any - car maintenance as you age - gordonbennet

I've just swapped over the summer for winter set of wheels and tyres on SWMBO Subaru Outback, and i'm tatered, i feel the cold these days, me knees ache along with just about everything else.

In theory easy as pie, i have an impact driver gun, and a quality trolley jack (one of my must haves, i will not use a cheap supermarket toy jack) and all the tools i need, but every time i now do some car work the getting up and down isn't getting any easier.

Nasty discovery during the week, ok i've been grey haired for ever including me chest, but noticed me two dark brown slugs over my eyes now have grey hairs dotted along, daren't look down below see if the other hairy bits have gorn the same.

I'm only 62 for goodness sake, used to put in 100 hour weeks all in over several jobs when i was raising the kids, what happened to that chap?

When did you lot realise you arn't quite as fit as you used to be, and when did you realise there will come a time when you won't, or can't, do all your own car maintenance any more?

any - car maintenance as you age - RT

When? About 20 years ago when I reached 50 and health issues started to arise - decided to give up DIY and pay someone - but still doing some bits myself even now.

So now, the VW dealer does all the servicing and warranty work, based on a factory warranty extension out to 5 years and fills up the Adblue tank - my trusted independent will do MoT and non-warranty replacements as well as store/swap my winter/summer wheels/tyres - a local valeter detailed the car when it was new, restores it back up every winter and cleans it every 6-8 weeks.

I just do weekly checks now - check coolant & PAS levels, top-up washer fluid, read oil level on dashboard (no dipsticks for engine or autobox) - can't check brake fluid as the reservoir isn't visible, deep under the engine cover.

As a DIY mechanic with no training so just an enthusiastic layman - but for so long Ford and then Vauxhall dealer workshops failed to match my moderate standard so full DIY out of warranty became the norm - difficult to let go though.

any - car maintenance as you age - galileo

I've still got the trolley jacks, socket set, torque wrench etc. but 5 minutes walk away is my independent's garage, owned and run by a friend I've known for years, who now does my servicing and MOT at a reasonable 'mate's rate'. He can do jobs on the lift a lot quicker than I could and now I really don't feel like crawling about under cars with the aches and pains that follow afterward. ( I did rotate my wheels in my own garage a month or so back, but wheels seem a lot heavier than they used to be.) I was born in the 1940s, that's my excuse for wimping out of oil changes and such.

any - car maintenance as you age - madf

I am 70 and still diy my wife's and my own car but son now has to go elsewhere and pay.

I've always been failry active and do 20 minutes of yoga/exercises daily with 2x1 hour yoga sessions each week to keep me supple.. helps greatly with the bending,kneeling etc..

We have a pit : which helps a lot..Just replaced Jazz's rear pads, about to do fronts.. You Tube videos make many jobs much easier..

I find kneepads and Mechanix gloves essential as my skin does not heal as quickly after abuse..

any - car maintenance as you age - nellyjak

At 71 my days of crawling around and under cars are long gone...if owt needs doing then it goes to my usual garage.

I still have basic tools and do a few bits and bobs..and I keep both my and my wife's car in good fettle cleaning-wise.

Even before I retired it was becoming clear that my brain was writing cheques my body couldn't actually cash.!..but I'm still relatively fit with no apparent nasties.

I shall try to ensure that state of affairs continues for as long as possible.!

any - car maintenance as you age - oldroverboy.

Now, i taake the car to my local Handwash whre they clean the ouside for £6..

whichever filling station for tyre pressure checks.

oil & water myself..

Everything else a service plan with KIA.

Till I was 40 Hill running in thr Jura mountains above geneva, skiing, horesriding, but now can barely run 50 metres.

Tempus Fugit...

any - car maintenance as you age - mss1tw

Massive respect to the old hands still doing so much to their cars.

I don't do anything beyond simple servicing as I can't be doing with the "Oh for....'s sake" moments. I get enough of those in the day job. A garage will have the tools, and depth of experience to overcome problems easily that could stump me with my ramps, outdoors working area and simple collection hand tools.

any - car maintenance as you age - corax

I'll get underneath to do some rustproofing, take the wheels off to check brake hoses e.t.c but the main servicing I leave to my local garage who I've known for years, and always do a great job at a very reasonable price. They allow me to use my own choice of fluids and parts too. I consider myself lucky to have a trusted workshop when I hear of some peoples stories.

Working on cars at home is hard on the body, due to the contorted positions that one has to get in to. It's all low to the ground which forces stooping or crouching/kneeling. I have had previous back problems and still have chronic SI joint pain (that I am slowly getting on top of) no doubt due to poor posture and 20 years of physical labour. I am nowhere near some peoples ages here but I know that if I spend too much time bent over an engine or rolling around underneath a car, I'm going to suffer the next day, maybe more.

