The most annoying DIY jobs on classic cars, according to you
We asked users on the Hagerty Forums to give us their opinions on the worst automotive repair for do-it-yourselfers. As the responses came it, it was clear that some DIY mechanics are more comfortable with big projects than others. A few jobs, though, were mentioned more often than others, some general and others more specific. Here are the five jobs that no one is looking forward to, according to you.
Deep disassembly required for a 5-minute job
Need to replace a sensor held in by two 7/16th bolts? That should be a simple job, but it turns into a headache if those bolts are buried underneath a vast array of other items all bolted together. The tight packaging is more of a problem on newer, more complicated classics, but even relatively simple pre-war cars can drive a mechanic to drinking with seemingly unnecessary removal of unrelated parts.
Something you will never hear in a conversation with mechanics is, “I love the smell of brake fluid, and it also just feels so good on my hands.” Brake bleeding can be tidy and quick when done properly on a good condition vehicle, but the process is one that when things go sideways, they go sideways hard. Stripped brake bleeders, twisted line, and torn seals can turn a quick job into a nightmare.
Working under the dashboard
Working under a dashboard seems to arouse universal hatred, akin to a combination of electric work and the worst yoga class conceivable. Air-conditioned cars are often that much worse. Import or domestic, it’s hard to think of any cars with a simple, easy-to-service dashboard. Heaven help you if that’s where your clogged or leaking heater core is tucked away.
Much like brake fluid, automotive antifreeze is sticky and slimy—and guaranteed to miss whatever container you place under the lower radiator hose when you drain it. The shop floor will then be slick while wet and sticky once dry. If it spilled on the car, hope you’re wearing gloves because the antifreeze is guaranteed to land in every crease and crevice under the hood. Each time your reach for something, you will pull back a coolant-covered hand.
Compressing coil springs
Rebuilding or adjusting the suspension can make all the difference in the way a car drives. However, if you have to compress coil springs to get the suspension apart, there is a whole lot of potential energy tied up in a knot. Dealing with the danger of that energy going from potential to kinetic is stressful, especially if you’ve ever experienced a spring compression gone wrong. Safety first. Or just take it to a shop and have them do the job for you. It might be worth the peace of mind.