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Self Serve U-Wrench Shop #5454243 06/15/20 08:54 AM
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Snagglefoot Online Content OP
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Anyone ever use a U-Wrench self serve shop? There is one in Calgary I used last week. They will rent you a hoist to lift your vehicle. This is up the Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It is not part of a chain or anything. To address liability issues you have to read and sign a short liability sheet and sign it. Anyone helping you has to do the same. I’m not sure if that liability sheet would work in most States in the US.

Anyway, it’s first come first serve. It opens at 10:00 AM everyday, 11:00 on Sundays. With the present Covid issues, you have to wear a mask while inside the building. You wait outside the door and a guy comes out and talks to you to ask what repairs you are doing that day and assigns a bay to you. He then guides you in to the bay and you park the car, turn off the ignition, but leave the keys with the car in neutral and the driver’s side window open. They position the car, set the lift legs, and get it off the ground. They show you how to use the controls and you are good to go. You operate the lift up and down as required. They charge $35 per hour ( about $26 US per hour).
If you you don’t finish the job by 5:00 PM you can leave it overnight. You can also rent an acetylene torch and a few types of welders. They also provide air hoses and you can rent an impact wrench or bring your own. There is a separate section for body work. Advice is free, and also a few free-lance mechanics are available. www.U-Wrench.ca

Here is a pic of my 2005 Taurus on the hoist. Enjoy.



059094F2-23D3-406D-8060-4B77ECBF3629.jpeg
Last edited by Snagglefoot; 06/15/20 09:19 AM.

If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
Re: Self Serve U-Wrench Shop [Re: Snagglefoot] #5454252 06/15/20 09:04 AM
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diyjake Offline
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They provide the tools?

Re: Self Serve U-Wrench Shop [Re: Snagglefoot] #5454255 06/15/20 09:09 AM
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Astro14 Offline
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The US DOD had auto hobby shops as part of the base services that worked the same way, of course, they charged 25 cents an hour...

Since the decline of interest in the hobby, many of those facilities are now closed.

In Virginia Beach, a similar private shop* has opened. $30/hour plus free tool rental. I think.

https://americandiyg.com/adiyg/

Interesting business model. Tom and Ray Magliozzi (click and clack from Car Talk) started out this way - renting bay space and tools. They found that they spent so much time “helping” that it was better to simply do the work and they became a regular shop.

*Coincidentally, a block away from my shop. Which is not for rent, but perhaps I should look into the monetization...


32 Packard 15W40
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Re: Self Serve U-Wrench Shop [Re: diyjake] #5454259 06/15/20 09:13 AM
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Snagglefoot Online Content OP
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Originally Posted by diyjake
They provide the tools?


I bring my own, but once in a while I need something that I forgot. If you use their’s you might be competing with others for stuff.

Last edited by Snagglefoot; 06/15/20 09:16 AM.

If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
Re: Self Serve U-Wrench Shop [Re: Snagglefoot] #5454263 06/15/20 09:20 AM
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Chris142 Offline
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I remember seeing something like this in the movie Christine.


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Can am Maveric edge 5w40
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Re: Self Serve U-Wrench Shop [Re: Astro14] #5454278 06/15/20 09:29 AM
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hallstevenson Offline
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Generally speaking, insurance liability (extremely high costs) makes this a non-starter here in the US. A liability release isn't always an automatic "get out of jail free" card for the establishment.

Originally Posted by Astro14
The US DOD had auto hobby shops as part of the base services that worked the same way, of course, they charged 25 cents an hour...

Since the decline of interest in the hobby, many of those facilities are now closed.

In some local groups (FB, reddit, etc), it's been mentioned that Wright-Patterson AFB still has a garage facility on base for enlisted folks and possibly even contractors. I think people have mentioned that if your friends with someone who works there, you can bring your vehicle as long as they accompany you.

Re: Self Serve U-Wrench Shop [Re: Snagglefoot] #5454284 06/15/20 09:31 AM
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JustN89 Offline
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There was a DIY shop here in DFW that was really good. Worked the same way- rent a lift, some tools available, etc. Unfortunately, it closed down last December. Just not enough traffic, I suppose. I'd imagine there's a lot of overhead you'd have to clear. I love places like these just because there's a lot of stuff I can't do in my apartment's parking lot, but they don't seem to be able to stick around for long.


You know what they say, cross threads are tighter than locktite!
Re: Self Serve U-Wrench Shop [Re: Snagglefoot] #5454287 06/15/20 09:36 AM
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jeepman3071 Offline
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I think it's a great idea! Too bad there is so much working against it, between not enough traffic and local laws/regulations.


1998 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4.0L/5MT (157k) - PHM 10w30, Wix 51085
2009 BMW 328i N51 (62k) - Liqui Moly 5w40, MANN HU816X
Re: Self Serve U-Wrench Shop [Re: Snagglefoot] #5454290 06/15/20 09:37 AM
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SeaJay Offline
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I don't get the impression that a business like that would make all that much profit.

Re: Self Serve U-Wrench Shop [Re: Snagglefoot] #5454316 06/15/20 10:07 AM
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Silverado12 Offline
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I'll just pay the extra $35 on top of the lift fee and get the mechanic to do the work for me lol.


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Re: Self Serve U-Wrench Shop [Re: Snagglefoot] #5454328 06/15/20 10:27 AM
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Trav Offline
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In the US no way. First you would be lucky if you weren't sued the first week no matter what they signed and second most of the tools would be gone even quicker.
The whole thing would be a major fiasco.


ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.
Re: Self Serve U-Wrench Shop [Re: Snagglefoot] #5454331 06/15/20 10:37 AM
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JustN89 Offline
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I've often wondered if a place like a NAPA (privately owned) wouldn't be able to attach a garage with a few lifts to the back of their store. Seems like it would be an alright model- sell parts/fluids, offer to rent a lift to do the work, rental tools still available through the counter, etc. Insurance is still a hurdle, but I don't see why it wouldn't work outside of that.


You know what they say, cross threads are tighter than locktite!
Re: Self Serve U-Wrench Shop [Re: Snagglefoot] #5454337 06/15/20 10:44 AM
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dareo Offline
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A more interesting model for USA would be a timeshare shop. You invest in a nice warehouse shop and get to use the lift/tools a few times a year as needed. Everyone involved is an owner and therefore is not likely to sue the partnership.


2019 VW Golf Alltrack, 2018 Regal TourX, 2016 GMC 1500 SLT 6.2, 2007 GMC Savana 6.6 Duramax
Re: Self Serve U-Wrench Shop [Re: JustN89] #5454402 06/15/20 12:35 PM
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hallstevenson Offline
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Any shop owners care to post how much they pay for liability insurance (in the US) ? Granted, this covers everything from vehicles in the shop to when they have to test-drive a vehicle. Now, take that number and double, triple, or quadruple it since it will be "amateurs" that will be "working" there.

Originally Posted by JustN89
I've often wondered if a place like a NAPA (privately owned) wouldn't be able to attach a garage with a few lifts to the back of their store. Seems like it would be an alright model- sell parts/fluids, offer to rent a lift to do the work, rental tools still available through the counter, etc.

I think people greatly overestimate the amount of DIY auto repair work that gets done, especially any that needs a lift. You also have the convenience of doing work at home, for example, taking a break to eat lunch/dinner or even stopping for the night and finish later. At a rent-a-lift place, the clock will keep ticking....

Re: Self Serve U-Wrench Shop [Re: hallstevenson] #5454439 06/15/20 01:13 PM
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JustN89 Offline
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Originally Posted by hallstevenson
Originally Posted by JustN89
I've often wondered if a place like a NAPA (privately owned) wouldn't be able to attach a garage with a few lifts to the back of their store. Seems like it would be an alright model- sell parts/fluids, offer to rent a lift to do the work, rental tools still available through the counter, etc.

I think people greatly overestimate the amount of DIY auto repair work that gets done, especially any that needs a lift. You also have the convenience of doing work at home, for example, taking a break to eat lunch/dinner or even stopping for the night and finish later. At a rent-a-lift place, the clock will keep ticking....

Very true, and not something I thought about because I'm one of those people who can't stop working until it's done. Otherwise, I lose my place and forget where everything went lol.


You know what they say, cross threads are tighter than locktite!
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