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Why you should do things yourself

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' started by Notrossi, Oct 9, 2016.

  1. Picked up my bike Friday from a local motorcycle mechanic who I have used ages ago to rebuild a dirtbike engine.
    I have issue with a few things....some just a bit sloppy and some downright dangerous.
    Here's a list of things not right when I picked it up.
    1 week old left hand blinker over tightened and thread ripped out of blinker housing ( I fixed with super glue)
    Lh shock cap nut has the alloy rounded off from Ill care.
    Plastic shroud over Mudgard missing 2 fasteners...wires etc flapping in the wind ( I fixed with 2 zip ties in 3 seconds )
    Front struts fitted with tops flush with triple clamp ( sposed to sit proud 7 mm. I had to argue to get it rectified )
    Suspension rebound and compression settings in rebuilt forks uneven from side to side and the rebound was turned in so far it wouldn't return at all when pushed down on ( that would cause an accident if someone jumped on and rode it.)
    I asked for tyre pressure to be checked 32 f 36 rear.( was 26 and 28 when I picked it up. Basic service check point I would think )
    Even though all those things weren't right I've been happy how my bike turned out and wasn't planning on mentioning it to netrider or the mechanic in question.
    Till I checked my oil window this arvo. I am pissed off!
    It was over filled, I couldn't see the line nor could I see the alloy Doovey in front of the window so I loosened the nut to drain a bit.
    Ended up draining 4 liters of my 2800ml that should be inside my engine and this is what it looks like after 1000 km I've done this weekend 20161009_161848. 20161009_161848. 20161009_165801.

    • Informative Informative x 1
  2. name and shame
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  3. I'll see what the outcome of my conversation with them tomorrow is before I name and shame.
    The owner is going through some terrible stuff at home and I don't want to add to his stress.
    There is no excuse under the sun for that to be in my bike though so I don't think the mechanic and I are going to get on real well tomoz.
  4. you do realise the colour of the oil is not really a good indicator. Oil's have a cleaning agent. Unless your going to perform an oil analysis your going to be nonethewiser.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Although having said that, you can certainly tell if the oil 'smells' burnt. Also, some oil catch containers have a magnet in them - as do some sump plugs - so you can see if there's any nasty bit being ground around the engine....
  6. The mechanic told me last week he had changed the oil filter but the old oil had not yet been dropped .
    I'm guessing that old oil mixed with the new.
    Got me stuffed. The old oil wasn't as dark as the crap I pulled out of the bike yesterday. I could see it was old cos it was kind of grainy when I looked at a thin smear.....just what you'd expect from oil that is overdue to be changed.
    Anyway, they've given me three liters of fully synthetic oil and another filter which I'll chuck in myself on the weekend.
  7. How can the oil filter be changed without draining the oil?
    Wouldn't it just p1ss out everywhere?
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  8. yeah
    think it was a big story spun by the workshop
    wasnt done at all
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  9. No way oil was changed. What a load of bullsh!t. This is also the exact reason I do most of the work myself on my bike. I can only blame myself if I fark up. Which I have once. It's not rocket science to do the simple bits on a bike, like oil, filter and tyre pressures. Cams and valves are a little different.

    I be telling him to change the filter and oil himself, given you paid him to do same.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Agree there, why the hell would you just change the filter and not oil. Dropping the oil is the easy part.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. If they old oil hadn't been dropped, why the hell did he put the new oil in?? The excessive oil level possibly caused some burning, hence the darker colour, but there's no "old" and "new" section in the oil system. It's all together.

    Most filters are in their own spot, not inside the sump. Only the oil in the galleries will drain oil when you take off the filter, even less if it's a replaceable element type rather than a spi-on canister.

    This is a potentially catastrophic fuq up on the part of the workshop and could easily have cost them a new motor.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  12. i'll give you another reason to do it yourself, other than it being easy and you know what's going in.

    a bloke i work with had his dirt bike serviced here in S.A. "i won't mention the shop" but i think they are closed now anyway or in the process of.
    got it home and went to start it and made a horrible noise. "they forgot to put oil back in lol" :p
    so count yourself lucky i recon :p
    • Like Like x 2
  13. I can't work out what the hell they did for the life of me. The oil I drained out doesn't smell burnt, it's just old. It's not the same as was in there that's for sure.
    My old oil was honey colored then went dark honey colored just before the service. This crap is black.
    I wonder if they got 2 drums of oil mixed up and filled my bike with oil from a bunch of other bikes......I really don't know.
    I'm uncomfortable talking about it. I feel dirty.
    I've been violated.
  14. Do things yourself because that's how you learn!
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Like Like x 1
  15. There's no guarantee you wont stuff it up worse yourself. There's been some good examples on here which resulted in many tears, money and months of frustration. Some quite recent.

    But yeah, its good if you've got the tools, time and enough know how.

    I've got a good mechanic I can trust. That's gold.
  16. I haven't been to a mechanic in 10 years and a million kms. Your experience (it certainly does sound like they're bullshitting you) reminds me why.

    9/10 times you can do a better job than a workshop - you have to remember that the odds are it's a 16 year old who is working on your bike after punching out four cones that morning. They don't give a shit.

    That being said there's some very, very good mechanics out there. If I earned more money I could totally imagine taking my bike to someone like Charlie at Turn One in Melbourne.
  17. If you have the time, tools and space, doing your own services is the way to go, my Harley uses three different types of oil, I can afford to change more regularly without service charges, my other bikes use one oil. Mobil 1 is my choice of synthetic. Working on your own bike means you are more in tune with what's going on, as well as a more visual aspect, meaning you check it out with your eyes and pick up on any problems. It is easier than you think.
  18. What UG said!!!
  19. There are some jobs on the bike that even a mechanical numpty such as myself can do, and really should do.

    The obvious is tyre pressures. I am truly amazed at how many people never check their tyre pressures between services. I check mine every time a fill up when commuting. When 'touring' I check them first up in the morning and again at the end of the day.
    Chain tension - where applicable. Again I am amazed at how many people have no idea how to check and adjust the chain and just leave it for the mechanic to do at service time.
    Chain lube - really it's not that hard - ok if you don't have a centre stand it's a bit awkward but doable.
    Oil change - again not difficult, it generally only required one tool.
    Changing the battery - why the fcuk do people need a mechanic to do that?

    For me everything else basically gets done by a mechanic. My theory, and I've proven it to be correct for myself at least, is that if I fcuk a job up it's my issue, my cost, my problem. If a mechanic fcuks up a job, yes it creates an issue for me, but they've got a much bigger issue, it's their cost and their problem to solve. I learned years ago, make friends with a good solicitor. Carry their card with you/have their number in your phone. Mine has (at no charge to me) sorted out more than one issue for me over the phone.
  20. Exactly why I do my own servicing on everything . At least you know it's done. With the Internet these days there's nothing you can't learn how to do . As mentioned earlier , chances are the apprentice is doing the work unsupervised anyway .
    • Like Like x 1