General Question

imrainmaker's avatar

Have you tried to fix car problem by yourself?

Asked by imrainmaker (8339points) July 6th, 2018

Have any interesting story to share about it?

Inspired by recent car question by @kripter.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

12 Answers

Patty_Melt's avatar

My husband had this enormous adjustable crescent wrench. It was three feet, maybe longer, and heavy.
Got broke down on a busy highway once. Smoke or steam, couldn’t tell which. Open the hood, can’t see where it comes from. So mad!
I go to the trunk, mostly to think.
I see that wrench. I grabbed it, went around to front of car. I raise that wrench high over my head. I hear screeching tires, and a man’s voice asking if I needed help.
Turned out that wrench was the handiest tool my husband had.
When I told him what I did, my husband blanched.

stanleybmanly's avatar

That pretty much defined my youth. Cars were much simpler back then, yet far far less reliable than today’s versions.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Yes, but @stanleybmanly they were made so you could work on them,not like todays vehicles when they break down and they do break down you have to be a pro at computer diagnostic to find out whats wrong.
My new pickup truck doesn’t have one grease fitting any where on it, everything is sealed,unlike the transport truck as you can service it.

kritiper's avatar

You also have to be a pro at good old fashioned diagnostics, especially when the computers don’t help. (My training is only really current up to 1976!)
My sister’s car (a 1988 Mercury Cougar) has an intermittent problem where it quits randomly. Getting the pros to look it over and fix it is expensive! One place thinks she should just junk it. (The engine is in great shape, doesn’t use oil and doesn’t blow smoke.) The coil has been replaced 3 times! Today I replaced the fuel pump relay to remove that as a possibility.
I’ve been looking it over for better than a week now and have determined that the problem is a defective ignition switch. I think. I hope. I’m reasonably certain, after looking into everything else…
Every time I think I have it figured out, I remind myself that the problem is intermittent! And it’s getting worse.
We’ll see on Monday when we take it to another garage!

Patty_Melt's avatar

Maybe it’s a tumor.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I have a $5 dongle from eBay that plugs into the OBD port to read the trouble codes with a free phone app. First time I used it it said “Oxygen sensor#2”. I bought the $15 part from eBay and installed it. That would have easily been a $100 or more repair.

I also replaced my starter. That was $100 rather than $300 at the shop.

I’ve replaced spark plugs, and headlamps where wiring shorted and burned, so I had to solder on new wire leads and sockets. Those jobs were rather difficult only because the engine compartment is so crammed and confined.

The detailed instruction videos people place on YouTube are fantastic. Their generosity is wonderful.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Everyone with a car should own a cheap plug in diagnostic meter & know where to plug it in. The things have fallen in price to as low as $10, and are well worth the money. When that check engine light comes on, you can quickly determine whether or not you can temporarily ignore or it

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

An OBD2 reader and youtube have saved me countless $$

canidmajor's avatar

Waaaay back in the day I bought a Jeep Cherokee (long before Chrysler and the phrase Sport Utility Vehicle) and it was a lemon (oh yeah, this was before lemon laws). I became adept at many repairs, I had a box in the back full of belts and hoses and clamps and plugs and fuses and stuff like that, and a little step ladder (I am little, the car was tall).

I wouldn’t begin to know how (or want to) do anything now; gas, oil, and windshield washer fluid are the only things I bother with anymore.

kritiper's avatar

Crap! Now I suspect the stator in the distributor!

NomoreY_A's avatar

I’m no mechanic. I can do things around the house, but my wife says as far as cars go, that anything more than an oil change needs to go to a mechanic. She says I’ll screw it up worse than it all ready is. I’d tend to agree with her.

mrainer's avatar

I have tried, but I usually end up with a deflated spirit. I am bad it. I can change tires/wheels, and that’s all. I think Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is very relevant in this context. It contains a lot of interesting opinions and assessments on this matter.

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