Since I now have a shop I try to use it to my best advantage. For instance, I perform oil changes and other maintenance on our vehicles. Oh sure, when you factor in the cost of buying an oil wrench and a creeper etc I'm not going to see a return on my investment for well, a while. But there is a nice feeling of satisfaction from doing these things yourself.
At least until you see that you have about 6 gallons of used oil sitting in the corner. What to do? There is no way I'm dumping it down the drain, we have an aeration system and leech bed. This would efeectively destroy our septic system. And even if I were hooked into a city sewer system, it's evil. There are some who burn their used oil, but again, it probly not a very healthy thing. Our city recycles paint and oil etc once a year. And every year we learn about the program the day after its over. Great.
So the oil just kind of piles up. Luckily I learned our local mechanic, Zeke, will take it. It's collected by a company that properly disposes of it. But what if you don't have a local guy named Zeke? Well it turns out that Advance Auto Parts will take used oil AND batteries.
Is your check engine light on? My father in law was hit for $60 to turn it off. No repairs. Nothing broken. Advance Auto Parts will actually hook up a basic diagnostic computer and tell you what the code is and what it means for FREE. I don't know if they will turn it off or not, but you'll at least have a clue when you go to your mechanic. And when that $60 'diagnostic fee' shows up you can say "Hey, hold on there sparky, you want to charge me how much to just plug in a computer and push a button? I told you what the code was!" If you're lucky (and didn't go to a dealership) that charge should go away.
Of course, I learned of this service AFTER I bought my own little diagnostic computer. I can't help it. I'm now a tool whore. They range in price but you can get one for between $75 and $100. There are cheap ones that will read an fault code (which you can look up online) but they can't reset the check engine light. I've already used it three times to turn off check engine warnings that weren't serious on our cars.