Car DIY, NYC.

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BarbBrooklyn
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Car DIY, NYC.

Post by BarbBrooklyn » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:50 pm

Took my car in for inspection (2012 Honda Fit; used the dealer because same price for NYS inspection as anywhere else). with some encouragement from reading on this board about DIY car stuff, I turned down their suggestion of having them replace the Cabin Air Filter, ordered one on Amazon (none available locally) and did it myself.

I live in a coop in Brooklyn and have a parking space. No garage, no ramps, etc. Tell me what else I can reasonably do on my own (65 YO retired psychologist and DH who is a retired tech guy.) We are SO not going to do the oil ourselves. But is there other routine maintenance (we do the wipers) that you can suggest.
BarbBrooklyn | "The enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:55 pm

BarbBrooklyn wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:50 pm
Took my car in for inspection (2012 Honda Fit; used the dealer because same price for NYS inspection as anywhere else). with some encouragement from reading on this board about DIY car stuff, I turned down their suggestion of having them replace the Cabin Air Filter, ordered one on Amazon (none available locally) and did it myself.

I live in a coop in Brooklyn and have a parking space. No garage, no ramps, etc. Tell me what else I can reasonably do on my own (65 YO retired psychologist and DH who is a retired tech guy.) We are SO not going to do the oil ourselves. But is there other routine maintenance (we do the wipers) that you can suggest.
You can change your wiper blades and engine air filter. You can add windshield wiper fluid when needed.
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barnaclebob
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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by barnaclebob » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:57 pm

Basically you can only do the cabin air filter, engine air filter, wiper, light bulbs, battery, and top off fluids. Depending on the car you might also be able to do spark plugs and accessory belts. And if you are really sporty and have an auto parts store where you can rent tools for free you might be able to recharge the AC in a proper way instead of using the fix a leak cans. Dont use the fix a leak cans.

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BarbBrooklyn
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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by BarbBrooklyn » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:38 pm

Thanks to you all for acknowledging and confirming our limitations. Best to you all!!!!
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Kenkat
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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by Kenkat » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:59 pm

You could also probably do brakes if you were reasonably handy.

wilked
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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by wilked » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:10 pm

Kenkat wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:59 pm
You could also probably do brakes if you were reasonably handy.
Brakes are easy. Yes to this

Rotate tires as well (although if you are doing oil cha he’s elsewhere maybe have them do it if price is ok)

wilked
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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by wilked » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:13 pm

https://techinfo.honda.com/rjanisis/pub ... 00132A.pdf

Everything up to and including check idle speed you can do. Everything below you cannot without additiona equipment.

I am sure you can do spark plugs, tho you might need a few tools.

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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:14 pm

wilked wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:10 pm
Kenkat wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:59 pm
You could also probably do brakes if you were reasonably handy.
Brakes are easy. Yes to this

Rotate tires as well (although if you are doing oil cha he’s elsewhere maybe have them do it if price is ok)
Easy, if you can watch a couple of youtube videos, have the wrenches and caliper piston and oh yes, a hydraulic jack and can take the wheel off one at a time. With just one parking spot, this will not be easy if you do not have space to work with. It's not like you are working on a lift or a driveway with space.
wilked wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:13 pm
https://techinfo.honda.com/rjanisis/pub ... 00132A.pdf

Everything up to and including check idle speed you can do. Everything below you cannot without additiona equipment.

I am sure you can do spark plugs, tho you might need a few tools.
They can not do the timing belt and water pump. For that, they'd need to put the car up on a lift, remove the serpentine belt, remove the underside of the engine housing to get to the timing belt, pulley and water pump. It's a big job (hours) even for an experienced technician and would recommend they use OEM parts if/when they have to replace the parts. They should change both the timing belt and water pump at the same time, even if not required because water pump replacement essentially requires the same removal install process as timing belt.
Last edited by Grt2bOutdoors on Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Kenkat
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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by Kenkat » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:16 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:14 pm
wilked wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:10 pm
Kenkat wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:59 pm
You could also probably do brakes if you were reasonably handy.
Brakes are easy. Yes to this

Rotate tires as well (although if you are doing oil cha he’s elsewhere maybe have them do it if price is ok)
Easy, if you can watch a couple of youtube videos, have the wrenches and caliper piston and oh yes, a hydraulic jack and can take the wheel off one at a time. With just one parking spot, this will not be easy if you do not have space to work with. It's not like you are working on a lift or a driveway with space.
That’s where the reasonably handy part comes in :happy

wilked
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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by wilked » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:17 pm

Ok just watched the vid on plugs
https://youtu.be/QbK792gFl6E

Essentially you need to disassemble the car to get to them. Which is amazing as they recommend replacement every two years.

That is not an amateur job

tibbitts
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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by tibbitts » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:18 pm

wilked wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:10 pm
Kenkat wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:59 pm
You could also probably do brakes if you were reasonably handy.
Brakes are easy. Yes to this

Rotate tires as well (although if you are doing oil cha he’s elsewhere maybe have them do it if price is ok)
Brakes can be easy or not, partly depending on luck. I would say they're a step up from most of the other items mentioned.

wilked
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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by wilked » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:19 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:14 pm
wilked wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:10 pm
Kenkat wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:59 pm
You could also probably do brakes if you were reasonably handy.
Brakes are easy. Yes to this

Rotate tires as well (although if you are doing oil cha he’s elsewhere maybe have them do it if price is ok)
Easy, if you can watch a couple of youtube videos, have the wrenches and caliper piston and oh yes, a hydraulic jack and can take the wheel off one at a time. With just one parking spot, this will not be easy if you do not have space to work with. It's not like you are working on a lift or a driveway with space.
You don’t need a hydraulic jack. I’ve changed plenty with just the car jack. What’s wrong with taking one wheel off at a time? It’s not like you can wrk on more than one wheel at a time?

tibbitts
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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by tibbitts » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:21 pm

wilked wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:17 pm
Ok just watched the vid on plugs
https://youtu.be/QbK792gFl6E

Essentially you need to disassemble the car to get to them. Which is amazing as they recommend replacement every two years.

That is not an amateur job
I don't know about that car model but in general plugs seem more difficult to replace than in the past because it can be more difficult to get the angle of attack you need to generate enough torque (without power tools at least) to remove the old plugs. Of course some cars always had issue where you had to remove engine mounts or do other annoying things to access them.

tibbitts
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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by tibbitts » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:24 pm

wilked wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:19 pm
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:14 pm
wilked wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:10 pm
Kenkat wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:59 pm
You could also probably do brakes if you were reasonably handy.
Brakes are easy. Yes to this

Rotate tires as well (although if you are doing oil cha he’s elsewhere maybe have them do it if price is ok)
Easy, if you can watch a couple of youtube videos, have the wrenches and caliper piston and oh yes, a hydraulic jack and can take the wheel off one at a time. With just one parking spot, this will not be easy if you do not have space to work with. It's not like you are working on a lift or a driveway with space.
You don’t need a hydraulic jack. I’ve changed plenty with just the car jack. What’s wrong with taking one wheel off at a time? It’s not like you can wrk on more than one wheel at a time?
Nobody works on brakes with a car jack. You can jack the car up using one but then you need something solid (jack stand or something improvised.) You will have parts of your body under the car and risk injury if you use only a jack and it slips.

The advantage of being able to take more than one wheel off is that when you forget how one goes together you can look at the opposite side (which might be backwards, sort of, but is usually similar.)

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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:25 pm

wilked wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:19 pm
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:14 pm
wilked wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:10 pm
Kenkat wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:59 pm
You could also probably do brakes if you were reasonably handy.
Brakes are easy. Yes to this

Rotate tires as well (although if you are doing oil cha he’s elsewhere maybe have them do it if price is ok)
Easy, if you can watch a couple of youtube videos, have the wrenches and caliper piston and oh yes, a hydraulic jack and can take the wheel off one at a time. With just one parking spot, this will not be easy if you do not have space to work with. It's not like you are working on a lift or a driveway with space.
You don’t need a hydraulic jack. I’ve changed plenty with just the car jack. What’s wrong with taking one wheel off at a time? It’s not like you can wrk on more than one wheel at a time?
A hydraulic jack is easier, sure you can use the honda supplied corkscrew jack. Not recommending it though, last brake job we did, we used a hydraulic jack and jack stands.

