You ever get sticker shock when you take your car into the shop?

I just did last week.

That’s why I am writing this post. It’s on my mind.

Now there are certain repairs not worth doing yourself like changing your own oil.

Most car repair shops use that as a loss leader to get you in the door.

They already do it dirt cheap so let them continue to do it.

Rotating tires is another. Most shops do that free.

But there are some repairs that the mark up is so high, I am doing them myself from now on.

For a frame of reference, I drive a 2004 Infiniti G35. So my repairs will be on that car.

1. Change Your Own Engine Air Filter

This one is pretty easy.

This is the air filter for the engine and not the one for the cabin.

I actually do this every year after the pollen finishes doing its thing.

Except the one year I decided to be lazy.

An air filter for my car costs $7.94 on

I had the shop do it and they charged me $30. That’s a huge mark up.

That’s a mistake I’ll never make again.

If you don’t know how to make one of these repairs, search It’s great for how to videos.

Here’s a video of how to change my car’s air filter:

See what I mean?

On a side note, I make money if you buy through these Amazon links. I was going to tell you to go to your local Autozone where I don’t make money but Amazon is so much cheaper I might never go to Autozone again.

Also, you don’t pay extra going through my link. ¬†Amazon pays me for referring them business.

This same Fram Air Filter is $12.99 at Autozone and the savings only get bigger with the more expensive items below.

2. Change Your Cabin’s Air Filter

Did you know your car actually has 2 air filters?

And if you thought the first one was a rip off, you’ll pass out when I tell you about this one.

I change both of them at the same time so continuing with my laziness, I had the repair shop change it too.

They charged me $55. The problem is an air filter for my cabin costs $8.16 on

That’s ridiculous. I guess they think the labor is more intensive so they can charge that rate.

Here again to the rescue.

I won’t embed this video because I doubt you have an Infiniti G35 but you can search for your car and I bet there’s a video.

3. Change Your Own Brake Pads

I used to think this was too much of a pain to do it myself.

Until I got my bill last week.

$250 for 4 brake pads. I had so many plans for that $250. Now it’s just down the drain.

And guess what? sells brake pads for my car at $27.00 for a pair.

I would have been out the door for $54.00. Instead, I spend 5 times that much.

Changing your brakes may sound dangerous and intimidating. I thought so at first but watching a helped.

All you need is the equipment you use to change a flat tire and screw drivers.

I would count on spending an hour a wheel.

But it’s much better than spending $250.

I’m still kicking myself.

4. Change Your Own Rotors

Now these get expensive.

I didn’t get these changed last week so I don’t know the going rate for rotors.

But if brakes are a 5x mark up, then rotors are probably the same.

That means $250 for a pair of rotors so $500 total.

But you can get 4 rotors and 4 brake pads sent to your house for $179.95 from

I mention them together because if you’re changing your rotors, your changing your brakes.

That’s much better than spending $750 for brakes and rotors.


Car repairs my seem scary but it’s time you get your hands dirty.

These car repairs are worth the savings.

You save $640 from these repairs. Count in me.

Plus you get to feel a sense of accomplishment when you finish.

Do you have any other car repairs worth doing to save money?

If so, let us know in the comments below.

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