Saturday, June 6, 2009

Wrench Wench Round Table Pt 2

I hate going to get my oil changed because they are always trying to sell me all sorts of stuff – like the filter for my air conditioning. They wanted to charge me $50 and I heard that is something I can do myself!

Ladies correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure she’s not alone in that feeling. *And* she is absolutely right – it is something that she (or anyone for that matter) can do on her own and save lots of money. Plus it feels pretty good to know you did it yourself.
Air filters and Cabin filters (the filters for your AC system) are generally pretty easy to change once you know how. The first time you do it you may find it a little tricky – but after that you’ll be a pro and be able to do it in less than ten or 15 minutes at the most.

The Air Filter is for the air your engine breaths. It will always be in the engine compartment and generally held in by a few clips or maybe a few screws. Most can be changed in just a few minutes once you know what you’re looking.

The Cabin Filter is for the air you breath. It is often behind your glove box, or sometimes under the hood close to the back of your engine compartment (near the windshield). Look in your owner’s manual or ask your mechanic next time you see her. If their not happy to show you, maybe its time to look for another mechanic…. But that’s just my humble opinion ;)

With both filters, I’d check them every other oil change (more if you live in a particularly dusty climate). Its just like checking a filter on your AC at home, or for your air purifier or hepa vacuum cleaner…. Sometimes it will be so filthy that it’s real obvious that it needs to be replaced. If you’re in doubt – hold it up to the light. If the light can’t get through – neither can the air!

You can often get the filters for *much* cheaper than it is being sold to you at the repair shop. The woman who asked the question was being charged over $50. I looked up her year make and model and she does have a unusually high cost filter… but not that high. List price from the dealer was $22.50, which means it would probably cost 15 – 18 at an aftermarket parts store like AutoZone of Checker. Once she gets good at doing it in five minutes or so – that’s roughly $30 she’ll be saving herself!

As a shop owner I guess I’m not really supposed to be saying all this – but than we never charge labor on filters at our shop, and we’ll always offer to show you how to do it if you want to attempt it yourself the next time. Next time you’re at the shop, ask them to show you, look it up in your owners manual or online… better yet enroll in a class with me or Lori!

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