Simple Repairs made MORE Difficult

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In a current thread, the OP says to change his Mazda Radiator, the bumper has to come off. Another poster said to change his serpentine belt, a motor mount had to be removed. Vehicles today are made better and repairs may be less frequent, but for the DIYer, more frustrating. I have a 2002 Ford Ranger that when I do simple repairs, it's not to difficult to work on. I have easily done: * Air & fuel filter * Plugs & wires * Shocks * Change all 6 fluids * Radiator Only once did I have to take it to a Mechanic because of a coolant leak around the timing chain cover. The skill level was beyond me. Question: What repairs have you done where you could not believe the vehicle was designed that way. Make / Model: Year: Broken part & What had to be removed:
 

CT8

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I am at the point of life where anything other than buying gas makes me wonder if it is just easier to buy a new car.
 
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1992 Honda Accord - To replace front brake rotors, you have to basically remove the entire steering knuckle, unbolt the bearing from the knuckle and knock it loose with a hammer, then unbolt the rotor from the hub. Then bolt the new rotor to the hub and reassemble everything. The second time I had to do that job, I swapped in a set of hubs and rotors from a 1998 Acura 2.3CL, which is a "normal" setup where you simply slide the rotors over the wheel studs without disassembling anything else, and it's a direct bolt-in swap.
 
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2006-2009 Toyota Prius- (1)Changing the headlight bulb, the dealer takes the front bumper off! The drivers side can be done by removing the fuse block cover and being a contortionist. The passenger side can be done reasonably by removing the coolant fluid fill spout and the windshield washer fluid bottle. (2) The PCV valve is under the windshield wiper skirt. Once again being a contortionist helps a ton!
 
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Originally Posted By: InhalingBullets
2006-2009 Toyota Prius- (1)Changing the headlight bulb, the dealer takes the front bumper off! The drivers side can be done by removing the fuse block cover and being a contortionist. The passenger side can be done reasonably by removing the coolant fluid fill spout and the windshield washer fluid bottle. (2) The PCV valve is under the windshield wiper skirt. Once again being a contortionist helps a ton!
That reminds me of another one: 2007 Nissan Maxima - changing headlight bulbs requires jacking car up, remove front wheel, and remove inner fender splash shield. All work is done reaching through the wheel well.
 
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2003 Audi A6 with the 2.7l turbo engine. To change the thermostat, one must remove the front bumper, put the radiator core support into "service position", and then remove everything from the front of the engine including the timing belt. After all of that, two bolts remove the plastic thermostat housing and then you have liberated the thermostat. If you can't DIY, it will likely cost you $800 at an indie, and that only includes the thermostat and o-ring. Most shops will recommend a full timing belt service as long as it's all apart.
 
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For those headlight examples - could you just remove the headlight assembly? My Optima requires either child-size hands or the removal of other parts to change bulbs. But the headlight assembly can be removed with a couple of accessible bolts, so I just take the whole thing out, move in to my warm, dry, well-lit house to change out the bulb, and re-install the assembly once done.
 

Bud_One

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Make : Pontiac Model: Vibe - 1ZZFE 1.8 engine - Automatic Year: 2003 Broken part :Serpentine belt tensioner What had to be removed: Front of engine motor mount. And engine had to be raised. Bolt holding tensioner to engine would hit the body.
 
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Ford 4.0 SOHC - Cheap plastic timing chain guides have a tendency to explode. One of the three timing chains is on the BACK of the motor. Doing a timing job means pulling the engine or dropping the transmission.
 
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01rangerxl

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Originally Posted By: InhalingBullets
2006-2009 Toyota Prius- (1)Changing the headlight bulb, the dealer takes the front bumper off! The drivers side can be done by removing the fuse block cover and being a contortionist. The passenger side can be done reasonably by removing the coolant fluid fill spout and the windshield washer fluid bottle. (2) The PCV valve is under the windshield wiper skirt. Once again being a contortionist helps a ton!
Newer Malibus and some other GMs are like this too. I think it's absolutely unacceptable for a normal halogen light bulb to require tools to remove, let alone taking the bumper cover off, loosening the splash shield, etc. That is a safety issue. This is a part that someone with very basic mechanical skill/intuition should be able to figure out in a Wal-Mart parking lot at night. Things like radiators, alternators, and even the serp belt I can understand being a little more difficult since a very small percentage of people will service these parts on their own anymore and underhood packaging is as tight as it ever has been, though I still don't like how difficult it is on many cars. I've lost track of how many times I have thought or said "[censored] is this [censored]?"
 

SMB

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My friend's 2010 BMW 328i Battery needs replacing. Took it to dealer and wanted $470 for new battery & installation! The new battery needs to be "registered" with the computer. What happened to the old days of just replacing a battery.
 
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Make: BMW Model: 130i (RHD) Year: 2007 Broken part: headlight bulb I had to remove the airbox and intake hosing to access the rear of the light with enough clearance to be able to manipulate the spring clip and get the bulb out and in.
 
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+1 with all the headlight issues. Many of them have to go thru the fender splash shield. I hate it, but i've found a few chevy CUV have cutouts in the shield so you can do it a little easier. Still have to jack it up tho. I've encontered the accord rotor issue on a 96-97. STUPID design and impossible to do in the rust belt.
 
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Originally Posted By: SMB
My friend's 2010 BMW 328i Battery needs replacing. Took it to dealer and wanted $470 for new battery & installation! The new battery needs to be "registered" with the computer. What happened to the old days of just replacing a battery.
In this case the system wants to know whether its an AGM or flooded cell battery.
 
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I had to remove the alternator to get to a bolt on the thermostat housing on my Jeep. Everything else has been brilliant. I basically drive a really refined tractor. AND it can tow all of my stuff and go anywhere!
 

Nick1994

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My brothers 96 Lexus ES300- same 1MZFE motor that's in the Camry. There's. Rubber hose underneath the intake manifold that it turns out after 170k+ miles will get a hole in it. Shocker! You almost can't tell its in there unless you look really far in depth. Also the parts store version of the hose is shaped like an S. The actual hose is basically straight with a SLIGHT bend to it.
 
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Don't remember the exact year (late 60's?) Cadillac had to remove rear bumper to replace tail light bulb. 67 Barracuda had to lower steering column to replace tach bulb.
 
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Originally Posted By: Silverado12
Chevy Cruze 1.4: remove motor mount to get belt off.
That's common on a lot of cars. Many have the motor mount inside the routing of the belt. On my Cobalt, the mount had to come off just because it was in the way. Super easy to do, took maybe two minutes. I just did the belt on an Impala with the 3400 engine. I'd planned on having to support the engine and remove a mount. I was pleased to see the mount was way out of the way and the belt came off and went on in about a minute each.
 
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