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To try and fix my car myself?

(14 Posts)
Atwaroverscrabble Sat 04-Jun-11 10:55:30

I have a mini van type of thing, Toyota Lucida (1995 model, diesel, auto) and it's not been starting properly recently... Called out the Rac today and they told me it was the starter motor and I should get it fixed as it wil get worse....

I haven't called out local garage yet for prices but googled and it would seem the starter motor itself can be bought for £90-150 an then there would be a Mark up and of course labour! But..... There is a starter motor repair kit on eBay where you just replace part of the motor (copper bits apparently..) and it has good reviews and reasonably clear instructions!

Aibu to think I should give it a bash myself? (I'm a phd student in psychology and not a mechanic!) I've done various bits of DIY over the years and can be fairly practical but this is a car!! Am I likely to damage my hands so much that I can't type? (I'm also marking a level papers over the next 3 weeks and have 10 months to write my 100,000 word thesis so can't knacker my hands but we are so skint!!)
Dh doesn't drive, not practical really, never had to do DIY etc and no patience so can't get him to do it....

WhoAteMySnickers Sat 04-Jun-11 10:57:48

If you really haven't got the first clue, then I wouldn't DIY this time, I'd get it done by a garage and then enrol yourself on a car maintenance course at nightschool so you can do it next time!

discobeaver Sat 04-Jun-11 11:03:39

You know the starter motor is knackered, so if you get this kit you can't do any real harm - best case is you fix it. If you screw it up, just buy a new starter motor which you have already sourced and get a mechanic to fit it.
All you will have lost is the cost of the repair kit.
If you think you have a fighting chance of following the instructions, give it a go. Good luck!

ShellyBoobs Sat 04-Jun-11 12:23:24

I just asked my OH who's very practical and loves cars, bikes, engines etc.

He said to point out that you still need to remove the starter motor and strip it down in order to replace the parts; you can't do it with it in situ.

Apologies if you already knew this!

Salmotrutta Sat 04-Jun-11 12:48:03

How accessible is the starter motor?
If it's in a tricky place it could be a nightmare (fond memories of DH having to take a whole engine out once to replace a timing chain that was carefully placed to provide maximum inconvenience).

Haines (Haynes?) manual could be your friend here if you have one .... or the library might?

Atwaroverscrabble Sat 04-Jun-11 16:45:24

In this beast the starter motor is actually under the front seat!

discobeaver Sat 04-Jun-11 18:50:54

Is there a Toyota forum where you could ask? Maybe even a Lucida forum?
The internet could be your friend here.

troisgarcons Sat 04-Jun-11 18:57:59

have a leaf through a Haynes manual - it will show you how - BUT - the tools required maybe more expensive than the job its self

complexnumber Sat 04-Jun-11 19:05:04

I was just about to make a comment, then reflected that I know absolutely nothing about cars, vans or even supermarket trollies.

This thread is a better place without the likes of me

ShinyMoonInAPurpleSky Sat 04-Jun-11 19:35:35

MIL had a Toyota Lucida and as far as I recall all the engine bits were quite hard to get to because it hasn't got a proper bonnet has it?

DH has practically replaced every part of our car engine (Rover 75) himself and yes, the tools cost a fortune, some of the parts cost a fortune (normally the smaller they are the more expensive they are!), it takes up soooo much time I'm sure ds will be in uni before he finishes it completely and speaking as the "assistant" it's really annoying being told to "hold this for a minute" when "this" is oily, heavy and generally disgusting, and a minute is more like an hour...

...but on the bright side it's still cheaper than getting it done in a garage.

MrsSnaplegs Sat 04-Jun-11 20:00:23

Try www.toyotaownersclub.com/forums there may be someone on their local to you willing to come and do it for a small amount cash in hand/ few beers type thing. If not where are you? We are in south of uk my dh may be able to help -- not a mechanic but fixes our landrovers all the time

larakitten Sat 04-Jun-11 20:00:49

Definately try yourself! Haynes Manuals are very straightforward, and also bear in mind that you could try a breakers yard to source a complete unit and replace that instead of faffing about with the internals of it......

This coming from me with 4 cars in the family and a DH who I supervise assist on all car repairs grin

FabbyChic Sat 04-Jun-11 20:07:52

Have you checked eBay to see how much a starter motor is? What about the tools have you priced those?

Atwaroverscrabble Sat 04-Jun-11 23:11:38

Thanks everyone, I will check out the forums! eBay has complete new/refurb starter motors from about £89.... The repair kit is £15... And the website with the instructions says it's a fiddle to get to it as it's under a seat but that it just needs a spanner..... Will have a good look and phone around on Monday to get a range of prices, we're in Oxford so pretty pricey for everything!!!

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