Author Topic: Repairing Today's Cars.  (Read 824 times)

Offline TC

  • Posts: 29
  • Name: Tom Stephens
Re: Repairing Today's Cars.
« Reply #20 on: December 25, 2017, 08:32:47 PM »
The schools currently teach both.  Also, I am one of those computer geeks in the IT field that can rebuild  engines as I have done a number of times :)

Since my son is getting ready to start a 4 yr college degree in automotive tech in the fall, I am very familiar with the current offerings and most all graduating will be computer geeks too.  Not only will they know  how to rebuild engines, but transmissions, etc....too of course. Some even offer an auto restoration track.  I predict it will be easier, with Youtube, videos, etc..., to restore.  It already is getting easier with the ease of spreading info.  Chuck

  Chuck,

Who offers a 4 year degree in Automotive Technology? Bachelors program ? Accredited college?

Online cadillacmike68

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Re: Repairing Today's Cars.
« Reply #21 on: December 25, 2017, 10:43:56 PM »
One of the biggest factors is price.   The cost of parts and labor to fix  cars has skyrocketed.  Especially luxury cars like BMW, MB, Lexus, Land Rover, Jaguar, etc. Every time my wife's MB goes into the shop it is at least $300.00 but usually around $800.00 when all of the other things get fixed (Class "A" or "B" maintenance for instance always pushes the $800 mark).  My 1997 Lincoln needed a new catalytic converter.  Oops, you can't get one except for after-market (meaning Ebay).  Luckily I had a real mechanic who was able to re-weld the bracket using a new converter and canister.  It still came out to >$800.00.  Most shops are charging $70+ per hour for repairs so even the "diagnostic" pushes you up to the $100.00 mark.  I was being charged $200 each for 2 radiator hoses!  (Yes I declined and did the job myself).

I think it will  become harder and harder to keep these 15-20 year old cars on the road. Plastic parts give out, computer hard drives die and no one makes replacements in some cases anymore.  I plan on trying! It will be expensive and hard to find mechanics that can do more than the normal repairs though.


Remember the acronym BOAT:
Break
Out
Another
Thousand

It applies to new cars as well...
Regards,
"Cadillac" Mike
Current:
1968 DeVille Convertible
1996 Fleetwood Brougham
2009 STS NorthStar Platinum ed RWD
2011 CTS PRemiun ed Sedan RWD
Past:
2008 CTS Premium ed Sedan AWD
2005 CTS Hi-Feature Sedan RWD
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1969 DeVille Convertible

Offline Chuck Swanson

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Re: Repairing Today's Cars.
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2017, 12:45:32 AM »
  Chuck,

Who offers a 4 year degree in Automotive Technology? Bachelors program ? Accredited college?

There are a few in the Northeast, sometimes referred to as the 2+2 programs, 2 yrs auto tech, 2 yrs business mgmt. 

He narrowed down to a few:
Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) Degree in Automotive Technology
http://www.morrisville.edu/programsofstudy/schoolofscienceandtech/automotivemanagementbba/
Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.) Degree program in Automotive Technology
http://www.morrisville.edu/programsofstudy/schoolofscienceandtech/automotivetechnologybt/
Automotive Technology Management BS
https://www.pct.edu/academics/tnrt/automotive/bau

His goal is to own his own shop one day.

Chuck

« Last Edit: December 26, 2017, 12:48:29 AM by Chuck Swanson »
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Offline wrench

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Re: Repairing Today's Cars.
« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2017, 10:43:38 AM »
Where I have to find fault with your thinking, is that today's "technology" requires a skill and knowledge, much different then the technology of cars in days gone past.  How many computer "geeks" are adapt at even putting gas in their car, while a top mechanic can tear down an older engine and put it back together again.

Another example is my friend that had the windshield replaced in his Lexus.  They had one serviceman install the window and used another to calibrate it.  The window repair business had to hire new techs to just calibrate the windshield.

