As a bike racer, I’ve always had to fix things. Back in the day, we used to completely disassemble, clean, and reassemble our bikes before each race. It was like having a little pre-race party every Friday night before the race. I remember having chain issues at a junior State Championships and realized, right before the race, that I put my rear derailleur cage, on my Campy derailleur, back together wrong.
Anyway, then it progressed to automobiles. My first car was a Volkswagen pickup truck. The engine blew soon after I got it. My brother and I took the engine down the basement and completely rebuilt it. The engine is really simple, but it took the idiots manual to get it back together again. We bought a simple set of tools at Sears and a torque wrench. Soon, my favorite tools were metric open ends, 10 and 13.
After that, it was home repair. Changing the electrical sockets for grounding to roofing my house. The first time you do something, it is sort of intimidating, but after, it usually seems pretty simple.
The Internet is a wonderful resource for fix-it-yourself types. You can nearly always find someone that has had you exact problem and most of the time has posted something about it. It is great when there is a video, especially in auto repair, but forums etc., usually have something about nearly any issue you might have.
Now I fix things usually because of either convenience or because of incompetence. Not my incompetence, but because of other peoples. Plus, you can fix something yourself for a fraction of the cost of paying someone else. Sometimes it costs nothing to fix something that someone might charge you 100’s, if not 1000’s of dollars to repair yourself.
I will very, very rarely let someone else work on my car. Over history, my experience with auto repair is that most auto mechanics are incompetent. I usually get my car back worse than when I dropped it off. But there are somethings on a car I can’t do myself. Front end alignment and stuff like that I have to have someone else do. But nearly everything else, I do myself.
A few days ago, at the 100 mile Gravelluers Raid race, the drivers side automatic window quit working. Actually, it just broke. I’m not big on automatic doors, windows, etc. on cars. Just more stuff to go wrong. Anyway, Trudi said she heard a snap and then the window wouldn’t go up.
I took some Gorilla tape and taped the window up and drove home. I started the project last week. I realize that there are lots of different ways an automatic window works. In a Town and Country, or Caravan, it is with a weird window regulator, that looks like it shouldn’t fit in the door. I went to Youtube and watched a video about replacing it.
I ordered a new regulator from Amazon. It was $95 at O’reilleys and $50 at Amazon, plus $3.99 next day shipping. I’m sort of ying/yang about this on-line vs. local shopping. There really isn’t a local autoparts store. It’s all national chains. I really can’t understand why I can buy something at Amazon for pretty much half the price of a National chain store. Guess it must be overhead, employees etc.
Anyway, I wouldn’t say the replacement of the window regulator is for a weekend repair person. It is probably one level above that. Snapping the trim on and off newer automobiles always is a challenge. Not breaking those plastic snaps is nearly impossible. You needed torx bits and some other tools a normal person might not have. The project went fine and worked out great.
There is a certain amount of self satisfaction you get from repairing something yourself. Plus, it usually doesn’t take any more effort that arranging to get it repaired by someone else. The hassle of dropping you car off and picking it up takes an hour on both ends. By that time, I had the window repaired.
But, I do have way too many projects queue up. So many that it is a little overwhelming. Sometimes it is a little hard to prioritize. But, that is just life. We prioritize things in our lives lots of ways. Sometimes consciously, and many time unconsciously. We just cope as best we can.