They should educate kids at school about maintaining core strength and flexibility while they are young. It would greatly reduce the burden on the NHS later.

any - car maintenance as you age - madf

They should educate kids at school about maintaining core strength and flexibility while they are young. It would greatly reduce the burden on the NHS later.

Absolutely.. when I look at my yoga class- who with one exception are all much youger than I am - I am surprised how inflexible most are (and the majority are women who have more felxibility inherently than men). As for the young , when they try yoga - I go to yoga classes at a sixth form college ine the evening - they aoppear to be unfit and rather weak..

Mind you I weightlifted competitively for Aberdeen University as a student and ran half marathons till I was 65 so I am atypical - except I get bouts of sciatica (now much less severe due to regular back exercises) . I keep bees which means lifting 30-40kg boxes full of honey/bees so keeping fit is essential..

any - car maintenance as you age - corax

I keep bees which means lifting 30-40kg boxes full of honey/bees so keeping fit is essential..

I try to find solutions to problems involving heavy lifting. I have a triple section ladder with a stabiliser bar which, although brilliantly stable, weighs a few kilos. Taking the top section and stabiliser bar off makes it easier, but I bungee cord a collapsible sack barrow to one end, then lift the other end and push it around customers houses on wheels. It only works on the big houses with plenty of space around them, otherwise I take it apart.

any - car maintenance as you age - Andrew-T

I've never done anything bigger than gapping or changing plugs on my cars, and as we all know, it's no longer possible to do much DiY like we used to.

I turned 78 last summer, but I still check levels, pump tyres, swap wheels round, change oil and filter, and fettle the front brakes on my elderly vehicles. A bit of polishing, glass cleaning and vacuuming the interior now and again. Can't deny that stiffness results the next morning sometimes ....

any - car maintenance as you age - Andrew-T

I've never done anything bigger than gapping or changing plugs on my cars, and as we all know, it's no longer possible to do much DiY like we used to.

.... just remembered I fitted new rubber mounts to the rear subframe a few weeks ago - two wheels off, car on bricks, lie on ground to get at the nuts underneath. You know the sort of thing, just to get the old jalopy through another MoT ....

any - car maintenance as you age - groaver

when did you realise there will come a time when you won't, or can't, do all your own car maintenance any more?

That would be around the time that cars started becoming more complex than the on board computer of the Apollo 13!

Never mind GB, it'll free your time up to do something else you enjoy!

any - car maintenance as you age - RickyBoy

Aged 66 I wash 'em (3 of my own, 1 daughter's), vac 'em, check tyre pressures, dipstick & screenwash and that's it really, oh, apart from changing bulbs & wiper blades (as/if required) and I did manage a flexible screw-in roof aerial about 4-months ago! They all get a decent polish 3-times a year too.

I find there's not a lot you can do these days without diagnostic/specialist tools(?) so I use my trusted independent for the two older motors. The (soon to be) 2-year old i10 goes to the local Hyundai dealer for it's annual oil-change/check and the daughter's brand new Audi will go to the main dealer for its initial one in October next year.

Can't really be bothered to get my hands dirty re: sump plugs & filters, etc. but I do maintain a fleet of high-end road & MTB bikes, so, I do actually still get my hands slightly dirty with them!

I try and walk 10-miles on one day a week and cycle a minimum of 25 on 4 others. I give myself the weekends off from leisure pursuits but we still go to Oxford, Cambridge, London etc. for one day most Sat's/Sun's for a good stroll.

You're only as old as (the women) you feel, and mine is 8-years younger than me...

any - car maintenance as you age - oldroverboy.

You're only as old as (the women) you feel, and mine is 8-years younger than me...

66 too, but youngrovergirl is 16 years younger than me!

Keeps me busy, but walking Blodwen the dog twice a day ( aboit 6 miles does the trick.

any - car maintenance as you age - John F

68 in 4 weeks time, on no pills, cycle regularly, do all own servicing and preventative maintenance but not repair work now. A couple of old metal ramps and a cheap trolley jack suffice to get underneath. I recently doubled the value of the X reg Focus by fitting new front discs and pads. I'll ask my indy to replace the rattly antiroll bar bushes on the Audi at the next MoT (it's a poor do that they are failing already - half the mileage and 5yrs younger than the Ford)

any - car maintenance as you age - gordonbennet

Part of my problem is my job is much easier than it used to be, until about 8 years ago i drove car transporters for the previous 20 years, lots of yoga type exercise and very hard work, which although hard did you keep me physically supple (if mentally and spiritually exhausted), for the last 7 years i've driven tankers which is a far easier job involving fewer hours and days but is not really physically active, once i've set up just stand there making sure all is going ok for up to an hour at a time.