They live in Brooklyn, ever been to Brooklyn? They are space constrained. They won't have the space to jack the car up and then work hunched over the caliper while they remove it from the rotor. What they think they will save in costs they will use up in time. To do all 4 wheels, it might cost them 3-4 hours of time because of space constraint, and we aren't even talking about changing rotors. I would just have an independent mechanic change the brakes.
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wilked
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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by wilked » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:31 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:25 pm
wilked wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:19 pm
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:14 pm
wilked wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:10 pm
Kenkat wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:59 pm
You could also probably do brakes if you were reasonably handy.
Brakes are easy. Yes to this

Rotate tires as well (although if you are doing oil cha he’s elsewhere maybe have them do it if price is ok)
Easy, if you can watch a couple of youtube videos, have the wrenches and caliper piston and oh yes, a hydraulic jack and can take the wheel off one at a time. With just one parking spot, this will not be easy if you do not have space to work with. It's not like you are working on a lift or a driveway with space.
You don’t need a hydraulic jack. I’ve changed plenty with just the car jack. What’s wrong with taking one wheel off at a time? It’s not like you can wrk on more than one wheel at a time?
A hydraulic jack is easier, sure you can use the honda supplied corkscrew jack. Not recommending it though, last brake job we did, we used a hydraulic jack and jack stands.

They live in Brooklyn, ever been to Brooklyn? They are space constrained. They won't have the space to jack the car up and then work hunched over the caliper while they remove it from the rotor. What they think they will save in costs they will use up in time. To do all 4 wheels, it might cost them 3-4 hours of time because of space constraint, and we aren't even talking about changing rotors. I would just have an independent mechanic change the brakes.
I hear you...when I lived in the city I would go to the far end of the wal mart parking lot and work out there.

I’m a little surprised with the comments honestly. Watch the video, it really is easy

https://youtu.be/yhkwatLBRjc

You need the following tools:
1. Ratchet
2. Two sockets (12 and a 17)
3. Philips screwdriver
4. The special compression tool they lend to you when you buy the pads at Autozone

That’s it. Per wheel, going slow with the supplied jack, should take you 20 mins (the first might take 30 as you learn it). You’ll be into it for 2 hours but you’ll have saved $400

Katietsu
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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by Katietsu » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:49 pm

I suggest that just knowing how to talk the language and what is needed/necessary can save you big. For instance, blindly paying for a 30,000 mile service may get you charged for a lot of bogus labor at book time. Like 1hr+ of looking at hoses etc. Not sure they even do it and definitely not much to look at on a 2 year old car. Instead, I request the specific components of the service that I do not want to do myself.

Another example, my check engine light came on. I read the code with a $15 code reader and googled it. Discovered that I needed a new oxygen sensor and the code even identified which one. Bought the sensor. Paid a mechanic to do the actual change. No physical labor. Probably saved 2/3 of the cost had a just driven into the dealership. Of course, it pays to get friendly with the mechanic or they might not want to work this way.

tibbitts
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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by tibbitts » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:36 pm

wilked wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:31 pm
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:25 pm
wilked wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:19 pm
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:14 pm
wilked wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:10 pm


Brakes are easy. Yes to this

Rotate tires as well (although if you are doing oil cha he’s elsewhere maybe have them do it if price is ok)
Easy, if you can watch a couple of youtube videos, have the wrenches and caliper piston and oh yes, a hydraulic jack and can take the wheel off one at a time. With just one parking spot, this will not be easy if you do not have space to work with. It's not like you are working on a lift or a driveway with space.
You don’t need a hydraulic jack. I’ve changed plenty with just the car jack. What’s wrong with taking one wheel off at a time? It’s not like you can wrk on more than one wheel at a time?
A hydraulic jack is easier, sure you can use the honda supplied corkscrew jack. Not recommending it though, last brake job we did, we used a hydraulic jack and jack stands.

They live in Brooklyn, ever been to Brooklyn? They are space constrained. They won't have the space to jack the car up and then work hunched over the caliper while they remove it from the rotor. What they think they will save in costs they will use up in time. To do all 4 wheels, it might cost them 3-4 hours of time because of space constraint, and we aren't even talking about changing rotors. I would just have an independent mechanic change the brakes.
I hear you...when I lived in the city I would go to the far end of the wal mart parking lot and work out there.

