Owning a car is one thing but making sure that it is in tiptop running condition is another. The easiest way to make sure it stays that way is to have a mechanic look into it although this requires one to be ready with his wallet.
Car repairs will differ depending on what the owner wants to be fixed. But for car enthusiasts, there is always that keen sense of interest of asking themselves if they are able to do the repairs themselves. In most cases, it depends. Mechanical repairs are doable for as long as they cover just one portion of the vehicle. Minor electrical tinkering is another, meaning hooking up some wires may not hurt for as long as there are guides and references one can follow. The last thing one will want is to short out the electrical – something that could lead to bigger problems.
In most cases, the replacement of certain parts such as tires or car batteries would be the simplest things one can do. Replacing the headlight, tail lights or even the windshield wipers will hardly make one sweat, pretty basic stuff that doesn’t need to be relegated to a third party or mechanic.
One of the regular things a car need is an oil change. Some would simply buy the items (i.e. oil, oil filters, and air filters) and pay for the labor of someone who can do it all. Oil change is usually messy, especially when it comes to the proper disposal of old oil. This normally goes into a barrel of old (dirty) oil and disposed of by mechanics or gasoline stations.
But what if a person wants to try and do it on his own? After buying all the materials mentioned earlier, all one has to do is lift the vehicle to take out the old oil filter and loosen a certain bolt where the old oil would come out. Torque wrenches should help out anyone do the trick.
A word of caution though. It would be best to have a pan or a big can on standby before using windshield wipers to completely loosen the bolt. From there, wait for all the oil to come out. Like in gas stations, using a blower backed by a compressor would make sure that all the oil has been drained out.
When ready, install first the new oil filter, tighten the bolt with the wrench and pour in the new oil. Check the oil stick to see if the one poured in reaches the required level and then start the car.
Oil change if not the only thing that one can do. Spark plug changing is another basic replacement activity one can do, especially if a car is underperforming. After taking out the high-tension wires, use that torque wrench again to take out those old plugs and then replace them with new ones. Usually, this would be ideal when a car is being serviced for an oil change.
So far, we have discussed simple do-it-yourself repairs for cars that make it run better. But how about when it comes to stopping?
Replacing brake pads is another thing a person can do on his own. All one needs is a wheel lug wrench and some other basic wrenches, a jack, and some jack stand.
Remove the wheel, remove the hardware and pull out the worn out brake pads. From there, push in the caliper piston and then install the new pads and the hardware. Folks who plan to change all four should be able to do so inside an hour. Though it seems complicated when a mechanic does it, taking the initiative and replacing those brake pads will go a long way and also keep drivers away from accidents and road harm.
There are many things a car owner can do to repair his car. It may eat up some of a person’s time although this should translate into savings. Car maintenance or repairs performed by a mechanic is bound to become expensive, depending on the amount of work to be done or the complexity of it.
A good piece of advice to car owners is to invest in tools. It doesn’t have to be complex but more on the items they will find handy. Repairing a car is an adventure in its own although there are also limits. Most of the mentioned DIY repairs are basic in nature. But trying out the more complicated ones on the mechanical side will need careful study. While the intent is good, it also remains that dipping one’s hands into the more complex parts of a vehicle may end up worsening a suspect car issue, if not break something that does not really need to be tinkered.
In these major car repair cases, it would still be best to have a specialist look at it. For those who are afraid to try these simple car repairs, here is a good tip. The next time you take your car for repairs, observe what the mechanic is doing to understand. If it is doable, maybe one can try it out the next time around – but with extreme caution.