DIY Car Maintenance = Save Money + Feel Smart

I’m not a car-person.  At all.  Cars are tools to get you from A to B.  But they are valuable and expensive tools, so I want to make sure I take care of mine at the best price possible.

After heeding Dad’s advice from his post Prepping Your Car for Winter, and getting my oil changed with synthetic oil, the mechanic came back to say that my battery failed and the cabin air filter needed changing.  With the help of my car-fiend brother, I changed these myself.

Everyone should change their cabin air filter themselves.  It’s easier than changing windshield wiper blades and on par with changing a light bulb.  FRAM sells cabin air filters at Canadian Tire for about $18.  First go to the FRAM website and search their catalog for the part number (for some reason the store didn’t have a catalog).  Then look up your manual or online on how to get access to your filter.  For my 2003 Corolla, it was ONE SCREW to remove my glove compartment, then pop off the cover, and replace the filter. 5 minutes.  The old filter was filthy, and included some leaves and a dead wasp.  The Toyota dealership offered to replace it for me for $55.  It took me a few minutes and I saved $27.  I’m going to have nice clean air in my car and I feel like a car genius!

My brother also helped me replace my car battery.  It can be done in less than 30 minutes and you can find plenty of step-by-step instruction online.  Again, the dealership offered to do this for $185.  The battery cost me $100 and I get $15 back when I return the used battery.  Doing it myself saved me $100.

Not only did I save myself $127, but I got this great feeling of accomplishment, and I can definitely do it again, saving me cash over and over forever!