Technology vs Technician

I would like to point out that the lack of cross-training either by the company or the techs, does not illustrate a flaw in my thinking but actually bolsters my point. If anything, the question about 'division of labor' points to the fact that if technicians or companies want to 'specialize' then they do that to their own detriment.

What i am talking about is skills development and initiative. The company may have a business model that wants 1 chief and 10 underlings, the technology is not the problem, its the business model.

Same thing with the tech, if he just wants to be an underling and not a chief, that's his problem. Success will belong to the generalist in a specialized niche.

I find it funny that i even have to explain this as it is History of Technology 101 and also bolsters my point about technology vs technician.

Henry Ford was a race driver, the Wright Brothers were bicycle mechanics. Just about every innovator applies experience from another field as the nature of technological development is based on principles that already exist to create new applications. Technology doesn't evolve in a vacuum.
1951 Series 62 Sedan
1969 Eldorado
1970 Eldorado (Triple Black w/power roof)
1958 Apache 3/4 ton 4x4
2005 F250
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Offline cadillac ken

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Re: Repairing Today's Cars.
« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2017, 10:05:34 AM »
The mechanicals of the newer cars are superior and each model year the computer tech gets applied to better ways of making moving parts work less for more mileage and efficiency. 

The costs as many have pointed out is in the repair of the electronics.  Capacitors have a life span.  They will fail as well as many other electronic components that heat up and then cool down.  The problem is the "do it your self-er" is at a loss to diagnose these failures and the costs to take it in to have it repaired is going to be breathtaking-- even for the most minor repairs.  To add to that many parts are not sold separately.  Try buying a seat motor without being told you have to buy the entire power seat track assembly.

The OP mentions the windshield replacement on his friend's Lexus.  Not something I would attempt to do even though I have replaced and set numerous windshields in my day.  The tech involved now is what is getting so costly. The ability of the owner to opt to do the job himself is now in many cases out of the question-- which of course adds to the overall cost of owning the car.

The hedge against repairs used to be how much time a guy was willing to invest on a Saturday to repair his own car.  Now it's a search for codes and how to do it on You-Tube, locating the "black box" and still facing an extraordinary price to buy it at the dealer and then install it himslef.  You may be back on the road in a week. 

Offline e.mason

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Re: Repairing Today's Cars.
« Reply #25 on: December 27, 2017, 12:22:36 PM »
Keeping in mind the posts that make the argument of how much car ownership can be going forward.  What is the solution to keep car ownership costs reasonable?  Leasing?  When you lease for 3 years you are completely covered for all repairs.  Basically all you have to do is put the gas in and change the oil.  Many adequate cars, can be leased for cheaper then peoples cable, Internet, cell phone bill.  Even many Cadillacs have attractive lease rates.  When you lease you don't have a nice chunk of change wrapped up in a down payment.

Offline Cape Cod Fleetwood

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  • Name: Laurie Kraynick
Re: Repairing Today's Cars.
« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2017, 02:30:32 AM »
Keeping in mind the posts that make the argument of how much car ownership can be going forward.  What is the solution to keep car ownership costs reasonable?  Leasing?  When you lease for 3 years you are completely covered for all repairs.  Basically all you have to do is put the gas in and change the oil.  Many adequate cars, can be leased for cheaper then peoples cable, Internet, cell phone bill.  Even many Cadillacs have attractive lease rates.  When you lease you don't have a nice chunk of change wrapped up in a down payment.

And you never own the car. You'll still pay the full sales tax when you register and have to insure it for nuclear attack. If you put a slight scratch on it or go a mile over the stated mileage in the contract you're doomed with extra charges when you turn it in. Its like renting an apartment vs paying a mortgage. At least with the mortgage you own the property. Leasing is great for businesses/companies that can write them off. For individuals? In my humble opinion? Its just a way to drive a car you can't afford. Its a long term car rental. Again, just MHO. Laurie
There are 2 kinds of cars in the world, Cadillac and everything else....

