DIY Auto Repair VS Dealership Shop: DIY Big Winner

Take The Cash and You Never Have To Run.

How much more money can you save avoiding the dealership and going the DIY repair instead?

The answer is: Huge

Fixing your own vehicle can drastically cut costs when it comes time for maintenance. You could end up saving 70% of costs for the life of the car going this route.

It does take a bit of work and some elbow grease, but it is something to consider if you have an interest working on cars.

or if you don’t want to do diy car repairs

For some, you may not want to work on your vehicle at all. There are still ways to save money on car repairs, but they don’t save you as much. And we’ll talk about that later here.

But, for now let’s continue with the best way to save money by doing your own DIY car repairs.

Using my own auto DIY repair as an example

We’ll use my Kia Sorento as an example:

auto diy repair 2

I did 11 different DIY auto repairs for this Sorento. It cost me $1,214 to fix the vehicle in total. These costs were purely for parts. I wasn’t paying extra for labor since I was doing the labor.

Had I gone to a shop to get the same repairs done for me, I’d be spending around $5,319 instead.

the math makes sense

I don’t know about you but spending $1,214 is better than spending $5,319 to do the same repair; any day.

That’s a saving of $4,105 that went back into my pocket because I went the DIY route.

Let’s break it down. You can watch the video below to see the actual costs were for parts:

Play Video about auto diy repair 3

List of DIY Repairs Done For 2011 KIA Sorento:

      • Front and rear wheel hubs $639.66
      • Sway bar links and bushings front and rear $84.96
      • Front brake pads & rotors $244.72
      • Transfer-case and rear differential fluid change $41.97
      • Transmission fluid change $72.20
      • Spark plugs replacement $44.67
      • Coolant drain & fill $35.96
      • Power steering flush $50 (I forgot to include this cost in the video)

Altogether the total comes out to $1,214.00. Going the DIY route, this is all I had to pay.

calculating shop fees

Now you’re probably wondering how I calculated the shop rate of $5,319 in the first place. I used a service manual tool that shows how many hours goes into each job that I did for the Kia Sorento. 

Then I took the book time it would take from the manual and added everything together. Knowing what the total hours would be to do these repair, I took that and multiplied it by an hourly shop rate.

Shop rates can average around $150 per hour at the dealer. Some charge less, some charge more. I’m just using an average here.

So it takes 15 hours book time multiplied by $150 per hour, therefore you get $2,250. That is the total you would pay the shop for labor.

Labor costs plus cost for parts

Include the cost of parts into the equation and you get an even bigger number. Dealers charge almost double for OEM parts. And they only sell OEM parts.

Since I paid $1,214 for aftermarket parts, the dealer would charge around $2,800 for all their parts had I gone with them.

Therefore, add $2,800 OEM parts with $2,250 of shop labor. With sales tax and shop fees included that would be around 11%, which comes out to around $268.

Here would be the final shop bill:

$2,800 OEM parts
$2,250 dealer shop labor
$268 sales tax and shop fees

Equals $5,318.

You see DIY car repairs are the winner when it comes to saving money on car repairs.

As a result I saved $4,105 going the DIY route for only 15 hours of work. 

DIY Real Winner

So there you go. Now you know how much money you actually save going the DIY route.

Remember, at the end of the day mechanics fix cars in the same way that repair manuals demonstrate. Which means they repair cars no better than you as long as you also follow the manual. Just stick to the repair guideline and you’ll be as good as the pros.

How to Find a Repair Shop Manual 

If you need a repair manual specifically made for your vehicle, go here to learn more. I’ll also show you a quick tutorial on how to use them online.

July 29, 2021

5 Paths to Become A Mechanic: Best to Worst Way

Many Paths to Start Your Automotive Journey.

It can actually be difficult to get hired in the automotive field for complete beginners. I know because I’ve been there.

Most shops will say you either need experience or technical training before you can get a job.

But how do you get experience if no one’s willing to give you a shot?

And what if you’re having difficult getting enrolled in college?

Learn here on how to become a mechanic when you have no work experience or schooling in the automotive field. 

Here are five ways you can get started:

Path #1

Start by changing engine oil and brakes.

This is probably the easiest method to start learning how to fix vehicles. And it is also the most inexpensive way to start. You only to buy a starter tool set to change engine oil and brakes.

