F​*ck you, I refuse to work on my own car

N​ot Daniel Berman rails against the idiocy of working on your own car in this, the first installment of Forum F*ckheads

"Just fix it yourself! [Insert link to time-lapse showcasing 10 hours of incomprehensible piping]."

This is the response I get from any forum when I so much as offhandedly mention that I won't work on my own car. Invariably the scores of 22-year-old internet master-mechanics will call me a shill for not having the balls to so much as fix my own car. To which I always respond...

F*ck you!

Working on your own car is dumb, idiotic, stupid, and a waste of time. Cars are complicated! Take my BMW 135i, for example; the damn thing couldn't be more intricate, complex, and technical if it tried. There are thousands of components, each specifically screwed in and assembled to work in perfect symbiosis with the other 9,568 parts in that engine bay. And for you to think that me, you, or just some random guy on the internet can work on something like this, you've gotta be out of your god damn mind!

Fact is that if you're skilled enough to fix your own car, you'd have a job as a mechanic. And seeing as you probably don't, that means you're bad at it!

And to those who say that "FORUMS HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS!!!!" and "USETHESEARCHFEATURE!!!!" Oh, sorry, I wasn't able to fix my car using a 15-year-old forum post buried in a porn thread on '6thgencivic.douch.'

But, let's say that I was to listen to these fools for a second; where would this actually get me?

Well, at this moment, my 135i is in the shop for an oil leak, not uncommon for a BMW of this vintage. The leak itself stems from a $5 gasket that's gone bad after nearly a decade of use. But to get to it, roughly half of the engine must first come off, meaning that I will be paying my mechanic almost $1,000 in labor for this job alone.

The forum warriors would, of course, tell me to buy the gasket, fire up a YouTube video and get to work. Now, obviously, I don't have a car lift or anything like that, so I'd have to prop my car up on jack stands. And because I live in Manhattan, I'd struggle to find a square inch of this city in which someone won't give me a frontal lobotomy for blocking the road with my disassembled car. But assuming I did find such a place (nowhere near my apartment, of course), I'd have to spend hundreds of dollars on tools before so much as laying a finger on my engine. And of course, by this time, I'm so exhausted from all this setup that I'll go to bed. But tomorrow, I have a life! Work, school, you name it, I don't have three months to fondle my car's engine!

Because, oh yeah, I'm not a mechanic, and neither are you!

"Everything in life should either earn you money or make you happy" "spending three months under my car only to make it the same or worse achieves neither of these things."

Yet, if by some miracle I manage to get to that gasket, I will A. install it wrong, B. Install the wrong part, or C. Be unable to put the engine back together. And if by some miracle, after half a year, my car were to be in one piece, there's no way in hell it'd actually startup!

So, inevitably, I'd give in, curse the universe, and call a flatbed to have the car trucked off to an actual professional who can tell a spanner from a bacon egg and cheese sandwich.

See, the thing that people on '6thgencivic.douch' don't understand is that unless you're a stoned frat boy, your time is valuable! You'd be far better off getting a job, earning money, and then paying someone who knows what they're doing to fix your car in a day or two!

Everything in life should either earn you money or make you happy, and spending three months under my car only to make it the same or worse achieves neither of these things.

Which brings me to my final point, what kind of person must you be to have the time, knowledge, and financial resources to fix your own car?

I'm serious, because presumably, if you have the time to spend months disassembling and then reassembling an engine, you are either unemployed or have a second car. But if you have a second vehicle, you can probably afford to go to a mechanic. This means that no matter how you slice it, you are either A. An idiot for not valuing your own time, B. An idiot who bought a car they cannot afford, or C. (Most Likely) All of the above.

-​Not Daniel Berman

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Comments (76)

  • Counterpoint: I do love working on cars, you couldn't pay me enough to live anywhere near Manhattan or anywhere like it, and I wouldn't touch any BMW built after 1989 with a ten-foot-pole. So I'll just be over here, with my cheap old cars, and my half-acre property, and my peace and quiet...

      1 month ago
  • I think the word(s) you're looking for is incompetence. Or even unwillingly lazy. You're unwillingly lazy because you seem to have no imagination of feeling a sense of achievement in fixing your own car. And that makes you also incompetent. Sure, waste your money but at least try with some things. You're probably the type of person to pay someone to change your windshield wipers.

      1 month ago
    • Funny you mention it, I believe the tech at my local BMW shop offered to replace the wiper blade. And there's plenty of ways to get a "sense of achievement" that don't involve incapacitating my car for three months any time it needs servicing.

        1 month ago
    • when you buy wipers from Autozone they'll change them for you, and I let them. Why not. I'm in my clean clothes.

      At the same time I rebuilt the whole rear end on my late Mustang. And parts of the front. So.

        1 month ago
  • Did you search on DT before posting your problem in articles? Other people have already solved this problem. Search bar is at the top. VTD.

      1 month ago
  • I agree

      1 month ago
  • I don’t understand the preoccupation with being concerned about things that have no impact on your life. Choose to or not to work on your car, who cares. Why would people on the internet berate those that choose not to do it?

    For me and many we enjoy the sense of accomplishment of fixing things, however it makes no difference to me if you choose to or choose not to wrench. I will add that I’ve saved a lot of money and my cars are all fixed properly. I have had a couple experiences where dealership mechanics mess things up that I’ve had to fix.

    The other thing I find frustrating is when people say “you’re so good at fixing thing”... no I wasn’t inherently born with this skill I’ve EARNED it through blood sweat and tears.

      1 month ago
    • Also, I could have a career as a mechanic but it’s my hobby and I make far better money in my chosen career field.

        1 month ago