Unlike my advice in the title suggests, I don’t do this. Ever. I don’t ever learn from past mistakes.
When something brakes, I throw parts at it until something sticks. Expensive parts. I jump to a quick conclusion, convince myself that this it what is causing the problem and nothing else, and borrow a car to head down to Oreilly’s.
More often than not, I am wrong though.
Just the other day, after my brake failure fiasco, I got myself some Rubicon Trail braided lines, installed them, and started bleeding.
The pedal to my disappointment never got stiff when all the valves were closed, and I kept hearing a “whoosh” sound coming from somewhere in front of me, in the engine bay.
I inspected the situation and noticed some heavy leaking between the master cylinder and brake booster, that seems like it has been happening for quite some time.
Immediately I decided that it must be the master cylinder, even though I replaced it not even a year ago.
I headed over to Oreilly’s got myself a $100 master cylinder – only the best for me from now on, because the $40 Amazon one “failed”
I also decided to pick up the brake booster since the master good have been leaking as well – another $90. After driving around to 3 different stores, and visiting one of them twice, I finally got my booster and master cylinder.
I installed them, started bleeding, and to my dismay, again I hear a “whoosh” when I press the pedal, and while I was bleeding the right side caliper, a substantial puddle of brake fluid built up on the floor a bit aft of the driver’s side front wheel!
!!! I thought. So I inspected the engine bay once again. This time I pinpointed exactly where the leak was coming from. The master cylinder was leaking, yes, but it was not leaking nearly as bad as the driver’s side brake line I cracked while installing my new steel braided lines.
Cost to replace a brake line: <$10 in most cases. Since I already had some spare brake line, fittings, and a flaring kit that I bought earlier, for me the cost was free.
Moral of the story is I could have saved $180 just by taking a little extra time to investigate where the leak was coming from.
Am I going to now go back and return the parts I didn’t need, along with all the little impulse buy doohickies I got? Hell no! Them new shiny parts look nice!
But that is quite foolish though. That $200 could have gotten me a sweet ARB onboard compressor, or I could have put it towards a rear locker.
Save your cash on repairs, spend it on upgrades instead. There is value in learning how to diagnose your issues correctly