When to do it Yourself—When not to with guest McKinley Griffith


Or, Listen

Drive Friendly with Steve & Felecia
Drive Friendly with Steve & Felecia
When to do it Yourself—When not to with guest McKinley Griffith

Do you like to, do it yourself? This week we’re talking all about doing it yourself (DIY), and more importantly when not to (DIFM – Do it For Me).

Local resident and car enthusiast, McKinley Griffith joins us. He’s more than comfortable under the hood, but he knows when to call in a professional like Steve and Friendly Auto Centers. Mac and Steve share past experiences (both good and bad) ~ working on cars.

Realtor Felecia Rozansky talks about DIY Real Estate, and what you need to know so you don’t lose thousands trying to sell your own home.

We ran out of time, but tune in next week. Ryan Steckelberg at VIP Mortgage will cut through the one-click mortgage marketing madness. Spoiler alert, it’s not even close to working with a dedicated professional.

Episode Recap


  • National Hot Sauce Day! Celebrate it at Friendly Auto Centers and win a $50 gift certificate to Buffalo Wild Wings
  • If you do your own repairs, be safe!
  • Know your limits and only do repairs that you have the tools and skills to accomplish
  • Be careful with after-market modifications. They can reduce the life of your car and make it hard to get repairs.
  • 3 reasons NOT to sell your own home (FSBO).

When To Do Your Own Car Repairs and Maintenance

This week was about do-it-yourself (DIY – also DIFM, do-it-for-me) auto repair. Friendly Auto is having a hot-sauce contest at the shop in honor of National Hot Sauce day (4pm Thursday the 23rd). The winner gets a $50 gift certificate to Buffalo Wild Wings. Part of this is to celebrate the crew at Friendly who are all in the process of advancing their ASE certifications. The best crew around!

So, DIY or hire a pro? The guest, Mac G, is into cars. He has soft hands. He works on his cars? Yes, he wears gloves. He started working on cars back in high school, when he and his friends started modifying cars. Even today, he does his own maintenance. It’s cathartic for him to spend time in his garage.

He started on his 91 Acura Integra, a small car. Steve remembers working on the giant cars that are like boats. Parking them is like docking a boat! What about safety when doing DIY car work? Use jack stands! Use good ones. Don’t use wood blocks or concrete blocks, and don’t trust the jack. Use jack stands! They can support 3-6 tons. What about protective eyewear. Mac doesn’t all the time, but wear them. They’re cheap. You don’t want a little piece of metal in your eye or fluids. Steve also used ear muffs to deaden the sounds. Some of the tools can be really loud.

What doesn’t Mac do on his own car? If it needs a specialty tool, he goes to a pro, things like transmissions.

DIY Car Repair Horror Stories

Quick shout out to all the listeners and viewers around the world, from Phoenix to Florida to New York to Peru!

Steve told a story of a guy with a Dodge Neon, who needed a heater core replaced — an 8-hour job, a complicated job. He comes in, having seen a YouTube video, claiming it’s a 15-minute job. Steve sent him on his way and never heard from him. Then a tow-truck shows up with the car, still splayed open, parts everywhere. He has pretty much destroyed everything. Auto mechanics can be tough work. Know when to DIY and when to hire a pro. Don’t trust YouTube or social media. Trust a pro.

Mac had a horror story. A buddy of his has a Lexus GS460. Got a quote for a starter, $1400. He decided to do it himself and got Mac to help. Turns out, the starter is buried under the exhaust manifold, and you have to remove a tone of parts to get to it. About a third of the way through disassembly, his friend totally sliced open his hand. Now to the emergency room! With the ER bill, he didn’t save any money and it was four days.

Cars are hard to work on. One Friendly customer brought in a Ford pickup truck because he was hearing a noise. The spark plug broke inside the cylinder head — a common problem. The cost is $200 per hole to extract those. He tried and stripped the cylinder head – a $3000 fix!

Something else people try to DIY is brakes. Those have also gotten complicated. How do you know you did it correctly? That’s too important.

So, what can you do yourself? Oil changes. That’s relatively easy. Be sure to dispose of the oil properly. You can also change an air filter, cabin filter, wiper blades, change tires. Even with electric cars, you can change a cabin air filter and change tires. And don’t forget the paint! Wash and wax your car.

What About DIY After-Market Modifications?

Shout out to our sponsor, Matt Watson of State Farm. Check him out!
There seems to be a lot of after-marker, bolt-on modifications. Mac did a mod to his Acura with a $15 short-shifter. He ended up having to cut the heat shield out.
Henry from the Bronx called. He wanted to know the stupidest thing they’ve seen on after-market modifications. He doesn’t like the lights that make the car look like it’s floating. Steve’s least favorite modification is these decorative reflectors, giant white-walls, decals, and ornaments all over the hood. In the 80s — the Rolls Royce grills. Ridiculous. Henry doesn’t like the “coffee can” exhaust. In the 80s, the Toyota Supra actually introduced those. So loud!

What about plug-and-play computer chips? Gotta be careful with those. They can blow things up. Friendly Auto doesn’t do modifications. They trust the engineers who have spent millions of dollars to build this car. Leave it alone. The chips from Progressive and other of those devices cause problems, disturbances in the data streams of diagnostic tools. Friendly might make an exception for suspension on things like trailers. Steve believes that if you keep a car stock and take care of it, it’ll last for a long, long time. Modifications create problems. And who will you get to fix it if you’re out on the road.

Thank you, Mac G!

The Dangers of DIY Real Estate (FSBO)

90% of buy-it-yourself real estate transactions fail! People think they can do their real estate transactions themselves and save “all that money”. All that money? It takes weeks, if not months, to buy or sell a house. A Realtor is working all that time trying to sell the home. It’s not an overnight deal.

The number one reason DIYers fail is that others don’t take the home sale seriously. Buyers will assume it’s not real, that it’s just a tire-kicking situation. A Real Estate sign sends the right message — come check out this house! Also, when you’re selling your house, who are you letting into your home? It’s about safety! A realtor has a lock-box. Realtors are licensed, background checked and will take care of the home. Any damage done to the house will be fixed by the Realtor who was there. Also, you need to get sensitive stuff out of the home so that theives can’t discover your schedule, your bank accounts, etc. You leave yourself too vulnerable when you let strangers into your home without a Realtor to vet them. You can’t be too safe!

The other issue with FSBO (for sale by owner) is Zillow. FSBO sellers don’t know how to write up a good listing. You need to know the law. There are things you can’t say, can’t be vague about.

What about valuation and comps? A Realtor knows the area, knows the condition of the home and can do a good comp. Even when Felecia sold her own home, she got input from other Realtors, because you are too close to your home and can’t see what needs to be fixed or updated. A Realtor will know the true value and will demonstrate that to the seller. If the seller is firm on the price, Felecia will give them two weeks at that price. If there are no offers at that price, they make an adjustment. The key is, hire and trust your Realtor.

Finally, Realtors are trained in real estate contracts. These are long and complicated. It is so important that you understand those before you sign.

Wrap Up

Until next week, Drive Friendly Arizona!


Mckinley Griffith

McKinley Griffith

Hosted By: