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99' cadillac deville
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Discussion Starter #1
I was just wondering what problems could you fix on your car yourself that do not require a visit to the cadillac dealership??? thnx
 

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99' cadillac deville
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Well meaning problems that are relatively easy to fix that do not require any special tools etc thnx
 

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Cadillac Technician
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I'd love to answer this one, but since you asked
do not require a visit to the cadillac dealership???
I'd have to answer none, since I don't do car work at home, so everything I do is done here at the dealership. I can only work on my own cars, I don't do side work, ever. (lesson learned the hard way)
As for what I CAN do, there's not much I can't do and most of that is simply because I choose not to as I don't like certain kinds of work.

Asking a guy in the general population what he can do is like Katshot says, depends. Maybe a better question would be "what repairs have you done on your own?"

I would be interested in hearing what kinds of repairs your average car owner has attempted in the driveway. I have to say I have been impressed with some of the stuff you guys and gals have taken on with a few handtools and some jackstands! Too bad everything you do takes a little out of my wallet! :D Oh well.
 

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You ever notice that after you become a professional mechanic, you quickly become spoiled and cring at the thought of doing repairs in the driveway like you used to? I know it happened to me pretty quickly. Use of a lift or pit spoils you fast! ;)
 

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Oh yeah! I know exactly what you mean. I won't work on the ground unless it's an utter emergency! Heck I won't even use my creeper anymore!
Don't ask about my creeper flashbacks to when I had a ponytail! Aaaagghh!
 

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'80 Fleetwood Coupe, 1994 and 1995 Mercedes 140 Coupe
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I can repair every last thing on my '80 with one hand tied behind my back. This excepts body work.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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ewill3rd said:
I won't work on the ground unless it's an utter emergency! Heck I won't even use my creeper anymore!
Your spoiled :D
 

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1998 Deville D'Elegance
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133 Posts
If it takes more than 2 hours to do myself I don't do it. I don't do: Exhaust work, Internal Engine Work (replacing pistons, valves, etc), Transmission work (except fluid and filter changes), Body work (I'll replace a hood, a grill, a deck lid, etc but not body panels or "Bondo" work)... Head gaskets are something I didn't previously mind doing but since I understand that the engine / transaxle has to come out to do it on a N* I'll find a good shop to do that.

On my 1994 Ford, the onlything I wouldn't attempt myself are transmission jobs or rear ends due to the lack of proper tools. I've replaced a head gasket, thermostat, water pump, etc. but that is on an Inline 6 where I can see THE WHOLE ENGINE :)
 

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hmmm, i dont have a press so things like wheel bearings, ball joints, etc. get subbed out. but i do have a tourque wrench, jack, and any other misc hand tools so i can do anything i need to to my car except bore and hone cylinders. oh and i've never rebuilt a transmission either, but i think i will try by practicing on my auto from my 87 mazda 626, unless i can trade it for something.

P.S. , if your determined enough, and research enough.... you can do anything.
 

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03 escalade
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I don't even have the time to change my own spark plugs... Virtually every repair is done by the shop. It's not that I lack the skill or knowledge, it's just that it makes more sense (fiscally) to let a dependable mechanic work on my vehicle while I'm doing my job... He has years more experience in his field... and I have years more in mine...
 

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01 frontier , 89 Shelby CSX vnt
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When i ran firetruck for the airforce we never had a lift , let alone creepers , as i broke our only one when i was drug under a firetruck.....So im used to working on the concrete flat on my back scooting around ....done it for years ...and its a luxury ,as some fo those years i was on nothing but a gravel road ("the gulf" comes to mind)...I had well over $30k in tools in alaska, but no creeper and no lift ...coarse i was always afrid to get one of those lifts that can hold a firetruck , they do make them but to think there is 65,000 pounds above you isnt a great thought ....

In the desert is where i leanred ALOT , i had a 5 gallon bucket full of tools no box no nothin ....bucket o tools and 2 broken trucks ...make due with what you have never ment so much .....by the time i left tho we had fixed that problem , but the early days were AWEFUL

Last time i had acess to a lift to work on a vehicle was 1998 , i was a apprtinace at a foreign car shop ...supposedly the dealer im at will let me use a lift at night if i need to do anything ....i guess it would have made the main bearing replcemnt easier ....I know haveing "shop air" would have made one hell of a diffrence ....the 85-95 psi here at home just plain sucks

The only things i wont do here in the garage at home is if i have to remove the powertrain or do body work ....Im not equipped to do either ....Tho i will be getting a engine hoist once we decide to rebuild the engine in dads old vette
 

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1994 Fleetwood 60" Stretch; '07 Avalanche, '95 Nighthawk
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I'll try - and have tried - just about anything. It doesn't mean I'm always successful but at least I take a crack at it. As I think about it, there really isn't anything I haven't done or tried to do: I've rebuilt or replaced many engines, done electrical work, suspension, fuel delivery, exhaust, brakes, body work (small repairs and entire restorations), etc.

