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Save Money: Fix Your Own Car

April 24th, 2008 at 11:29 am

I briefly mentioned my '98 Mercury Sable in yesterday's entry. It currently has 120,000 miles on it, and my goal is to get it to at least 200,000. Since Q and I lovingly refer to it as the Stingray, it's extra important that it continues to run.

Well, I quickly discovered that I was going to need to learn more about fixing cars for it to be cost-effective to keep the Stingray until 200,000. What really put me over the edge was when my wiper-motor linkage went out (The wiper-motor linkage is found, in most vehicles, right below the windshield. It's a very small motor and an assembly of bars that force both wiper blades to move when the motor moves one of them.). The dealership was going to charge me more than $200 for parts and labor.

I have never been particularly fascinated with mechanical things. I appreciate and respect engines, computers, other technological; however, I've always been more interested in language. While that has been good in many ways (the ladies love it), the downside is that I don't know a lot about fixing cars.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I have been learning a lot about fixing cars by trying to work on my car myself instead of immediately taking it to the dealership or to a garage. Also, I have been saving lots of money, and I think the Stingray just might make it to 200,000 miles.

4 Responses to “Save Money: Fix Your Own Car”

  1. campfrugal Says:

    A good place to get parts for older vehicles (we have them also) is the auto junk yards. Vehicle parts do not go out on all cars and you can probably pick that part up for a fraction of the cost. We always check the junk yards first. Saves us loads of money.

  2. Apprentice Fun-Frugalist Says:

    Best of Luck !!

    I would also like to learn how to fix simple problems with my car....

    The prices garages charge are sometimes outrageous and in no way related to the amount of work they do.

    I think the junk-yard idea is a great one... can also look on it as a bit of adventure....tracking down a particular part...

    Also... your fiance will find a McGyver in you she never knew existed !! haha

  3. Petunia Says:

    I'm impressed! Good for you for learning new skills!

  4. sagegirl Says:

    Hubby is fairly mechanical--he worked at a parts store in high school and worked on his uncle's farm with trucks. He can figure out most things but we take our 1993 Chrysler in when it needs something big. He just replaced the power steering belt and pulley in his 1994 pick up-parts cost him $38. Not too shabby.

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