What do you do when your car doesn’t start? What do you do when a repair shop says it will cost hundreds of dollars to fix your make or model, and it can be $100 or less to fix it yourself? What do you do when you don’t feel like dealing with it yourself? What do you do when it’s the weekend? The thought of taking your car to a mechanic can be daunting; it’s expensive, and it can be annoying when they tell you things that you know are wrong or need fixing. Many people hate that feeling, so they do everything in their power to avoid going to the shop. But what if you could fix your car on your own?
With so many cars rolling off the assembly line each year, it’s easy to assume that most of us simply leave it up to our trusted mechanic to do the heavy-lifting on our vehicles. In reality, the vast majority of us old-school mechanics still perform some of our own service and maintenance, and while it’s a great skill to have, it’s not a requirement for keeping your car or truck running smoothly. Also, the reality is that most things can be done by yourself, without any need for a professional auto shop.
Here are some things that are when you can DIY:
- Installing windshield wiper
- Changing the air filters
- Changing headlight bulbs
- Replacing seatbelts
- Replacing tires
- Replacing windshield washer tank
Here’s when should you visit the mechanic:
- Engine diagnostics
- Paint and body repairs.
When should you decide to DIY on a car? This is a question that everyone has to answer for themselves, but certain things will make it easier. If the car has been in an accident, it may be best to take it in to be repaired as soon as possible. You may not be able to get the car back for a bit, but the mechanic should be able to make more progress in a day than you could in a month.
DIY car repairs are never a bad idea, but they are not easy tasks. There are more parts on our cars now than ever, and they are subjected to a lot of wear and tear. Repairs made by most automotive service shops and even some auto parts stores can range from $200 to $1,000 or more. If you want to save some cash, you will need to take your car into the shop for some professional work. DIY repairs can be tedious, time-consuming, and sometimes scary. But if done correctly, they can save you a lot of money in the long run while also rewarding you with a greater understanding of your car and a sense of pride in doing it yourself. So, are there any times that DIY is a bad idea, or is it always a good idea?
To benefit from taking your car to a mechanic, you need to understand when you should do it and when you shouldn’t. There are some things you should never have to see a mechanic for, such as routine oil changes, tire replacements, and engine tune-ups. However, there are some things you should have your mechanic look at, like replacing brake pads, replacing a windshield wiper blade, and fixing a squeaky door hinge. You may have seen people around town who are constantly going to the mechanic for things that should be taken care of at home. Unfortunately, this can be a huge waste of money. According to the National Association of Automobile Service Dealers, many important mechanical problems — such as transmission service, tire repair, electrical services, and engine repairs — should be handled at home.
There is no doubt that people have been making DIY repairs for decades and will probably continue to do so in the future. However, there are indeed times when it is smarter to take your car to a professional to have it serviced. These times include any time you are planning on fixing a big problem or when you are doing the work yourself and are not familiar with how to perform the job correctly.