Friday, February 23, 2007

Do it yourself and save!

The check engine light on our MPV went on... well too long ago. I decided I would figure out what the problem was and fix it myself. My theory is (when possible) to do it myself and buy the tools rather than paying someone else to do it. When Samantha called and told me the check engine light was on I asked if it was yellow, blinking yellow or red. Luckily it was solid yellow telling me that it was most likely just a smog system that had thrown the Trouble Diagnostic Code (TDC). For those of you who are not familiar, newer vehicles have computers and sensors throughout the car that can tell you when there is a problem. They do this through the check engine light. Since the light was solid yellow I told Samantha to do her shopping and head home. I purchased a TDC reader which told me I had a bad O2 sensor. The great thing about these readers is that they will even tell you which sensor has failed (our van has 4). I called the dealership to find out how much it would cost to have them replace it and they wanted $220 to install a new one. I don't think so. I bought some ramps, ordered a replacement generic O2 sensor offline and today installed it. Here is what it cost me to do the repair:

Trouble Diagnostic Code reader $40

New Generic O2 Sensor $52

Ramps $40

So basically I saved myself $90 doing it myself and no I have not figured out what I "paid" myself per hour to do this repair.Not much. I look at it this way, I got some experience, and I have the tools for next time.



Anonymous said...

So this works for you, but when I add in the price of the plane ticket I would have to purchase for you to fly down to help me it seems like I probably should just take it to the dealer.

Matt for all the "automotively helpless" Macfarlanes