The other day my wife called me and said “Um my check engine light went on and my car won’t go.” I could almost hear my wallet gasp in terror as she told me this. So like any husband who gets a call like this my response was “Where are you ill come get you.” so I went and got her and the car home and tried to decide what to do next. I’ve been under,over, and through this Chevy Trailblazer a dozen times for various reasons but at 150k miles I’ll admit I started dreaming of a new F150 crew cab, then I started having nightmares about a new car payment. Ok I better try to fix this myself. So over the past few days I’ve been on the hunt with this car to fix the issue which at the end of the day seems to have been a bad accelerator position sensor about $160 part and two bolts to replace. When I retold this tale of auto issues and my ensuing quest for a fix a few guy friends of mine responded with “Really you fixed it yourself? How did you know how?” Now I know some of you are probably wondering if this is going to be some post on how awesome I am or how I triumphed over a mechanical challenge but my real purpose of this post was to ask the question ” Where has Mr fix it gone?” Why are the majority of people so surprised when we fix something ourselves or build a piece of furniture? Somewhere along our path in the past few decades as men I think we were told “Why do it yourself if someone else can do it for you.” This bothers me. I will say i might be a bit young to complain about “young people” but I find it scary that the younger generations are no longer being taught in school about auto shop, woodworking, metal craft, and just how to do physical stuff in general. I know as my young son grows up I certainly will be teaching him the determination of fixing it himself and the value and pride one feels when they can say “I did/made/fixed/built that.” I think our community of woodworkers and amateur tradesmen has a responsibility to mentor the younger generation in the art of DIY I guess my question to all you out there how did Mr Fix It turn into Mr Call Someone and what can we do to change this?
-- Brad / www.bradfordwoodworking.blogspot.com