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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Years ago I remember living in London, ON and driving to a big warm garage where you could fix your own car, use a hoist and borrow tools at an hourly rate. On this cold Toronto day I checked to see if I could find something like that here, but the closest place was in Hamilton, and it appeared to be the only one.

Has this concept gone extinct?
 

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extinct

Yes, there used to be one on Greenwood, between Gerrard and Danforth. But that's been gone now for years...

If you do find a place, please let me know. Sometimes I have stuff to do on my old truck and no warm place to work.

Cheers
 

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I would suspect that a combination of high land values plus liability insurance rates through the roof could be a major barrier to landlords offering this kind of facility
 

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There used to be one in Edmonton too, but a check of the yellow pages shows no such service any longer.

Could it be the computerization of modern vehicles has eliminated amateur mechanics altogether?
 

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There was one here in Barrie. It was etiher associated with U.S.A. Autoparts, or next door to it, on Dunlop Street West. I think a call to U.S.A. Autoparts would get you more info if you don't mind travelling and hour or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There was one here in Barrie. It was etiher associated with U.S.A. Autoparts, or next door to it, on Dunlop Street West. I think a call to U.S.A. Autoparts would get you more info if you don't mind travelling and hour or so.
Please let me know if it's still there.
 

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There used to be one in Edmonton too, but a check of the yellow pages shows no such service any longer.

Could it be the computerization of modern vehicles has eliminated amateur mechanics altogether?
Maybe but there are lots of things one can do at home instead of taking to the shops. Oil and fluids change is one, tire rotations and changeovers, brakes, belts, and a few more complicated things that can be done without the use of a computer.

A lot of my American friends do their own auto maintenance, seems to be a way of life there. I did my own brakes a couple of months ago.
 

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Hamilton has one, Rent A Bay - Do-It-Yourself Car Repairs they used to have a website but it seems like the is a site under construction. They charge $15/ hour for a hoist and that includes all tools (Pneumatic as well) what a deal, I changed my rotors and pads it cost me $30. The employees are pretty helpful as well.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
^^^^^^^^^^^^
Thanks, John. That was the one I was considering. I'll definitely try it on my next job.

I wound up, against my better judgment, going to Canadian Tire as I hit the bottom of the pads yesterday and it was still too cold to work outside.

10:30: Took car in and selected Monroe pads from inventory to take advantage of installation special.
11:30: Once car up on hoist told that Monroe pads not available.
12:00: Told that no pads available for car and they must be ordered from sister company. Parts to arrive at 1:30.
12:05: Since car up on hoist ask them to change a rear left tail light, perform oil change and put two new tires on car.
12:10: Told that no tires are available for car. None.
12:11-2:45: I read autobiography of Steve Smith as told to Mag Ruffman.
3:00: Car ready.
Told that not one but both tail lights were out, but now replaced.
Told that they still extended the brake special to me, despite the fact that I did not use Monroe pads.
3:10: I notice that CT has failed to re-set annoying "Change Oil Now" light.
6:00: I notice left tail light is out. Have no idea in which vehicle two bulbs were installed.

Today: Make special note of services offered by Hamilton Rent-a-Bay.
 

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And that's why no one who cares about their vehicle brings it to CT of all places. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
^^^^^^^^^^

Brakes. Fried. Starting to dig into rotors. Too cold. No choice.

Never again!
 

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Canadian Tire what a waste of time. Yep to bad you didn't make it into the rent-a-bay. I was so happy to be able to get the hex nuts off my Saab and change the rotors and pads without killing my self or freezing my butt off.

John
 

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After a couple suspiciously big maintenance (tune-up) and car repair bills last year I decided to tackle that one area of DIY I've never really had much to do with. I have tools to do all kinds of work around the house and beyond but not much mechanic's tools. Fortunately with my older vehicles I don't need too much, yet. My biggest expenses thus far involve a 3 1/4 ton floor jack (on sale), car stands, wheel chocks and a quality torque wrench.

I have a garage but I'm still in the process of wiring it so no heat. That was unfortunate. When I replaced my radiator this past New Year's Eve day (amongst other things including a heater hose) I nearly froze my feet off. Took a couple hours in the tub to get my core temp back up. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
There's nothing like having the heat sucked out of you by contact with cold concrete and cold steel.

I had to buy a new jack when the jack that came with my car COLLAPSED last year while the car was elevated. Slowly, thank goodness--it bent, but didn't snap.
 

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I had to buy a new jack when the jack that came with my car COLLAPSED last year while the car was elevated. Slowly, thank goodness--it bent, but didn't snap.
I am guessing that you left that bag of kitty litter in the trunk and overloaded the poor thing.beejacon
 

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Maybe but there are lots of things one can do at home instead of taking to the shops. Oil and fluids change is one, tire rotations and changeovers, brakes, belts, and a few more complicated things that can be done without the use of a computer.
Always done the routine maintenance (brakes & rotors on occasion) on our vehicles. Being a "shade tree" mechanic has made me a bit of a curiosity in our neighbourhood. Well, there are likely other reasons, but I like to think that's one of the main ones.
 

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At my age and with a bad hip my days of crawling under vehicles are gone, but I did my fair share over the years. Did a bit of everything from rebuilding flathead V-8s in early Fords to a ring and valve job on a 1954 VW.

Did all my own oil changes and maintenance including replacing trannies, crown and pinion sets, brakes, exhaust and all tune ups.

I once installed a cruise control in a 76 Olds 455 that turned into an all day effort lying on a gravel driveway for the undercarriage parts. It worked like a charm too. I even pulled apart the entire dashboard on that car and changed the MPH to metric to jive with the new road signs in 1977.

If you have any mechanical ability, it's an education in itself to do your own work.
 

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Barrie Self Service

Please let me know if it's still there.
I have a chance to go down town this morning. Sorry to report "No Joy In Mudville". It is now replaced with a full service garage.

I went to coffee with my "Olde Fartes" and asked around. No joy there either.
 

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Years ago I remember living in London, ON and driving to a big warm garage where you could fix your own car, use a hoist and borrow tools at an hourly rate. On this cold Toronto day I checked to see if I could find something like that here, but the closest place was in Hamilton, and it appeared to be the only one.

Has this concept gone extinct?
The Barrie Do it Yourself Garage is located on the corner of 84Tiffin and Innisfil Street in Barrie. Phone 705-795-0089 They are quite Knowledgeable and nice, the have everything you need to do your own work and also give advice and can help you when you get stuck on something like a wheelbearing that just doesnt want to release fom the axel. The also have 3 snowplows and doffer a 20 dollar driveway service and it doesnt matte the amount of snowfall. Its a small out of place shop and an all around great place to deal with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well, thanks!
 
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