Sef servicing of vehicles

Submitted: Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 13:58
ThreadID: 34250 Views:1846 Replies:8 FollowUps:17
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Hi guys and gals,

Some time ago someone spoke up about having the different fluids changed by specialist provider (ie brake fluid by brake shop etc) in Brisbane. Just trying to track down who that was!

I've also had a gut full of dealer cross selling and their prices, and will be self servicing my vehicles from here on in. There are some things though that I'm happy to have done like fluid changes for brakes, power steering, auto and the like. So for that I'm looking for some good contacts in Brisvegas. Had the Nissan in for its last service yesterday, the oil change cost me $98 for 5 litres of 5-40 magnatec, $18 to get rid of the last lot, $4-50 for some rags, $20 for the filter. I'm having trouble sitting down at the moment as I have a pain in the posterior.

Kind regards
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Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 14:07

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 14:07
That should be SELF - I would like an auto spell checker function!
AnswerID: 174689

Reply By: Wizard1 - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 14:23

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 14:23
Not sure what your after.

Do want to do your own servicing as DIY or arrange for a particular specialist, such as a brake shop do the brake fluid, tranmission place to do the trannie, etc.?

I sometimes do my own intermediate services (5000 km), which is an oil change. The whole thing costs no more than $30-40. The local tip has an oil reclaimimg tank so that's where I dump the waste on the way to work. I keep empty oil cans for that purpose. Takes about an hour. You can also buy empties at Supercheap which can return for them to dispose of the oil for re-cycling.

The other stuff I leave to the dealer service. Its not worth the hastle and running around.

Wizard
Gold Coast
AnswerID: 174693

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 14:29

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 14:29
G'day Wizard,

Thanks, what someone mentioned some time ago was that they had their brake fluid drained and replaced for about $80 (if my memory serves me) and I feel that is worth having it done. They didn't find the dealers as cheap.

The straight forward stuff I'll be doing myself.

Kind regards
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FollowupID: 430733

Follow Up By: Peter - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 21:24

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 21:24
Yep, that was me!!
I get my brake fluid, power steering and clutch fluid changed every 12 months/40,000km. I get it done at Aussie Automotive Services at Lawnton (Brisbane) 3285 2777. Last bill was $55.50. Before you go to them stop in at the Strathpine library and pick up a free book marker from the front counter. Normally there is a voucher on the bookmark for a free (yes it is actually free because I use it and so do my two daughters) brake fluid flush. Use the free voucher and the price drops from the normal $80 to $55. Can't complain about the price and I've always found their service to be top notch. Give me a go
Peter
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FollowupID: 430817

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Friday, May 26, 2006 at 07:45

Friday, May 26, 2006 at 07:45
Thanks for the info Peter, will schedule that into the program.

Kind regards

Theo
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FollowupID: 430896

Reply By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 15:21

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 15:21
I do the same.

I do the odd 5000k services, like 125,000, 135,000 and get a local mechanic to do the even changes 130,000, 140,000 etc.

I could do it, and sometimes do, as well as the gear box oil and diff oil every 50,000, and flush the radiator etc every year.

But I just like putting it into the mechanic as he does a check for me and lets me know if he sees something I may have missed. He also does a full trip check for me before a big trip. Well actually, we start about 6 months out and we draw up a list. Nick suggests I do some and he does the others.

If you want to give him a ring, Moorooka Automotive on the southside of Brisy, ring 3892 1153. He does a fair bit of 4wd work, Nissans, Toyotas. He has an older Hilux and his son who also works there competes in a modified patrol.

I have used them for 20 years. Not always cheap, but some one you can work with. And no, I won't make any money out of this.
AnswerID: 174700

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Friday, May 26, 2006 at 07:47

Friday, May 26, 2006 at 07:47
Thanks Oldplodder sounds like the sort of place Im looking for. I live at Cannon Hill so it isn't too far.

