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Author Topic: Car DIY, who’s brave enough?  (Read 763 times)

sevenlayermuddle

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Car DIY, who’s brave enough?
« on: December 31, 2018, 06:51:46 PM »

Anybody still do their own car maintenance?

My ten year old Volvo needed new rear disks, noted at last service.   I subsequently discovered that Volvo might be having some kind of a warehouse clear out, as disks are being sold around 50% off at a lot of dealers’ parts desks.   Given an assumtption that the service dept would not pass on that discount, plus their big hourly rates, I reckoned I could save region of £300-£400 or mire by doing it diy, even with OEM parts.

After investment in new discs, pads and handbrake shoes, a few “once only use” bolts , some shiny new axle stands and a trendy looking boiler suit from Screwfix I set about the job this week and have to say, thoroughly enjoyed it.  And no signs so far, that I have broken anything. :)

First real diy car maintenance since I was a teenager, taking cyclinder head of my first old banger Mk1 cortina just to see what the insides looked like.   But I’ll resist the temptation to repeat, the Volvo looks just a teeny bit more complicated. :D
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Ronski

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Re: Car DIY, who’s brave enough?
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2018, 07:15:58 PM »

I do the majority of our car maintenance, mind you I have been a mechanic for over 30 years and now manage a commercial workshop  ;D

Yes they are certainly getting very complicated, even main dealers struggle with some things.
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Chunkers

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Re: Car DIY, who’s brave enough?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2019, 04:56:14 AM »

Cars are so reliable nowadays its almost like they are designed not to be maintained, like the way they cover all the engine parts with plastic shielding and there is almost no space under the bonnet of most cars making a difficult place to work.  Have a look under the bonnet of a Morris Minor .... its 80% air, lol

I wonder if there is a market for cars which are specifically designed easier to be easy maintain, weren't old Soviet block cars designed this way (although sadly they were mostly shite)?

A lot of people would probably say an old Land Rover Defender is a good choice, the parts are cheap but they are horrible to drive.  Maybe a half-way house is to buy a car from the mid 90's i.e. its got electronic ignition and disk brakes but hasn't yet gone mental with all the gizmos or become a "classic" yet.  Maybe a nice Mk1 Mazda MX-5 ..... plus they are going up in value now.

You probably only need to know how to do brakes anyway, surely everything else will be electric soon?  So much simpler.

C

« Last Edit: January 01, 2019, 05:00:36 AM by Chunkers »
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Car DIY, who’s brave enough?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2019, 08:54:33 AM »

I wonder if there is a market for cars which are specifically designed easier to be easy maintain, weren't old Soviet block cars designed this way (although sadly they were mostly shite)?

Don’t pin your hopes on that, the environmental overlords would never allow it.   I had to repair my garden strimmer last year, which involved rebuilding the carburettor.   After which of course the jets need adjusting, but it was fitted with “tamper proof” screws specifically to stop consumers from adjusting them, in case they destroy the atmosphere.   Fortunately, suitable adjustment tools are easily available on ebay.  :)

Back to cars, it’s also not at all clear how I can legally dispose of my old brake disks.   They are hefty chunks of metal, and probably of scrap value.  There is a “scrap metal” skip at my local council recycling yard but owing to a strict environmental policy, they have a blanket ban on all car parts.
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Ronski

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Re: Car DIY, who’s brave enough?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2019, 09:36:51 AM »

I'm sure they're made harder to maintain to drive people back to main dealers and their extortionate prices, although they do have high costs and expensive commitments. I recently had a local truck main dealer tell me that they struggle with certain faults, so if they struggle how is an independent expected to cope let alone a diyer.

Emissions and higher mpg are the major driving forces for making things complicated engine wise. As chunkers mentions space is lacking in the engine bay making it very difficult to work on, specialist tools are often needed. Even for brakes you may need specialist tools to wind back the calipers on some vehicles. Even changing headlight bulbs is ridiculously hard on a lot of vehicles now, although with HID lamps and leds we're moving away from that.

Fortunately I don't get to involved with cars, but trucks/vans are going the same way. I do wonder what the future holds with regards to owning vehicles. We had a 2010 Skoda a couple of years back which had gearbox problems, we spent a couple of grand fixing it and that doesn't take into account our labour. Also an 09 BMW which was a nightmare, it would run fine then not run at all. Our diagnostic system didn't really show anything, our local diagnostic guy didn't have a glue either, so it went to BMW. They seemed pretty clueless but thought the engine was now damaged, so I found an independent BMW specialist, he confirmed the engine was shot - completely flooded with diesel in the sump and exhaust system. We sourced a second hand engine and he fitted that. Trouble was no one could tell why the injectors had dumped so much fuel in the engine, was it the high pressure pump or something else such as the ECU over fuelling - would the same happen to the replacement engine? IIRC even the ECU was changed from the doner vehicle . Fortunately the car was OK after that, but the overall bill came to 4 or 5k, possibly more. Point being your average punter who runs an old car can't afford these sizes of bills (both these were our own company cars) and I can only see this sort of occurance becoming more common as vehicles get more technical. Both those cars were around the 100,000 mile mark,  our company cars are now leased.

