Grow My Dough

personal finance, frugal living, & other good stuff

Car Stuff. Do it yourself.

As part of my New Year’s resolution to rein in spending and pay down debt, I am going to learn how to do basic car maintenance so I don’t have to shell out good money to have someone else do it. For example, I recently took my car in for an oil change. While there, I asked for an estimate on what it would cost to repair the rubber trim on my windshield which kept popping out, I was told they would need to remove my entire windshield, clean out the grooves, and then re-silicone the trim back into place, with labor costing over a $100 an hour! Well that is just ridiculous. I asked an employee at AutoZone for his suggestion. He said I could do it myself by just buying my own silicone gel and gluing it back into place. Total cost for my DIY repair? $5.39 to buy the silicone gel.

So here are my Grow My Dough tips for the day:

  • When there is a minor problem with the exterior of your car, ask the guys at the counter at your local auto store to see if they can suggest a cheap fix. It has worked for me a number of times.
  • If you need a part replaced in your car or engine, ask your auto repair guy how much he will charge you for the part before you have service done. Then call around to the auto part stores to see if you can get it cheaper. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can’t. If you can find it cheaper, buy it yourself and then have your service done. I’ve saved a bit doing this on several occasions.  If you a part, also try calling around to your local salvage yards and tell them what you need.  If they have your part you’ll save tons of money versus buying it the store.  My dad saved $160 by doing this for a tail light lens cover.  Try it!
  • Buy an auto repair manual for the make and model of your car.  If you are handy at all or a DIYer, you’ll be able to make some car repairs on your own with this as your guide.
  • Long-term care tip – Take care of the interior and exterior of your car. Vacuum it. Wax it once in awhile. Wipe down the console and steering wheel down with the appropriate interior vinyl protectant. I’m not talking about wasting a hundred dollars on fancy car cleaning stuff, but caring for your car inside out is important. If you plan on driving your car into the ground, then it will continue to look great for years and years if you care for it. Also, if you plan on ever selling it, caring for it properly and keeping it looking nice will definitely add value to your selling price.

    January 26, 2008 Posted by | Car Repair, Saving tips | , | Leave a comment

    My New Year’s Resolution

    2007 was stressful. Car troubles, a big move across the country, career doubts, and beneath everything there were money worries. How to pay our student loans, our credit card debts, save enough to buy a decent car, save enough for retirement and for a house and for kids! Yes, kids! By December I decided that I was done being afraid of my financial future and to finally take action. My New Year’s resolution? To get my money act into gear, take control of my finances and put my money to work for ME. I didn’t know where to begin, so the first thing I put on my action item list was to read some personal finance books and blogs and go from there. I’ve created this blog to cover my progress and share what I learn along the way.

    January 26, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment