DIY auto repair is far less expensive than having your mechanic do it and you feel a sense of accomplishment when it’s finished. Auto repair can be enjoyable and it can also be expensive. If you know a little something about cars, it might be tempting to do it yourself every time. There is something to be said for knowing your limits, however, so here are some tips about knowing if you should do it yourself.
Have You Tackled This Repair Before?
If you’ve already had experience with an auto repair, you’ll be far better equipped to do it yourself. Of course, there’s a first time for everything, and you’ll never know unless you try. Your best bet is to only attempt DIY auto repairs if you’ve done it before or seen it done by someone else. It also helps if you have instructions that you can follow as you work or an experienced mechanic who can supervise.
Does the job take two people?
Some auto repairs can’t be accomplished with just one man and a wrench. If you need a second person, make sure that there is someone who can help you with the task. The second individual doesn’t have to be an experienced mechanic, but someone who can follow directions well and won’t quit after a couple of hours of hard work. DIY auto repair is a process, and you’ll need plenty of time to do it yourself.
Do you have enough time?
As mentioned above, most auto repairs take at least a few hours, if not an entire weekend. The time needed is doubled (or even tripled) if you are new to DIY auto repair. If your car needs a repair on Sunday morning and you’ll need the car to go to work on Monday, you might be better off driving it to your local mechanic. Make sure that you look up the amount of time needed on the Internet or call a mechanic to get a rough estimate before you start taking things apart.
Are you familiar with the tools?
A DIY auto repair becomes dangerous when you have to use tools with which you are unfamiliar. Make sure that you’ve used the necessary tools before or that you can easily figure out how to use them. An improperly implemented tool can mean the difference between a repaired car and a mess, so gather the tools before you decide to do it yourself.
Are there any safety hazards?
Safety should always come first when you’re conducting DIY auto repairs, particularly if you aren’t familiar with the process. Hundreds of things can go wrong, and even though they probably won’t, you must make sure you are able to handle any safety hazards. For example, do you have a safe container in which to store used oil? Do you have gloves? Do you understand the wiring? If you aren’t sure about safety hazards, you might not want to do it yourself.