The latest car I did a major repair on. I t received a new motor, transmission, belts fluids belts, hoses, brakes, exhaust, alternator, a/c compressor ect….

Todays episode is a practical discussion of why you should develop a set of hard skills. This is a primer for why I think you should consider maintaining / repairing your own vehicle.


Save money and GTF off the damn couch.

Do something you can be proud of, accomplishing a something feels good. You get to know the vehicle you basically live in (for how much of your life?), and trust your safety and the safety of your family to on a daily basis.

Is it worth it?

Do I want to just make the payments on a car and my mortgage or aggressively pay off my mortgage so don’t have to work till im dead or dying.

Can I fix this and save me money or just help me avoid not having the monthly burden of the added expense of a car payment, interest and full coverage insurance that comes with financing a new vehicle.

Hypothetical math:

I spend ($4000) to buy and repair a car, and I drive it for a year I essentially spent $330 a month to own and drive this car, the longer I drive and own it the cheaper it gets.

If I drive it for 2 years the cost ($4000)averaged out over 24 months is approx. $166 a month. Replacement parts usually have 2-3 year warranties if it breaks within 3 years it gets replaced FOR FREE.

“My time is worth more than that” …ok maybe, but if you are otherwise just sitting on your ass watching tv, you are wasting your time and getting zero worth, value or return.

Doing intel on a vehicle, what I do when considering major repair:

Get to know the owner.

Pull a Carfax report.

Dealer service history.

Known recalls and repair issues.

KBB for estimated value and common complaints.

Do some research on common parts or the specific components that need repair, or the parts you know you will be replacing.

How / here can I find repair info if I need to fix something?

You are going to need tools and a place to work.

I found this nicely equipped kit for sale on clearance for half price @ 140$, it would definitely cover most repairs on a car or stuff around the house.

The info is out there… my vehicle does this or is making this sound, you tube is a fantastic source for how to.

Chiltons / Hayes repair manuals.

Parts sellers should have exploded diagrams to show how to replace specific parts.

My common practices for maintenance / repair:

Warm up, you know your leaving just start the car and let it warm up.

Do your fluid / filter changes on time.

Clean your vehicle VERY WELL if you take it in muddy or sandy environments.

Do not let a persistent check engine or warning light stay on, fix whatever it is.

Notice a knock, squeak or vibration? FIX IT before it damages something else.

I leave you with a few recent pics of repairs I have done

-Tx Joe

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