My most recent new experience was the transmission in my GN. The input shaft on the forward drum snapped. I didn't know what an input shaft or a forward drum was but I bought a book from a well respected 2004R guy and hacked into it with some borrowed special tools. The inside of an automatic transmission is a very scary and smelly place. I took lots of digital pics so I knew how to put it back together (I do that with all new jobs). It works fine so far - I've got about 10 1/4-mile passes on it and no breakage.

As far as what you can do versus what the dealer HAS to do the only thing is stuff that involves the Tech2 for programming. Unless you've invested thousands in that tool, or know someone you has, the stealer has you by the short hairs. When I rebuilt my car I did everything up to the point where there was nothing else left but to have it reprogrammed (I had replaced a lot of electronics).

Technically, there's nothing mechanical the average person can't do. A lift makes many jobs much easier but the adrenaline gets going when you're rolling around under a 4,000 lb. piece of metal, plastic and glass held up by a couple of skinny jackstands.

It's a hobby for me - it's something I like to do. I enjoy the challenge of diagnosing a problem and the satisfaction of repairing it myself. If I did it for a living I'm sure I'd hate it. You'll also find the smarter you get with these repairs the dumber the stealers start to look. They'll make up just about anything to either get you to go away with your warranty work or spend a lot of cash on repairs you don't need (obviously there are exceptions and I'm sure ewill3rd is one of them).

Jim
 

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Hey just remember they don't let me have anything to do with money! :histeric:
I just tell them how long it's going to take, they do the math and break the good news to you.

I don't hate what I do because I do it everyday, in fact I really love my work or I wouldn't be doing it... this forum is the closest thing I do to side work. Sadly it doesn't pay very much ;)
Yes I am spoiled, you have that right. If I had to work on the ground I still might but in my present phyical condition it would take me much longer and there would be a lot more popping and snapping.

I started out changing transmissions in the snow laying on a gravel driveway with trans fluid in my hair and ice forming on my back using ramps that weren't strong enough to hold up the car and breaking stuff along the way. I learned lots of lessons, many of them the hard way. You want to hear crazy stories, you should hear about when I drove a tow truck for 3 years... oh boy. I just want to apologize again to that guy for smashing a hole into his house above the garage, I hope my boss got it fixed up all nice for you.

You are right about needing the Tech 2 for lots of stuff. We practically fight over them at the dealership. There is not much you can diagnose on a car these days without one. We see some pretty crazy stuff. We are in the middle of diagnosing a CTS-V with a power door lock problem and you wouldn't believe it... when we figure it out maybe I'll post it.

This is a great topic!
 

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:violin: It's no fun digging six inches of hair out of a creeper wheel is it!? I was stuck, I couldn't even move... I was laying out in the driveway calling to my Wife to come help me, I couldn't even roll off the creeper or turn my head.
 

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What I "used to do", and what I'll do now are two TOTALLY different things.
What I've done:
1. Pulled engines in a barn with only basic tools and a come-along strapped to a beam.
2. Swapped transmissions in my buddy's car in the parking lot of his apartment in the snow.
3. Replaced a front wheel bearing in a bus on the roadside in a thunderstorm.
4. In the Navy, I replaced an engine in a P3 on the runway in 100 degree weather.
5. Rebuilt motorcycle engines on the kitchen floor.

The list goes on and on. I used to LOVE that stuff.

What I do now:
I'll do "fun" stuff like custom stereo and lighting installs but very little else. The reason is simple, it takes me forever to get around to doing the damn job! Hell, I installed some fog lights on my Jeep a couple months ago and STILL haven't wired them up yet! :rolleyes:
 

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1994 Fleetwood 60" Stretch; '07 Avalanche, '95 Nighthawk
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ewill3rd said:
I don't hate what I do because I do it everyday, in fact I really love my work or I wouldn't be doing it...
Sorry, I wasn't clear on that. What I meant was that if I did it every day, I'd hate doing my own stuff. Like my uncle, he paints cars as a hobby. He is EXCELLENT at it, but he always says if he did it as a living he'd hate doing it on the side. That's how I feel about automotive work. If I did it for a living it wouldn't be a fun hobby.

In another life I think I'd enjoy that line of work.

Jim
 
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