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Thread: Auto Repairs: How do you get them done?

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    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Auto Repairs: How do you get them done?

    Are you a shade tree mechanic or always go to the dealer sorta person? Independant shops? Some mixture?

    Mine always go to the dealer for several reasons. (1) They are usually always under warrenty (2) one of the two is an import (3) I have zero interest in learning how to do any signifigant work on my autos
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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    So long old friend rotnoid's Avatar
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    Re: Auto Repairs: How do you get them done?

    For me, it's a little of both. I have some mechanical know-how, but not a ton. If it's something I can do, the test is usually whether or not I'd be willing to pay someone to do if for me. I don't necessarily enjoy working on cars, but I don't hate it either. It's all about cost and opportunity.
    I'm just like everybody else. I have two arms, two legs and 4,000 hits."

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    Just The Big Picture macro's Avatar
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    Re: Auto Repairs: How do you get them done?

    If it's under warranty, it goes to the dealership, obviously. If not, I either take it to a local shop or try to catch my brother-in-law when he's in town. He has saved me more than a few dollars over the years with his knowledge and skills, even though he's not a mechanic by trade.

    If I know which part is faulty and can get to it without crawling underneath and without taking the engine apart, I'll replace it myself. That's rarely the case, though.

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    Re: Auto Repairs: How do you get them done?

    Funny this should come up. I'm in the position of knowing that my alternator needs replaced, and am considering pulling it out and replacing it myself, but I've never done a lick of work on a car before. On the other hand, I'm not completely stupid and it looks easy to get to. Decisions, decisions...
    "It's easier to give up. I'm not a very vocal player. I lead by example. I take the attitude that I've got to go out and do it. Because of who I am, I've got to give everything I've got to come back."
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    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Auto Repairs: How do you get them done?

    Back in the day, I used to do a lot of my own work on my cars. It was from necessity since I couldn't really afford to take it into the shop. Many a day (or night) happened where I was out in the apartment parking lot laying under my car in a 35 degree rain storm or other not-so-pleasant weather.

    But that was in the pre-car-computer days when I could open the hood and identify most of what was there, knew how it functioned, and had the tools to fix it (basic wrenches, sockets, screw driver, big hammer, etc). The day when cars still had carburetors.

    Nowadays, I lift the hood and am hard-pressed to identify just what everything is. Also, since much of modern day cars is computerized, it takes a laptop with software and special connectors to hook into the car and run diagnostics. Finally, there are a lot of special tools needed to effect repairs.

    Bottom line, I usually take it to a dealer to have major work done and a Jiffy Lube-type place for oil changes.

    I could do routine maintenance myself (change oil, etc.) but I'm getting older and the thought of laying on my cold concrete floor fumbling with drain plugs and filters doesn't appeal to me. I'd rather pay the $25 to have someone else to it.

    Now you kids all get the heck off my lawn.

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    Potential Lunch Winner Dom Heffner's Avatar
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    Re: Auto Repairs: How do you get them done?

    I don't know anything about cars, man. If my car breaks down, and I don't see that little "E" on the dashboard, I'm out of luck. But if that "E" is there, man, I act all cocky. I'm like "I got this one under control!" Then I pull out the toolbox, AKA wallet. I'd make a crappy auto mechanic. People would bring their car in to me and say, "My car won't start." "Well maybe there's a killer after you!"

    If you're watchin' a parade, make sure you stand in one spot, don't follow it, it never changes. And if the parade is boring, run in the opposite direction, you will fast-foward the parade. --Mitch Hedberg

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Auto Repairs: How do you get them done?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Tucker View Post
    Back in the day, I used to do a lot of my own work on my cars. It was from necessity since I couldn't really afford to take it into the shop. Many a day (or night) happened where I was out in the apartment parking lot laying under my car in a 35 degree rain storm or other not-so-pleasant weather.

    But that was in the pre-car-computer days when I could open the hood and identify most of what was there, knew how it functioned, and had the tools to fix it (basic wrenches, sockets, screw driver, big hammer, etc). The day when cars still had carburetors.

    Nowadays, I lift the hood and am hard-pressed to identify just what everything is. Also, since much of modern day cars is computerized, it takes a laptop with software and special connectors to hook into the car and run diagnostics. Finally, there are a lot of special tools needed to effect repairs.

    Bottom line, I usually take it to a dealer to have major work done and a Jiffy Lube-type place for oil changes.

    I could do routine maintenance myself (change oil, etc.) but I'm getting older and the thought of laying on my cold concrete floor fumbling with drain plugs and filters doesn't appeal to me. I'd rather pay the $25 to have someone else to it.

    Now you kids all get the heck off my lawn.
    Yep.... my story exactly

    I drove across the country once in a Scirroco that the points closed every 75 miles, I would have to space them at every breakdown with a matchbook cover and a pen knife.

    My wife still talks about it to this day.

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    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Auto Repairs: How do you get them done?

    If a repair is not covered under warranty be very wary of taking it to a dealer.

    My car has 15K miles on it and I called the dealer to ask if an alignment was covered under warranty. They said not generally but usually a new car doesn't need alignments. It's probably just a tire pressure thing or something a tire rotation could fix. Bring it in and we'll be glad to check it out for you.

