Home Mechanic Curse

16 December 2004

My yearly car inspection is due this month, so I replaced a tail light and 2 tires (they lasted a year) ahead of time. I got it inspected, and it needs brakes now. I had glanced at them the night before and hoped they'd make it another year.

Knowing how to fix cars is a curse -- when the mechanic calls at 7:40am to tell me it'll cost an extra $120 for the him to replace my brake pads, I can't tell him to just do it. Too quickly, I come to the realization that I'd rather spend $20 and 30 minutes doing it myself and keep the $100.

With my preliminary work, inspection cost me $295 this year for tires, a tail light, front brakes, emissions test, and inspection. It's amazing how much you can wear out on a car driving too far to work.

Update (16 December 2004): After 4 hours of work, 2 more trips to AutoZone, and $35 in tools (that's pronounced "investment"), I've replaced my brakes, and the car passed inspection. I didn't work near as efficiently as I had expected, and I didn't even get around to changing my oil. While working, I started to doubt the validity of my decision to do this myself. I just have to ask myself what those 4 hours were worth to me -- I'm not sure. I do know what the money I saved is worth.

I didn't think newer cars were supposed to be this much work.

Filed Under: Miscellaneous