And if you do a proper job, it should take you no longer than 5 hours total to complete the repairs: 2 hours to do an oil change, and 3 hours to replace front brake pads and rotors.

Here are two video examples:

2011 KIA Sorento engine oil change

2011 KIA Sorento brake pad and rotor replacement

Quick way to get into the field

Learning to do engine oil changes and brake jobs will give you the experience that’s required to get hired. Employers are always looking for candidates who have experience working on vehicles.

Just note, using this approach may not land you into dealerships immediately, but your chances of getting into lube shops is almost assured knowing these things. This route will save you money on tuition costs, and build your skills while working entry level jobs. 

Then you can move up slowly to enter dealerships or independent shops while building your resume. This is how you can start your journey to becoming a mechanic the easiest way possible.

When going to college might actually work in your favor

While I do show you here that you can get into the automotive field without going to college, there are certain instances where I recommend college. Continue reading below:

Path #2

Enrolling in community college for entry level certification

If you have no experience at all working on cars, you can attend a community college (in Canada, we just call it college)

The plan would be to enroll in community college and pay for a 4 month tuition course. Usually tuition for community college is around $3,000 or less. 

You can also apply for scholarships or grants that will help pay for your tuition no problem. Which is a pretty decent deal if you’re able to score one of them.

Upon successful graduation, you would receive credentials to show employers that you’ve been certified in some way to work on vehicles in shop.

This route will allow you to bypass working at lube shops in most cases. Which means you approach the dealer or independent shop with higher success.

Path #3

Employer promoting you to become an apprentice

Now that you’re working for your new employer, chances are you’re planning to work at the shop long term. Usually a year or two into your employment it’s likely that your employer will decide to promote you.

That means your employer will likely want to sign you up for apprenticeship. Which means you now have to go back to school in order to start your apprenticeship process. 

And since your employer offered to sign you up for apprenticeship, that means in most cases employers are willing to pay for all, if not some of your tuition training. 

Stack that up with scholarships you can apply for and you’re almost paying nothing for college again; maybe you’ll even be making a surplus of money this time with the employer covering for you. 

This is the best time to go to college.


Path #4

Becoming a mechanic the worst way possible. 

The worst way to become a mechanic as a beginner is to attend long term college programs. Let me explain.

I’m talking about those courses that go for 1 year up to 4 years. Turns out, those class are not really good for your health… your financial health.

I recommend you stay completely AWAY from them. Why? Because those courses will cost you $30,000 and up just to enroll in them.

Scholarships and grants wont really help you 

Say goodbye to any scholarship really helping you out to cover your college tuition. Maybe you might score a $15,000 scholarship.

But then you’re competing with straight A students in your college with people who have other qualifications. Good luck getting those scholarships. There are maybe only 1 or 2 of them anyways.  

The best you might get are those $1,000 or $2,000 scholarships that are a bit easier to receive. Maybe you might land two of them. So you’d likely end up shaving $4,000 off from a $30,000 tuition. But, do those numbers make sense to you?

And say hello to a big fat loan that will follow and haunt you for a long time in your life. This is the worst way to become a mechanic.

Fun fact 

While you’re stuck in school for 4 years going this route, there are people getting out of community college within 4 months!

They’re out there running around making money while you’re earning no income for 3 more years. Avoid this option like the plague

Path #5

Become your own boss | open up your own shop

Now that we’re done talking about college, here’s an option you thought maybe not possible for a beginner.

Now this path isn’t for the faint of heart, but you become your own boss. All you would have to do is learn how business operates and hire out the right people.

Sure it’s much tougher to get to this position but if you know how to leverage and use other people’s money/time, this is an option you can take.

You wouldn’t have to get dirty all the time working under vehicles, but you could find ways to repair people’s vehicles with good rates and service. You could even fix and flip cars in your shop.

That’s just a brief overview of what’s possible. Path #5 deserves a whole separate topic by itself so check out this video if you want to learn more. 

At least you know it’s possible now to open up your own shop sooner than you think.

5 Paths to Take – From Best To Worst

So there you go, 5 Paths you can take to become a mechanic (or own a shop).

If you’re willing to put in the time and effort to learn along the way, you’ll have opportunities open up for you, no problem. It’s just the way it works.

Now you know you create your own path, so get out there and create it!

How to Find a Repair Shop Manual 

If you need a repair manual specifically made for your vehicle, go here to learn more. I’ll also show you a quick tutorial on how to use them online.

