Auto repair costs too high? Save money by doing it yourself
Save on auto repairs? Definitely. The pictures above are original headlights on a 2006 Hyundai Tucson. I checked with a couple of auto parts stores and discovered a replacement cost, parts only, over $400. That was a bit discouraging, given my limited budget.
Concerns for a limited budget resulted in multiple purchases of the headlight cleaning wipes at a local retailer. I sense a “guffaw,” so I guess you have been there. That investment of $8 to $20 bought one month or less of clear headlights. With something that has sustained ten years of use, there are no truly cheap repair solutions.
I gave it some thought and decided to look on Amazon for replacement headlights. I saw the pair for $145 with free shipping! Then I satisfied my cautions by reading the reviews. What I read was only a little bothersome. Some people reported a fast blink on the signal light which was remedied by replacing the included bulb with the original bulb from the replaced assembly.
Other reviews stated a need to align the headlights after they were installed. With those cautions set aside, I believed that I could take on the feat of replacing the headlight assembly myself in order to save over $250. I ordered them, shipped from California, and they arrived in perfect condition a week later.
I had already viewed a couple of Youtube videos and discovered that this operation would be as simple as disconnecting one wire assembly and removing two screws. It turned out to be about a ten minute job to remove and replace both headlight assemblies.
After testing the signal lights, I saw that there was no “fast blink” as experienced by some users. The other minor issue, misalignment, also seems to be missing from my experience. There you have it – $250 saved by replacing my own headlight assemblies (see below to be amazed by the difference). So easy that a computer guy can do it!
Save even more money with another simple repair
Want another auto repair so simple that a computer guy can do it? Replace your own air filter. I will admit that the air filter on the Tucson shown here is not as simple as my 2015 Sonata, but it is still too easy to justify paying a mechanic to do it for you.
On my Sonata, I had the oil changed and was told that it was time, based on mileage, for a new air filter. They showed me a quote for $47 and I said that I would do it myself.
I came home and, of course, ordered one through Amazon at less than $13. This same filter would have cost over $20 at the retail stores. While waiting for it, I watched a few Youtube videos that took about a minute to show how to change this filter.
Once the filter arrived, it took a couple of minutes to replace it. Yes, it was so simple that a computer guy can do it.
Did the auto shop give me a highly inflated price quote? You decide on that! I am sure that they pay much less than the $12 price that I paid for their air filters in bulk. It would probably take them only a minute or less to do the job that took this amateur 2 minutes. That is about $40 for a minute of work. Maybe I am in the wrong business.
Hyundai Tucson Status
Minor issues: “bump” in the transmission changing 1st to 2nd, battery generally dies every couple of years
Regular maintenance: oil changes, tire rotation