I've been going to a repair shop here in LA for a while that I found through the Car Talk fora, but have been increasingly unhappy with them. I took my girlfriend's 2002 Ford Focus in to get an estimate on replacing the mirror, and got back a quote of $175ish, $100 for the part and $75 for the labor (meaning, an hour and a quarter for them at $60 per hour). The thing is, there are third-party mirrors for about $30, and from doing the same thing on a car years ago, I remember it taking about 20 minutes with the right tools. Are they trying to rip me off? Is this a reasonable ballpark for what seems like pretty minor work (the whole assembly pops on and off)? I don't have the tools to do this now (I'd need a deeper socket), so should I buy the part and take it to them? Are dealer mirrors really that superior? (It's out of warranty by now, obviously.) Should I take it to someone else? [more inside]
We are buying a house -yay! But the house needs renovation work done - eek! While we have previously owned a house, it was 10 years ago, in another state, and never had any major renovations. We are scheduled to close on April 30, so we are trying to figure out what kinds of professionals we need and how to find/hire them. [more inside]
I have a glass snowglobe type thing that's leaking, and I would like to try to fix it. Your best ideas, please! [more inside]
The good news is that I found white hexagonal tile under the nasty vinyl flooring. That's also the bad news. Here is the floor currently. Basically, the tiles themselves are in pretty good shape considering they are about 100 years old. There are a few cracks, but the real problem is that the glue from the floor that was above it will not come off from in between the tiles. Detail shot. This is pretty much the kind of floor we want, but the mrs. is about ready to call it and just install a new hex floor on top. I'm not quite ready to give up. [more inside]
My wife and I have a rather old Lexus with low miles. On each of the last two times we took it out, the car shuddered a couple of times (like driving over a bump) and then lost all engine power, conking out in the middle of the road. There was no sound involved--just that little shudder, and then no power. Each time, we had to push it to the shoulder. Each time, the car would start up again with no problem--but would not stay on. Some more details inside--any ideas what's up? [more inside]
My friend is reliant on a mobility scooter for getting around. She has a fairly active lifestyle and as a result her scooter(s) often break down causing her serious inconvenience while waiting for them to get repaired. Could you recommend some good resources for learning how to diagnose and repair scooter faults? What are the basic skills (e.g. mechanics) that one could learn to help with the process? Bonus question: can you recommend a speedy scooter repair service in Dublin, Ireland?
I'm asking this Q for a friend and I really hope someone will be able to help. We moved into our house about two years ago. We've had problems with our sprinklers in the past and when we had them repaired, a sprinkler expert told my wife there was "something wrong" with how we get water to the front since they couldn't shut off the water. That didn't make sense to me, but now that I've tried to fix the sprinklers in the front myself, I've encountered the same problem. When I turn off the shut off valves near the water meter (what I think are the main valves), nothing happens, though it does turn off the water to the backyard. When I need to repair plumbing inside the house, the valve close to the house does the trick, but again, I can't shut off water to the front sprinklers. I have no idea how the sprinklers were installed, but it is getting frustrating and I'd like to know how to go about troubleshooting this. Is there any way to identify where a valve might be to shut off the water to the front sprinklers? Here's a simple diagram I drew. Thank you!!!
Something knocked a divot knocked out of our big (6' x 4') bay window has, and there are a couple cracks radiating out from the chipped place. I'm guessing this is something we want to hop on pretty quick so it doesn't get worse. What's the best answer? [more inside]
I have a relative who attends USC and lives around the St. Andrews area in Columbia, SC. He has a Toyota that's having some issues. Are there any auto repair places either near the university or around St. Andrews that you could recommend?
For the past few days, our countertop dishwasher hasn't been working properly. Out of one load, about a third of the dishes look properly clean, a third look like they have just been touched with a little water, and a third look like they weren't even rinsed. Where these three types show up seems to be random. I have cleaned the trap in the bottom of the dishwasher, and made sure the rinse aid compartment is full, and neither has had any effect. What should I try next? [more inside]
I feel like if I knew more about amplifiers the symptoms of my Roland KC-550 would narrow down my problem significantly. Only the tweeter works (and it works fine), and the two other speakers are totally un-driven across all channels. Does this indicate anything about the issue? I'm trying to figure out if it's worth having repaired and/or if I can repair it myself.
The decades-old parging/plaster on our basement walls is scabby and peeling. The concrete itself is crumbly in places and there are a couple of cracks. It seems to me that the solution to my problem is to remove the old parging/plaster, fill the cracks with hydraulic cement, and patch the crumbly parts. But I'm less clear on the hows, whys, and whens. [more inside]
I'm gearing up to sell my car in Toronto and I'd like to get a fresh paint job. Or, at least, touch up the spots that are showing wear due to rust near the rear wheels and some white paint (on a red car) from bumping into the pillar in my parking space a couple of times. Note: I don't actually want to do body repair, just paint (I'm not trying to conceal the dings in the body, just to freshen up the look). Have any GTA Mefites had work like this done at a place they would recommend? I live downtown, but don't mind traveling to the 905 for good, affordable work. Thanks in advance for any recommendations.