I’m a little surprised with the comments honestly. Watch the video, it really is easy

https://youtu.be/yhkwatLBRjc

You need the following tools:
1. Ratchet
2. Two sockets (12 and a 17)
3. Philips screwdriver
4. The special compression tool they lend to you when you buy the pads at Autozone

That’s it. Per wheel, going slow with the supplied jack, should take you 20 mins (the first might take 30 as you learn it). You’ll be into it for 2 hours but you’ll have saved $400
Step 1 is removing the wheel, and you start before even jacking up the car. The third nut is torqued sufficiently that your socket (yes, a made-in-USA one) splits in half. That was my point - you have to have a little luck.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:55 pm

Brakes? Absolutely. Back in college, I had no money and a 75 Honda CVCC sedan with one munged up rotor. I'd go to the auto parts store and buy half a set of pads (2 pads) and do the one wheel. Used the Honda jack and lug wrench.
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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by livesoft » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:56 pm

I suggest that you follow my lead and simply ignore routine maintenance. I was just thinking today that the used Lexus I bought 4 years ago (or was it 5?) has only had oil changes at the local Goodyear place once a year with the inspection. The car has missed every single one of the recommended service massages since purchase, but I did put in a new battery and get new tires for it.
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tibbitts
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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by tibbitts » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:29 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:55 pm
Brakes? Absolutely. Back in college, I had no money and a 75 Honda CVCC sedan with one munged up rotor. I'd go to the auto parts store and buy half a set of pads (2 pads) and do the one wheel. Used the Honda jack and lug wrench.
I'd be surprised if it was possible to buy two brake pads today - I didn't know you could years ago, either.

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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:52 am

tibbitts wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:29 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:55 pm
Brakes? Absolutely. Back in college, I had no money and a 75 Honda CVCC sedan with one munged up rotor. I'd go to the auto parts store and buy half a set of pads (2 pads) and do the one wheel. Used the Honda jack and lug wrench.
I'd be surprised if it was possible to buy two brake pads today - I didn't know you could years ago, either.
Ditto. A set of good ceramic pads at Rock Auto might set you back $25 + tax and shipping. Rotors are even cheaper.
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fire5soon
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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by fire5soon » Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:08 am

Honestly if you're not willing to do an oil change I don't know why we're talking about spark plugs and brake jobs. An oil change is about as basic as it gets. Some folks just aren't meant to work on their vehicles which is a shame because I really enjoy it. However if you're not willing to change your oil then I wouldn't venture beyond topping off windshield washer fluid and checking tire pressure.
A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do. - Bob Dylan

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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:24 am

fire5soon wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:08 am
Honestly if you're not willing to do an oil change I don't know why we're talking about spark plugs and brake jobs. An oil change is about as basic as it gets. Some folks just aren't meant to work on their vehicles which is a shame because I really enjoy it. However if you're not willing to change your oil then I wouldn't venture beyond topping off windshield washer fluid and checking tire pressure.
Again, it’s really an issue of space constraint. They live in a co-op in Brooklyn NY with one parking spot. A small parking spot at that. What is required to change the oil? Besides the new oil and new filter; A wrench, a container for old oil, a jack and preferably a rolling mat to lie on under the car, jack stands if you want to be safe. Where would you keep the tools in a small apartment?

Do you work in those conditions?
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Daryl
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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by Daryl » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:16 am

fire5soon wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:08 am
Honestly if you're not willing to do an oil change I don't know why we're talking about spark plugs and brake jobs. An oil change is about as basic as it gets. Some folks just aren't meant to work on their vehicles which is a shame because I really enjoy it. However if you're not willing to change your oil then I wouldn't venture beyond topping off windshield washer fluid and checking tire pressure.
The "oil change standard" probably doesn't work for many of us. At retail prices, the cost of 5 qts of oil and a filter is >50% of the cost that the instant oil change places locally. Even using synthetic oil, the cost isn't significant (roughly the same as a tank and a half of gas). Brakes seem to be in a completely different ball game. I've seen price quotes near $500 for this fairly straightforward job. Parts are usually <$100 (including rotors).

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fire5soon
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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by fire5soon » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:19 am

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:24 am
fire5soon wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:08 am
Honestly if you're not willing to do an oil change I don't know why we're talking about spark plugs and brake jobs. An oil change is about as basic as it gets. Some folks just aren't meant to work on their vehicles which is a shame because I really enjoy it. However if you're not willing to change your oil then I wouldn't venture beyond topping off windshield washer fluid and checking tire pressure.
Again, it’s really an issue of space constraint. They live in a co-op in Brooklyn NY with one parking spot. A small parking spot at that. What is required to change the oil? Besides the new oil and new filter; A wrench, a container for old oil, a jack and preferably a rolling mat to lie on under the car, jack stands if you want to be safe. Where would you keep the tools in a small apartment?

