All vehicles break down and eventually need repair. This is especially true when you drive a 33 year old Volkswagen van. When you add that most mechanics in Canada and the USA haven’t ever worked on these vehicles, let alone have metric tools, you start to become self-reliant.
Even small jobs like oil changes are unique when the technician goes to open the hood only to find no engine. Larger jobs like changing fuel pumps or electrical issues become more of a challenge and require you to know even more. Rest assured the learning curve is steep but diagnosing, and fixing your car is one of the most rewarding feelings.
We’re not mechanics. Neither of us have any formal automotive training, but what we lack in knowledge we make up with a frugal mindset (read: Cheap), willingness to learn, and we don’t go anywhere if we don’t fix it.