Show me the Money

May 12, 2009 6:46 PM

Show Me the Money: DIY Car Repairs

Car repair bills can mount up. If you can't afford a mechanic, there are options. But you'll have to put in the time and effort.

"My girlfriend's car is having trouble with the cooling system," said Harold Garland. He's trying to flush air out a radiator hose, without draining his wallet. "Take anything to a shop, you're lucky to get out of there for less than a few hundred dollars," he said.

If you're in the same boat as Garland and have to fix your car on a shoestring budget, parts stores like Autozone are good places to start. "There's a lot of things that people can do even with a small amount of mechanical experience," said Mark Vasquez with Autozone.

If your check engine light is on, the store can run a diagnostic to tell you what's wrong for free. "We'll be more than happy to pull the code for you, and give you a print out of what those codes represent ," said Vasquez.

Customers can also print out detailed instructions about which part you'll need, and how to fix it. "Where it's going to be at, how to change what to do, things like that, we can give all that info to you," said Vasquez.

A lot of parts stores also have loaner tools available. You just put down a deposit. You can always get repair books at your neighborhood library. Haynes manuals are designed for the do it yourselfer.


Click here for a website that allows you to download detailed repair instructions and diagrams specifically for your vehicle. It is subscription based.

Click here for a site that allows you to type in specific information for your vehicle and get an estimate for how much a repair will cost.


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