The Present -1970 Fleetwood Brougham

The Past -
1996 Deville Concours
1987 Sedan De Ville "Commonwealth Edition"
1981 Coupe De Ville (8-6-4)
1976 Sedan De Ville
1975 Sedan De Ville

The Daily Driver and work slave -
2008 GMC Acadia SLT *options/all

Offline Jason Edge

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Re: Repairing Today's Cars.
« Reply #27 on: December 29, 2017, 06:10:36 AM »
I'm with Laurie on the leasing thing! My car is my car. I don't want a loaner car to rent. But again, my daily driver is a 2002 Cadillac Escalade EXT, and my backup is a 1964 Cadillac Coupe de Ville! I kinda get some aspects of leasing, but at 53 years old I am now too set in my ways and will always own a Cadillac and will never lease!
« Last Edit: December 29, 2017, 06:13:05 AM by Jason Edge »
Jason Edge
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email - jasonedge@nc.rr.com
1964 Coupe DeVille - http://bit.ly/1WnOQRX
2002 Escalade EXT
2012 SRX Performance Edition

Offline e.mason

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  • Name: Eric Mason
Re: Repairing Today's Cars.
« Reply #28 on: December 29, 2017, 08:20:55 AM »
And you never own the car. You'll still pay the full sales tax when you register and have to insure it for nuclear attack. If you put a slight scratch on it or go a mile over the stated mileage in the contract you're doomed with extra charges when you turn it in. Its like renting an apartment vs paying a mortgage. At least with the mortgage you own the property. Leasing is great for businesses/companies that can write them off. For individuals? In my humble opinion? Its just a way to drive a car you can't afford. Its a long term car rental. Again, just MHO. Laurie

Lets look at the positives of leasing.  No you don't ever own the car.  So what?  Ownership is way overrated.  With ownership, after the warranty runs out, you are on the hook for the costs of repairs.  With leasing, you are completely covered for the term of the lease.  Yes the insurance requirements are high, but not that high for the cost.  Yes there is an extra charge for going over the mileage, usually 12k a year.  If you do substantially more, then leasing is not the way to go.  In fact the ONLY reason an individual should lease, is if they want a new car every 2-3 years and do less then the allowed mileage.  Another benefit, is not having the "equity" wrapped up in a down payment.  You can take the equity and invest it.  Have you seen the performance of the stock market lately?  Yes for some its a way to drive a car they can't afford to buy.  What is wrong with that?  These are mostly lower income individuals, who spend more discretionary money on communication i.e. cell phones, Internet, video games etc.  To them its just another monthly obligation.  Do you really ever own your home?  Think so?  Try not paying your real estate taxes and see what happens.  You will have a new friend at your doorstep.  The local sheriff.  No leasing is not for everyone.  It is more cost effective to buy a car and run it until the wheels fall off.  Those of us that want a new car every 2-3 years, with minimal payments, leasing is a God sent.  One of the best features of leasing for me.  Is minimizing the buying of the new car experience.  No haggling over the value of a trade in.  Just turn the car in and ride out in a new one.

Offline cadillac ken

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Re: Repairing Today's Cars.
« Reply #29 on: December 29, 2017, 10:04:51 AM »
Lets look at the positives of leasing.  No you don't ever own the car.  So what?  Ownership is way overrated.  With ownership, after the warranty runs out, you are on the hook for the costs of repairs.  With leasing, you are completely covered for the term of the lease.  Yes the insurance requirements are high, but not that high for the cost.  Yes there is an extra charge for going over the mileage, usually 12k a year.  If you do substantially more, then leasing is not the way to go.  In fact the ONLY reason an individual should lease, is if they want a new car every 2-3 years and do less then the allowed mileage.  Another benefit, is not having the "equity" wrapped up in a down payment.  You can take the equity and invest it.  Have you seen the performance of the stock market lately?  Yes for some its a way to drive a car they can't afford to buy.  What is wrong with that?  These are mostly lower income individuals, who spend more discretionary money on communication i.e. cell phones, Internet, video games etc.  To them its just another monthly obligation.  Do you really ever own your home?  Think so?  Try not paying your real estate taxes and see what happens.  You will have a new friend at your doorstep.  The local sheriff.  No leasing is not for everyone.  It is more cost effective to buy a car and run it until the wheels fall off.  Those of us that want a new car every 2-3 years, with minimal payments, leasing is a God sent.  One of the best features of leasing for me.  Is minimizing the buying of the new car experience.  No haggling over the value of a trade in.  Just turn the car in and ride out in a new one.

