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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. :)
Ha ha haaaaa....

You unfortunate beggar. This winter I have heat in my garage and it's been toe toasty warm.
 

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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. :)
Ha ha haaaaa...
You unfortunate beggar. This winter I have heat in my garage and it's been toe toasty warm.
:clap::clap::)
You gotta love it when a plan comes together.
 

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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.

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.
Yes, these can all be done at home although the original post written in January was about being able to work in a warm garage on his own car without driving for an hour to do it.
 

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Yes, I know, old thread being revived...but still on topic.

Yesterday I brought my 2003 Honda Pilot into the dealer I bought it from for minor work. In addition to routine servicing, I asked if they could take a look at what might be the matter with the driver's side electric seat controls which had become non-functional since the resident teen had started to drive. The plastic moulding around the base of the seat was also broken and loose.

I explained that since the vehicle was almost 10 years old, I didn't need a pretty solution, just a functional one.

$225 - just to diagnose the problem, because, they explained, they'd probably have to take the seat apart. Fixing would, naturally, be additional cost.

Gack. Unfortunately, the seat had failed in the driving position preferred by the resident teen, which to me is an oddly very forward position that causes me to crack my knees on the dash when I get in to drive. So it had to be fixed.

Estimate:
$260 new seat moldings, installed
$220 new power seat switch, installed
plus, any other minor bits and pieces that may be necessary as they go.

Gulp.

Even though they had the car all day they didn't get to the estimate until the last minute, plus they did not have the parts on hand so couldn't complete the repair. I told them not to order them yet, but that I would book another (probably full day) appointment if and when I decided to repair it.

So today, I thought I would take a look at the seat myself. My plan: If it looks like I will be causing more damage by meddling with the mechanics or wiring, I'll leave it for the experts.

In 20 minutes, which included going back into the house for a flashlight and then having to find new batteries for same, I had it fixed. It wasn't working because an electrical connector had simply become unplugged from the switch. I straightened the bent pins and reconnected it. Simple.

I fixed the moulding with a couple homemade plastic washers (the broken part was where the screws had broken through the moulding).

Cost: 20 minutes of my time and a bit of blood where I gave myself a minor cut from scraping my knuckles across broken moulding.

Big difference though from what the dealership was planning on hosing me for.
No wonder car dealerships and mechanics get a bad reputation. Sometimes they really deserve it.

So - the message here is to have a look yourself before paying big bucks to a mechanic. You might be able to fix it yourself.
 

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Kudos to you for tackling that job yourself and well done! I do much the same with my 2001 Suzuki Grand Vitara with only 89,000 km on it since I bought it new. A dealer quote to replace a fog lamp at over $400 was accomplished in a couple of hours of jury rigging a $40 Canadian Tire universal model to fit and works fine for example. Same with our eight year old motor home. A $600 plumbing repair estimate was done with the help of a plumber friend at a cost of $40 (and a couple of beers ;) ).

That noted we also have a fabulous mechanic, a woman in her late 50s. The Ford dealer quoted $2,700 to replace the compressor for the A/C, but Margaret, our mechanic, scoured the bone yard, found a compressor from a van with less mileage than ours (and ours does not have much) and installed and recharged for just under $500. There are some honest mechanics out there, but they can be hard to find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Well done, ma'am and sir!
 

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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
Hey John, I am looking for a place to also get my rotors and pads all changed. Do you know if the Rent A Bay - Do-It-Yourself Car Repairs in Hamilton still operate?
 
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