July 28, 2021

Best Car Repair Videos For Auto Beginners

when learning from videos becomes better than books 

Learning how to fix vehicles is a very rewarding feeling. There’s nothing like repairing an issue with your own vehicle and seeing it come back to life again.

Not only do you end up saving yourself a good chunk of money, but you also gain confidence to tackle the next job should it come your way.

So what is the best way to learn how to fix vehicles? And how do books stack up?

Today on the internet there are several great books geared towards automotive for beginners, like the ones listed below:

A time for more videos

I will say that books will always have their place for the beginner. The need to do away with them isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

However since YouTube’s come onto the spot, many people have posted tons of repair videos on their platform. This is a recent trend that began to sprout around the year 2005. Within 15 years, a lot has changed in the car repair and maintenance world online.

It’s becoming apparent that video is taking over as the superior format of learning when it comes to fixing vehicles.

What makes video superior to books

Comparing 2-5 still picture frames from a book VS over 3000 frames from a video to cover the topic of vehicles repairs, is a huge difference. Take a look at the comparison below.

I was only able to find 2 still pictures with my repair manual book (shown below) VS the huge amount of content from a video to do an oil change:

picture of car repair
best car repair video 3
Play Video about learn car mechanics online free

With the video we can see much more of the moving parts, and we get a full picture how things work with the vehicle. This increases our visualization to dissemble components and reassemble them with better results when working on our own.

Best Videos For Automotive Beginners

So if you’re thinking of fixing vehicles and don’t know where to start, think about taking video courses online. The courses costs as much as a book would AND you get to see all the moving parts.

Learn how to take care of your vehicles for the long term; that’s what we want. And if you need mechanic training videos that will help you get into the field, there are professional videos for that as well.

Some courses are usually on sale which means you pay even less for video training instead of buying books at a higher price. 

And if you plan on becoming a bit more advanced within a year or two, you have options to earn money on your own as a mechanic. This is where you might be interested in the world of flipping cars.

I would recommend learning to fix vehicles for at least two years before deciding to flip cars. 

Doing fix and flips are a great way to take your mechanic skills to the next level. It’s a prerequisite to becoming self made mechanic or creating desirable talent people are willing to pay for.

Most states in the US don’t require you to have a license to flip vehicles. 

And most provinces in Canada don’t require a license as well. Check out the video below to learn more:

So for 70% of North Americans, that means you can flip vehicles without a license. And flipping cars can bring you a decent profit if you do them right.

You can learn from the pros that offer online courses who will show you how to do your first flip:

The opportunities avaialble for beginners

The great thing about this field is that there are many paths to becoming a mechanic. 

Now with video learning to repair vehicles, it becomes much easier for the beginner to get started.

You’re no longer stuck anymore with having to go to school and focus on mostly textbooks. Colleges will cost you money in the thousands (XX,XXX), while professional online video courses will cost you in the double digits (XX). And the training is similar, if not the same!

So check out some of the video courses I’ve posted above. It’s an investment worth a hundred books of value.

You’ll save yourself a trip from high student loan misery lane. And you’ll become just as good as the pros did when they first got started; as a beginner.

If you’re thinking of applying for a job soon, check out this post to learn about the auto employer vs employee mindset in this field. It might help take the pressure off you the next time you go searching for employment.

Kickstart Your Automotive Electrical Skills

As vehicles are becoming more electrified, it’s important to have electrical knowledge and skills to work on vehicles.

Learn the simple real life Formula that Runs All Electric Vehicles.

Get a head start if you’re thinking about getting into the automotive field.

July 28, 2021

Employer VS Employee: Automotive Expectations In Shop

When you’re first starting out in the automotive world, you can feel intimidated for interviews with shop managers.

You might feel underqualified walking into the shop to get a job.

Or maybe you’ve been hired for some time and now your boss is starting to act up. Maybe this is your 5th boss now, but for some reason you just seem to butt heads with your employers over time.

So, are employers really as good as you think they are?

Today we’ll look at how much smarter is the employer vs the employee.

Now we all know when we go to job interviews we can feel a little bit of stress. We walk into a brand new place. We see a new face and then we sit and wait to be called. Then we have to meet the manager or shop owner. We answer a bunch of questions and then we hope for the best. Sometimes we land the job, sometimes we don’t.

