I think a lot of folks DIY because they have the handi-man philosophy, have sort of that “Yankee ingenuity” value in them, and just enjoy doing it themselves is all. I don’t think the reason for the most part is because they save money. I think many of them would make more money doing something else than fixing their car. But they fix their car anyway. These DIY folks are usually the curious type, are curious about everything around them, not just cars, but they may choose cars as an outlet for their curiosity because cars break down and need to be fixed anyway. They’re pragmatic too, thinking that since they’d have to take the car to the shop and wait there while it gets it’s scheduled maintenance; it doesn’t take much more effort to simply do it themselves in their own driveway on their own schedule, and if they want to take a break and have a beer, so be it.
When I was a teenager I did the scheduled maintence like oil and filter changes, replacing the points and setting the timing on my car. Later, in my 20’s, I had less time and had a shop do it all. That was until I bought a VW Rabbit, and it became clear the only way I could afford to keep it on the road was to do the work myself. That car, it was fun to drive, had good get up and go and a good suspension system, but it also had a multi-tude of ways to stop working, and the repairs became beyond my budget.
So I found a nighttimeadult education auto-shop class for homeDIY mechanics at a local high school. I was worried it was going to be where you sit and look at overhead projector slides all evening. But the first night, right off the bat, the instructor , in front of all the students, he reached into his pocket and put a wheel bearing in my right hand, then he told me to hold out my left hand, at which point he plopped a big dab of grease into my palm and told me to show everybody how to grease the bearing! I thought “this class is gonna be ok!”.
Anyway, that class went one night a week for 13 weeks, it was all in the auto-shop where you could do anything you wanted (within reason) on your own car, and the instructors would help when you got stuck. Ever since, I’ve fixed my own cars. I have a early 1990’s Toyota in fact that has never even once been in a shop. Everything that’s been needed to do, I’ve done it.
How long do I intend to do it? Well, I’ve noticed it gets a little more painful each year that I crawl under the car and turn the wrenches, bend over the tire-well to remove the heater hose clamp. My back hurts. My legs hurt. My arms hurt. And I’m not even mentioning the eye-site thing. Eventually it will hurt too much or I won’t be able to see well enough to fix my own car! But until then …