Car Repair

I am not a car guy but I am fine with getting my hands dirty. Technically I can be a car guy but somehow I never did because there wasn't much guidance from my peers. With Micky's knowledge and willingness to guide, plus his amazing array of tools of course, I did learn to do minor servicing sometime back. I must agree the short lesson helped. For one, I could jack my car and remove my wheels to play around with the axles.

An Aussie chap, Darren, joined us recently in the factory as a casual worker. He is the kind of guy who drove cars for decades but never visited a mechanic even once. Yes, car guy. Whenever there was a chance, I would ask him about car repairs. He encouraged me to try things out, small things first and move on to bigger things when I have the confidence to do so. Little did he know confidence isn't what I need. I was a tank mechanic and could strip and lift an AVLB tank engine in 20 minutes with 2 of my best partners back in the army. I can handle tools, remove and connect stuff in terribly confined situations. But give me a car, I am helpless. Blame it on sleeping on the lessons back then, I didn't learn about automobile mechanics as much as I wished though I had the chance.

Fortunately with decent basic knowledge from the countless tanks we serviced and repaired, I could catch concepts that Darren tried to convey to me quickly. Each conversation with him improved my knowledge about the basics of the average car. We agreed that I should not be tinkering with Goldilocks at the moment until I have a backup car in case any repair required an off-road time longer than expected. Moreover I have inadequate tools and my garage is now too small because of Penny's car and Barry White's dead body lying around. Soon... one day... it is inevitable.

It isn't a pre-requisite for a man to get touchy with his car here but it certainly comes useful. First, obviously labour is expensive and it is good to do some basic things ourselves. Second, it can be really helpful. Just imagine being 150km away from Perth City on a roadtrip with a flat tyre and not knowing how to install the spare. Yeah I heard you say 'roadside assistance from RAC' but they are not omnipotent, it never hurts to know a little.

During a meeting up with a yandao private car seller when Penny was looking for her car, I shamelessly took the opportunity to 'shoot questions' at the seller who had unwisely revealed his job as a car mechanic apprentice. He was nice and patient and answered many of my queries. In the end we didn't buy his car and I probably ended up the biggest winner for that visit.

Anyway, as I have no tools and space, I decided to fix the urgent issues about Goldilocks first by visiting a professional mechanic. Incidentally, this shop was introduced by an Aussie guy whom I met online. He volunteered free service to answer car questions. After a few email exchanges with me, I reckoned he was starting to regret volunteering because I didn't know how to stop asking questions. To cut the story short, I visited this mechanic who specialised in fixing CV joints problem because hmm... Goldilocks had a CV joint problem.

I crawled under the car that weekend before just to have a look. The boot of the left CV joint was completely broken with grease exposed. All versions of smart guesses from Darren's, yandao car seller and online retired mechanic seemed to fit. On top of that, I watched quite a number of videos in youtube about replacing the joint. I knew I could do that myself given the tools and spare part. I chose to go to a mechanic nevertheless because yandao car seller told me over here if they screwed up a repair, I could keep bugging them until they fix up the problem.

So I was prepared to part with some money but I knew I was not going to leave the place without gaining something in return. Unfortunately the first thing I gained was weight. There was a waiting area I was told to stay at with a big jar filled with small packages of different chocolate and potato chips. I was told to sit there a few times after they caught me loitering around the repair area trying to catch a glimpse. Guess the snacks helped in snaring me (and possibly other curious men) at the seat. Yum.

Fortunately the boys at outercontrol (the name of the mechanic) was sincere in doing business. When the wheel was removed, they asked me to go over to have a look at the faulty areas and explained how things work and the situation. Enlightening. We also took the chance to look at my screeching brakes. I was pretty sure it was both the brake pads and the rotors that required replacement but mechanic boss told me I only needed to change the pads. I requested them to do it for me even though it was not part of their service. They did that anyway. The brakes worked fine now. Jen would be please to drive it. There was still humming sounds at occasional braking. The rotors, I'm quite sure. Mechanic boss did admit the rotors were worn and probably had to be changed when these new brake pads get worn down eventually.

