Saving Money the MacGyver Way
Last week, during a downpour, I had a fender bender. As I was slowing down, my car hydroplaned and I ended up hitting the guard rail. Luckily, no one else was involved and the car was drivable after the accident.
My car hit the guardrail on the front drivers side. The rail missed my bumper (unfortunately) and crumpled the hood (not too much), the side panel was smashed around the park light, the headlight and park lights were smashed, and the engine compartment frame was bent in around the headlight.
My first thought was to start looking into how much this was going to cost to get fixed asap. My head was hurting at the thought of probably spending $500-$1,000 (if I'm lucky) to get this repaired. Side note: I dropped everything but the liability insurance on the car since the value of the car was only $3-4,000.
I knew I had an upcoming multi-hour evening trip in a few days that I needed the car fixed for so I wouldn't get a ticket for not having a headlight. I also have been feeling the pinch of spending more than I have been making for the last couple months (cash-wise) and really wanted to keep my expenses to an absolute minimum. I slept on this and decided I was going to MacGyver the car to help me keep my current expenses to a minimum.
I went to Walmart and bought a roll of duct tape ($2.12) and a headlight bulb ($9.83). I also picked up a pair of pliers from Target ($1.25, clearance) since I am away on temporary assignment and left all my tools in NC. I came back and pried out as many of the headlight case pieces as I could from the smashed in area around the front of the car.
I reconstructed the headlight as best I could, I felt like I was on a dinosaur excavation. I used the duct tape to put the pieces back together and then popped the new light bulb back in the headlight. I worked the reconstructed headlight back into the car as best I could and wedged it minimize the risk of it popping out.
While it is not a permanent solution - this was good enough to get the car back on the road till I could spend the right amount of time formulating my plan to make permanent repairs to the car.
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