Sometimes we just like to get our hands dirty, to say we've done something ourselves. Other times, we don't want to pay what are rip-off rates for a professional. Other times, it's just worth it to let a pro take over.
Had a couple things come up. One is my car is throwing a "check engine" light and code. It reads underboost, part of the turbo. Research online, it's one of two things: either the diverter valve or the wastegate. If it's the wastegate, it'll be really noisy. It isn't. Diverter valves on this are notorious for getting sticky after time.
OK, order the new part, it's three allen bolts to take off the old and replace it with the new. First two are a pain, last one just isn't moving at all. Finally too frustrated, take it to the mechanic. Bolt is stripped, they're not sure how to get it out, suggest a guy who specializes in cars like mine down the street. He's booked for two weeks solid, but suggests putting the radiator in "service position". Never heard of that...
Come home, find it requires removing front bumper and removing a dozen bolts or so. The radiator and front end now shift forward four inches and I can get at this bolt that was impossible before, put an extractor in it, and get it out. What has been hours of trying to get this bolt that was stripped to move was out in less than half an hour! All because of helpful advice from a pro. The car is now fixed (bolt replaced w/ a new one), and runs great. That pro will get my business next time I need something done.
Different problem, this one on the heater for the pool and spa. Won't run, gives an error code. Dig a little online, one of three things: a fuse, a temperature switch, or the main controller (controller is unlikely). No time to deal with this one when it happens, tell the wife to call repairman. First one called: we'll give your name and number to owner and get back to you. A week later, try again. Oh, we'll get back to you. A week later, no call back. Call a second guy.
Second guy supposed to be out Wed, and no shows. Yesterday he shows up, saying they were too busy to get to us and tries to diagnose the heater. "Some sort of ignition issue," he says, "we'll e-mail you with a quote for parts and labor" (diagnosis call was free, thankfully). Doesn't mesh with what I've read in the manufacturer's troubleshooting guide.
So I go out today with a voltmeter and follow the troubleshooting guide. It's the temperature switch. Touch a bar in center of it, it resets, and the heater is working again. No parts needed, nothing strange, it works fine now I reset that switch (it's supposed to reset like that). Well, there's two professionals who won't get my business. One for not even returning our inquiry about service, the second for showing up a day late and mis-diagnosing the problem.
Who else has things they've done themselves or stories about people who have been professional or not?