CV joint close up

Simple small, clean workshop

Wish I have a jack like that.

Ok, I got carried away again with car repair tales. I was suppose to share why it is a good thing to know a thing or two about cars if we want to live long term here. I stopped at point 2. To continue, thirdly, I noticed these car fixing things seemed to be a social activity for local men here. I had drove past houses with a few guys standing around chatting with a couple of cars with their bonnet up. It seemed weird at first where men gathered at each other's house to admire each other's car engine but it was probably simply friends lending one another a helping hand while chilling out. Not a bad thing to do especially during winter, if you ask me.

Back to the visit to the mechanic, the guys at outercontrol fixed:

1) My left CV joint (outer)
2) Replaced brake pads, both sides of course

Total cost: A$277.00

No more creaks, no more screech. I'm sure Jen will enjoy driving it over the weekend. To prepare for the weekend I filled the tank today. I noticed the price of fuel has been rather good during winter. I'm sure it wasn't my imagination that fuel prices were much higher during the entire Autumn, hovering way above A$1.30 per litre. I got my fill at A$1.201 per litre today after that 4c Woolies discount. Not too bad.


  1. Once armour, always armour... hah!

  2. Its only I landed in down under that I realised my Singaporean upbringing whilst equipped me with many life challenges but also came up short with many others. For example, I do not know how to perform simple repairs around the house like gyprock, operating a lawn mower, troubleshooting pool equipment failure using logic and changing car batteries. Call me silly but I thought "someone else" will always do these for me. Not so now as I am learning everyday even after 10 years here. Next week, I will be attempting to fix stackstone. I doubt it will go well :(

  3. Which car mechanic did you go? I am thinking of changing my brake pads and brake flush too. :)
    Don't mind email me the details :


  4. First of all, raise the front of vehicle with a jack and try and get the view of the engine.
    reparo de para-brisas

  5. I definitely agree with you. Knowing the basics about your car can help you with vehicle maintenance. With this, you can immediately determine what’s wrong with your vehicle and what kind of repairs your car needs. A simple thing as knowing the mechanism and parts can be a big help. But if the problem is beyond what you know, taking it to a repair shop would be best.

  6. Hmm... Not bad. I mean, the amount you spent is okay. If everything went well, then it means that you're just satisfied with all the work done. All you spent are totally worth it!

  7. I would like to commend you for at least thinking about sharing “why it is a good thing to know a thing or two about cars.” Cody actually pointed out good points about it. As car owners, it’s our sole responsibility to take care of our car. So, it’s only important to at least know basic skills on how to repair your car. Not only would that save you a few bucks from having to go to the mechanic, but with enough trial and error, you will also get to learn new things about how you could take better care of your car.

  8. All you guys are right about the importance of having the knowledge about the basics. Most of the time, that is what matters the most because it can solve half of the majority of minor and major problems. And the best thing there is that you'll never be fooled easily. :)

    [Carry Demaggio]

  9. That's true, Michelina. Owning a car comes with a big responsibility. You should know which parts need replacement or know if your engine is producing unfamiliar sounds. That being said, you would know if you need to bring your car to your trusted mechanic. It's good to repair your car on your own, but bringing it to a mechanic will give you guarantee that your car will be repaired effectively.

    Matha Trotter

  10. Thank you for sharing valuable information. Nice post. I enjoyed reading this post. The whole blog is very nice found some good stuff and good information here Thanks..Also visit my pageDealers License Dealers License LLC offers our Wholesale clients two very distinct options: While the two options vary in price, the ajority of the services and amenities offered are the same.

  11. It seems like it would be important to learn how to repair those easy and simple repairs. This way you won't have to go pay someone to get something small fixed. My brother took some mechanic classes in high school and just the things he learned in those classes seem to help him a bunch.