My knee problems however were exacerbated by the last 3/5 years on the cars when quality control got involved and made us use wheelstraps instead of strapping down underbody, that meant kneeling down on the stamped deck for every single strap or chock used un the upper and middle decks, a lot of kneelings that, brought back the injuries sustained to knees in my banger racing youth.

The past always catches up with you one way or another.

Glad most of us are still kicking along stubbornly doing our bit.

any - car maintenance as you age - bathtub tom

Realised a few years ago when I had to take a gearbox out. Car on ramps and I got it out on my chest as usual.

Damned if I could lift it back in place though. Had to rig up a lift system hanging from the garage rafters!

any - car maintenance as you age - tourantass
I still do all my disc pad replacements on our cars and the basics...oil changes, spark plugs air filters etc...I do struggle with my “readers” on and having to “climb” up the car like a rock climber to get off the floor...and I am “only” 61.... god knows how the goverment expect “propor” manual workers to work into their late 60’s before they can retire.....it’s hard enough moving 25 house bricks to the car for the tip run..imagine having to lay a 1000 bricks every day or bieng the labourer who has to “supply” two bricklayers with 2000 bricks and enough mortar to lay them.
any - car maintenance as you age - corax

My knee problems however were exacerbated by the last 3/5 years on the cars when quality control got involved and made us use wheelstraps instead of strapping down underbody, that meant kneeling down on the stamped deck for every single strap or chock used un the upper and middle decks, a lot of kneelings that, brought back the injuries sustained to knees in my banger racing youth.

I assume that knee pads wouldn't make a difference, the action of constantly stretching the ligaments and putting them under pressure doing the damage, not a soft pad to kneel on. Plumbers tend to suffer from this.

any - car maintenance as you age - gordonbennet

I assume that knee pads wouldn't make a difference, the action of constantly stretching the ligaments and putting them under pressure doing the damage, not a soft pad to kneel on. Plumbers tend to suffer from this.

A good friend of mine had to give up carpet fitting in the 1970's and only in his 20's, due to the hard knee and leg work involved in stretching the things, doctor told him he'd be in serious trouble if he didn't pack it in.

I really should get some knee pads for my car work, these days i tend to put a soft rubber pad down and attend to the jobs sat on my ample behind, whilst fending off two cocker spaniels who are keen to 'help', i've got a creeper which transforms into a handy stool but manage to remember i have it as i'm putting the stuff away.

any - car maintenance as you age - focussed

I do whatever maintenance and servicing is needed on our quite large fleet of stuff needed to keep our one and a quarter acres of French countryside, woodland, house and two barns in reasonable order - chainsaws, dumper, strimmer/brushcutters etc

I service and maintain our L200 - easy to wriggle underneath as it's got huge ground clearance - 14 grease nipples and oil and filter every year - the Accord goes to the Honda dealer as it's warrantied until 2020.

I don't need a gym subscription - I've got two hungry woodburners to keep supplied with firewood - cutting, hauling, splitting, stacking etc - the amount of effort and labour is huge, but we are independent and can heat and cook without electricity if we have to, nothing warms a house up like a good woodburner!

Another shout from me for kneepads - I had a week on Ibuprofen recently after three days sheeting a flat roof with osb on a workshop i'm building - I couldn't find the kneepads I knew I'd bought from Lidl and regretted it afterwards - knees severely bruised!. They have a hard outer shell and a gel pad inside and are really comfortable - lesson learned!

GB you can buy overalls from Dickies with knee pads built in - I wasn't wearing overalls on that roof because it was too hot!

I take a daily glucosamine tablet and a multi vitamin - I have done for the last 20 years.

Oh and I was 70 last September!

Edited by focussed on 18/11/2017 at 22:56

any - car maintenance as you age - nellyjak

On the flip side of all this...I am constantly surprised at how many of the YOUNGER generation appear to have little or no basic knowledge (or desire?) about their cars.?

I guess I was brought up in a totally different generation and within a family of petrolheads.!..finding out how stuff worked...and more importantly how to put it right when it broke, was a right of passage...often a necessity.!

I know cars are totally different now in that there is much you can't even get at, never mind fix..but the lack of the most basic knowledge is suprising. (to me)

No doubt they could fix my PC however.!......each to their own eh.?

"Progress" and generational differences I guess.

any - car maintenance as you age - gordonbennet
.finding out how stuff worked...and more importantly how to put it right when it broke, was a right of passage...often a necessity.!

That's how it was, if it hadn't been for buying cars that wre old and/or needing attention and DIYing absolutely everything, i for one wouldn't have had a car for much of my younger years.

