It feels like I'm cheating on my mechanic



Now that we are on to plumbing, I’d never hired a plumber before except to do the whole plumbing for a couple houses but otherwise did everything myself. When we re-did the kitchen last summer, the new sink was a little lower. I knew I was going to have a problem making the tight connections so bought some parts for $30 at Menards. Two trips to the hardware store for another $25 in parts and no way could I make the connection-off by about an inch. So stopped by the plumbers for my third trip. He came out the next morning, re-did the drains to the wall, and after he made two trips back to the shop for parts, had it done in a couple hours. I got the bill and it was $134. I’ve got a whole box of parts though if I ever need them.

I drove to the plumbers and the hardware store.


Remember the mechanic herself (at my garage) does not get $100, more like $20-25, which is good money for a skilled trade in the rural parts of my state. The rest? Land, building, taxes, fees, insurance, power, tools, tools, tools, training, online subscriptions, management, billing, coffee…you get the idea…overhead!

(and the $50 includes the cost of the oil and the proper recycling of your old oil)


Are you able or willing to do any of that work yourself?

The brake fluid and coolant change are very easy, just takes time. Coolant change is about $50 including buying the spill-free funnel and the correct coolant concentrate. Brake fluid is maybe $10 including buying the 1/4" inner diameter clear tubing.


I have in the past… in my “younger days” as they say… I did indeed do things like that myself. The main reason I haven’t done them now or don’t do them is that where I live, we don’t have proper “storm drainage” (like they do in the midwest where I grew up). At least in the midwest, you could “believe” that the waste coolant would go down the storm drain and eventually work its way to a waste-water treatment plant somewhere… here… it would essentially go into the soil and/or eventually the ground water… so… yeah. I hear you though!


Where I live we have storm drains and sanitary sewers.
The storm drains are supposed to get only groundwater and rainwater runoff. Only the sanitary (wastewater) drains go to the wastewater treatment plant.
That is why no automotive chemicals should be spilled on the ground.


you might not know house perimeter drains in old houses go to the sanitary sewer in your house. Many times there is restricted flow of the sanitary lateral, by tree roots clogs etc, that only become an issue during rain events due to restricted flow. There are also palmer valves that get rusted shut, the intent to prevent sewage from going into the perimeter drains in the event of a backup, I could go on, sorry not car related, but if you own a house you might have a car? My guy said dump the antifreeze down the toilet, the bugs at the treatment plant love it, but never down a storm drain.


The drain tiles in the perimeter of the cellar floor in my town may not be connected to a sanitary sewer. Any such connection in an old house must be cemented up and every basement must have a sump to collect water and a sump pump to pump it up over the cellar wall and either onto the ground or directly into the storm sewer.