Improve vehicle life, save auto repair cash, do it yourself

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