smart142

Have we given up on DIY car maintenance?

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Many of us will be familiar with the suburban ideal of Dad (or indeed Mum) standing in the driveway, hands dirty from fiddling around with the engine, poking a dipstick into the oil levels and so on.

But a new study* from automotive service company MotorEasy suggests that we may have passed the golden days of motoring DIY.

It found that a third of car owners nowadays delve under the bonnet and get their hands dirty fewer than four times a year, with over six in ten (62%) going two months at least without even touching the bits that make a car work.

Three possible reasons why DIY car maintenance has fallen

We’re more time-poor

In 2016, over 5.3 million people in the UK worked 7.7 hours a week in unpaid overtime, according to TUC figures. Could it be that we just don’t have the time, nor the energy for rolling up our sleeves and dealing with what’s under the bonnet, and want to do something with family and friends instead?

Technology-connected cars

Modern cars are so much more technologically smart than they used to be, with computer-driven systems designed to boost fuel efficiency, safety and convenience. Advances like smartphone integration, active safety and digital gauges make it a lot more complicated to just attempt simple maintenance.

We prefer to trust specialists

As a result of not feeling so comfortable dealing with the new technology, motorists are having to look more to specialist tools and diagnostics equipment in order to identify faults and get repairs sorted out.

However, developments in car technology can potentially help us keep control of the health of our motors. Next month MotorEasy introduces a warranty-linked ‘health monitor’ for their cars, said to be the first of its type in the world.  

Duncan McClure Fisher, MotorEasy founder, says:

“While DIY maintenance might be the domain of classic car owners and the determined few, it is clear that the service, repair and maintenance industry is changing fast.
 
“We always recommend that drivers carry out essential basic safety checks like tyre pressures and windscreen washer fluid levels but, from next month we should be able to empower drivers in a completely different way.”

5 tips to keep your car in good condition

  • Check your fluid levels. Oil levels should be topped up to the maximum mark on the dipstick, if you want to keep the engine healthy. Likewise, keep the radiator topped up with antifreeze.
  • Make sure all the lights are working, and keep a set of spare bulbs and fuses in the car in case you need them.
  • Check the pressure and tread depth of the tyres, as tyres that aren't inflated properly will wear out more quickly, and can also cost you more in fuel. The legal limit is 1.6mm, but replacing the tread depth at 3mm is recommended.
  • Make sure you know where to find your wheel nuts, spares and other necessary equipment.
  • The older your car gets, the more likely it is to run into difficulties or break down.  So it is worth ensuring you are protected if things go wrong.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/financial-services/motoring/car-repairs/diy-car-maintenance/

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Those people have a work-life balance problem!  Haha!

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My brother in england doesn't work on his car at all. I would say he is typical with his attitude to cars. He has spare time and hates spending money on mechanics. He runs his car until something breaks. He is just lazy, his excuses:

 

-I have no where to work on the car

-I have no tools

-I dont know what im doing

-Id rather just pay someone to do it

 

 

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There is a similar discussion going on over on the Corvette Forum.  Someone in a gated community said his neighbor would not let their daughter play with his daughter because he liked to tinker on his Corvette and that made him "low class".  It seems more and more people have lost that "DIY" feeling and just do not want to spend some quality time with their cars.

Some may have gotten too old or don't have the stamina anymore, but I find doing projects on my cars both relaxing and fun.  I am 71 and plan to keep tinkering until I am no longer physically able to.

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Still do all my own on my car.  Mrs Choppers car is leased so that's the owners problem.

 

It's no harder than it used to be, just a different skill set.

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I fixed a 54 HP Smart 451 Cdi a few days ago.  This Smart had been to two local garages before it came to me.  There were two relevant fault codes:  1) Temperature sensor upstream of DPF implausible signal and 2) DPF is too much glogged for regeneration.

Removed and tested sensor and confirmed it was faulty so bought  new latest revision sensor from Mercedes at a rather high cost.  Then carried out forced DPF regeneration and engine became just like new.  Charged two pints of good ale and parts at cost.

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When i was charging for doing bike repairs I simply charged less than half of what the criminals at the dealership were charging by the hour. I also did not watch the clock like a punch clock, figured a job was worth so much and that was that, I couldn't see charging someone so much for a simple fix, it just isn't right imho.  But difficult and complex repairs get a harder charge rate, of course. Same hourly rate but the time is kept track of a bit better.    It also depends highly on the attitude of said customer also...lol.     And if they wish to try and help or distract you while trying to upset you while doing said simple task.....making it a not so simple task...lol.  There's a sign that pertains to this.....lol
I was very busy doing this as most who owned the bikes knew that once you perfected the skills required to specialize in a field, and you only charged half the shop rates.....they soon flood towards you. Never a come back , always treat your customers well Repeat business is key! Better to take a penny daily than a pound once....!

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Well, well, well, another thing in common as I also do bike repairs on most of my riding buddies bikes.

Even bikes though are heading in the direction of specialized tools to work on them.

With electronic shifting, electric motors, lithium batteries etc. repairs/upgrades on some bikes

are getting beyond my limited skill set...:huh:

 

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I draw the line at indexed gears but I have never found bike shops to be expensive for labour.

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LOL....my bikes have a 650 cc engine which usually gets bored out to 685 at least...lol. heads ported and polished, larger valves, cams, timing, carbed and exhausted.

I started out my mechanical life building pedal bikes, we used to make what are now known as either stunt bikes or modified mountain bikes.....simply for jumping over ramps and trail riding.  Then I got me a drivers licence and pedal power died a fast death....lol Then it was motorized vehicles that were taken apart and put back together in all sorts of different ways...lol  Sometimes for the better...lol

The one thing that never interested me was electronics, my brain needs to be able to create a 3D image between the ears for me to be able to fully understand how things relate and work together, electronics I can't do this and usually crash and burn, when trying to make electronic gadgets and kits etc.

The Smart is forcing me to learn which at my age isn't fun that's for sure.

 

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Now that we no longer have our cdi smart, I seem to have an inordinate amount

of time to do other thing's much, to my wife's delight.

Other than making some cosmetic changes, the ED doesn't allow for any maintenance

or performance enhancements...

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34 minutes ago, lebikerboy said:

Now that we no longer have our cdi smart, I seem to have an inordinate amount

of time to do other thing's much, to my wife's delight.

Other than making some cosmetic changes, the ED doesn't allow for any maintenance

or performance enhancements...

I'm an old modder, who can't leave anything alone in it's stock form, it's a sickness I'm sure!     IF I would have banked all that money spent fixing, modifying changing etc etc I'm sure I'd be a wealthy old fart by now...lol....but what else are you going to do...? The honey do list....ya right...!! Not a chance....as soon as she see's it getting completeled she starts looking for new additions....it's a constant list never to be completed...so why start it...lol.

 

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