Gotta agree with most of your points here.  Pride of ownership is not what it used to be. And with new cars being less and less separated from one another in terms of style, innovations, etc. ownership of a car that is basically just transportation, not sure that a lease doesn't have it's place.  Especially if you drive a very calculated and unwavering number of miles (designated commute) and can be reasonably careful in taking care the car is well kept cosmetically -- something  you probably would do anyway even if you "owned" it.

Business-wise you can still write off depreciation, maintenance, and interest on an "owned" vehicle so not sure it's right for all businesses to lease.  And once the vehicle is "fully depreciated" from a tax standpoint, you still have a piece of capital you can sell or trade. 

I think the it's more a matter of: do you look at your vehicle as just transportation, or do you want to have a connection to what you drive and therefore want to own it, maybe modify it a little and personalize it.

Offline Big Apple Caddy

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  • Name: R. Langley
Re: Repairing Today's Cars.
« Reply #30 on: December 29, 2017, 12:02:12 PM »
As with most things, leasing has its pros and cons and the desirability, practicality or whatever will depend on each individual's wants and needs.  I think the biggest driver for leasing is still the ability to get more car (higher level and/or more options) for the monthly payment.  While leasing has increased in popularity over time, it still only accounts for around 30% of new vehicle sales these days.  Around 70% of new car consumers choose to buy   Additionally, length of ownership has increased over the decades which I think is largely tied to improved reliability and durability of cars over time, as well as longer standard or available warranties.

In the used car market, which like new car sales has seen record numbers in recent years, practically no vehicles are leased.

Offline Jason Edge

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Re: Repairing Today's Cars.
« Reply #31 on: December 29, 2017, 12:41:05 PM »
My cars have always been way more than just transportation. They are an integral part of who I am. I think of a leased car like I would a rental car that I might drive for a few days while My Ride is in the shop, or I am out of town and just need basic transportation. I have always put a personal touch on any car I have bought by making a few upgrades and changes, and feel a responsibility to keep the car well maintained.  I don't want any restrictions on what I can or cannot do with My Car. If I want to keep it for 10 or 20 years then sell it or pass it on to someone in the family or keep it until I am no longer, then so be it. 
Finally, car ownership is indeed like renting or buying a house. You don't build equity and you are very limited in it's use. When I was in college, I rented an apartment and then a house and the landlord had final say on everything - can't have pets, can't change wall colors, can add or change appliances, fixtures, etc. Leasing a car is like having a car landlord and I ain't having a Car Landlord! LOL  Yeah, I can go rent a house or car for less, but I like knowing I have the deed to my house and title to my car and I can do what I want with either. For me that is priceless!

Jason Edge
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email - jasonedge@nc.rr.com
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2002 Escalade EXT
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Offline Big Apple Caddy

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Re: Repairing Today's Cars.
« Reply #32 on: December 29, 2017, 01:35:31 PM »
While it is true that you don't gain equity in a car with leasing, the lower lease payment versus financing can build up funds in your bank account.   For example, if your lease payment is $350/month for 36 months and your buy payment on same vehicle is $800/month for 36 months then you would have built up over $16,000 in "savings" ($800-$350 x 36) with the lease after three year terms for both.

