With as many moving parts and as many systems as a car has, there are hundreds of different repairs that may be needed over the life of your car. Some are complicated or require specialized tools and equipment. For these repairs, a trained and certified professional is probably your best option. Other issues are a little easier, people who know what they are doing can fix them at home. Here are a few tips for do-it-yourself auto repair.
Do-it-yourself auto repair starts with keeping accurate service records. Oil changes are recommended every 3000-4000 miles. If you are going to do them yourself, make sure you are doing them when they are needed. Waiting too long between oil changes can put unnecessary stress on your engine and lead to severe problems.
Another part of maintaining your own auto service records is knowing when you’ve replaced certain parts. Your vehicle owner’s manual will tell you how often to replace the oil filter and air filter. They don’t need to be replaced every time, so keep track of when you replace them. Replacing parts too often will needlessly increase your expenses and defeat the purpose of making your own auto repairs.
Another thing to keep in mind for DIY auto repair is using the right replacement parts for your vehicle. This includes getting the right oil. Most vehicles use 10W-30, but trucks may use a different oil weight. If you do a lot of stop-and-go driving in severe weather conditions, you may need a different oil weight.
Finally, a car repair manual is a must-have for DIY auto repair. A repair manual will be specific to your make, model and year. It will have instructions and diagrams to help you locate the parts you need and make the appropriate changes and replacements. If you choose to make your own auto repairs, be sure to have the right manual for your vehicle, because manufacturers can make radical changes to models in even a single year.
There is nothing wrong with taking your vehicle to a certified technician for auto repairs and maintenance, especially for major repairs. But you can also save money with do-it-yourself auto repair if you take care to do everything correctly and on time.