Every now and then, stuff breaks. That's shocking, I know, right? But it does. It might be your clothes dryer, your car, your TV, or who knows what. Sometimes you can fix these things, and sometimes you can't. But if you can take the time to learn how to fix things, it's worth the time invested! let me explain.
If you have, let's say a car, that snapped a timing belt. Well, the first thing you do is make sure it's the timing belt. Do you know how to check the timing belt on your car? Do you even know what a timing belt is? Time to learn. Go go Google and find out.
Then, you need to know if a timing belt something you can replace on your own. Sometimes a snapped timing belt will destroy an engine... sometimes it won't. It depends on whether the engine is an interference design or not. If it's not, then chances are there's no serious damage. Do some research and find out!
If your engine isn't an interference engine, and you know it's the timing belt that went out, then you're in luck! You can probably fix it yourself, for less than $50. It will just take some research, and about 5 hours or so. Chances are your car would be in the shop more than 5 hours, so overall, this isn't bad.
Yes, the photo in this post is me changing a timing belt. I already had the tools, but tools can be borrowed (usually for free from an auto parts store) and information can be learned. It's not that bad.
The real thing I want people (that means you, reader!) to understand is that it's not as hard to fix things as you'd think. Some people say "I don't have the mechanical aptitude to fix anything!" but I don't believe that. There are tons of articles and videos on the internet that can walk you through it, step-by-step. You can save thousands of dollars this way! I'm not trying to stiff mechanics and repairmen, but let's be honest, their time isn't cheap. Most repairs aren't that hard.
Don't be afraid to do some research on your problem to figure it out for yourself. The added bonus is, once you've learned how to fix something, that's a permanent skill! If you keep adding to your list of skills, eventually you will be confident enough to tackle jobs you never thought you could.
This is how I got started in frugal mechanics... out of necessity. Now I do it because I can, and the long-term benefits are well worth it!
What are some things you've accomplished that you never thought you could tackle?
Here's an '86 Raleigh Capri I rescued from the dumpster. I changed out the wheels, tires, and cranks, but otherwise, it's all original... including the squeaky chain! Rides fine, though. Just needs some loving. Do you have a favorite old bike that you just can't get rid of?
Huge pile of rusty bikes! We'll see if I can get a few gems out of this pile.
Dad found his new bike:
In my quest for less stuff, I cleaned out an old pile of scrapbook fodder, and found proof for my kids that I wasn't always a fuddy-duddy. Saw Van Halen in '91, my ears were ringing for days.
At work the other day, someone found a hummingbird stuck in spiderwebs, nearly dead. We cleaned it up and managed to nurse it back to health with dribbles of Coke, until a few hours later it was strong enough to fly away on its own. Cool stuff!
Took out the Rat Klunker for a test run this morning, did 22 miles, everything works great! Gonna be a great riding bike.