Electric cars are even more complicated, I'd hate to think how much a set of batteries will cost, they'll probably last just long enough for the car to get into the second hand market at 3 to 5 years old and then give up  :no:

On a positive note when things go well I think they are generally more reliable and lasting longer.
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Ronski

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Re: Car DIY, who’s brave enough?
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2019, 09:47:18 AM »

Back to cars, it’s also not at all clear how I can legally dispose of my old brake disks.   They are hefty chunks of metal, and probably of scrap value.  There is a “scrap metal” skip at my local council recycling yard but owing to a strict environmental policy, they have a blanket ban on all car parts.

No problem at all with the disc's, they are after all just metal, the pads/shoes aren't of course. All ours just go in the scrap metal skip, which is collected by the local brakers yard/scrap metal dealer.

If you have a local beakers yard or scrap metal dealer just take them there. Don't expect any money though,  scrap value is negligible at £50 - £100 per ton.

Here's an environmental thought for you, those old pads were worn out, the new ones nice and meaty. Ever considered where it all went?

Answer, into the atmosphere as dust, same goes for clutches, tyres etc.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Car DIY, who’s brave enough?
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2019, 10:42:08 AM »

Answer, into the atmosphere as dust, same goes for clutches, tyres etc.

Shhh, don’t tell them.     I can just imagine the sign at the tip going up next week, along with “no car parts”, will we see “drivers on this site must not use their vehicle’s tyres or brakes”?
« Last Edit: January 01, 2019, 02:44:35 PM by sevenlayermuddle »
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Ronski

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Re: Car DIY, who’s brave enough?
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2019, 11:09:29 AM »

That wouldn't surprise me, couldn't believe it last night when we had the TV on to watch the London fireworks "Warning: This program contains flashing images" kept coming up on the screen every so often. Fireworks - flashing, no way you don't say!
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Car DIY, who’s brave enough?
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2019, 02:45:16 PM »

 ::)
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roseway

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Re: Car DIY, who’s brave enough?
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2019, 04:17:44 PM »

I suppose their lawyers insist on that sort of thing for fear of lawsuits.
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tickmike

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Re: Car DIY, who’s brave enough?
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2019, 09:56:28 PM »

That wouldn't surprise me, couldn't believe it last night when we had the TV on to watch the London fireworks "Warning: This program contains flashing images" kept coming up on the screen every so often. Fireworks - flashing, no way you don't say!
They looked nice But what about the world environment with all those fireworks going off all around the world :o :'(
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tickmike

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Re: Car DIY, who’s brave enough?
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2019, 10:17:51 PM »

Car DIY yes I do, always have, from the basics to full engine overhaul, replaced a broken rear road spring last summer on one of our cars, to fitting a overdrive unit off a MGB onto a Ford Mk 1 Escort a good few years ago  :blush: Developing a 'Lean burn' fuel system, running and testing fuel blends, building electronic ignition systems and the list goes on.



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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Car DIY, who’s brave enough?
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2019, 12:07:34 AM »

Car DIY yes I do, always have, from the basics to full engine overhaul, replaced a broken rear road spring last summer on one of our cars, to fitting a overdrive unit off a MGB onto a Ford Mk 1 Escort a good few years ago  :blush: Developing a 'Lean burn' fuel system, running and testing fuel blends, building electronic ignition systems and the list goes on.

I’m impressed. :)
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Ronski

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Re: Car DIY, who’s brave enough?
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2019, 06:23:16 AM »

MGB's and Mk 1 Escorts, the good old days when things were simple. Developing a 'Lean burn' fuel system, running and testing fuel blends, building electronic ignition systems - now that does sound impressive. Do you have a background in that area?

Can you get your head around the inner workings of a DSG and it's mechatronic unit? You need to go on a training course before they will sell you the kit to setup the dual clutches. A very impressive gearbox, it selects the next year whilst your still in the previous gear so a gear change takes a fraction of a second, simply a case of releasing one clutch and engaging the other.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Car DIY, who’s brave enough?
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2019, 09:15:02 AM »

About the only bit of my mk1 Escort that never got taken apart was the gearbox.    I had it out for new clutches once or twice and did remove the top cover to replace the gasket, but never ventured inside.   I totally stripped the engine, had it rebored and successfully rebuilt it with new pistons & rimgs... With suitable attention to oil seels,  it was then oil-tight for the first time since it left the factory (Dad had owned it from new)!

As for lean burn fuel systems, DSG mechantronic gearboxes, Oooh errr... , no idea, I am getting rapidly left behind in this conversation. :-[

Glad I did the brakes on the Volvo, but maybe better if I stick to impementing protocols and writing device driver software as principle hobby, just as in my career. I’m sure I could baffle you all with jargon, if only I could remember any of it. :D
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