The day started off with a trip to fill up the gas tank.  I drive a Chevy Avalanche (aka a Suburban Pickup) so gas mileage is poor and ever since prices have risen, I have not been able to fill up my tank completely.  No, not because I lack the funds but because the gas pumps (at least at my local Sheetz) stop letting you fuel up at $75 (used to be $50 but they raised it, thank goodness).  Well, today it went past 75.  Then past 80.  Then past 90.  I figured it would surely stop at $100 but it didn’t.  Not until $102 (and some change) did it cut off.  And low and behold I had a full tank.  The past the “F” full.  First time in over a year.

My second lesson about money came with the estimate from the TV repair guy.  The big screen cut off on Saturday night (11 minutes into a movie I rented on Comcast OnDemand – “Jumper”) and the power light blinked red 6 times, paused, then repeated.  Some research on line led me to a known issue with bad Thermal Fuses.  I also found a forum that once you join, you can get the Service Bulletin on how to order and replace the Thermal Fuse.  The part costs under $5, shipping is around $10 so even with the $12 annual subscription to the forum, you are still under $30.  (somehow the guy on the forum is the only one with this Service Bulletin- even other sights I found that reference it point back to him).

To be safe, I called a couple of repair shops.  One required I bring the unit in, the other came to the house.  The TV is only 70lbs but I worried more about breaking it in transit so I opted for the home service.  The cost was $75 for a visit and $75 to assess the issue, with the $150 to be credited to any work done.  I told them when I called what I had found, that the Thermal Fuse appeared to be the issue and the person at the shop assured me they would have the part.

Long story short, the guy took the TV apart in a couple of places, confirmed it was the Thermal Fuse and also suggested we replace the bulb since it may be the cause for the fuse to have blown.  He didn’t have either part but quoted me on them and charged me $150, as agreed, for the visit and assessment.  Total bill for parts and labor around $600 and about a week to order the parts.  The quote for the <$5 Thermal Fuse on his estimate – $43.  His bulb price was a little more in line ($200 although I found them on line for around $130).  To put it mildly, I was feeling a bit like he was trying to rip me off.

So, I returned to the forum, joined and am awaiting the Service Bulletin to see if I can do this myself.  If I can, without breaking anything else, then I save a good chunk of change.  If I can’t, I revert to the quote.  If I mess up more, well, let’s not go there.

More to come on a future show, I am sure, as this may drag on a bit.