What happens if the manager doesn’t call you back after the interview? This happened to me a lot. And will that stop you from approaching multiple shops because one or two shops say ‘no’ to you?

You might even think to yourself, “These guys are smart. They know what they’re talking about. They must know I’m just not cut out for this.”

Realize that at the end of the day, these employers aren’t the brightest either. Some of the times they’re making mistakes too which ain’t so smart; sometimes grave mistakes.

two short stories I want to share.

The first employer I had was an owner of an independent shop. He is knowledgeable in fixing vehicles and I learned a lot from him over the course of my employment.

But on the first day I noticed he had a car running in his garage bay. I got a quick tour of the shop and maybe 10 minutes had gone by now. 

Next thing I know I see the same car that was running earlier, spewing out hot coolant into the air like a high pressure fountain you see at a city park. 

That fountain was probably reaching well over a meter high. Next thing, I see the owner rushing back to the car in haste to turn it off.

…2 Months Later

About 2 months working for him I get a car on the lift that needs a brake job. I noticed that the caliper pins are seized unto the caliper bracket. I quickly show the owner this problem and he immediately responds, “It’s okay, just throw everything back on with the new pads.” 

So essentially I did just that. We didn’t order a new caliper or notify the customer. We just put everything back like nothing ever happened.

I realized then the rumors to be true about shop owners taking shortcuts, and here was one of them. Not only will the customer’s new brake pads wear out even faster, but this could cause a safety hazard down the road later on. 

The owner just wanted to get another car into the bay and keep generating that cashflow as fast as possible. Not a smart idea if the customer gets into an accident. That can come back to bite the employer.

Second employer gambling with his shop.

The second example is when I worked for a different owner who had a good operations going. But, it had a very weak point that could easily be exploited. 

This weak point could knock him back in heavy fines and possibly revoke his license to keep his shop open. Which here in Alberta, is a requirement to have a license to keep your shop open. 

Some provinces in Canada don’t need a license. And in the States it seems you don’t need one as well. But here in Alberta and in some other provinces; if you don’t have at least 1 person with a license working on the floor in your shop, that can spell out trouble for you.

I discovered this through my coworker who told me he doesn’t have a journeyman license. He also mentioned that I ‘not say anything to anyone’ about it.

And whenever I saw regulations people walk into the shop, I would notice the owner running around frantically. Since it was just me and my coworker working at this shop, I knew the owner was trying to coo the regulations people because he had no licensed journeyman in his shop; including himself. And I realized he was just one step away from being shut down because of this.

Another shortcut an owner is willing to take so he doesn’t have to pay higher wages to a licensed mechanic. Not so smart.

After about two years I tried to call my former employer about setting up a business deal. The number was disconnected, and when I visited the shop everything was shut down. I looked online and saw confirmation that the place had emptied and was no longer open by looking at the reviews.

I learned alot from my employers

But to be fair these mechanics knew how to fix vehicles and impressed me some of the time. But that’s the thing, it’s only some of the time. 

The other times it’s just neutral or they’re out there taking shortcuts and breaking regulations.

Which means you as the beginner shouldn’t worry when employers say ‘no’ to you when you ask for a job. Now you know they don’t know what they’re talking about. 

You just head to the next shop and ask again until you land employment.

And for people thinking of starting their own business, competition from other shops shouldn’t stop you from doing your own thing if you think it’s going to work out.

So there you go. Employer vs employee. Are employers smarter? No. Not really. But if you ever do become an employer, now you know the pitfalls here so you can become a smarter one.

Learn how to become a mechanic with no experience or school. 

Watch a quick video here to get started in the automotive field if you have no idea where to start. With people saying go to college or get experience, it can be frustrating when you don’t have either and you’re starting with less money. So check out the video to solve this issue:

Play Video about how to become a mechanic with no experience or without school easy learning repair cars

Kickstart Your Automotive Electrical Skills

As vehicles are becoming more electrified, it’s important to have electrical knowledge and skills to work on vehicles.

Learn the simple real life Formula that Runs All Electric Vehicles.

Get a head start if you’re thinking about getting into the automotive field.

Starting your own business

And if you’ve fixing care for about 2 years but can’t seem to level up, consider flipping cars.

Learning how to flip cars can earn you a decent amount of profits if done right. Not only that, but you can level up you automotive repair skills at the same time.

Which means if you’re getting sick of working for people, you can become your own boss.

Check out the link below to learn more:

July 28, 2021