When the coming downturn hits home many of the youngsters will have to learn DIY a bit sharpish or they too will be doing without cars, you can do without a home PC or buy a cheap refurb if goes pop (all our PC's are refurbed desktops, cheap as chips tough and reliable), but for many doing without a car would mean no income as unable to get to work.

Some realignment of the unrealistic expectations many youngsters now have is on the cards.

There is still lots we can do, and to be fair if you buy known durable cars and look after them with sensible preventative measures the complicated stuff under the engine covers seldom gives a moments trouble.

any - car maintenance as you age - Andrew-T

On the flip side of all this...I am constantly surprised at how many of the YOUNGER generation appear to have little or no basic knowledge (or desire?) about their cars.?

I guess I was brought up in a totally different generation and within a family of petrolheads.!..

I think a good deal of that may be because they are told that nothing needs doing to their car for 12K miles. If they remember when that happens, they can probably afford to pay someone else, or else let it go for another 4K ....

any - car maintenance as you age - John F

Part of my problem is my job is much easier than it used to be, .....for the last 7 years i've driven tankers which is a far easier job involving fewer hours and days but is not really physically active, once i've set up just stand there making sure all is going ok for up to an hour at a time.

Spot on, gb. Many years ago there was a trial comparing health outcomes for London bus drivers and bus conductors, who were always dashing up and down the stairs - they were the ones who enjoyed their pensions for longer.

For a healthy old age normal weight and regular excercise is essential - that means eating less and getting really out of breath at least twice a week (bit like an Italian tune-up for the heart). And don't smoke. Apart from causing lung cancer (statistically proven by the Germans in the 1930s - their public health was streets ahead of ours - it took us a generation to catch up) it ravages other bits of bodily machinery. Nothing else matters much - vitamins and supplements are a complete waste of money unless you are a vegan.

any - car maintenance as you age - JEREMYH

Your doing well keep it up as you have just desribed most of the 20 year old lads around here .!

any - car maintenance as you age - argybargy

I'm also 62, GB, and have had a bad back on and off ever since I was a young teenager.

I had major problems at around age 13 which were never diagnosed, but despite that I've managed to maintain a fairly good level of fitness since, as well as coping with a physically strenuous job for almost 30 years.

My eventual downfall was not my back, but too much football and knackered knees. At one time I could stand up using my knees if my back was bad, but now I have full use of neither knees nor back, and rising from a kneeling position means reaching out, grabbing the nearest immoveable object and pulling myself to a standing position. Consequently, working on brakes, for example, has become much more onerous, and I may even be persuaded one day not to bother looking under my car for oil leaks, something which had become a regular weekend pastime when we had our old Focus.

Having said that, as the posts above so eloquently confirm, working on cars is not necessarily a young man's (or woman's) occupation. You just have to listen to the signals your body is sending you and moderate your activity accordingly. Having a hydraulic lift would help.

Edited by argybargy on 19/11/2017 at 10:18

any - car maintenance as you age - gordonbennet

Indeed Argybargy, if i was 20 years younger and lived where we do now i would invest in a 2 post under chassis lifter.

any - car maintenance as you age - Bromptonaut

At 58 I'm a relative youngster in this debate!!

In my youth I'd try and do lots of stuff myself, including replacing head gasket on a Mini. Was still doing oil/filter service until we got rid of our second BX in 2005. Newer vehicles under warranty and need to remove undertrays and acoustic covers to get at stuff made me file even that as 'too difficult' and I'll just pay a man to do it for me.

Still happy to tinker with electrics and skin my knuckles replacing headlight bulbs - not actually all that difficult on either Roomster or Berlingo. Although last one I changed on Roomster was corroded in and if I'd gone for new bulb before changing it I thnk I'd have said yes when Halfords asked if I wanted it fitted. But as I always have a full set of bulbs in the car I didn't get a new one until a few days later.

any - car maintenance as you age - Steveieb

You mentioned Halford s bulb changing service. I took my Audi to get the number plate bulb changed as I thought wrongly that they had far better equipment than me to tackle this tricky job.

The technician arrived with a star shaped screwdriver tool with three sizes of cross head. I knew he would have trouble and after 5 minutes of struggling he confessed i needed to take the car to a garage !!!

He gratiously offered to refund the fitting charge. And I have later heard thsat they now have a list of bulb changes that they decline. I imagine the Renault Modus falls into this catagory too.

Ended up asking my indie to take on this job after the screw had been destroyed and he had to file the remains of the screw off which took quite an effort.

But it was the under engine floor cover that finally decided me that my diy days were over.

So difficult to replace working off a stand but so unneccessary if like on my Mk 3 Golf there were access holes for the sump plug and filter.

And now to learn that some parts cannot be replaced without pairing to the main ECU with the diagnostics is the final nail in the coffin !

 

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