While I have written about simple auto maintenance jobs you can do yourself to save money, there have been a few times in my life where those DIY jobs have backfired on me. And when they backfire, they cost more than double what I would have paid a dealership to do them for me.
For instance, when my son was about 12 years old, I had a Chevrolet Cavalier Station Wagon. It was a really cute, small station wagon, that got very good gas mileage. One time I needed to change a windshield wiper, but my son begged me to let him do it. Although I had never let him do anything other than wash the car, he stated his case that he knew how to do it. So, I gave in, and let him.
Seth got to work, and had the windshield wiper changed in no time. I was so proud of him, and praised him so much for helping me and saving me the money of paying someone to do it for me. The next time I needed to use my windshield wipers, though, they did about three swipes of the windshield and just died. Stopped working altogether. I wound up taking the car to the dealership, where they discovered the OLD windshield wiper, entangled in the windshield wiper motor.
Another time, I needed to have the oil changed in an old car that I owned. I let a friend do it for me. It only cost me the price of the oil and filter, and a six pack of beer. On my way home from the friend’s house, the motor ran hot, and the car stopped running. I had to have a tow truck come and haul it to the dealership to find out what was wrong with it. It turns out, that to reach the oil filter in that particular car, you had to remove the hose to the radiator. (it wasn’t a Chevrolet). When my friend put the car back together after changing the oil, he put the hose on backwards, which allowed the fan to cut through the hose. This car could not be revived. Lesson learned!