NewsMaking It In San Diego


Making It in San Diego: Cost of common car repairs vs. DIY

Auto mechanic generic
Posted at 2:43 PM, Feb 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-04 17:43:38-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Common car repairs can really add up over time, eating away at your paycheck.

Among the usual culprits are oil changes, wiper blades, batteries and new tires. Some of these repairs are work you can do yourself to save some cash while others, such as brake work, should be done by a professional.

The list below shows the 10 most common repairs, according to, as well as prices from Angie’s List:

RELATED: More San Diegans keeping their cars for 15 years or longer

1. Oil/oil filter changed

At a shop - $20 to $70 depending on the type of oil

DIY - If you have the necessary tools, this one could save you a bit of cash but, according to 20 Something Finance, if you don't have things like the oil drain pan and a jack, it pays to take it to the shop.

2. Wiper blades replacement

At a shop – Between $8 and $16

DIY – This is something you can easily do yourself, but it costs about the same.

3. Replace air filter

At a shop – $20 to $50

DIY - $15 to $25 for the cost of the air filter.

4. Scheduled maintenance

At a shop – Varies

5. New tires

At a shop – Average of $637

DIY – Don’t try this at home.

6. Battery replacement

At a shop – Between $50 and $200

DIY – There’s really no need to do it yourself. Most car parts stores will help you replace the battery right then and there.

7. Brake work

At a shop - Varies depending on the type of work that needs to be done.

DIY – Don’t try this at home.

8. Antifreeze added

At a shop – Between $100 and $144

DIY – Parts and fluid can cost roughly $30, according to

9. Engine tune-up

At a shop – Can cost betwen $40 and $800 depending on what you need done, according to

DIY - Varies widely depending on what needs to be done.

10. Wheels aligned/balanced

At a shop – Between $100 and $150 for a four-wheel alignment.

DIY - Unless you have a lot of equipment laying around and know how to align your wheels, it pays to take your vehicle to the shop.