Kind regards

Theo
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FollowupID: 430898

Reply By: Mr Fawlty - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 16:08

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 16:08
Changing the brake fluid is not that difficult. I do it like this:
1 with the engine off and no one in the drivers seat to touch the brake pedal take the lid off the reservior and syphon out the fluid therein with some plastic tube. Keep the brake fluid off paintwork as it will damage it.
2 fill with new fluid.
3 now you need an assistant or a $3.95 one man brake bleeder from Go Lo or the Warehouse or Supercheap.
4 on the wheel furthest from the reservior usually back LH wheel get a split ring spanner or a ring spanner that fits the hex on the bleeder screw, take of the rubber dust cap if fitted. You may find it easier to take off the wheel or put the wheel up on a ramp or similar to get access to the bleed screw.
5 get the bleed screw loosened while the assistant sits in the drivers seat ready to press the pedal at your command. I find "down" & "up" work OK but each to his own.
6 give the command to press the brake pedal then after you hear a creak as the brakes are applied loosen the bleed screw and allow the fluid to escape. You can for convenience convey the fluid away via some plasic tube pushed over the bleed screw barb & collect in a container.
7 when the flow stops tighten the screw & give the command to release or raise the brake pedal.
8 repeat 6 & 7 untill clear new fluid is expelled. Make sure you tighten the bleed screws firmly but not to the point that you snap it off & replace the rubber dust caps. Refill the fluid reservior as if it gets to low air can be sucked into the system meaning that you have to start again.
9 change to the other rear wheel and repeat 6,7 & 8
10 change to the front wheels and repeat 6,7 & 8.

Job done...should take you no more than an hour tops & save you $$$, mind you if you are that FLUSH YOU CAN ALWAYS SEND ME THE MONEY & I will spend it wisely on wild women & song
AnswerID: 174713

Follow Up By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 17:21

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 17:21
Not so easy on a system with ABS I am told.
One reason I don't have ABS, so I can do this type of thing myself. :-)
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FollowupID: 430758

Follow Up By: Exploder - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 18:01

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 18:01
ABS is fine along as you don’t get air in the HCU then you are in the chit and will need a dealer or brake shop.

Might I add> Use a bottle with a bit of brake fluid in the bottom and run a hose out of the bottle and onto the bleeder Valve, make sure the hose (Bottle end is in the clean brake fluid and start bleeding> Why you ask it will just about eliminate any risk of getting air in the system.
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FollowupID: 430765

Follow Up By: Mr Fawlty - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 19:39

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 19:39
Yep Exploder a good tip. ABS does not really interfere with bleeding/changing fluid so long as you do not START the engine or turn on the ignition while you are working as the pressure differential will be detected & may cause some problems. But take it to it's logical conclusion, if you have a power failure to the brake system most of them are sposed to revert to an oldfashioned unboosted hydraulic system anyway & that is the state you want them in to bleed.
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FollowupID: 430787

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Friday, May 26, 2006 at 07:58

Friday, May 26, 2006 at 07:58
Thanks guys, I used to do all this stuff in my younger days and I have one of those one man jobbies (well I used too but I think N0.2 son has helped himself to that). I did have some concerns about the ABS and thanks for clearing that up. Just want to ease myself back into this stuff.

Kind regards

Theo
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FollowupID: 430901

Reply By: Willem - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 17:16

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 17:16
Geez mate

At those prices you would want to do it yourself.

here in the sticks
$4.50lt for bleep s 15/40 so 10.5lt is $47.25
2 x ROF 9 filters @ $8.50 each is $17.00
Service charege $58 includes inspection, grease and air filter clean etc.

Sometimes I change the oil myself but always end up not knowing what to do with the old oil

regards
AnswerID: 174721

Follow Up By: Mr Fawlty - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 19:42

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 19:42
Willem, the old oil can be used on your Empire Day bonfire, seriously I use mine on a paling fence & some old railway sleepers I have as landscaping in my yard as a preservative. Most tips now have an oil recycling setup as well that will let you dump your used oil for free, it's rerefined and sold as homebrand engine oil I think.
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FollowupID: 430789

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Friday, May 26, 2006 at 08:04

Friday, May 26, 2006 at 08:04
Hi Willem,

Yeah it's disgusting I know and only tolerated this extorsion to keep the warranty intact - I know others do their own etc and don't have issues with warranties but I just didn't want to argue the toss if I was broken down somewhere.

It's nice when you live on some acreage then the sump oil has many uses but it is the tip/recycling for me.

