[Homestead] auto repair costs was: green
don.bowen at earthlink.net
Sun Nov 2 11:03:53 EST 2008
> Computerized diagnostic equipment cost tens of thousands, and without
> that, you can't tell what it wrong. Everything is computer controlled
> these days.
I bought a OBDII reader for $60 that will tell me almost everything the
$35000 units will. It is just not as complete and I have to look other
places for more information. I recently bought another for $150 that tells
me almost everything. I know there are kits available to build units that
connect to laptops that will allow anything the big ones do including
changing the VIN and mileage. I think that it is easier to troubleshoot
because the computer tells you so much.
> The day of the shadetree mechanic, if not over already, are
> coming to an end. In the last 10-15 years, there has become very little
> that Ron can do at home.
I have done everything on my pickup. It has only been in the shop a few
times. I had a shop recharge the air conditioner after I replaced the
compressor, clutch, and dryer. The EPA places severe restrictions on who
can buy refrigerant and where. I have the tools for the old style R-12 but
that does not do any good for the new R-134. I had a shop align the front
end after I replaced the pitman arm and both upper and lower ball joints. I
could have done the alignment myself but the tools are in storage and I was
400 miles away. This last time it went into a shop again because I do not
have the tools here. If I had a decent place out of the cold and dirt I
would have bought the tools and done it myself. I cannot guess how much
money I have saved because of doing all the work myself.
> If you want to work on your own vehicle, you need to buy one that is
> about 20 years old or older.
My pickup is 10 years old and with 180,000 miles. I expect to drive it
another 50,000 if not farther. It still has the OEM clutch and has burned
one quart of oil in 3000 miles since about 80,000 miles.
I plan to buy a small car this winter only because of fuel costs. What I am
looking at now is a first generation Honds FIT.
Don Bowen KI6DIU
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