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View Poll Results: Do you maintain/service/repair your own car?
No 2 5.41%
Yes - I do the work on my driveway 29 78.38%
Yes - I do the work on a car ramp (those found in a garage) 3 8.11%
Yes - I'd be interested in hiring ramp space if it existed 3 8.11%
Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 15-11-2017   #16
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Re: How many of you work on your own cars?

There have been a few garages of this type around here, normally run as a "Garage Associatif", kind of a club/charity arrangement.

They never seem to last long, which is a shame.

Reasons are pretty much as above, the people who are able to work on their cars tend to want to use such a facility for big jobs, where a ramp would be a major advantage, rather than just a time saver, these are the sort of things that have the potential to go seriously wrong, leaving the vehicle stranded on the ramp for an extended period.

In the past couple of years, I've had two vehicles stuck on axle stands for several weeks, one due to the wrong suspension wishbones being supplied (in fairness, I could have refitted the old ones and eventually did, just to be able to move the car) and the other when the cast steering knuckle shattered while changing a wheel bearing (ironically, in a garage, on a press), in the latter case, the car simply couldn't be moved. As above, this is only an inconvenience, as the cars are on my land and not costing anything, for a garage it would be a problem.

Oil changes, brakes, most people who know what they're doing won't bother with a ramp, so you'll be left with the clueless and the ambitious.


The only reasons my cars go to a garage is to have the tracking set and tyres changed. I prefer to just take the wheels rather than risk muppets jacking my car.

If I could find a "Garage Associatif" with a 4-wheel laser tracking rig, I'd be a faithful customer, sadly, this is the one piece of equipment they alwas appear to lack.


I'd love a hardstanding and a small lift at home, currently I make do with large plywood boards to spread the load. Flat would be nice too..
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Old 15-11-2017   #17
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Re: How many of you work on your own cars?

Quote Originally Posted by Steve145 View Post
There have been a few garages of this type around here, normally run as a "Garage Associatif", kind of a club/charity arrangement.

They never seem to last long, which is a shame.

Reasons are pretty much as above, the people who are able to work on their cars tend to want to use such a facility for big jobs, where a ramp would be a major advantage, rather than just a time saver, these are the sort of things that have the potential to go seriously wrong, leaving the vehicle stranded on the ramp for an extended period.

In the past couple of years, I've had two vehicles stuck on axle stands for several weeks, one due to the wrong suspension wishbones being supplied (in fairness, I could have refitted the old ones and eventually did, just to be able to move the car) and the other when the cast steering knuckle shattered while changing a wheel bearing (ironically, in a garage, on a press), in the latter case, the car simply couldn't be moved. As above, this is only an inconvenience, as the cars are on my land and not costing anything, for a garage it would be a problem.

Oil changes, brakes, most people who know what they're doing won't bother with a ramp, so you'll be left with the clueless and the ambitious.


The only reasons my cars go to a garage is to have the tracking set and tyres changed. I prefer to just take the wheels rather than risk muppets jacking my car.

If I could find a "Garage Associatif" with a 4-wheel laser tracking rig, I'd be a faithful customer, sadly, this is the one piece of equipment they alwas appear to lack.


I'd love a hardstanding and a small lift at home, currently I make do with large plywood boards to spread the load. Flat would be nice too..
Yes. Tyres and wheel balancing. You can buy tyres from discount sources but the problem is always whether it's worth it when you have to pay separately for fitting and balancing. I find that, living in a big city with multiple outlets, there's always a good tyre on offer at one or other of them and if you push it you can often get them to throw in a balance foc, especially if buying more than one tyre.

I also am outraged by the practice, so often seen, of jacking the car on it's sills with no protection on the "claw like" jack pad resulting in crushing of the seam and breaking the paint protection which accelerates subsequent corrosion. Mind you, great care has to be taken when jacking up modern cars as the box sections are often now too weak to sustain the weight of the vehicle without deforming. I too prefer to take the wheels off and take them along to the shop on their own. Often you will get quicker service too if they are clogged up with vehicles! I caused great amusement to my neighbours a few years back when I took the front wheels off "her indoors" Panda, put them in my wheelbarrow and pushed them up the road to the tyre store (about a mile away). She had taken my car to go shopping so I had no option.

DIY tracking is something which has long occupied my attention. I trained on the old Dunlop, "bomb aimer" type tracking guage. I don't think 4 wheel alignment is realistic at home and anyway if you're doing that you may well be interested in checking castor, camber and kpi as well? Toe in/out though can be achieved and there are a number of commercially available solutions - The Gunson roll over plate intrigues me - however, after a number of abortive efforts over several years I finally made my own gauge. Very simple, and cost next to nothing. It measures distance between rims in front of and behind the axle line. I've been using it for many years on older vehicles but not so sure how well it would work on something modern. For instance with electric steering where it's so important to have the rack exactly centred when adjusting, think a laser aligner would be best for that.
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Old 12-04-2021   #18
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Re: How many of you work on your own cars?

I do most all the work on all my cars including, but not limited to, a soon-to-be delivered 1980 FIAT Spider 2000, a 1981 Pontiac Grand Prix. a 1992 Buick Riviera and a 2002 Toyota 4Runner. I have a 30' x 40' heated machine shed with a lift (gosh, I'm lucky) and thank goodness I'm a recently retired ASE tech. If anyone out there is from Albuquerque way, make arrangements and stop by!
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #19
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Re: How many of you work on your own cars?

My garage is approximately 20ft long by 9ft wide and is an integral part of our house with our bedroom above it. It's probably a pretty average size for a British garage and pretty useless for doing anything "big" in, although I once removed an Austin Ambassador power unit (engine/gearbox) inside it - but I wouldn't want to repeat the exercise! I envy my sister and her husband, who live about 2 hours west of Boston Mass and have one of those red roofed barns you see so often in the States, but by golly that would be cold in the winter. I also envied my daughter when they lived in Southern Maryland and had a modern constructed house with integral double garage. None of our garages have heat. I'm absolutely green with envy to read of your workshop, and heated too!

I just googled your Pontiac and Buick to see how they look. Very "American" styling which you never see over here. I liked the Camaro from the late 60s/early 70s and the Corvette from the 70s (C3 was it?). My daughter's neighbour was rebuilding a first generation Corvette and he kept promising me a ride in it but he never got it finished before my son in law's contract finished and they came back "home" again. I got to like American cars back in the late '60s/early '70s when I would go to watch Drag Racing at Santa Pod here in England but they just aren't really practical over here due to their size and the cost of our fuel.

Thanks for "talking" to us and good luck with the Spider, Hope it's an enjoyable experience.
Kindest regards
Jock
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