Picking up Nickels

Sunday, August 27, 2006

My DIY Car Repair = $590.70 Savings

I was driving around in my Nissan a few weeks ago and the "Check Engine" light came on. After I got home, I decided to do some research to try to find out what the problem was.

I found the VBX Maxima web site, which showed me how to read the error codes from my car's Engine Control Unit (ECU). According to the error codes, I had problems with an oxygen sensor and a knock sensor. I reset the ECU error codes, but the knock sensor code came back almost immediately.

I eventually called the local Nissan dealer (or "stealer") to ask what a knock sensor replacement would cost. I was shocked when the service advisor answered "...about six hundred dollars". In a daze, I hung up the phone and decided to do some more research on Nissan knock sensor replacement.

Next I found the motorvate web site, which showed how to replace the knock sensor on a Nissan Maxima. It seemed doable, so when I found a place where I could buy a knock sensor for $60, I decided to try to replace the part myself. While I was at it, I figured that I would also do an oil and filter change and rotate the tires.

Here is a cost comparison between my parts cost, and dealer knock sensor replacement quote and prior dealer maintenance costs:

Item My Cost Dealer Cost
Replace Knock Sensor $60.00 $600.00
Oil & Filter Change $16.77 $28.97
Tire Rotation NONE $38.50
Total $76.77 $667.47

By doing this work myself, I kept an additional $590.70 in my pocket! I finished everything this weekend, and my ECU knock sensor error code has disappeared. Hopefully nothing else will go wrong before I have to take my car in for its state auto emissions test in a few months.


  • My care has KNOCK SENSOR PROBLEM. If any one knows how to repair that and save me money, please email me at wonder1111us@yahoo.com. Thanks

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/2/09, 10:40 AM  

  • Hi anonymous,

    You don't mention what kind of car you have, but I would recommend doing a google/bing/etc search for "{brand of your car} knock sensor replace". If you have a Nissan like I do, "Nissan knock sensor replace" should point you to a bunch of resources that should put you on the right path.

    By Blogger Frugal Frugalson, at 9/2/09, 11:55 AM  

  • Great website...and cool article man...keep on posting such articles... austin texas auto repair

    By Anonymous austin texas auto repair, at 5/26/11, 8:25 PM  

  • Many parts of a car can be fixed by yourself, but there are certain parts, such as the brakes, clutch, and engine internals which you should leave alone and have a professional take a look at.

    By Blogger Newmans Automotive, at 3/20/12, 6:29 PM  

  • You set a good example to all car owners out there. :) When it comes to car maintenance, little things do go a long way. Simply checking the car regularly for signs of damage and wear and tear can extend its life for a couple of years. Researching on how we can work out problems independently helps as well.

    By Anonymous Leisa Dreps, at 11/8/12, 3:14 PM  

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