the toe-in adjustment(literally flopping around)
    This was all over a decade period, so different techs, but same service manager, I finally told him they were all screwed up, which sucked because they are nice people and walking distance from my house.

    Their fucking body shop failed to tighten the lower hose clamp on my sons Rav after deer strike damage insurance repair and left my wife and son on the side of the road when the hose fell off on I-95 in Ct rush hour traffic on a 10 degree January day. They tried to blame Toyota on a defective clamp. There wasn’t even a mark on the hose where the clamp was supposed to be.

    Needless to say I’m done there.

    So I ask around, found a local place near where I work. Fantastic feedback from many many people I work with.

    I take my 2500 there for a oil change and a Tire pressure sensor replacement. I go to pick it up, after I pay and as I’m walking out the door the owner says” oh by the way, your truck slipped off the jack and we bent the front control arm, I straightened it on the press, but if you bring it back tomorrow I’ll replace it for free.
    Wtf! I bet the tech wasn’t thinking it was a 7000# (they mostly do cars) truck and jacked from the arm.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnctoolcat View Post
    No doubt, I hate to pay for anything that I could do (time and tools etc. pending...)

    But what about trying to hire contractors to build a house, shop addition,...even deck addition. Good gawd what a nightmare!
    I had to have some mold "remediation" done right after I bought and moved into this house. The hiring was dead simple... it was getting them to get it done that was the PITA!!

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    For got to mention a Mazda dealer.. brand new Mazda 3. First free oil change.. idiots forgot to put oil in it. They bought the car back , cost me $97 bucks to drive it 6400 miles.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobw View Post
    Even tires. They always try and friction stir weld your lugs, studs and rims together ...
    I found a solution for that. I walk out into the shop before they put on the new tires and explain that if I get a flat in the middle of nowhere and can't change the tire with a handheld lug wrench, I am coming back with a shotgun.

    Then when I pull out, I stop in the parking lot and check one or two nuts. If I can't get them loose, it goes back inside.

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  29. #38
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    There has been only ONE time that I had someone do some work on anything of mine that was successful. Most memorable fail was isuzu 6 cylinder diesel smoking a bit at idle, which I knew was leaky injectors. Not having a lot of diesel common rail engine experience I took it to the local Mack/Isuzu DEALER and they replaced 3 with rebuilts, forgot to tighten them and 120 miles later the truck was stuck on the loading dock packed full of machinery in a cloud of coolant smoke because the injector sleeves backed out. $900 tow back to the dealer and when I got it back the next morning there was a huge puddle of oil under the truck because they left out the o-ring under the oil drain plug, which was now buggered up with plier marks. Al least I was able to back the plug out, stretch a new o ring over the head and retighten it without draining the gallons of oil. The service bays were full of UPS, fire trucks and municipal vehicles, so I thought it might be OK, Never again, and I pity those who are depending on one of those fire or ambulances.

  30. #39
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    Re: ripperj's Mazda woes...

    My first brand-new car was a Mazda MPV 4WD van. Decided to have dealer maintenance so there were no warranty questions. First oil change, then off to vacation towing a boat. Coming back thru WV mountains, stopped at a rest stop, looked at the map for a minute or two, then we got out of the car. Looked at the oil on the ground and said "Wow, somebody had a bad day here." Took care of business and hit the road again. Two miles down the road, engine lights come on and I pull over immediately. Turns out it was my oil back there. Towed car and boat to nearest town with a Mazda dealer, got a hotel, and waited until Monday morning. Dealer said the oil plug was sitting on the skid plate, and all the oil was gone. It was determined that the oil changer had just put the plug in finger tight, and then put the skid plate back on. Duh. Got an extended engine warranty out of that one. It lasted past 150k, so generally all was fine. But jeez...


    I now use an independent hole-in-the-wall truck mechanic for my Suburban and RV. He's happy to put on parts I source, and do things I request. Things like certain modifications to the Suburban's transfer case to prevent perforation by a poorly-designed factory bushing, or increasing the caster on the RV for better tracking. He doesn't have a waiting room with coffee and croissants, and sometimes the hood has greasy handprints on it, but so far things are fixed right and at very attractive rates. Plus he'll do things like keep the RV inside overnight so it doesn't get hit by an ice storm right before I pick it up, etc. Recommended by another mechanic at an independent Volvo place.

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  32. #40
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    I've always enjoyed doing my own stuff, for the educational and amusement value more than to save money. But in my old age I've realized I have to be smarter about picking my battles. The trick is to find small independent mechanics and contractors who are as passionate and thorough as I am about my work,surely all the OCD and perfectionist types are not just machinists. Goes for dentists, lawyers and such.

    Word of mouth and referrals from those I really trust.


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