Cars and engines have always been a little bit of a mystery to me. I know how they work at a basic level, but I suppose I’ve always been concerned that if I start to tinker I’ll mess something up and it will cost a fortune to repair. As such, every 6 months I don’t ask any questions and take my car straight to the “specialists”, which involves driving it to the other side of Canberra and handing all my money over to the car dealership, for total piece of mind.
Well that was the old me. I had a bit of an awakening recently. Our car is 11 years old now, and probably not worth more than a few grand if I was to put it on the market – who am I trying to impress with dealership stamps in the service booklet?
So as part of my general strategy to become more self-sufficient and independent, I asked my brother-in-law (a mechanic himself) if he could teach me to service the thing – to which he replied “it’s a piece of cake mate, I could teach anyone to do it.”
Turns out he’s right – not so scary or difficult after all. It was only a minor service – an oil filter, 4 litres of oil, and a few minutes to check a few things like hoses, fluid levels, brakes and CV joints. It cost me less than $50 in parts, which saved me around $170 compared to the cost at the dealership.
It’s good to go now for another 6 months, and then I repeat the same. It’ll be due for a medium service in a year’s time, and he’ll teach me how to do that one too.
I’m still smiling about the fact I’ve freed myself from these shackles – there’s nothing like being able to do something for yourself in this world of specialisation and dependence.