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I'm hunting down an issue with my car, and my wife suggested I just bring the old box into a mechanic. I'm no mechanic, but I'm a commercial plumber, so I know tools and quality repairs. It feels like I'm replacing almost every accessory or bushing that I can upgrade (within reason).

I save a LOT of $$$ doing my own repairs, as I'm sure you guys do too. Last weekend alone was an alternator, water pump, and serpentine belt, previous week was spark plugs, thermostat, new ground wire. That $200 project alone must've saved me over $1,000. Plus, I'm not waiting around for a mechanic to fix it. It's all on MY time.

Am I just being too frugal?

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I hear you as I use to repair or replace everything I could to save myself money for the finer things in life (like more mods)!!! LOL There was some things that due to my big hands I could not replace like my water pump !! Now that I am older and survived cancer my hands (fingers) do not work like they use to so I DO have to have the dealer do things now !!!!

I like working on our cars as we know more while fixing them than before so you are not being cheap but I know that I could not fix everything so it is safer to have someone else repair or replace
 

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Good comments from both of you. I also like to do a lot of my own work. But like Jeff, my hands don’t work as good as they used to.
 

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I do everything myself, even oil changes. My first oil change I thought "it's a cheap car so I'll just go get an oil change at a lube place. It started knocking before I got home. Turned around, went to Walmart and got some Mobile 1and a new filter, did it myself and never looked back. 80k miles later still runs like a champ.

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I do everything myself, even oil changes. My first oil change I thought "it's a cheap car so I'll just go get an oil change at a lube place. It started knocking before I got home. Turned around, went to Walmart and got some Mobile 1and a new filter, did it myself and never looked back. 80k miles later still runs like a champ.

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I'm about to do a complete fluid change. Normally I go to a quick lube place because (I'm lazy) I didn't have a jack and/or ramps. After talking with the fine folks on this forum, I plan on switching everything to Amsoil, as I'm expecting everything on my little toaster to be top quality. No sense in paying for mediocre.

As I wise man once told me: "The greatest luxury is longevity." Turns out he was an engineer for Lexus or Toyota (or both).

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I'm about to do a complete fluid change. Normally I go to a quick lube place because (I'm lazy) I didn't have a jack and/or ramps. After talking with the fine folks on this forum, I plan on switching everything to Amsoil, as I'm expecting everything on my little toaster to be top quality. No sense in paying for mediocre.

As I wise man once told me: "The greatest luxury is longevity." Turns out he was an engineer for Lexus or Toyota (or both).

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I like that quote, here's one "Laziness equals poverty"

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doing your own repairs generally saves money, and doing preventative maintenance can save you a tow bill or prevent something expensive from happening. I will take something to a mechanic only when I absolutely CANT fix it. I tried to replace the bearings in my manual transmission.....well, lets just say I gave up real early on and brought the tranny to a shop. I normally like to learn stuff and dont let "I have never done it" stop me, but that was way over my head and tool collection.
 

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Just had this experience. I would use a mechanic for a couple of reasons.

1.) Time restriction
If for some reason you dont have time to do it yourself. I would shop around. I got punished recently and payed waaay more than I should have.

2.) Expertise
If the repairs needed exceed your ability, or you lack the tools.

3.) You can afford a servicing better than you can do yourself. I love my car, and if I can hire someone to work along side to improve my car I would gladly compensate them.
 

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Small jobs I always do myself. Better off spending a few hours on your day off working on the car than paying someone else a couple hundred plus their markup for the parts. But big jobs or jobs where I simply don't have the tools like wheel bearings I leave to the mechanics. Eventually when I have my own house and a permanent setup I'll do it all myself.

I love preventative maintenance though. The local quick lube oil changer can do the oil in less than 30 minutes and only charges $37 after tax. But if you supply the synthetic oil(Mobil 1 $25) and OEM Toyota filter($5) that's still only $67 for a Synthetic oil change which is less then they charge when they use their supplied crappy synthetic oils and filters...
 
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