My Suburban was ready to start getting packed. I had retrieved my 6’x12′ open box trailer from the welder (where repairs to the tongue had been made). As I was backing, backing and rebacking the trailer down my steep front drive towards my garage, I suddenly heard something different sound-wise coming from under the hood.
Now you have to understand that while I’m no rocket scientist, most of the operations of a motor vehicle are pretty straight forward from a common sense, mechanical point of view. Complications do arise with computer interactions and what not, but the “mechanical” aspects of how motors operate have essentially stayed the same since Ford started the wheels a rollin.
Anyways, after popping the hood I discover that all of my power steering fluid is coating the interior of my engine space (and subsequently dripping down the driveway of the house I am trying to move out of and sell :'(
So, being the “save a buck” and “do it yourself, like real men do” kind of guy that I am, I went to Kragen’s (my favorite autoparts store). They are usually very helpful, and the individuals I usually consult with were not in that day so I went it alone. Purchasing what I figured were adequate parts, I went home to make the repair. What I hadn’t accounted for was the 1500 to 2000 psi of pressure that is exerted through the power steering hose and how that would simply blow through the rubber repair patch that I had painstakingly applied.
Well, at this point my options were to buy a kit for $10 or so that calls for cutting the high pressure hose, inserting a male:male fitting into the two cut ends of the hose and clamping it down on both sides, or I could go to the local mechanic that I trust, by the way, and see what it would take to get the right part installed.
As fate would have it all it “took” was $69.90 parts and labor and about an hour and a half of my time. I value my time pretty highly, so let’s just say that the entire “job” cost me in the neighborhood of $250. But that $69.90 cash out of my pocket is so incredibly worth the piece of mind that I won’t have to think about it as I make the 1,000 mile trip from NorCal to AZ late next week (pulling a trailer, no less!)
Have you had auto repair scenarios like the above? I often repair my own vehicles and do most of the maintenance work on them as well. Makes me feel more connected and in touch with the mechanical aspects of how they are running at any given moment. But I have more stories like the above, as I bet you do as well. I’d love to hear some of your stories of how you discovered that spending just a few dollars was so much more effective than doing it yourself. Please share!
~Go Boldly!

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