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  #1  
Old 08-03-2004, 11:22 PM
Coming back from burnout
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: in the Pacific Northwest
Posts: 2,274
Rate you vs them...would you ever let a "typical" Pro touch your car?

Honestly I myself am terrible, the only way I've done what I've done is with this Forum's Help and through stubborness and perseverance..sometimes I think between stabbing myself with screw drivers, dropping transmissions on my head ( 7 stitches), over torquing and stripping key nuts and pins, and tripping over myself (all things I have done) I am surprised I've got the jobs done I have....
Another note, once in South Jersey at the Blackwood K Mart I ran into one of the best shops I ever knew, Noel and Mike were the mechanics and Aaron was the manager. Noel was a huge wild brute with ear rings, a pony tail and tattoos and a Chopper but he had a honest heart and he was the only one I would let align my car..Mikey was a sweet kid, 24 years old with 6 children already and Aaron was the quintessal acne faced 32 year old skinny toothpick KMart manager who didnt know a spark plug from a drain plug but was an honest decent guy and somehow kept Noel and Mike on schedule/ in budget( though they always joked about how little he knew about cars)...that was 15 years ago..
I've been fairly luck with shops, and have generally run into decent people, and yes i wouldnt mind letting others touch my car except (1) I cant afford it and (2) Some problems aren't easily diagnosed in one 30 minute visit--you have to follow the car and problem through iterations and know its "personality" (3) I LIKE FIXING things myself and the Satisfaction I get...
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  #2  
Old 08-03-2004, 11:38 PM
BoostnBenz's Avatar
Benötigt Mehr Druck!
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,855
I've never really found a place I trusted that much. Back years ago I used to hire things out because I never tried to learn it, but in time it seemed about every place I went screwed something up or tried screwing me over. So at this point one of my cars had a great forum behind so I ended up selling the other and getting a car I could again learn about and work on easier, my first W123. My talon was the first car that I've been stubborn enough that whatever breaks I'll fix it because I can, if I don't know how to, I'll learn! So that same mentality has been applied to my W123s, thanks to all the help and knowledge I acquired here never has either of my W123s had mechanics touch it during my ownership.

To answer the question, under the right circumstances, sure. The circumstances would be I wouldn't have any time to work on it, plenty of money for whatever is wrong, a backup car if anything goes astray, and of course a mechanic I could actually trust.
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Mercedes W123 DIY pages are now located here.
1983 / 1984 300D Sold
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2005 Avalanche 4x4 ~66k
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  #3  
Old 08-03-2004, 11:55 PM
Coming back from burnout
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: in the Pacific Northwest
Posts: 2,274
The other thing I found is that if you can fix it...

....it will break...I always marvel at how some cars last for years and the owner knows absolutely nothing about it, sometimes I think ignorance is bliss...the more I learn to fix, the more things seem to break on me...
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Old 08-04-2004, 12:00 AM
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While I agree with your point that while working on stuff it sometimes breaks but I think it is more of a case that a person who takes everything to a mechanic doesn't look forward to paying them to fix something small, where as we are willing to spend the time and effort finding what is wrong. So instead of ignoring those little problems instead we fix them, and possibly end up breaking something else while doing it.
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Mercedes W123 DIY pages are now located here.
1983 / 1984 300D Sold
2000 CLK430 Cabriolet ~58k Sold
2005 Avalanche 4x4 ~66k
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  #5  
Old 08-04-2004, 01:00 AM
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Location: Houston, TX
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This is how I do things. Minor,simple things that won't take a lot of time to fix, I'll do myself. But, when it comes to major stuff like engine components (excluding air filter), transmission stuff, or anything that requires a lift, is kind of tricky to do, or a lot of time, that's when my indy comes in.
-Joe
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  #6  
Old 08-04-2004, 02:07 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 1,883
My Benz is a budget project. I do everything myself. I'm building an injector tester so I can buy used injectors and test them myself. But that's the way I handle all my families vehicles - it seems any job I've ever hired a mechanic to do, I've not been completely satisfied. If you want it done right it seems, you've got to do it yourself, or live with it not being right or not knowing.
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  #7  
Old 08-04-2004, 02:14 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 78
Re: Rate you vs them...would you ever let a "typical" Pro touch your car?

Quote:
Originally posted by Carrameow
I think between stabbing myself with screw drivers, dropping transmissions on my head ( 7 stitches), over torquing and stripping key nuts and pins, and tripping over myself (all things I have done) I am surprised I've got the jobs done I have....
I thought you were writing about me for a miinute there.
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  #8  
Old 08-04-2004, 08:07 AM
Diesel on the brain
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Upstate Virginia
Posts: 566
Oh boy, don't get me started. I have no doubt that there are many mechanics in my area who have far more experience and skill at repairing vehicles than I do, however I haven't found them, and I can't afford to keep trying.

I have an honest indy mechanic who'd I'd trust to do anything, however they don't do everything. Things like alignments and exhaust systems they don't really do so I'm forced to go elsewhere.

I've spent close to $1500 (on two vehicles) at 4 shops to fix exhaust leaks. Both vehicles still leak (although I only still own one). I actually just got another vehicle that I can drive to work, so shortly the entire exhaust system will come off and I'll fix it myself.

I've been through 4 alignment shops. One was just mismanaged and not worth the hassle of getting in and out. Another was "crooked" from the start, refusing to align the vehicle because of worn out components. I can accept that, however they circled almost everything on the sheet: 4 tie rods ends, steering box, steering idler, center link, ball joints, etc. If they'd circled just the problem part (steering idler) I might have been able to trust them.

Another shop charged me $95 for an alignment, which turns out they didn't do. The sheet from the computer that they gave me says that they didn't do the alignment. However, they are willing to align it for another ~$130 - which is their charge if they have to get into anything. Crooks. Another store in that chain was willing to help until they found out that I'd started at a shop where they knew the manager. Then they turned me back over to that shop, and suggested that I pay the extra money.

I went in to have my tires balanced. That's 4 tires balanced, and all over the sheet I wrote to not rotate the tires. I had one that caused the truck to pull, so I needed it on one position on the truck. 2 hours and 2 tires balanced later, and the truck vibrated and pulled into the gutter. I had to go back to have them balance the other two tires and put the tires back in their appropriate places.

Another vehicle... those "Lifetime mufflers" - well they will replace it only if they can charge you to replace the pipes on either side, since they aren't technically part of the muffler.

I don't know how most people manage to get cars worked on. I really don't. I can't be the only one with luck like this. I can only imagine what kind of service I'd get at most places by asking for a bearing repack, or changing the transmission fluid. It makes me shudder to think about it.

My wife agrees. She's not opposed to me getting a lift (at our next house) because she sees the bills from the places too (the ones that don't do the work) and then sees me actually doing the work.

-Tad
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