Under the hood of your car lies a complex tangle of wires and steel that may seem too scary to breach, but there are many benefits to getting smart on basic repairs. Read on to find the top tips from car enthusiasts to assuage your fears and help you with the DIY process.
Familiarize Yourself With The Vehicle
As a new car owner, you should familiarize yourself with your vehicle. This way, you can have a better understanding of when there are issues and how to go about fixing them as a DIY repair.
Knowing the different components of your vehicle will help you decide whether a maintenance job can be done yourself or if it should be outsourced. Even if you decide to outsource, knowing what the repair entails will help you negotiate and make sure you are being priced fairly.
With online platforms like YouTube readily available, there is no reason why you should not be using it to help yourself learn repair processes. When doing DIY projects make sure to look up videos of real people performing the specific job you are attempting. This helps to ensure that you are comfortable with doing all of the steps required to complete the job. But, if you realize that there are things you are not comfortable doing, you can choose to outsource to someone that specializes in repair work.
Check your tools to make sure you have all the tools required. Once you begin, understand that not everything will be smooth-sailing. There are plenty of jobs that are just as simple as a video may make it seem, however, most are not. Stick with it and be prepared to look for ways to make it work.
After completing the repair, be very careful. Run the vehicle cautiously to make sure you notice any problems that may have occurred during the repair. Many issues can be avoided by double-checking your work.
Top Tips For DIY Car Maintenance
Here are the best tips for new car owners who want to engage in DIY car maintenance and repair:
Take Advantage Of Technology
Explore different technologies that can help you maintain and repair your car by yourself. You can look up videos and tutorials online to help you learn, and it’s also wise to explore platforms where you can connect with professionals. You can also shop online for the best tools and equipment for your DIY needs.
Have A Workspace
Make sure that you have enough room to maneuver while you’re working. Clear as much space as possible before you start the task, being sure to maximize elbow room. Moving disassembled car parts can be difficult if you can barely move, so having an open workspace is essential.
Label Every Item
Take the time to take photos of every tool, part, and equipment. Make notes of the items you have and label every single one of them. Taking these steps will help prevent you from misplacing or losing objects and also help you identify pieces and use them correctly.
Lauren Fix, The Car Coach, is a nationally recognized automotive expert, analyst, author, and television host.
Four Easy Car DIYs
All drivers should know basic DIY maintenance skills to save money. Here are some examples of projects you can take on yourself.
Replace Wiper Blades
Wiper blades should be replaced every 6 months. If you are unsure about installing them yourself, purchase the blades at an auto parts store and they will offer to install them. Watch carefully and you will see how easy replacement is to do yourself.
Replace Air Filters
Engine and cabin air filters are simple to replace. The owner’s manual for your car will have specifics and [tell you] how to take on the simple replacement. Cabin and engine air filters should be replaced every 6 months.
Check Car Fluids
Checking fluids and replacing them with the proper fluids is critical to keeping your car on the road. There are nine fluids that need to be checked regularly. Check your owner’s manual for how to locate the levels and what replacement fluids you should use.
Clean Your Car
Cleaning your car is important because it protects the value of the vehicle. Using the proper waxes and car cleaning products will protect the paint surfaces and the resale value.
Attend Virtual Classes
One of the greatest tips for people who’d like to engage in DIY car maintenance is to take virtual classes. This is perhaps one of the most basic tips but will significantly increase your car repair and maintenance knowledge. Taking virtual classes is great because it helps you avoid spending needless money at an auto repair shop.
Virtual classes may help you get to know your car even better. Not all people are truly familiar with their car in terms of functionality and car parts; what they know is how to drive it. With virtual classes, you will be able to perform minor DIY repairs and maintenance without having to pay someone.
These classes teach you to be independent and to avoid calling someone over a minor issue. Virtual classes teach you to get to know your vehicle, identify issues, and implement corrective actions to prevent bigger issues from happening.
Getting Started With DIY Fixes
Be realistic about your abilities. You should probably start with uncomplicated repairs and work your way up from there. Some repairs require specific tools, and it may not be cost-effective to purchase a set of tools that you’re only going to use once.
Some good repairs to get started with are battery cleanings and replacements, headlight replacement, tire changes, and fluid flushes. Depending on its placement under the hood, an alternator can be an easy fix as well.
If you want to move beyond the basics, the best way to get started is to work with a friend who has experience working on vehicles. You’ll pick up valuable bits of advice and gain a better understanding of how to properly make repairs.
Know Your Car Parts
It’s a necessity for car owners to learn about the different parts of their cars, what each part serves, or the purpose of every bolt and screw. This way, it will be easier to perform DIY maintenance and repair as you can assess your car using the knowledge you have. A repair won’t be successful if you do not know what is wrong with the car.
Start With Basic DIYs
When starting out, I would definitely advise beginners to start with the basics of car maintenance before getting into more complicated repairs. Things like oil changes or spark plug replacements are great places to start. Even then, you have to be ready to get dirty which means that you should buy some overalls and work gloves before opening the bonnet.
Also, having the correct set of tools is crucial for your DIY car repair. Having to stop your work because you don’t have the right spanner can be aggravating. Also, quality tools are crucial because they last longer.
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