I hit a large, well camoflaged and unmarked "pothole" in a nearby town in MA. It was impossible to see. It ripped the oil pan out of my car and cost me $700 (towing, repair and rental car). I was not driving recklessly. Is it worth the trouble of getting in touch with the town and asking them to reimburse me? [more inside]
I have an old style furnace that has been cleaned (by vacuuming) on a mostly annual basis for about 20 years. Should I pay the big bucks to get it scraped out by a professional? [more inside]
Having successfully pried open my 85W PA-1850-02 Magsafe brick in order to fix (or possibly replace) the power cord, it doesn't look like the various repair tutorials/videos: the inside is full of a kind of white mastic/gunk. Is this perhaps melted plastic (from too much charging heat)? Is this a situation where the only (or the wiser) option is to shell out for a new brick?
I finally broke down and bought a new CPU fan for my PC, which had sounded like a monster truck filled with ball-bearings playing the drums. Things are much quieter now, but in my rush to get it installed I had to take out my motherboard completely and now can't figure out how to put the connections back! Help! [more inside]
We found ms scruss' clarinet in a recent house clearout, and we'd like to get it playable again. It's probably not worth too much, and we're on a budget anyway. Suggestions for what to do with it are welcomed. [more inside]
I have a slim leather belt with lovely Mexican silver hardware; but the belt itself is fairly shredded, and has already been repaired once (by a shoe repairman, who did the best he could). Who fixes belts these days? How do I find someone to put the hardware on a new piece of leather, in Montreal, in New York, or on the Internet? How much should I expect to pay?
One of the cotter pins in the stainless steel band of my Citizen watch has come loose to the point that it slides out on its own rather easily, separating the links of the watch band. The watch is still under warranty, but I'd rather not deal with shipping it away and waiting for such a minor repair. Are local jewelry shops likely to have a replacement pin, or [more inside]
Does anybody have a favorite independent Toyota repair shop in Portland, Oregon? Preferably one you know to have worked on Priuses, but any recommendations / anti-recommendations welcome.
2002 saab with 100,000 miles in generally good condition has a frayed driver's seat belt. To prevent further degradation, I covered the edge of the belt with duct tape. Frayed section conforms roughly in size to the concavity visible on the duct tape. Trusty mechanic quotes $175 + around $75 to install a junk yard replacement. This includes the entire assembly; trusty mechanic says they generally don't work well if you just replace the belt. A new belt and assembly is $475+ installation. I will have the opportunity to inspect the junk yard part before giving the go-ahead. Here's the question: assuming that it looks ok, am I better off from a safety stand-point with the used one of unknown history that in theory could be almost twenty years old or should I stick with my slightly frayed belt of known history (I bought the car new)? I know you are not my safety engineer! Thanks
A question regarding an impending attempt to replace the control board in our furnace myself. Extenuating circumstances: Approaching Arctic Cold Front. [more inside]
Troubleshooting an ancient 3hp split phase 240 VAC motor, I found a likely problem, which I fixed, and the fine old beast still trips the breaker. Join me in my diagnosis, and suggest if further work is warranted. [more inside]
Hoping I could query the awesomeness of the hive mind for help with referrals to repair an older restaurant model oven/range currently living in a home in north orange county, CA. [more inside]
My car has been slow to start in the mornings for a year or two now. I've been ignoring it since mechanics couldn't seem to figure it out and it always eventually started. But this morning it was so slow to start that the battery died and I had to have it jump started, so I'm hoping someone here might be able to shed some light on it. [more inside]
Where can I find a Moller model 78 rosewood chair or get one mended? [more inside]
I have great old speakers with peeling wood veneer. How should I go about fixing them? [more inside]
I have a Molnija watch with a busted mainspring (picture of front). I've taken it to my local watch repairman and he couldn't find a replacement through whatever channels he had, but maybe RussianWatchFilter knows more? [more inside]
I've recently moved into a new apartment and found that two of the three bulbs in the bathroom vanity lighting are burnt out. The problem? I can't figure out how to actually get at the bulbs to replace them. Can you help? Images and description inside... [more inside]
My three-tier silicone(?) earbuds now have sharp bends in the lowest, most flexible part of the bottom and middle tiers (despite only storing them in the provided receptacle). Is there anyway to return these things to their proper shape, or do I need to buy new ones? It's affecting the seal.
