Who still works on their own cars?

isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342

Today, I decided our 2003 CRV was due for an air filter replacement and I decided this was certainly something I could do by myself. After all, I used to be pretty handy with wrench. I was FAR from being an accomplished mechanic but there were things that I could and would do myself.

An air filter...how hard can that be?

In the "old days" it involved unscrewing the wing nut on top of the air cleaner and grabbing the old filter and slap in the new one.

I got the job done but I hope the neighbors didn't hear some of the names I called this little "easy" procedure.

Of course, I burned myself with my drop light, lost a socket "somewhere" and found screws that had been overtightened and an intake hose that just refused to budge!

Bottom line....it's done!

The jobs that we used to think were hard are now a walk in the park for the "technicians" that have to work on them. So, the question I have is has DIY work gone away?

Do people still lie on their backs and change oil? I'm curious.


  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    edited February 2014

    Yeah but not this time of year. There's another reason for my "extended" oil change intervals.

    Fortunately on both my cars I can reach both the oil plug and the filter without jacking up them up. I always wind up spilling some but I put cardboard down (usually with the kitty litter already applied :) ) and wear latex gloves. Every couple of years I take the waste oil up the road to the recycling place.

    I do the in-cabin filter and that's a pain; have to remove the cowl on the van and there's lots of screws and connectors. Zip ties get a lot of use there.

    The air filter on the van is a pain too. Over the years the plastic box housing the filter has tried to warp and it's a struggle to get all the tabs lined up and then flip the clamps down.

    I'm done, probably, with doing tire rotations. Ditto brake pads. The Subaru recently got a new battery and I did that myself. If I get a new car, I'd worry about frying the electronics.

    The next shop light I get will be an LED one. The portable halogen one I use puts out enough heat to scorch the concrete floor.

  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    The last time I changed my own oil ( or anything else that required getting under the car) was probably a decade ago now....I will still change a battery and an air filter myself, but the cabin air filter is usually a pain in the butt (and not worth the bother anyway IMHO). These days it is finding the time that is so hard, or I would do more of it myself.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342

    I just don't like lying on my back dealing with oil dripping down my wrists and then having to dispose of the old oil. I used to kinda enjoy doing this but not anymore. The oil filters on our
    CRV's aren't easy to get to unless the car is up on a hoist.

    Cars are so dependable today that little DIY items cause trouble.

    I can't remember the last time I had an alternator, starter or water pump fail and I used to replace these pretty often.

    This is exactly why some shops push unnecessary services like fuel injection flushes.

    Heck, I just recently had new brake pads installed on my CRV after 73,000 miles!

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085

    I still do my own oil-changes and brake-work. Replacing air-filter is not so tough on most cars with the proper tools.

    In fact, part of my selection process of purchasing a vehicle is to investigate that I will be able to do these tasks.

    I DO NOT like the fact that headlight replacement on my wife's new car requires accessing from the wheel well and removing the plastic liner of the wheel well.... but you can bet that I knew this was the case before we purchased the vehicle and have the proper tools when I need to do it.

    On a similar note: My daughters VW beetle is SIMPLE to replace bulbs. Open the hood, pull a lever and the ENTIRE HEADLIGHT ASSEMBLY slides right out the front of the vehicle and can be carried to the bench to replace the bulbs. You gotta love the German Engineering.

  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,646

    I share your pain on the air filter R&R. Amazing how difficult it can be, both in our older ES300 and our newer MKX. Lots of pushing, wedging, prying.

    And I showed our son how to change his oil. Last time I'll do that, on my back = no fun. Used to do it all the time, now the price for a change is worth it.

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