    Well they ended up charging me for their test drive, tire rotation and alignment to go along with their standard shop charges...it was $150 before they were done with it.

    A place like Bob Sumerall will do a front end alignment for $50 and I bet they'd throw in the tire rotation since it's on the lift anyway. And you can not do an alignment w/o trest driving it.

    Well that was a "test" for that dealer. That dealer will not get another cent of non warranty work from me in the future. They blew it.

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    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: Auto Repairs: How do you get them done?

    I used to dabble, but when I got married and my wife directed my activities more towards home remodeling and I decided to skip the auto work. Don't even change the oil any more.

    When I was living in Cincinnati, my knowledge of the right mechanic for the right job on the west side of town was vast. For that matter, if you name a problem, I can probably give you a recommendation on just about any problem involving home or car. And I'll even plug one here- West Side Auto Service- run by a good guy with a smart crew.
    But now I'm in Bloomington with little knowledge of the local landscape and my fear of knuckle draggers with a torque wrench forces me to go to dealers. I know I'm getting fleeced, but that's the price of using a dealer. The up side to it is that my luck with dealers here has been very good.
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.

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    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Auto Repairs: How do you get them done?

    Quote Originally Posted by zombie-a-go-go View Post
    Funny this should come up. I'm in the position of knowing that my alternator needs replaced, and am considering pulling it out and replacing it myself, but I've never done a lick of work on a car before. On the other hand, I'm not completely stupid and it looks easy to get to. Decisions, decisions...
    Go to a junk yard to practice.

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    Re: Auto Repairs: How do you get them done?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray View Post
    A place like Bob Sumerall will do a front end alignment for $50 and I bet they'd throw in the tire rotation since it's on the lift anyway.
    Good one. I never heard of Bob Sumerall but any place I've ever been will charge about $6 to rotate each tire. That is $24 minimum.

    Sure they have it on the lift, you want an oil change while it is up there for free too? That would take less time than rotating four tires. I may be wrong about the specific place you mentioned, but I'd be surprised. Why are they going to give you 10 or 15 minutes of free labor just because your car is on the lift? Where do you draw the line? Rotate tires, change the oil, do a brake job, fix the exhaust. It all takes time, why should an alignment get you anything free?

  13. #12
    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Auto Repairs: How do you get them done?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaineRed View Post
    Good one. I never heard of Bob Sumerall but any place I've ever been will charge about $6 to rotate each tire. That is $24 minimum.

    Sure they have it on the lift, you want an oil change while it is up there for free too? That would take less time than rotating four tires. I may be wrong about the specific place you mentioned, but I'd be surprised. Why are they going to give you 10 or 15 minutes of free labor just because your car is on the lift? Where do you draw the line? Rotate tires, change the oil, do a brake job, fix the exhaust. It all takes time, why should an alignment get you anything free?
    You seem to have missed my point. The difference did NOT hang on whether the tires were rotated for free. Even if it was $25, the dealer was still 100% higher than the "tire shop."

    As for free rotations, I can't remember the last time I was charged for a rotation. Sometimes my brake guy does it when he's checking my squeaky brakes, sometimes Costco does it, sometimes I'll use a coupon for a free rotation. There are plenty of those around. Sure, a place has every right to charge for a rotation. My point is in my experience they often don't.

    In summary, my experience is the dealer will charge full retail on everything and your backyard shop will tend to be a little more reasonable.

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    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: Auto Repairs: How do you get them done?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray View Post
    In summary, my experience is the dealer will charge full retail on everything and your backyard shop will tend to be a little more reasonable.
    That's probably true as a rule, but not all dealer service departments -- or dealers -- are equal. You'll probably pay about the same anywhere for manufacturer-specified interval services, but as for the rest of it, the "screw factor" varies widely. Some places look at you as a cow to be milked, others want you to buy your next car there and do business accordingly. I've been pretty happy with the particular Honda dealer where I have the maintenance done. Having said that, I'd have no qualms about going to a good Japanese-import independent shop, were I to find one I'd trust to know as much about the car as the dealer guys do.
    Not all who wander are lost

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    Re: Auto Repairs: How do you get them done?

    I wasn't talking about backyards shots. I used to have an old truck and a guy that worked for the town as the town mechanic worked part time out of his garage and charged $15 an hour. I've since bought new and have had no problems.

    This is the kind of place I was referring to:

    http://www.vipauto.com/

    They charge around $55 for an alignment and I know they charge 5 or 6 bucks to rotate the tires. But they recommend an alignment every 6,000 miles while the dealer told me 30,000.

    So listen to the discout shop and you'll spend $250 every 30,000 miles while having to take the car in 5 times as many times.

    I don't mean to make it sound like dealers are the way to go. Every deal is different. Some treat people nice and charge somewhat fair prices while others are rip off artist. The dealer is the snake selling you the car, so .....

    My point was the discout places don't do quality work from my experience but again, I don't know what Bob Summeral is.

    Another reason why Seinfeld was a such a great show. This is another storyline they covered, finding a good mechanic. Brilliant.

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    Re: Auto Repairs: How do you get them done?

    I wish I had seen your post Island before I posted as you said what I wanted to say about the dealers being different.

    No doubt, if you don't like the dealership because of a bad experience, screw em.


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