I am of the generation that grew up wanting to work on cars. So, as a teen, I and my peers hung around and later worked as Service Stations. Back then there was no such thing as a Gas Station that sold gas and did not offer automobile service.
So for most of my life I would do much of the minor to mid level maintenance on my various cars. But in recent years, with an ever increasing amount of computerization and my increasing age, I quit most of that.
So, this past Monday, when my wife told me the inside door handle in her Toyota was broken and she could not exit from the driver’s side…..Well, you know what I did. I called our friendly local auto repair franchise to get a price for the repair job. I was told that they would have to get the part price from the dealer, but that they would charge me about $100 to the job. Okay, what did I do next? That’s right, I called the dealer to price the part. Yes, they had it in stock and it would cost $46 plus tax. So now I am looking at about $150 for this repair to save my honey from climbing over the console every time she needs to exit her car.
Frequently, to do this sort of repair you must remove the entire inner door panel, which is a big deal – particularly without certain tools and prior knowledge. But rather than jump to conclusions I decided to do some quick research. On the (wonderful & amazing) internet a discovered a (detailed free) video showing exactly how to do the job! To my surprise, it was simple. No door panel removal, and all you needed was a Phillips and a regular screwdriver. Hey, no problem – those I have.
As you can imagine, I was stoked. I’m thinking, I can do this! Even more interesting, the online video has a link below it. It tells me, “Click to buy the exact part installed in this video.” Cool. I click the link and there it is. Free shipping and only $31! Now I am really excited, we just saved $100 on labor and an additional $15 on the part. Being the internet junkie that I can be, I decide to make a direct search for the part number. What did I find? You guessed it – I found the exact same part for $22 including shipping! Can you handle even more good news?
At 2:30pm Wednesday I placed the order with Parts Geek. The price I got included ground shipping, and even though they are in my home state, I expected 2 – 7 business days (what the site said) for delivery. No problem, after all, to save $124 my wife would deal with the console for a few days. At 9:20am Thursday I got the part! And today, Friday, we swapped cars for the day and I installed it.
Was it easy? I watched the video again first, and the job took me less than 15 minutes.
Now I have no doubt that what I experienced was the exception, rather than the rule. My point is…..You do not know until you check. So, Why Not Check?
And by the way. I was so impressed with Parts Geek that I sent them a thank you email about my experience and that is why I included a live link to them in this article. Who knows, maybe they could save you some too.