DIY Car Maintenance

I had to address the comment Jake made on my previous post. He said changing the power steering fluid takes 5 minutes and I could "easily" have done it myself. On a post a while back, someone else said I could do my oil change myself.

I have no doubt that I could do it myself. Do I want to do it myself? Hell no! My previous car was a BMW from the '80s, and I did plenty of tinkering on that. The whole point of buying this car was so that I would not have to be involved in the maintenance (and that it would have little maintenance, which, so far, has been holding true). I already have enough to learn without adding my car to the mix. And I don't have the time or patience. I like dropping my car off, going about my day, and coming back to have it performing beautifully. I'm "into" cars in a practical and aesthetic sense, but I don't enjoy in the slightest bit maintaining them.

The point of the previous post was to find out whether people thought I had been ripped off. Had I been ripped off, I would have marched back into the dealer, raised hell, and demanded a discount. From the part prices I've found so far, it doesn't seem like it; it seems like I'm paying the (typical) "dealer's premium." Haven't really found anything about the "power steering kit" so if someone knows the typical cost to replace them, please let me know.


Jake from Debt Sucks said...

I don't enjoy maintaining my truck, either, but I do what I can for the sake of learning and saving money. I'll soon be ripping my driver's side door apart to replace the power window motor. If I get in there and realize I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing, then I'll take it to my mechanic. I'll probably save a few bucks on labor, too, having already ripped the door apart.

If $40 to install a battery doesn't strike you as outrageous, then I don't know what will :-D Again, a five minute job that could be done for free at a parts store. Heck, that's even worse than my mechanic, who charged me $20 for 10 minutes of checking and tightening my spark plugs after I blew one out.

I guess, if anything, you're ripping yourself off. :-\

Sunflowers said...

I think you're missing the point. My time is very valuable. To do it myself, you say it will take "5 minutes" - that's not reality. I'd have to learn how to do it, I'd have to do it, then I'd have to clean up, dispose of the toxic waste legally, etc. I'd also have to find a place to park on my (very crowded) street because I couldn't do it in my apartment's garage. Absolute pain in the ass. And re: learning - well, I have more important things to learn about.

As far as taking it to another mechanic to save $40 - again, my time is more valuable than that. It would mean picking my car up from the dealer, then needing to bring my car back to someone else on another day. Absolutely I'm willing to pay $40 to save myself that trip.

paranoidasteroid said...

I'm the same way. Eventually I'd like to learn how, but it's just not a priority at the moment. My car is still fairly new, so I don't anticipate it needing a lot of help.

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