Do you work in those conditions?
First, I'm not putting anyone down or trying to be negative. My initial thought is an oil change is (IMHO) a very basic maintenance item. If that's not an option then I questioned the ability/space/desire to do much else.

I lived in an apartment for many years earlier in life and in the parking lot did oil changes, rotated tires, brake jobs, spark plugs, fuel filters, wheel bearings, ball joints, tie rods, etc. all with basic hand tools that I did have to carry out from my apartment. This included a hydraulic jack and jack stands. Granted this wasn't in Brooklyn so you have me there. I can't comment on the relative size of a parking space in Brooklyn to other areas. I'm fortunate now to have a garage & air tools to make life a little easier in that respect.

Again, not being negative/derogatory or commenting on the size of a parking space. My initial comment was driven mainly by the OP saying they were not going to do oil changes. That stood out to me. Perhaps I misunderstood what the OP was trying to say.

Good luck either way.
A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do. - Bob Dylan

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:44 am

Daryl wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:16 am
fire5soon wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:08 am
Honestly if you're not willing to do an oil change I don't know why we're talking about spark plugs and brake jobs. An oil change is about as basic as it gets. Some folks just aren't meant to work on their vehicles which is a shame because I really enjoy it. However if you're not willing to change your oil then I wouldn't venture beyond topping off windshield washer fluid and checking tire pressure.
The "oil change standard" probably doesn't work for many of us. At retail prices, the cost of 5 qts of oil and a filter is >50% of the cost that the instant oil change places locally. Even using synthetic oil, the cost isn't significant (roughly the same as a tank and a half of gas). Brakes seem to be in a completely different ball game. I've seen price quotes near $500 for this fairly straightforward job. Parts are usually <$100 (including rotors).
The way it was explained to me by a trusted relative in the auto repair business about repair costs. The owner of repair shop's biggest overhead component is rent, especially if they do not own the property in which they conduct business. With the advent of leasing, many people are choosing to change into a new car every 2-3 years which negates alot of the former business that was directed to the repair shops. A leased car might just need oil changes and wiper blades for the first 3 years. In addition, the owner has to pay labor, insurance, workman's comp, parts. So a front wheel brake job might run you $150. The labor is where the owner pads his profits, not the parts. If he says it took 1.5 hours to change front brakes, it doesn't take that long, an hour at best if mechanic knows what he's doing - with a lift and air gun, a significant amount of time is eliminated. The .5 hours is the owner profit. That's a fair price. You want the guy to stay in business if he's reliable and not a gouger. A ridiculous price is $250. This does not include rotors. Rotors is slightly more time intensive, even if the parts are cheap $20. I can see some unscrupulous mechanics charging high prices because they think they can get away with it (and usually they do). I would never go to a stealership for a brake job or changing spark plugs, but I would go to them for the timing belt - because if they screw that up, they are on the hook for a new engine.
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JackoC
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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by JackoC » Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:38 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:25 pm
They live in Brooklyn, ever been to Brooklyn? They are space constrained. They won't have the space to jack the car up and then work hunched over the caliper while they remove it from the rotor. What they think they will save in costs they will use up in time. To do all 4 wheels, it might cost them 3-4 hours of time because of space constraint, and we aren't even talking about changing rotors. I would just have an independent mechanic change the brakes.
Yeah I think a lot of responses might be failing to visualize the environment though Brooklyn's varies somewhat by neighborhood. But where I live a few miles away in NJ is a very similar cityscape to a lot of Brooklyn and it's not fun to work on your car. I changed out my winter tires/wheels for the summer set myself this spring but it was a significant PITA and I'm not going to it again. To avoid transporting the extra wheel tire set I have to do it in front of my house, once I can get a space, then stop and move every time a car comes by when doing the outside wheels, then move the car further from the curb than normal to get enough room to manipulate the jack on the inside wheels. It's not fun car DIY in your driveway on a sunny day in Normalville USA. :happy

I do the list given before: engine air filter, cabin air filter, burned out lights, a few other quick things like that. I'm handy enough to replace brake pads but at this point (and I'm a bit younger than OP) doing it parked on the street or transporting the stuff to the garage space I rent and doing it in the narrow space to the next car, or even going to the far end of a big box parking lot: it's not worth it to me for what it saves. If I lived in the suburbs I'd still enjoy car DIY (but I wouldn't enjoy actually living in the suburbs :happy ). If I minded the expense of pro maintenance I'd get rid of the car. It's not entirely necessary here or most of Brooklyn.

