I found $8k in savings by doing car repairs myself and learned new skills in the process
Disclaimer: I am not a professional mechanic, do not work in the automotive industry, but am very familiar with how cars function and have done many extensive repairs on my vehicles throughout my life.
This is mainly an example of how over the top the price of most car repairs are and to show how much money can be saved by doing the work yourself.
A few years ago, we purchased a used SUV for 10k cash. Everything seemed fine with it when we test drove it, etc.. Within a few weeks of owning it, the check engine light comes on. To me, it felt like it was running fine, didn’t worry much about it. My wife, on the other hand, was very worried, so we agreed to take it in to a local dealership for a full inspection. We left the dealership with multiple pages of repairs that were ‘needed’, total quote for repairs $9k. Things that needed fixed/replaced included rear shocks, front struts, control arms, brakes, fuel injectors, spark plugs, and the list went on. The price for parts wasn’t even half of the $9k estimate, most of it was in labor. My wife was pretty upset, because of what we just spent on the vehicle, and the fact the mechanic told her we were driving a death trap until the repairs were done.
I knew the mechanic was exaggerating, and was pretty sure a lot of the recommended repairs weren’t necessary, but decided to figure out how to do everything myself and give my wife some peace of mind.
Long story short, I got online, did a little research, found all of the parts and appropriate tools for around $950. About half of that was for all new fuel injectors, which I didn’t even feel needed replaced. Once all of the parts and tools arrived, I was able to do all of the work in a weekend. I did have to take it in for an alignment which added to the overall cost, but in the end, we saved nearly $8k.
Ever since that experience, I’ve wondered how often people just agree to what a mechanic says needs done and pays such a ridiculous price. Cars aren’t as difficult to work on as most people think, and it’s a great opportunity to save a ton of money if you’re willing to learn how to do the work.