Pet peeve: shops telling me that I should not do my own work on my car

Mini-rant up ahead. 1:43 Fiat Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari that sits on my desk for your time. And yes, I did actually buy it in Italy!

Illustration for article titled Pet peeve: shops telling me that I should not do my own work on my car

This weekend I attempted to replace the shocks/struts on my car. It didn’t go so well. You guys helped me out with some tips about removing a stubborn nut and although I was able to get one off it was just the first of many. PB Blaster, torch, hammer, impact driver, breaker bar - all cowered at the rusty landscape in my wheel wells. I exhausted my resources and conceded defeat.


So now I’m calling shops to get a quote for the job. I’m hearing between $400 - 500 for some... others don’t install parts unless you order through them. The last shop I called, I explained to them that I tried to do it on my own and wasn’t able to finish.

And then the guy I’m speaking with begins to lecture me about how I should not be doing my own work because I’m not licensed, and that the police can ticket me for some obscure reason. Now, I understand that if I’m involved in a wreck and it’s because I took my brakes off and forgot to put them back on... yea, well that’s my fault. But this isn’t that scenario and changing shocks/struts is well within the means of a regular person (in the absence of rust). I don’t think a cop will pull me over and say “those struts look like they weren’t installed by a mechanic... license and registration, please”.


Furthermore, here I am actually calling your shop to get a quote for a professional install and I have to hear that my work is incompetent? That’s not a way to win me over. Sure I’m not a master mechanic (clearly, cuz damn you rust!!!) but I’ve managed to do plenty of work on my car, motorcycle, and bikes and still be in one piece. And no tickets.

So... that’s that. Car, you win this round. Reluctantly I will spend some more money on you.

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