I own a 1970 Ford Fairlane. I’ve had it for about three years now and am still working on fixing it up. I love this car and have put about 2 grand in it and want to do a lot more. It has great potential and I have done most of the work myself….. now I need to rebuild the entire braking system, lines and all and I don’t want to get screwed. I have been told that the lines have to be cut and bent by hand…… is this something I can do myself or do I need to take it to a shop? If I take it to a shop about how much can I expect to pay? Tonisha


Normally I don’t respond to questions about actual repairs, I’m trying to advise more on how to deal with your mechanic than how to fix your car, but I’m a sucker for a woman who wants to take on a job like this. After checking with one of my mechanics I told her how to deal with it and I hope she does take it on, I want to hear how it goes. It does bring up a good point though, can you fix your car yourself, even a little bit? It’s hard to answer this question because I’ve recently contributed majorly to the building of my new house. My son and I did all the tiling, the stone floors, all the landscaping, the painting, some plumbing…on and on. I didn’t know squat about any of that before I started so why would I constantly advise against people doing their own mechanics? Whenever I am in the business of hiring a new mechanic I look for one with a minimum of 15 years experience. There are thousands of parts on a car and potentially thousands of things to repair. If you don’t know what you’re doing you can not only screw it up but make it impossible for a professional to repair your work, so be very mindful of this before you take something on. I’m not downplaying the probability of how much better my tiling might have come out with a professional but I’m proud of what I did and it looks pretty good. Unfortunately, pretty good isn’t good enough in car repair.


About dontgetwrenched

Elayne Kling, was the owner of a downtown Manhattan auto repair shop for 25 years and recently in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Elayne knows the particular ins and outs of the auto repair world and keeps up her blog because people will always need help navigating the potential pitfalls of that world. Due to the crazy NYC real estate market she has since closed down her shop and started a new business called Projects Unlimited Inc., helping other small businesses.
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1 Response to

  1. Donna says:

    Oh! When I first started reading your reply, I thought you were saying you were having a hard time answering the question for ethical reasons…. that is, you just finished a big job on your house and needed to PAY for it, so bring the car in! lol Glad to see that was not the issue. And as always, an insightful answer.

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