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View Poll Results: Which one would you choose for your Vehicle?
Iím all about DIY Videos 67 29.65%
Iíd rather go to the Mechanic 159 70.35%
Voters: 226. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 30th June 2020, 05:26   #1
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Default DIY vs Mechanic: Your preference, pros & cons

Iím curious as to what the BHPians prefer when it comes to their car;

Working on it or Getting a mechanic?

Since we all love our vehicles dearly and would rather do everything ourselves than let a stranger do, which is a better option during this period or which do you follow?

I see countless DIY threads but I believe a lot of people are apprehensive of working on their vehicles due to the fear of breaking something or making the situation worse.

In India, it is uncommon for the general public to troubleshoot and work on a problem by themselves due to the low Labour rates in our country and countless FNG(s).

It is understandable for major work like suspension overhaul, clutch change or any other issue that may require and Expertís opinion but what about basic fixes like Headlight replacement, Oil change, Coolant Change, Horn replacement and the likes.

During this lockdown, I was forced to work on my car for a few things for which I would otherwise have went to a mechanic due to my Dadís fear of me breaking something.

What do the members here prefer and/or following during this period or in general?


Note to MODS : Kindly merge if such a thread exists (I searched but didnít find anything).
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Old 30th June 2020, 06:44   #2
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Default Re: DIY vs Mechanic: Your preference, pros & cons

Lovely thread & I know this will be an interesting discussion. Thanks for sharing!

Voted for mechanic.

- I love cars because I love to "drive" them, not repair or maintain them.

- No time for DIY, no inclination.

- Labour is cheap in India. One of the biggest reasons people in USA (and some parts of Europe) DIY is because of $85 / hour charges for the mechanic.

- If I had 3 hours to spare, I'd much rather enjoy a fast drive to Lonavla and back, instead of working on my car.
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Old 30th June 2020, 07:12   #3
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Default Re: DIY vs Mechanic: Your preference, pros & cons

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Lovely thread & I know this will be an interesting discussion. Thanks for sharing!
Voted for mechanic.

- Labour is cheap in India. One of the biggest reasons people in USA (and some parts of Europe) DIY is because of $85 / hour charges for the mechanic.
Agreed that Labour is cheap in India and some of the Mechanics are wonderful because they have been apprentice since Childhood BUT how many are dependable and trustworthy ? Most are adept in Jugaad technology as we instruct them to keep costs low (sometimes). They all have inclination towards ripping your pocket. They look nice and faithful till you find that they have done a bad job. Be it small road-side mechanic or big garage.

A little hand on job knowledge is very important. Who else would know it better than we, the off-roaders.

Last edited by Amrik Singh : 30th June 2020 at 07:15.
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Old 30th June 2020, 07:15   #4
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Default Re: DIY vs Mechanic: Your preference, pros & cons

I prefer mechanics as modern cars are much more complicated than cars 20 years ago.

That said, having some DIY skill/inclination helps:
1. Small jobs
2. Emergencies
3. Not getting ripped off by unscrupulous mechanics.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
USA (and some parts of Europe) DIY is because of $85 / hour charges for the mechanic
Was $85/hr during your MBA days? Today I doubt you can find mechanics who charge less than $100/hr in smaller cities.
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Old 30th June 2020, 07:34   #5
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Default Re: DIY vs Mechanic: Your preference, pros & cons

DIY whenever possible for odd jobs because:

Look at the mess!

DIY vs Mechanic: Your preference, pros & cons-authorised.jpg
  • Have seen my cars and bikes poorly handled by the staff. Be it parking, handling parts, cleaning bits under maintenance.
  • There is an old saying, if you want it done exactly how you'd dreamed to do it, no one else can cater to it. Sounds odd coming from someone who delegates a lot of work, but this still holds true.
  • The interests of service managers lie in selling you odd bits of add-ons like that engine flush or AC cleaner. No one really cares about your mechanical problems.
  • Not following best practices. This one is rampant, I have had countless experiences where the same greasy hands come in contact with brake discs after lubing your caliper pin.