Also, you can still treat the car as your own if you really want to by buying it at lease end at the pre-determined residual value and then keep it as long as you like, pass it along to family or whatever.  However, if you end up not liking the car for whatever reason, want something new/different, or if the resale value unexpectedly tanks (e.g., the diesel Cadillacs of the 1970s-80s), you can instead turn it in and walk away.  In the end, both leasing and buying can potentially result in indefinite long-term ownership if desired.

Offline 64CaddieLacky

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Re: Repairing Today's Cars.
« Reply #33 on: December 29, 2017, 08:56:11 PM »
I like owning things and not having rules and regulations put onto whatever I am buying. At the same time, a vehicle purchase as expensive as they are, leasing helps someone that might not otherwise have a lot of money for a down payment or even the monthly payment if they bought it outright, to afford a new car with very low monthly payments.

I think buying makes sense on expensive purchases like a truck for work, or vehicle that will holds its value and you truly like, but economy cars and subcompacts arenít worth the buy since they lose their value so fast.

Maintenance items these days pretty much consist of oil changes, air/cabin filter, tires and brakes in the majority of new vehicles. So itís not like owning a an old caddy with a carb, points, and where everything is mechanical/ vacuum operated which is prone to wearing out faster, and a linkage suspension setup where greasing is required periodically. You have to be more keen on the maintenance on the old stuff than the new.

Point is, the maintenance cost is less on new cars, but whatís not so great is the cost of a repair. Newer car parts are very expensive and because the complexity of cars made now, youíre on the hook for those cost after the warranty expires.

After purchasing my slightly used 17 Impala, I plan on selling my 94 Fleetwood because i simply have too many cars now and the Fleetwood mostly sits.

I love the damn thing, and has been my daily driver for almost 9 years, but things change, and it feels pretty good having a new car to drive everyday without the worry in the back of my head that something could eventually break any moment of driving. Not that I didnít have faith in the Fleetwood, because the car never left me stranded, but the little things that turn into major things like say the dash board circuit completely fails with the car having close to 200,000 miles on it,, where in the heck will I find a replacement for it, and how much is it going to cost to fix?

Plus the paint is fading, the seats are cracking no matter how much leather treatment I use, itís going to cost more in the long run to slowly bring it back to where it once was when I first got it.

No new car I test drove  is as comfortable, smooths out bad pavement or as relaxing as my Fleetwood, but thatís what my other classics are for, they still give me that same smooth ride, but in even better comfort and style, so if anything  Iím not losing out. Just on the memories and great times Iíve had with it which will always be dear to my heart.
1964 Sedan Deville
1994 Fleetwood Bro
1972 Sedan Deville (Sold)
1968 Coupe Deville (Sold)
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Offline cadillac ken

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Re: Repairing Today's Cars.
« Reply #34 on: December 30, 2017, 10:45:59 AM »
Leasing a car is like having a car landlord and I ain't having a Car Landlord! LOL  Yeah, I can go rent a house or car for less, but I like knowing I have the deed to my house and title to my car and I can do what I want with either. For me that is priceless!

Bingo.
I'm sure excited to know my house will be paid off very soon.  Houses are not cars, true.  But having the freedom to add a room, enlarge the garage, etc, with the knowledge everything I do I can do without landlord ramifications and these "modifications" also add to the resale value is where it's at for me.

Cars too.  And to agree with you I also could never just drive a car that I had no attachment to-- just leasing a ride to and from.  Not for me.


Offline Cape Cod Fleetwood

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  • Name: Laurie Kraynick
Re: Repairing Today's Cars.
« Reply #35 on: December 30, 2017, 12:23:15 PM »
My cars are my 'babies', they have names, LOL! I'm so emotionally attached to my cars, they represent so much of my personal history. Then again I'm a chick... so....
There are 2 kinds of cars in the world, Cadillac and everything else....

