"Back in my day," spending time with Grandad meant that we were in the back alley behind the house, working on family cars to keep them running. I learned a lot on those weekends plus spending time with brothers of my friends that happened to be auto mechanics. That is why I spent a lot of time with my first car, a 1978 Buick Regal (pictured at right). I learned how to change spark plugs, rebuild alternators, rebuild distributors (remember those?), change batteries, replace fuses, change lights, replace engine seals, replace air filters, but most importantly to check all of the fluids an engine needs.
Over the years, vehicles have become more technological, we all became busier, the "stop shops" popped up to do that all FOR us, have caused us to forget how to do things, or just not bother to even learn. I decided today to change my own oil, replace a burnt out tail bulb, and top off my fluids in my 2006 Highlander.
While it meant I had to expend some elbow grease, bust a couple of knuckles, I have to say that it was all worth it. When done, I got to stand back and feel that I accomplished something. Not only did I get the jobs done successfully, I learned more about my vehicle and how the rear-wheel drive cars differ from front wheel or all wheel drives when it comes to the engine. The BEST thing I experienced today? How much money I saved.
If I had taken it to one of those "quick serve" shops, it would have cost me over $70. By doing it myself, I only spent $35, which is a 50% savings. By doing it myself, my monthly cell bill is almost paid or can go out to dinner at a really NICE restaurant.
My bottom line on this, is that if you learn to do some things for yourself, you will keep money in your pocket achieve a sense of accomplishment, and take care of the baby that takes you to work each and every day...