I'd go to a mechanic for:
  • Accident jobs involving denting / painting. This is only and only if paintless dent repair is not feasible.
  • The job requires special tools for setting the timing, changing timing belts, etc.
  • Involves a complex repair that cannot be addressed within the confines of my limited garage space.

Last edited by moralfibre : 30th June 2020 at 09:16.
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Old 30th June 2020, 08:26   #6
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Default Re: DIY vs Mechanic: Your preference, pros & cons

Rather than ruining something and blaming myself for it (regretting it all day)- I choose to leave it for the professionals.
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Old 30th June 2020, 09:28   #7
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Default Re: DIY vs Mechanic: Your preference, pros & cons

Nice Poll, thanks! I didn't quite understand what "For DIY Videos" means, but have voted for the option that had "DIY" in it.

As long as its possible, I do things myself. Once you open things up for the first time - you know that its fairly straight forward & pretty much the same in all cars. My initiation on that front happened a decade ago. Undid few screws and clips holding my breath & learnt it is easy. I agree with what some members have mentioned - modern cars are complex machines unlike simple old-school cars. At the same time the flip side is - modern cars are all about "replacement of parts" and hardly any repairs. Most of the times when there is a malfunction, the fix for it is replacement of 1 part or the other - which is pretty simple to do at home for most parts. As a beginner on just needs to know "what box does what" and start from there. This can be easily identified by just looking at the wiring / plumbing connected with each part & where it leads. Bodyshop is one thing where I don't see a chance for a DIY other than basic rubbing / scratch removal, bumper reshaping with gentle heat.

Of course - to start with, one has to have interest. If not a grease monkey, car DIYs are not worth it. Get it done at a good trusted workshop & enjoy the drives. DIYs are to be done only if one enjoys them. That's the whole idea anyway.

If I had a bungalow / row house - my garage would have a simple pit under the car with a stair on one side - like they have in repair garages. And then - I'd never see a workshop for car service / routine maintenance or part replacements. EVER.

Last edited by Reinhard : 30th June 2020 at 09:32.
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Old 30th June 2020, 09:58   #8
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Default Re: DIY vs Mechanic: Your preference, pros & cons

In my view, the DIY culture in India will never take off until the parking slots move to garages. Forget road parking, even basement parkings have just enough space to get out of the car without scratching the door.

There is just no space to work.

Also even if there was space to work, I place a very high premium on my time. In fact, I dont even wash my car myself. Will only dust it if it is very dirty.
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Old 30th June 2020, 11:46   #9
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Default Re: DIY vs Mechanic: Your preference, pros & cons

Voted for a DIY, if and only if three things are in place:

a) Workshop manual
b) Parts and consumables
c) Tools and fixtures

That said, in the past few years, I have developed a lower back problem which is now an overarching issue and restricts the type of repairs I can perform. Therefore, I depend the ASC, which in case of TKM generally does a good to a very good job. And I keep a close eye on the technician working on my car.

Last edited by R2D2 : 30th June 2020 at 11:47.
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Old 30th June 2020, 11:53   #10
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Default Re: DIY vs Mechanic: Your preference, pros & cons

Is this poll only about cars or the bikes part of it?.

For cars : Only mechanic. I can't take chances with spares being so costly. I can do the odd repairs but draw a line at engine level works.

For bikes : DIY only unless its a pressing need.

Last edited by srini1785 : 30th June 2020 at 11:55.
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Old 30th June 2020, 15:07   #11
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Default Re: DIY vs Mechanic: Your preference, pros & cons

Tricky question. While I do enjoy DIY on my 'Projects', I certainly don't plan to repair all my cars at home. If I have a reliable workshop to send the cars, I'd most certainly do that.

However: If the workmanship at the workshop is questionable, I'd prefer to hire a handyman and do the work myself. Again, its provided I have all the tools. Otherwise, its going to be the workshop, with me spending time with them.
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Old 30th June 2020, 15:27   #12
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Default Re: DIY vs Mechanic: Your preference, pros & cons

Answer really depends on what is one attempting to do and expect from a DIY.