The Present -1970 Fleetwood Brougham

The Past -
1996 Deville Concours
1987 Sedan De Ville "Commonwealth Edition"
1981 Coupe De Ville (8-6-4)
1976 Sedan De Ville
1975 Sedan De Ville

The Daily Driver and work slave -
2008 GMC Acadia SLT *options/all

Offline e.mason

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Re: Repairing Today's Cars.
« Reply #36 on: December 30, 2017, 05:52:08 PM »
Having a deed to a home, means you have the privilege of paying real estate taxes, doing the landscaping, get the repairs i.e. water heater, A/C etc., repaired.  Those of us that chose to give up ownership of a house, only have the benefit of having more time to enjoy our prides and joys.

Offline cadillac ken

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Re: Repairing Today's Cars.
« Reply #37 on: December 30, 2017, 06:27:37 PM »
Having a deed to a home, means you have the privilege of paying real estate taxes, doing the landscaping, get the repairs i.e. water heater, A/C etc., repaired.  Those of us that chose to give up ownership of a house, only have the benefit of having more time to enjoy our prides and joys.

True, but you still have to face rent increases, possible "friendly eviction" upon change of ownership, and despite my house does need maintenance, like Laurie said about her cars, my house is part of my history.  Not to mention it's worth 3.5x what I paid for it.  Definitely outdistances the ROI on any of my prized cars I own.  And with it comes the security of knowing I don't ever have to worry about an unwanted change to my living arrangement due to a Landlord decision. 

Same reasons I own my building for my business.  Bought it 5 years ago and is now worth 2x what I paid for it.  My friend who owns a high end foreign car repair shop rents his building which is coincidentally the same sq. footage as mine.  Just got an exorbitant rent increase.  But as he says what can he do.  He has lifts, engine rooms, etc. and the cost to relocate (and have to deal with customer dissatisfaction of relocation and possible loss of business) is just not worth the move. 

Now when I get old and decrepit, sure, I sell everything and just move into a condo.  But not while I still have the drive to do what I do and enjoy controlling my own destiny, in as much as anyone can...

Offline e.mason

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Re: Repairing Today's Cars.
« Reply #38 on: December 30, 2017, 06:46:58 PM »
True, but you still have to face rent increases, possible "friendly eviction" upon change of ownership, and despite my house does need maintenance, like Laurie said about her cars, my house is part of my history.  Not to mention it's worth 3.5x what I paid for it.  Definitely outdistances the ROI on any of my prized cars I own.  And with it comes the security of knowing I don't ever have to worry about an unwanted change to my living arrangement due to a Landlord decision. 

Same reasons I own my building for my business.  Bought it 5 years ago and is now worth 2x what I paid for it.  My friend who owns a high end foreign car repair shop rents his building which is coincidentally the same sq. footage as mine.  Just got an exorbitant rent increase.  But as he says what can he do.  He has lifts, engine rooms, etc. and the cost to relocate (and have to deal with customer dissatisfaction of relocation and possible loss of business) is just not worth the move. 

Now when I get old and decrepit, sure, I sell everything and just move into a condo.  But not while I still have the drive to do what I do and enjoy controlling my own destiny, in as much as anyone can...

Just like there are pros and cons to leasing.  There are pros and cons to home ownership. I think we can all agree, that in making life's decisions.  One size does not fit all.  We all have to decide what works best for us.

Online The Tassie Devil(le)

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Re: Repairing Today's Cars.
« Reply #39 on: December 30, 2017, 07:48:34 PM »
At least with home ownership, one is not constrained by corporate body stuff which stops one working on their cars.

At the moment, I have just completed the installation of retractable rear seat belts in my '72 Eldo Convertible, rebuilding the fuel delivery system in my Son's 2002 VX SS Holden Ute, My other Sons' Toyota Bus, fitting a Bull Bar to it, and repairing the Auto Trans on my 2002 VX Holden Commodore SS Sedan.

It is nice having a half acre of land to spread out on.

Bruce. >:D
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
'02 VX Series II Holden Commodore SS Sedan
(Past President Modified Chapter)