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Who does their own repairs?

I do all my own repairs including engine rebuilding, body work and paint!

Not only because I’m cheap either!

Anybody else do likewise?

Yes. I’ve done every service on both my 01 Jetta (124K) and 04 4Runner (126K) since the 1st free service interval passed.

Except for 1 problem, which happened to the wife when I was away because of work. That little venture cost me $1700. And bodywork. I just can’t seem to get the hang of that particular art.

I used to, but there’s much that I’m physically no longer able to do.

I’ve done body work on beaters, but I don’t pretend to be nearly as good as the pros. It truely is a combination of craftsmanship, art, and learned skills.

I do basic repairs, like replacing an alternator or a belt, and brake jobs, but I don’t have much luck with gasket replacements, and I would be in over my head if I tried to do any internal engine work or a rebuild. I have done amateur grade body work, just enough to keep the metal from rusting, but it doesn’t look very good.

I do as much maintenance as I can these days, which means I do pretty much everything listed in the owners manual except the timing belt, and I don’t rotate or balance my tires since I paid up front for that when I bought my tires.


Like mountainbike, physical problems prevent me from doing much more than changing air filters, rotating tires, and checking/adding fluids at this point. In my younger years, I did do much of the servicing of my cars, and some of the lighter repairs.

As a result of physical infirmities, at this point I do have to pay others to service and repair my car. However, I have been fortunate over the past decade, as only one repair was necessary on my car during those 10 years.

I just replaced the fuel pump in my 95 Nissan pickup. Plus I repair other peoples vehicles.

I use to do body and paint in the shop but it’s too messy. So I use a buddy’s shop that’s set up for body and paint. But if someone wants sheet metal repair/welding I’ll do that in my shop.


I’ve done all my own repair/maintenance since my second car in 1986. This includes headgaskets, transmission swaps and clutch work. I’ve got a 1962 Thunderbird in the garage going through a complete resto-mod. Doing most of the work myself, but some will be sent out to those with better equipment.

Yes except for body work and transmission rebuilds. I’m slowing down a little as I age and I don’t really care for greasy fingernails anymore.

Yes except paint and welding. Don’t have the equipment for that although I have done a little touchup paint.

I try to do my own repairs, and repairs for friends, but the fact nothing is rebuildable any more, there is special technology and there are special tools necessary for common repairs. Many repairs are outside of the grasp of the iconic shade tree mechanic.

I did repair work professionally for a few years, but there really is no money in it and you will end up literally spending tens of thousands of dollars on tools if you are serious about it. I still do a lot of my own repair work at home for myself and my friends and family. I have done a little bit of body work, but really didn’t care for it. I’ve never tried paint work. The only repairs I send to a shop are air conditioning (don’t have the equipment for that) and custom exhaust work (done it, LOVE IT, very good at it, but again, don’t have the equipment). I have also never done automatic transmission rebuilding, but have replaced a few of them.

In the 60’s and '70’s did all my own repairs. I learned I was awful with bondo and repainting so I appreicate the work done by a good body shop.

Then started in a sales job in '78 that provided company cars over the next 30 years. In those years I did a few oil changes and minor repairs on my own cars but little major work was needed. Most of my miles were racked up in the company cars and all maintenance was paid for by my company.

I wrenched a lot on outboard motors. Later I worked on my motorcycles as I had a collection of vintage ('82 and '83) turbocharged Honda’s and a few other bikes. At one point I had 8 bikes, so a lot of experience putting bikes in winter storage.

The bikes are history after I hit a deer riding one of them. Now I do basic repairs on my cars, but won’t get into timing belt changes for instance. Seem to do more mechanical work on my ski boat (351 Ford block PCM) as it breaks down more than the cars.

Never a professional mechanic, but I did work at a gas station in high school changing oil, tires, putting on radiator hoses and minor stuff like that. In college I worked for a AAA garage running one of the tow trucks. Typical AAA stuff was starting cars with dead batteries, and pulling cars out of ditches in and around Ithaca, NY.

Though never a professional auto mechanic, I have rebuilt a number of car and motorcycle engines and at least two car manual transmissions.
I have also rewound one motorcycle alternator stator for someone who needed one in a pinch.
I just got through rebuilding an old tractor generator that uses a third brush to excite the field.

Nope, I do the big money savers like brakes, shocks and struts and plugs as well as synthetic oil changes in non-freezing weather. If I had my 76 Impalas and Caprices, I would do belts and radiators and all the old stuff that there isn’t room to do on today’s cars. I can’t move like I used to, or even stand like I used to. I miss the grip in my hands the most and I have to work to keep my arm up when removing the oil plug.

Complicated/ When I was younger I had a mechanic friend, so if I needed to do an engine rebuilt I will go to his place and use his tools. Sometimes he would give me a hand, but in return I would also fix the costumer cars for him.
That friend is not available any more. So I do most of the basic stuff. I have not needed an engine or transmission rebuilt, but if it came down to it I would have to use a shop. I do body work on a beater car just to make it less of an eye sore, I am sure I would not be able to make a fully straight panel with clear coat paint look like original.
Also try to do a lot of prophylactic stuff/early changes to avoid emergency repairs. Tools and space has always been an issue. I have never bought a tool unless the first use was going to pay itself off.

This is where it gets tricky; sometimes I am very busy with work and have to have a shop do some basic stuff-usually wife’s car. I do the math and am better off working and paying someone else. Well in real life that never works out. Most of the time I end up redoing the work. The most recent example was a serpentine belt job that was done improperly and had to redo it on my time off.

I do everything although 2 areas that I try to avoid if any way possible is exhaust pipe work and paint/body.

The former is just a royal PITA most of the time and the latter is messy, time consuming, and just a real irritant because I got where I hate to sand for hours on end.

I try to do everything myself as time allows. My shop is way too busy for me to get involved in any major projects on my own vehicles. My HEMI Charger collapsed a MDS lifter last month. I decided to do it myself. It took me almost 2 weeks to tear the heads off and replace all the lifters in the motor. I worked on it between transmission jobs. Body work I leave to my big brothers body shop.


What do you mean by “engine rebuilding”?

By the time my cars need rebuilding or body work, someone else owns them…But I still do all the normal maintenance and minor repairs…