As Dhanush mentions, for certain jobs that require immense care and caution and need timely attention, I would prefer a mechanic and HIS place. For everything else that can wait, DIY is the way.

I am also OK to guide the mechanic with DIY videos if he is in doubt and I am sure pulling that task will resolve my issue.

We are still a country where most of the car drivers and many enthusiasts don't even know where to place the jack to replace a flat tire.
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Old 30th June 2020, 15:53   #13
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Default Re: DIY vs Mechanic: Your preference, pros & cons

I am blessed to have a big basement where i can do any repair on my cars. I have the inclination and get immense pleasure by doing repairs and maintenance the right way. Yes, the right tools and lubes are necessary.

I would prefer a DIY as long as it is not messy and does not involve spilling of fluids and the subsequent cleanup. Simple stuff like Air filter change, Oil filter change(If top mounted), changing accessible hoses etc.

My favorite DIY is brake jobs - cleaning, caliper greasing, pad replacement ,rotor replacement. I am never happy with the quality of brake cleaning and lubing at the service center. They do not clean properly and/or do not lube properly or with the right lubes. They reuse the brake hardware and use incorrect lubes for the brake calipers.

Brakes being one of the critical safety components , I prefer attending them myself. I am confident on the performance of the brakes on my cars since I have serviced them and have taken every possible care to do the job to the best possible extent. And it shows in the braking performance. I can feel the better braking performance when i service the brakes than when the service center did it. I no longer get stressed over multiple visits to service center to fix uneven pad wear, squeaking sound from brakes! I do it once and I do it right.

Last edited by sagarpadaki : 30th June 2020 at 15:58.
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Old 30th June 2020, 16:32   #14
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Default Re: DIY vs Mechanic: Your preference, pros & cons

For me, it depends on the requirement.

For regular maintenance work and repairs, I prefer to have it done at the workshop. For modifications that the ASC does not support, I am open to doing a DIY.
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Old 30th June 2020, 17:44   #15
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Default Re: DIY vs Mechanic: Your preference, pros & cons

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Lovely thread & I know this will be an interesting discussion. Thanks for sharing!

If I had 3 hours to spare, I'd much rather enjoy a fast drive to Lonavla and back, instead of working on my car.
Thank you
I get your point but one thing I believe is we have a sort of connection with our wheels and caring just helps (me, personally) feel closer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amrik Singh View Post
A little hand on job knowledge is very important. Who else would know it better than we, the off-roaders.
Agree with your points, a good mechanic may still at the end of the day want to pocket more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by landcruiser123 View Post
I prefer mechanics as modern cars are much more complicated than cars 20 years ago.
Agreed. The only reason most of us prefer mechanics whenever possible even if we have to shell out extra.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post

There is an old saying, if you want it done exactly how you'd dreamed to do it, no one else can cater to it. Sounds odd coming from someone who delegates a lot of work, but this still holds true.
Agreed with pros and cons, the only reason I go to the Service Stations is to hopefully leave my vehicles with someone knowledgeable.
The reason I donít like doing so, no matter how cheap it is, is because it never is ĎUpto the Markí maybe I just expect too much.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Reinhard View Post
Nice Poll, thanks! I didn't quite understand what "For DIY Videos" means, but have voted for the option that had "DIY" in it.
Apologies, I meant following DIY videos which is becoming a fad.

Agreed with all your points, especially never seeing a service station provided a bungalow and tools.

Quote:
Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
Voted for a DIY, if and only if three things are in place:

a) Workshop manual
b) Parts and consumables
c) Tools and fixtures
Thatís all I believe.
Sorry to hear about your back, hope you get better soon .

Mod Note : Post Edited. Smiley usage is restricted to two per post on Team-BHP. Please do NOT use more than 2 smileys in a post.

We advise you to read the Forum Rules before proceeding any further.

Last edited by Sheel : 30th June 2020 at 18:10. Reason: Mod note attached.
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