My car has been having a lot of problems the past few months. I made it through August with no repairs so I was hoping that all of the issues were taken care of for a while. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. The passenger side window in my car came off track last week. I was able to push it back up so the window isn’t down all the time, but I couldn’t get it to work again.
Some internet research suggested that taking the car to an auto glass shop be the best solution. The technicians would be skilled at taking apart car doors to get to the window and should be able to get the window back on track for only $25 or so. That price was cheap enough that I didn’t think it would be worth my time to try to do the repair myself. When I took the car to the auto glass shop I was informed that the power window regulator was out and the repair would be about $210 with a $125 of that cost being for a new regulator. That was more than I was wanting to spend. Now, doing the repair myself looked like it might be worth my while.
A little more research showed that I could buy a power window regulator for $67 online. This would be a nice $143 savings from the quoted price. I found some good instructions on how to replace the power window regulator in a Ford Focus ZX3. The instructions weren’t quite thorough enough for a novice like me. They glossed over how to take the door panel off. A search on YouTube found a video on how to replace my power window regulator and it showed in detail how to take the door panel off. I needed to find the instructions and video before attempting the repair. I’m not exactly handy. Nobody calls me “Handy Andy.” The women don’t find me handy, but at least a few find me handsome. 🙂
Although I’m talking about car repair in this post, the same idea can be applied to other expenses. There are lots of other DIY videos. Even if you decide that you can’t do it yourself sometimes the video or repair instructions will inform you of a cheaper option. For example, when I was looking for instructions on replacing my catalytic converter a couple of sites suggested that a muffler repair shop would be cheaper than a general auto repair shop. I already had a repair quote from my usual auto repair shop so I called a muffler shop for a price quote. The muffler shop was over $500 cheaper. That was a nice bit of savings for just spending a little time looking for a cheaper alternative.
I had to order the power window regulator online, which I did using Mr. Rebates in order to save a little money. I’m still waiting for the part to arrive and will update this post after I receive the part.
Things didn’t go exactly as planned, but I do now have a working window and I saved a fair bit of money. It turns out that the part I ordered online wasn’t the correct part and I had to cancel the online order. Since I’m leaving for a hike on Thursday I didn’t have time to place another online order and I also didn’t want to take a chance of ordering the wrong part again so I bought the part at a local auto parts store. The regulator ended up costing $125 which was the same price as the auto glass shop was going to charge me. I didn’t end up saving any money on the part.
I’m happy to report that I was able to do the job myself and now have a function power window. The entire job took maybe 3 hours, that is including going to the auto parts store and back. I did do the job at a very relaxed pace and I could probably do it in an hour if I had to do it again. I saved $85 by doing the job myself. Since I’m currently unemployed I think this was a good return for my time. Now that I have this repair under my belt, I am more confident that I can handle future repair jobs and save even more money.