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Kenkat
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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by Kenkat » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:31 pm

There’s probably a difference between what you could do if you had to and what you might choose to do. You could do brakes in a small parking spot if you were nimble, but I probably wouldn’t unless I was broke.

retire2022
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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by retire2022 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:44 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:24 pm
wilked wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:19 pm
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:14 pm
wilked wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:10 pm
Kenkat wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:59 pm
You could also probably do brakes if you were reasonably handy.
Brakes are easy. Yes to this

Rotate tires as well (although if you are doing oil cha he’s elsewhere maybe have them do it if price is ok)
Easy, if you can watch a couple of youtube videos, have the wrenches and caliper piston and oh yes, a hydraulic jack and can take the wheel off one at a time. With just one parking spot, this will not be easy if you do not have space to work with. It's not like you are working on a lift or a driveway with space.
You don’t need a hydraulic jack. I’ve changed plenty with just the car jack. What’s wrong with taking one wheel off at a time? It’s not like you can wrk on more than one wheel at a time?
Nobody works on brakes with a car jack. You can jack the car up using one but then you need something solid (jack stand or something improvised.) You will have parts of your body under the car and risk injury if you use only a jack and it slips.

The advantage of being able to take more than one wheel off is that when you forget how one goes together you can look at the opposite side (which might be backwards, sort of, but is usually similar.)
Not worth my delicate male hands and I concur safety jacks are safer than using car spare tire jack. You can use the spare tire jack and pick up safety jack at Harbor Freight Gownus location relatively inexpensive worth the prevention of car falling off jack.

retire2022
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Location: NYC

Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by retire2022 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:47 pm

Kenkat wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:31 pm
There’s probably a difference between what you could do if you had to and what you might choose to do. You could do brakes in a small parking spot if you were nimble, but I probably wouldn’t unless I was broke.
Some things are actually not legal to do in NYC streets but people do it all the time. Like changing antifreeze and spilling it on street, a NYC Sanitation officer almost gave me a ticket. oil changes have to be disposed of properly, usually turning in to car parts store.

retire2022
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Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by retire2022 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:55 pm

JackoC wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:38 pm
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:25 pm
They live in Brooklyn, ever been to Brooklyn? They are space constrained. They won't have the space to jack the car up and then work hunched over the caliper while they remove it from the rotor. What they think they will save in costs they will use up in time. To do all 4 wheels, it might cost them 3-4 hours of time because of space constraint, and we aren't even talking about changing rotors. I would just have an independent mechanic change the brakes.
Yeah I think a lot of responses might be failing to visualize the environment though Brooklyn's varies somewhat by neighborhood. But where I live a few miles away in NJ is a very similar cityscape to a lot of Brooklyn and it's not fun to work on your car. I changed out my winter tires/wheels for the summer set myself this spring but it was a significant PITA and I'm not going to it again. To avoid transporting the extra wheel tire set I have to do it in front of my house, once I can get a space, then stop and move every time a car comes by when doing the outside wheels, then move the car further from the curb than normal to get enough room to manipulate the jack on the inside wheels. It's not fun car DIY in your driveway on a sunny day in Normalville USA. :happy

I do the list given before: engine air filter, cabin air filter, burned out lights, a few other quick things like that. I'm handy enough to replace brake pads but at this point (and I'm a bit younger than OP) doing it parked on the street or transporting the stuff to the garage space I rent and doing it in the narrow space to the next car, or even going to the far end of a big box parking lot: it's not worth it to me for what it saves. If I lived in the suburbs I'd still enjoy car DIY (but I wouldn't enjoy actually living in the suburbs :happy ). If I minded the expense of pro maintenance I'd get rid of the car. It's not entirely necessary here or most of Brooklyn.
I knew of a homeless unemployed former garage mechanic, he changed my car engine on the street in the mid 1990s with two used 1975/1976 cutlass supreme.

He did a lot of work for me and moved my car, may his soul rest in peace, Barbbrooklyn, hopefully someday you could find someone like that.

Most days me being middle class and a 1% ive graduated to legitimate independent car mechanics.

