Regular readers of Debt Roundup know that I love some DIY. I like getting my hands dirty around the house. Some people ask me why I DIY, and it’s to both save money and learn something. I can honesty say that I have learned so much over the years, just by doing a project or task. I grew my e-commerce business from nothing to over $1,000,000 in annual sales by learning how to code and run a business. Now, there are times when it’s cheaper for me to pay someone for a job, but those are few and far between. Beyond simple education, I enjoy DIY because it gives me a sense of accomplishment when the job is done. It also gives me a break from the computer, which is pretty much attached to my fingers. So, if you’re not a regular reader here, then you get the gist. I love DIY!
My DIY Savings Opportunity
At the start of the new year, I realized I needed to get my car inspected. Along with a state inspection, I also needed to get some regular service done and get a recall service completed. There was a laundry list of items to have done. While I can do most of the stuff myself (except for the inspection and recall), I have a warranty on my vehicle, so it needs to be done by someone licensed in order to keep said warranty valid.
I dropped my car off at the dealership as they were the ones who needed to do the recall work. I told them the other things they could do and was on my way. They call me when my car is done. Before you get all jumpy about going to a dealership, I will say this one is much different. Typically, you can expect to be overcharged when there. I used to hate going to the dealership, but with my current car, it’s different. The local Hyundai dealership know how I am when I go in there and they don’t offer me services I constantly decline. They also always give me a massive discount on oil changes. Since my car uses a synthetic blend, it ends up being cheaper to go to the dealership than to any other oil change chain.
OK, back to the story. I went along with my day and then received a call from the dealership. They were calling to say my car was done. On top of that, they told me my air filter and cabin air filter, were dirty and should be replaced. I said “OK” and told them I would be there to pick it up. The man on the phone said they were having a special for both air filters. Instead of the standard $69.99 to replace both of them, they were no offering it at $59.99. While that may sound like a deal to some, I know better. If you have ever read my 7 tips to save money on car repairs, then you know I decline add-on services.
How I Saved $39
Luckily for me, I know how to do many things on a vehicle. I learned over the years, but especially from my brother. He is excellent with vehicles and I could ask him almost anything and he would know the answer. I guess I soaked up some of his knowledge. While air filters are easy to change, most people don’t even know they have an air filter inside to keep the air a little cleaner. This is known as a cabin air filter. While I had not replaced my cabin air filter in my current car, I know they are not expensive.
[box type=”info” ]In true style of my brother, he quickly sent me a text to say not all cars have cabin air filters (so check your car first and pretty much every oil you buy is a blend. Then why do they charge you extra for a 50/50 blend than regular “conventional”? While I couldn’t tell it in the text, I’m sure he was saying, “you idiot!” Thanks bro![/box]
After a day at work, I stopped by my local Advance Auto Parts. I looked up to see if they had my filters and they did. Since it’s on my way, I figured it would take only a few minutes to do and I was right. I was in and out of there in about 6 minutes. Simple and easy. The best part is I paid only $23 with tax for both filters. Oh, how nice!
When I got home that night, I opened up my glove box, dropped it, and had the cabin air filter replaced in about 2 minutes. I also opened up my hood and replaced the engine air filter. All in all, I timed myself and was finished close to 3 minutes and 30 seconds. Now, that is fast. Not shabby for only $23 in parts and less than 10 minutes of my time, including in the store. I saved $39 in less time it takes some people to take a shower without even picking up a tool. Ah, the sweet sound of savings!
So, the point of this story is to take a chance and try you hand at fixing things. I have learned a wealth of knowledge just from trying something I didn’t know how to do. Now I have much more respect for many crafts and I understand how to get things done. It also just increases my knowledge-base. Truth be told, I learned how to do plumbing just by doing and have not called out a plumber in some time. The last time a plumber came out to our house was when I ended up fixing the problem. It was a waste of money. Now, I’m much more selective on the projects I outsource.
In the words of MasterCard…
Engine Air Filter + Cabin Air Filter = $23 (with tax)
Same service at Dealership = $62 (with tax)
Doing it Myself and Saving $39 = Priceless!
Which one of you would love to save nearly $40 in less than 10 minutes of work? What’s the last DIY project you encountered and did you save any money?