When it comes to car maintenance and repairs, there are certain things that you can easily do yourself and others that are better left to professionals. Doing your own repairs can save you money, but it’s important to know your limits and not attempt anything that could be dangerous or cause further damage to your vehicle.
Here are some DIY car repairs that you can and others you probably shouldn’t do yourself…
Car Repairs You Can Attempt To Do Yourself:
Changing a Flat Tyre: This is a basic car repair that everyone should know how to do. Make sure you have the right tools, such as a jack, locking wheel nut, wrench, and of course a spare tyre. Be sure to follow the instructions in your owner’s manual, and always use caution when working with a jack or under a vehicle.
Replacing Windscreen Wipers or Blades: Windshield wipers should be replaced every six months to a year, depending on usage, and is often done as a matter of course along with your car service at any local garage, however, this is a relatively simple and inexpensive repair that you can do yourself. Just make sure you purchase the correct size and follow the instructions carefully. Online marketplaces such as Amazon often have a feature where you can add your car registration to ensure you get the correct parts to match your vehicle, or shops like Halfords will have a guide to which blades fit which make, model and year of car.
Changing a Car Air Filter: Your car’s air filter should be changed every 12,000 to 15,000 miles. This is a simple repair that you can do yourself with a few basic tools. Follow the instructions in your owner’s manual to ensure you purchase the correct filter and install it properly. Again this is often done as part of a garage service, so don’t waste money on something that may have already have been done, and check it can’t be cleaned out before looking to replace it.
Replacing Brake Pads: For the more adventurous home motor mechanic, if you’re handy with a set of tools, you can try to replace your brake pads yourself. This is a more complex repair, so make sure you have the proper tools and follow the instructions carefully. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to have a professional mechanic perform the repair. Brake components, especially bolts can become seized over time and with constant exposure to the elements, so do take extra care and call a professional if it’s not going well, and as this will involve jacking up the car, as previously mentioned, do take extra care when you, anyone or anything else is underneath a raised vehicle to prevent damage.
Repairs You Shouldn’t Do Yourself:
Transmission Repairs: Your car’s transmission is a complex system that requires specialised knowledge and tools to repair. Attempting to repair it yourself can cause further damage and be dangerous. This is highly recommended to be left to a trained mechanic.
Engine Repairs: Unless you’re a trained mechanic, other than perhaps swapping out an HT lead or maybe a spark plug, most engine repairs are best left to professionals. Engines are complex systems that require specialized knowledge and tools to repair.
Electrical Repairs: If you’re not experienced with electrical systems, attempting to repair them yourself can be dangerous. Any electrical work also requires the battery to be disconnected first, and doing so may cause issues with the alarm, immobiliser and potentially your radio too. Electrical problems can also be difficult to diagnose without the correct testing equipment, so it’s best to leave these repairs to professionals.
Suspension Repairs: Your car’s suspension system is responsible for keeping your vehicle stable and safe on the road. Attempting to repair it yourself can be dangerous and cause further damage to your vehicle. The springs used in vehicle suspension are under immense compression, and any risk of releasing these without the correct tools and experience could cause serious damage to you or your car.
Trust Your Local Garage
DIY car repairs can save you money, but it’s important to know your limits and not attempt anything that could potentially be dangerous or cause further damage to your vehicle. Basic repairs like changing a flat tyre or replacing the wiper blades are relatively simple and easy to do yourself and are handy skills for any car driver to have. However, more complex repairs like transmission, suspension or engine repairs should be left to professionals. If you’re unsure about a repair, it’s always best to consult with a professional local mechanic.