Thursday, May 7, 2009

Saving Money is FUN! Kind of… Sort…

Last week, I had that dreaded moment of having the radiator steaming out a warning sign to me.  I took the car into my usual auto repair place and was sticker shocked by how much it would cost to fix it.  Times are a bit tight for us and everyone, so I was determined to fix the car myself.

Below is what the auto repair shop was going to charge me and what I was able to do it for…

Them Me
Radiator $355.00 Radiator $184.00
Labor $240.00 Labor – 0 -
Thermostat $11.43 Thermostat $11.00
Labor $124.80 Labor - 0 -
Flush Coolant $38.95 Flush Coolant $14.00
Labor $48.00 Labor - 0 -
Cost $818.18 $224.92

Cost Savings: $593.16

By the way, the originally gave an estimate with replacement of the Water Pump which would have been another $440.  I did purchase the Water Pump, but decided against once I saw the additional time it would have taken to replace it.  I wanted to see how the car would do with just replacing the radiator and thermostat --- great news is that it’s doing very well!

Looking back at the experience, I tip my hat to the auto repair peeps!  It’s a crazy time working on a car.  It takes a lot of patience and the ability to fit your hand in places that normally a hand shouldn’t be able to fit.  Oh yeah, you have to do this while turning a wrench.

I did have some great help from a neighbor friend.  He helped tremendously.  He definitely seemed to enjoy this more than I did.  Then again, I wanted to keep running into the house to wash my hands.  Just kiddin’!

Kudos to my Dad for dragging me out while he was working on his cars.  Without that experience I wouldn’t have had the courage to work on the car.

If you ever need to get a radiator, check out!  They have great customer service and I was able to pick up the radiator locally.


Peter Schott said...

Agreed - it can be very satisfying doing your own car work. I draw the line at needing to rotate my engine block forward to change the spark plugs, though. (And removing 3-4 components prior to doing that - wow.)

Jeff said...

I used to curse my dad for making me work on the cars with him (like I'm sure my son does with me). Now I praise him for it (hopefully my kids will understand one day as well). I recently replaced my own alternator, only cost me $130 for the part. My expedition needs new plugs, but the cheapest anyone will replace them for is just over $500. YIKES! I hear what Peter's saying though, if I change them myself, it's a job that will take an entire weekend.

Todd C said...


Way to go man! I'm very proud of you. Financial Freedom Baby!