Instead of celebrating the Fourth of July properly, I decided to fix my car. July 4 is one of only six holidays I get each year. Since most of those are tied up with family obligations, that makes yesterday one of maybe three days a year on which I am free to do as I see fit. I woke up at 5:20 as usual and successfully replaced two filters and did a tire rotation. I wanted to do this as early as possible when it was only humid outside instead of hot and humid.
It’s a dirty world out there. Also, I’m a bit concerned that only half of my engine air filter is actually doing any work. This one was fairly simple, a few scuffed knuckles to persuade the clips back into place and that was that.
Not as dramatic of an example, but since I have allergy issues, replacing the cabin air filter is necessary. This was a bit more interesting to get to, but not altogether difficult. By replacing just these two filters myself, I saved about $60. It took maybe 20 minutes of my time, and considering the savings just to undo a few screws, I can’t imagine I’ll ever pay the shop to handle it for me.
There weren’t enough criminals around, so I had to jack my own car. I tried to lift the entire car on four stands before and it went badly wrong. I made the mistake of lifting the right side then the left side, which resulted in the car leaning dramatically. One of the jack stands was on one leg, it could have easily tipped over and crushed my head into the pavement.
This time however, things went smoother. I pulled into the abandoned elementary school parking lot and set to work. I couldn’t use my regular parking space since I wanted something more level for the stands. I lifted both front corners, then both back corners and it was far more stable than before. An embarrassingly long, sweaty, straining, injurious time later, the tires were all properly rotated. I then did a test drive to pick-up lunch and none of the wheels fell off. Success.
In exchange for two hours of effort I saved around $80. My time is valuable to me, but that’s well worth it. I’ve wanted to get into auto maintenance, repair, and modifications for a while but since I’m buried in student loan debt, I haven’t had the funds. By doing some of the regular maintenance myself, I can gain experience while saving money to help with my long term goals. The tire rotation may be a bit ambitious, but anyone can change their filters, it’s not as complicated as you may think.