Keeping the savings: fixing cars

by Joseph of FwF

We chalk much of our saving ability up to handling our own car repair. I had always felt that car repair couldn’t be that difficult but without any mentors or resources, my “repair” abilities were limited to swapping wiper blades, batteries, and I’d also learned how to change oil.

We owned an older car and the brakes had started to squeak so we took it to our local mechanic who indicated that we were looking at ~$450 for new front brake pads and rotors. We were told we’d have a bit of time before it needed done but it should be done soon. With that information in hand, I happened to lament to an old high school friend that we would be paying for a brake job in the future. He informed me that it was easy to do and if I bought the parts he would show me how to do it.

Rear drum brakes
Photo: Joseph’s projects!

I was a little skeptical but I went to a local auto parts (the second most expensive way to get parts) and bought a set of pads and rotors for the front and it cost me about $100. At this point in my life I owned next to no tools so I also bought a cheap floor jack, a ½ inch breaker bar, and a set of ½ sockets at the auto parts store for another $125 or so (again, most expensive place to buy tools but I didn’t know that.) At this point I’m getting nervous as I’m $225 invested into this and really hoping that high school friend knows what we’re doing. Queue up the the A-Team build music and fast forward 2 hours and we’re all set. Tires on, everything back together, and after verifying via a test drive the brakes are as good as new.

…since then, I’ve added to the tool collection, saved thousands of dollars and helped out friends and family along the way.

The process wasn’t too bad at all and for about half the price of what the shop was going to charge, I was the proud owner of some new tools and my brakes were new. That’s how it all began about 8 years ago, and since then, I’ve added to the tool collection, saved thousands of dollars, and helped out friends and family along the way.

Up Next, the resources to check out for fixing your own vehicles

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