Dealer's Journal Car Owners,maintenance DIY Car Repairs: When to Fix It Yourself and When to Call a Professional

DIY Car Repairs: When to Fix It Yourself and When to Call a Professional

DIY Car Repairs: When to Fix It Yourself and When to Call a Professional

Are you capable of performing some DIY car repairs? When are these repairs too much for you, meaning you should contact a professional to get the job done?

Repairing and maintaining your car on your own can save you some money and give you a sense of accomplishment, especially if you’re not the most mechanically inclined person. With the internet and YouTube, you can find video tutorials to help you complete DIY repairs for some of the smaller and simpler tasks that need to be done.

How do you know when you can handle the job?

When you’re thinking about tackling a maintenance or repair activity for your vehicle, there are some factors to consider. Some of these are:

  • Your level of mechanical knowledge and expertise
  • The complexity of the repair
  • The Tools and equipment required
  • The potential risks of DIY repairs
  • Your budget

Here are some DIY car repairs you can perform and some that you shouldn’t tackle.

DIY: Replace the Air Filter

Regardless of your mechanical expertise, you should be able to replace the engine air filter. Typically, this item sits in a plastic box on top of the engine. This makes it easy to get to and replace. Sometimes, you don’t need any tools to complete this job. The cabin air filter can be a little more challenging in some cars, but not all. If your car is like many, the cabin air filter is behind the glove box, making it easy to access and replace.

Professional: Check Engine Light On

When the check engine light comes on, you’ve got something wrong with your vehicle. This generally requires engine diagnostics which can only be done at the auto repair shop. Most DIYers don’t have the tools or expertise to handle jobs that require advanced diagnostics. The complexity of modern vehicles means some electronic equipment may need to be replaced, which also requires a professional.

DIY: Oil Changes

One of the most common DIY car repairs you can perform is an oil change. This is actually an important maintenance item and something you’ll spend thousands of dollars on during your lifetime. Changing the oil requires draining the old oil out of the oil pan, replacing the oil filter, and adding new oil to the engine. You’ll need the right tools, but they are relatively affordable, making this task an easy one to complete.

Professional: Electronic Issues

You’d be shocked to learn how many computers your modern car uses every day. Most electronic issues are beyond the scope of any DIY mechanic and should only be handled by professionals. This means you need to bring your vehicle to the repair shop to let them get the job done. Electronic issues could require reprogramming of your car’s computer system, which you won’t be able to handle at home.

DIY: Car Battery Replacement

Replacing a car battery is pretty simple, but you don’t actually have to do it yourself. You can add this to the list of DIY car repairs you can perform. It’s fairly simple, but the pros at most auto parts stores will come out, and swap out your battery for free. Still, if you perform this service on your own, it’s easy; just be careful not to allow the positive and negative terminals to touch, and you should be ok.

Professional: Major Services and Repairs

When your vehicle requires more advanced maintenance and repairs, you’ll want to have a professional handle the job Flushing your transmission and coolant are items you probably shouldn’t tackle. Additionally, if you need something replaced, such as the fuel pump, the repair can be dangerous when performed at home. Let the pros handle the big jobs for you.

DIY: Tires and Wipers

Two of the simplest items that you should handle yourself are checking your tires and replacing your wipers. The list of DIY car repairs is growing, but that means you can save money. Once you realize how easily and quickly you can replace your windshield wipers, you’ll wonder why you ever paid a professional to do this for you. At least once a month, you should check the treadwear and tire pressure of your tires. If you take care of these items, you’ll drive safer and save some money in the process.

Some DIY car repairs are pretty easy and shouldn’t be a problem for most drivers, but some auto service tasks must be left to the professionals. Understanding the differences is important to driving safely and helping your vehicle last longer.

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