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Old 05-07-2007, 05:46 PM   #16
busterb
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After market is best, IF ya can find a good tech. Shine just bought a Ford ranger. Wanted cruise control, but big bucks for package. I'd buy a new pu, if I could get one that you could wash out w/hose, no ac nothing, but PU.
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Old 05-07-2007, 06:29 PM   #17
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How to find a good dealer and a good local mechanic. Hang around. Watch how they treat women. If lying to a woman - and I have seen it happen - then that is not an honest shop.

A second factor is found in the frank honesty of the parts department guy.

I owned the shop manual to every car I have owned. Sometimes it is better to take it to the dealer. Sometimes, the local shop is better to do that job. Most jobs are performed by me (but only on my cars).

Some people get their exercise by running around tracks. I get exercise by doing some useful work - even if it is only a headlight.

Can't remember the last time I ever had to replace a brake light. But then I don't drive GM products. Why? I did the work so often as to know not only what failed - but why it failed. And yes, I even bought defective parts as new parts from a GM dealer. Just another reason why I do first diagnosis and the work myself whenever possible.

Finding a good mechanic is especially important in February.
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Old 05-07-2007, 06:42 PM   #18
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I suppose you never got defective parts from anyone else but GM dealers, tw.
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Old 05-07-2007, 06:48 PM   #19
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I remembered why I hadn't changed oil in Honda. My drive slopes down to car port. So when I set ramps where I want them, front end of car hangs and moves towards wall of carport. No problem w/Pu. But on car I really need to get under front end.2 ft maybe from wall and crawl over old shingles, tile, god knows what. Damn I hope I remember this shit.
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Old 05-07-2007, 06:53 PM   #20
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Quote:
Can't remember the last time I ever had to replace a brake light. But then I don't drive GM products.
Humm GM makes light bulbs now. Hey I've got water pumps that sucked from Ford, after market you name it.
The only parts I don't buy are Napa. but that's because of the baptist SOB who owns it.
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Old 05-07-2007, 07:30 PM   #21
tw
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Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
I suppose you never got defective parts from anyone else but GM dealers, tw.
Only other time - four defective spark plugs from Pep Boys.
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Old 05-07-2007, 07:35 PM   #22
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Reminds me, I briefly tried to help Jackie's lad with his spark plug a while back, but the threads were shot.

He started it anyway.

The plug shot right out, at least three houses away. We never did find it.

(I did have the good sense to stand away from the line of fire, and made sure it wasn't going to hit any live people or animals.)
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Old 05-07-2007, 07:49 PM   #23
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My dad is a master mechanic, owns his own shop in WC, used to build his own race cars... I got my hands dirty more than a few times as a kid, but there's no way in hell I'd even change my own oil at this point... and not jut because I have no idea where to take the old shit.
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Old 05-07-2007, 08:20 PM   #24
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Changing oil is so cheap for the corner place to do it, there is no way I'll do that any more. Why would I spend an hour or so doing a very messy job in my uncomfortable gravel driveway to save about 15 bucks in labor?
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Old 05-07-2007, 08:24 PM   #25
Aliantha
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My dad taught me basic mechanics as a child so that now, given the right tools I can do most basic jobs such as change oil, tyres, belts etc. I can also tune an engine if I've got the manual to tell me the right firing order to set the tappets etc. I can change spark plugs and leads and set the gap to get the best spark. I could also redo the brakes if I had to although this is a job I haven't ever done by myself mainly because if I fuck it up I might kill someone.
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Old 05-07-2007, 08:48 PM   #26
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I used to change my oil and plugs and even changed the radiator once in my old '86 LeBaron but these days I barely check the oil anymore - I just run it by Jiffy Lube every so often.

Cars used to be like a guy's brother. Not anymore.
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Old 05-07-2007, 09:06 PM   #27
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I will add one thing, though: anybody who drives a car, and does not know how to change a tire, should learn. Yes, you can depend on calling a tow truck. But if you've ever done it, you know you're in for a wait--sometimes a long one. Mrs. Dallas always knew how (thanks to her older brother, who decided she ought to know when she got her first car), and it really came in handy when she had a pothole-induced blowout on the way back from a concert at 11PM one night. All things considered, I'm glad she was able to change the tire (in her black concert dress!!) immediately and continue on, rather than hang out and wait for AAA to send somebody.
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Old 05-08-2007, 08:00 AM   #28
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My wife knew how to change a tire, if all the tools were laid out for her in advance.

She found out the hard way that she didn't know how to change a tire if she is alone and has to get the tools out. The jack is in a bracket in the trunk, and expanded so it doesn't rattle around. It took her a while to figure out she had to collapse the jack to get it out.

Then she couldn't find the handle to go into the jack. It was held in some clips on the underside of the hardboard cover to the mini-spare tire. She lifted that cover several time to get the spare out and to get the lug wrench out, but she never saw the jack handle. Had to wait in the rain for a kind soul to stop and help her out.

After that incident, she now knows how to do everything from start to finish.
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Old 05-08-2007, 11:54 AM   #29
Hyoi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grant View Post
I've never changed my oil; I do know how to, in theory...I've swapped my all-weather tires and snow tires; replaced lights and fuses; and changed my antenna. Nothing big.

It's pathetic. I know. Next time I need an oil change I plan to do it myself.

Be sure to let you're engine cool first (over night is best). You want as much of the old oil to settle into the oil pan first. And when you're replacing the plug, don't romp down on it too hard or you'll strip the threads.

Welcome to the world of pride and bloody knuckles.
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Old 05-08-2007, 09:06 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glatt View Post
My wife knew how to change a tire, if all the tools were laid out for her in advance. ...
After that incident, she now knows how to do everything from start to finish.
Some 'discount' mechanics create so many problems as to even crank those tire lug nuts on too tight. Everything has a torque number (ie foot-pounds). Lug nuts are typically 80 foot-pounds (which can be confirmed for each car). Sometimes, after a vehicle inspection that requires removing wheels, I must go back with a torque wrench to break and properly torque each bolts. Otherwise a flat tire is almost impossible to replace.

Like the spark plug example, a neophyte mechanic must learn what the torque is. I rented a torque wrench periodically just to learn what 10 ft-#s and 80 ft-#s is suppose to be. One can even use a breaker bar and bathroom scale to learn the perspective. Reason why a spark plug almost took off UT's head? Someone before him failed to learn about proper torqueing.

Best to verify wheel lug nuts are properly torqued is long before the flat. Just another way to learn if your mechanic is good or bad.
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