The stealership wanted $35 to clean excessive corrosion off my car battery and $…

The stealership wanted $35 to clean excessive corrosion off my car battery and $55 to replace the corroded positive terminal. I fixed the problem for $1.99 in pads and about 30 labor from wire brushing. Didn’t even need to replace the terminal (though I had to pry it open with a screwdriver).

View Source by RelayFX

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32 Comments

  1. Putrid_Quiet says:

    Want to save ever having to do this again, coat the terminals and exposed wire in the crimps in a light layer of grease, Vaseline works just fine for this

  2. OrokaSempai says:

    Like nearly anything in life its cheaper to do it yourself. You pay them for their knowlege, experience, time, facilities, and tools… that is not them scamming you. Go buy the tool and do the job yourself with the knowledge that is freely available these days.

  3. stickymaplesyrup says:

    I feel like $35 is a great price to pay someone to do it who knows what they’re doing. I’m not comfortable playing with my car’s battery or really doing anything mechanical to my car. I’m not a mechanic, I have expertise in other areas, I’m happy to trust someone else’s expertise and pay them for it. Only exception is when it’s something truly basic, like changing my cabin air filter, that I can do myself in about 15 seconds and the part is cheap and has no capacity to fuck up my car’s engine.

    I *could* change my car’s own oil, and save about $20 off the cost of a commercial oil change, but it would take me like an hour, and my oil filter is in the most pain-in-the-ass spot to get at that to me it’s just not worth the struggle or the time. The extra $20 is totally worth it to pay someone to try and shove their hand up in the weirdly-shaped and somewhat blocked spot where my oil filter is.

    I have an uncle that’s always doing his own car work and he is quite good at it most times. But then sometimes he does something really dumb like changing the spark plugs to the wrong kind which blows out the parts and idk fucked up the engine somehow and cost a lot more in repairs. ‘Oh but just make sure you have the correct parts’ only goes so far as then I need to spend time learning how to change and install them.

    No, thanks. I’d rather trust people whose literal job is to know engines and have gone through training to work with them.

  4. Tymanthius says:

    This is good info.

    But also a counterpoint. Those are not unreasonable rates for having skilled labor do something for you.

    If I were having other work done that I couldn’t do I’d pay that to have it all done at once. But if that’s the only thing it’s worth my time to just take care of it.

  5. jjjzzzppp says:

    I used to have a phone repair business. Let’s say I charged $70 to replace an iPhone screen. Some clients always say but the part only cost only this and that on eBay.. I always stand firm with my prices and don’t argue with them but in my head I’m screaming do it yourself then and good luck not damaging the motherboard or shorting the backlight fuse. Lol.

  6. TylerBlozak says:

    Spray some terminal anti-corrosive on there while your at it!

  7. whiskeytango55 says:

    It’s like they had to charge extra for taxes, facilities, utilities and liability

  8. Razorwyre says:

    Pro-tip, carry a small wire brush, and wrenches in your car to clean up the positive terminal in a jam. Very common issue and you are also able to help others out of a jam and avoid a tow.

  9. You don’t need to know how to rebuild an engine to work on cars, but knowing which end of a socket is which can go a long ways in saving you money here and there.

    This is of course after they wanted to charge me $45 to replace my cabin air filter, which I did for $5 in parts and 5 minutes.

  10. soparamens says:

    Grandad’s best advice: use lime juice and baking soda.

  11. shakeszilla says:

    Subaru? Those battery mounts are pieces of shit.

  12. External_Ad_6930 says:

    Dealership ask for 80 for an oil change I did mine for 30

  13. astrobean says:

    My car failed inspection for clouded head lamps (among other issues). Apparently, not enough light was getting through.

    Took it to a local mechanic. They said because they have to remove the whole front bumper to replace the headlamp assembly the cost was several hundred dollars.

    Called my brother, who is also a mechanic. He recommended a $2 bottle of PlastX (plastic cleaner) and a rag. I cleaned the headlamp and passed inspection.

  14. never open a battery. dealership labor on average is $150 and hour. so that’s right on target.

  15. Dealerships always rip you off. A auto store would have probably done it for free. I bought a new battery recently and the lady working at AutoZone installed it for free. She was super cool.