Not worth doing something beyond my capability, esp if my life and others depends on the vehicle.

feehater
Posts: 173
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:14 am

Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by feehater » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:01 pm

Katietsu wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:49 pm
Another example, my check engine light came on. I read the code with a $15 code reader and googled it. Discovered that I needed a new oxygen sensor and the code even identified which one. Bought the sensor. Paid a mechanic to do the actual change. No physical labor. Probably saved 2/3 of the cost had a just driven into the dealership. Of course, it pays to get friendly with the mechanic or they might not want to work this way.
I did a variation of this. Many auto parts stores will read the code for free. My check engine light came on around when it was time for an oil change. The auto parts store guy googled the code and found out the ailment was some sensor that was occasionally triggered by low oil in this model of car. I drove across the street and got the oil changed at a place that swore to me that check engine lights were never related to oil, and that I should pay them $120 just to read the code. I declined and sure enough, the light went out after driving a few miles with new oil.

JackoC
Posts: 872
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:14 am

Re: Car DIY, NYC.

Post by JackoC » Sat Jul 13, 2019 7:54 am

retire2022 wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:55 pm
JackoC wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:38 pm
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:25 pm
They live in Brooklyn, ever been to Brooklyn? They are space constrained. They won't have the space to jack the car up and then work hunched over the caliper while they remove it from the rotor. What they think they will save in costs they will use up in time. To do all 4 wheels, it might cost them 3-4 hours of time because of space constraint, and we aren't even talking about changing rotors. I would just have an independent mechanic change the brakes.
Yeah I think a lot of responses might be failing to visualize the environment though Brooklyn's varies somewhat by neighborhood. But where I live a few miles away in NJ is a very similar cityscape to a lot of Brooklyn and it's not fun to work on your car. I changed out my winter tires/wheels for the summer set myself this spring but it was a significant PITA and I'm not going to it again. To avoid transporting the extra wheel tire set I have to do it in front of my house, once I can get a space, then stop and move every time a car comes by when doing the outside wheels, then move the car further from the curb than normal to get enough room to manipulate the jack on the inside wheels. It's not fun car DIY in your driveway on a sunny day in Normalville USA. :happy

I do the list given before: engine air filter, cabin air filter, burned out lights, a few other quick things like that. I'm handy enough to replace brake pads but at this point (and I'm a bit younger than OP) doing it parked on the street or transporting the stuff to the garage space I rent and doing it in the narrow space to the next car, or even going to the far end of a big box parking lot: it's not worth it to me for what it saves. If I lived in the suburbs I'd still enjoy car DIY (but I wouldn't enjoy actually living in the suburbs :happy ). If I minded the expense of pro maintenance I'd get rid of the car. It's not entirely necessary here or most of Brooklyn.
I knew of a homeless unemployed former garage mechanic, he changed my car engine on the street in the mid 1990s with two used 1975/1976 cutlass supreme.

He did a lot of work for me and moved my car, may his soul rest in peace, Barbbrooklyn, hopefully someday you could find someone like that.

Most days me being middle class and a 1% ive graduated to legitimate independent car mechanics.

Not worth doing something beyond my capability, esp if my life and others depends on the vehicle.
You hope I have a homeless guy work on my 2018 BMW M2? Thanks, I guess. :shock:

Seriously though, I don't think we're disagreeing. First of all I wouldn't necessarily do really serious stuff on that car, or my 2015 BMW, anyway. I think I could get into it somewhat with my own suburban garage and nice tool set I'd buy, as a hobby. I used to do serious stuff on cars years ago but they were simpler obviously and there's stuff I did then I would not now even with a proper space and tools. But I don't want to live in the suburbs in general. And where I live now there just isn't a proper space to properly work on a car. Another factor that could be mentioned is dirt/dust in inner NY area environment. I experimented with DIY'ing the summer/winter tire/wheel switch on the M2 this spring, rather than asking my son to transport the extra set of tire/wheels to the local shop and back with his SUV. But, while I got them switched out OK I decided the experiment was a limited success and probably won't repeat it (go pro, or just keep the summer tires on year round and sell the winter set, summers aren't safe in snow or even extreme cold but I know that and just wouldn't take the car out then, found I used it pretty infrequently on the winter tires). And otherwise I'd only change out air filters, wiper blades whatever on that car, just minimal 2 minute jobs.

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