I forgot that my Apple Magic Mouse was in my front jeans pocket, and it went through the washing machine. Strangely, it still works fine, even with the same batteries. I admit I'm impressed. BUT... [more inside]
I brought my shattered iPhone 4 to a screen repair place in a strip mall. This particular dude is only charging $55, which from what I understand would lead to pretty marginal profits. I left it with him for 45 minutes, and when I returned, my phone no longer turned on. [more inside]
My small dog loves squeaky tennis balls and will chase them incessantly, morning and night. However, he is also quite adept at de-squeaking these toys, sometimes within minutes. While he does continue to play with the balls after they have lost their sound, these are far less alluring. As neither my budget nor my house has room for the infinite supply of fresh squeaky balls he desires, I seek to re-squeak these balls with fresh squeakers and some super glue. [more inside]
The "tappets" or hydraulic lifters in my ten-year-old Hyundai Elantra have started making noise. tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap. [more inside]
Hi everyone. I have an old 1992 Toyota Camry. The interior vinyl has separated from the car roof, as you can see in these pictures. How do I fix this? Any suggestions very much appreciated.
We're getting our 1960's era home ready to sell for as cheaply as possible. It comes with two porcelain tubs in lovely shades of avocado and beige, and never-been-updated bathrooms... [more inside]
What do I need to know about my RAID-0 configured hard drives before removing them to send my laptop away for repair? [more inside]
I have a 7-year old Whirlpool dishwasher (GU2200XTSB to be exact.) I got the 7 clean-light-flash error signal, and was able to clear that (so control panel seems good.) Heating element -- still hot. Water fills? check. But then it just hums when in the past the big chugging washing motion would begin. So it sounds like some kind of pump/motor problem. The water isn't getting pushed around. The little detergent door is opened but the detergent is still there, barely wet. I am pretty handy and have repaired several other major appliances before. so -- 1) how to diagnose pump vs. motor vs. ???? 2) Is this just stupid given the age of the dishwasher? I'd rather pay $50 or $100 than $500, but....
Best solution for touching up appliances? [more inside]
My beloved umbrella is broken. Several of the arms that attach the ribs to the shaft have come unattached -- the little hinges that hold them on have twisted and rusted and broken. Is there such a thing as an umbrella repair person? Like a cobbler, but for umbrellas? If so, what is this person called? (And can you recommend one in Seattle?) If not, do you have any ideas about what other kind of tradesperson might happen to have the tools or skills to fix it?
I ride a single speed (flip flop hub) here in NYC and am at a bit of a crossroads - my bike is at the shop and the diagnosis is grim - the worn out seat post is corroded into the frame. If it doesn't come out easy the repairs might be more than the original cost of the bike. Should I strip the components off the bike and get a new frame? Or a new bike entirely? Bike fiends I'd love some tips/pointers on this one. Specific details inside... [more inside]
Need some advice on refurbishing a vintage 60s Elgin wall clock. [more inside]
I need recommendations for a person or service that can have a look at my mom's computer, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I would like for Geek Squad to be an absolute last resort. I live on the west coast, alas, and have already done what troubleshooting I can do remotely.
Bought this house about three years ago and then learned that the water pipes, under the concrete-terrazzo slab, had burst and flooded the place (no, incompetent inspector did not notice this). The previous owner had then laid down an inexpensive woodlike floor. That was carelessly done but looked okay overall, except that residual water had stained and darkened a few areas. I had the house re-piped and the floor seemed to have dried and healed leaving just those few dark spots. [more inside]
Just moved into a rental house. House built circa 1920. Medicine cabinet interior was completely lined with nasty old contact paper. I pulled off most of the paper. Now I'm worried about three things: 1. The paint underneath the paper is flaking. Is there danger of lead poisoning? 2. Black mold in the corner crevices under the paper. What's the best chemical for removal? Bleach solution? 3. What's the easiest cheapest way to get new shelves that will fit? PHOTOS. Any advice or encouragement is appreciated. How do I make this cabinet clean and functional?
I don't like fixing old houses. Unfortunately there is much to do in this old house. The kitchen is a contact paper festival. The rental market is tight here, so landlords don't have to care.
Arrived last night in NYC on assignment to write/shoot a story on paddling the Bronx River. Went out this morning, shot 300-plus pics on a GXT 4G compack flash card. Near the end of the paddle, the card stopped working. Now back in the hotel, my card reader won't recognize it. Any way I can recover the pics? Any place open in Manhattan now (it's Saturday afternoon) where I can find out in a hurry? Or better ideas? Or should I start panicking now?
If a dog has the Tightrope cruciate ligament repair surgery, is it possible to tear it again? [more inside]
The plastic weaves on our patio chairs are broken - PHOTOS. The aluminum frames are in good shape though. Is there any cost effective way to replace the seats and backs on these chairs. It seems a waste to throw them out and buy new ones. It does not need to be a weave; we would be just as happy with some type of "sling" fabric.
My house came with a grill on the back porch. It wasn't well-maintained then and it's gotten worse through a few years of neglect. If I could easily and inexpensively repair it I'd like to, but if not I'd like to replace it. Complicating factors: it uses natural gas and is post-mounted. [more inside]