Kind regards

Theo
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FollowupID: 430902

Reply By: Pavo - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 19:25

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 19:25
Just an aside, everyone should be replacing their brake fluid every 2 years and only ever topping up the reservoir with fluid from new bottles. Brake fluid absorbs moisture and it dramatically lowers the boiling point over time.

AnswerID: 174735

Follow Up By: Mr Fawlty - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 19:46

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 19:46
Yes Brake fluid is hygroscopic. If you don't change it it actually corrodes the inside of the metal tubing as well as the cylinders & pistons. I have had an amazing experience with the fluid boiling inside the wheel cylinders, blew up the whole shebang & I was lucky that we were at the bottom of the hill & were able to stop by switching the engine off.
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FollowupID: 430791

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Friday, May 26, 2006 at 08:08

Friday, May 26, 2006 at 08:08
This is the reason I am happy to do this regularly. And on this topic is it worth the change to a silicon (?) based fluid, I have heard it aint cheap but it is not hygroscopic.

The plan is to keep the vehicle for a llooooonnggg time. Mr Fawlty that experience would be up there in the scary catagory.

Kind regards

Theo
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FollowupID: 430903

Follow Up By: Mr Fawlty - Friday, May 26, 2006 at 09:35

Friday, May 26, 2006 at 09:35
Beatit, I have heard mixed reports re the synthetic stuff. I'm not convinced that the outlay is really worth it. I was quoted $600 for 500mls & you have to have all the other stuff out of your lines as the 2 apparently don't mix....Ask around, the racing community use the synthetic and maybe there is a cheaper supplier now.
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FollowupID: 430923

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Friday, May 26, 2006 at 09:39

Friday, May 26, 2006 at 09:39
Thanks Mr Fawlty, I heard it wasn't cheap and maybe it is easier to just replace with the standard stuff.

Kind regards

Theo
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FollowupID: 430924

Reply By: V8Diesel - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 20:38

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 20:38
I've always serviced my own vehicles. It's the only way you know it will be done properly.
AnswerID: 174756

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Friday, May 26, 2006 at 08:12

Friday, May 26, 2006 at 08:12
I agree with you here and I know plenty of others do also. The level of sophistication in these engine bays as well as the lack of space has been off puting. Someone once told me that the electronics aside the motor is still a motor and is mechanical - so I have hope.

Kind regards

Theo
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FollowupID: 430904

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 22:32

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 22:32
Like V8Diesel, I'll always service my own vehicles - been bitten by poor servicing in the past. Even the vehicles I've bought new are done by me. Always keep the receipts for the stuff when under warranty still.

And I buy the genuine coolant and brake fluid as I believe its important. Mixing different brand coolants is a recipe for a blocked radiator, and Toyota vehicles only like the old Dot 3 brake fluid. The cost of service items for Nissan and Toyota vehicles is pretty cheap.

I like to buy the better grade engine and trans/diff oils.

AnswerID: 174785

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Friday, May 26, 2006 at 08:21

Friday, May 26, 2006 at 08:21
G'day Phil,

The oil price blew me away. I bought some 5-40 synthetic (shell ultra I think) for about $50 in Big W to do the change in my Commodore an oil filter for about $5 from supercrap. I learned a couple of lessons from doing this but the most important one that it was easier to remove the bash plate (5 minutes) to do the change and filter rather than get oil all over the place. I'm sure I'll learn some these tricks as I go and this will help while travelling.

Kind regards

Theo
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FollowupID: 430905

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, May 27, 2006 at 16:23

Saturday, May 27, 2006 at 16:23
Hi Theo,
We have a bunch of Nissan sedans in the family. I buy the Nissan special blend 7.5W30, and they charge me trade because I buy a lot of stuff - about $26 for 5 litres. The filters for the Pulsars/Skyline are $8 each - cheaper than the Rycos.

Oil for the LandCruiser is bought in bulk from Adelaide Truck and 4wd - I get the bleep s 15/40 for about $70 for 20 litres.

With DIY, second time round is always better than first time round. I still make quite a mess though :-)) Wife doesn't like me walking it into the house .....

Cheers
Phil
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FollowupID: 431135

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