  16. SuperHeroUndies says:

    Lpt, just don’t go to the dealer unless you absolutely have to.

    For my civic, dealer prices are:

    65$ for an oil change…..it’s one bolt, ~10$ in Kirkland oil, a 0.10$ crush washer and a 7$ oem Honda filter. ~15 minutes

    300$ for a transmission fluid drain/fill….again one bolt, 0.10$ crush washer and ~25$ in oem Honda fluid bought online. Maybe 15-20 minutes.

    100$ for engine air filter change AND another 100$ for cabin air filter change. These take all of 10 seconds to change and you can get Wix filters for under 15 for each (so 30$ total for cabin and engine)

    300$ to drain fill the coolant. My civic has a petcock valve to easily drain the coolant. Assuming you use the same oem Honda coolant it takes 10-15 or so. Having a petcock on your vehicle helps speed this up and keep things clean. Coolant is about 20$ online.

    Other things would be tires and lights.

    I buy my tires at Costco bc they are cheap and you get free puncture/flat repairs, and free rotations.

    If you like messing with your suspension Firestone has a 200$ lifetime alignment thing. Still a decent value if you keep your vehicle long term since alignments run ~80$ so 1x/year for 3 years will pay for itself. If your vehicle is driving straight you can hold off on alignments, assuming you didn’t get new tires or adjust your suspension.

    Lower temps tire headlights last longer. My original headlights in my civic are almost 10 years old and still kicking after a shit ton of driving in weather, at dawn/dusk and night. I’m actually surprised and impressed. I actually haven’t replaced any lights on my car.

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  18. Ill-Albatross-8963 says:

    Stick with skilled labor that actually requires skill

    Battery bad? Do it your self

    Transmission lost a gear and need a new trans, use pro labor

    Also, avoid stealerships at all costs, the best mechanics I’ve ever met have always worked private shops

  19. specklesinc says:

    coke actual coke costs 60 cents and has been used by most of the folks i know for years and would have cut your 30 minutes of wire brushing to about 5.

  20. Nelliebaby08 says:

    How do you prevent the corrosion?

  21. Wish you had taken a before and after pic.

  22. Redditpissesmeof says:

    I went to buy all new stuff due to a corroded battery and the guy gave me the tip of boiling water. I microwaved some water, dipped the harness into the water and 100% of the corrosion came off. It was the best LPT I’ve ever received.

  23. You can also buy a replacement terminal for less than $10 if it really gets bad. I think most cars even have a full replacement cable with terminals available if you don’t like the idea of cutting the old one off.

  24. WithEyesWideOpen says:

    Why would you ever go to the dealership for repairs unless it’s under warranty? All least go to a private repair shop.

  25. prncssbbygrl says:

    ChrisFix and Scotty Kilmer on YouTube have saved me so much money.

  26. Go you proud of you

  27. So_Long_DentalPlan says:

    I’m amazed you had to waste their time to find out you can do it yourself. Oh well, free lesson for you. Who’s stealing from whom?

  28. A Diet Coke of any kind will also work wonders.

  29. altergeeko says:

    I’ve done this before and replaced the terminal. Took half a day and several trips to autozone. Super cheap but in the future I’d rather pay someone do it. The level of anxiety of getting car battery acid on my skin was too high. I was wearing nitrile gloves.

  30. Image_Inevitable says:

    Screw dealerships!

    I brought my car in working perfectly for a factory recall about 15 years ago. Before I even left the lot (middle of summer) I noticed that my air conditioning stopped working.

    I brought it back and said what gives!?

    They said I needed a new blower motor for 600$.

    I said no thanks.

    I had another mechanic look at it and one of the fuses was missing. He replaced it for me for free and everything was back to normal.

    I haven’t set foot in a dealership since.

    I know because I was a woman alone and in my 20’s that they thought I was also an idiot.

  31. jadore1976 says:

    Yeah, the other day the guy changing my oil asked me if I wanted to change my air filter for 45$, I was like, “you charge 30$ to put in an air filter?” Because they are like 15$, lol…

  32. This is a great post and exactly what this sub is meant for.

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