When you own a car, you’ll need to perform routine maintenance at some point. While going to the professionals is usually the first thing that comes to mind, there are car maintenance processes you can carry out yourself to save some money. However, fixing problems yourself can save you a lot of time and money, but trying to fix something you don’t know how to fix can leave you without a car. In the present day, you can learn almost anything online, including how to repair or build a car. However, can you repair yours using a YouTube tutorial? What’s the difference between a do-it-yourself (DIY) strategy and having your vehicle repaired by a professional? Both have advantages and disadvantages that are determined by cost, time, and experience level. When deciding which car maintenance option is best for you and your vehicle, keep the following considerations.
DIY car maintenance
Knowing how to fix a fault like fixing a burnt car headlights yourself can be a lifesaver when you don’t have much time or money or when you’re ready to schedule an MOT test. This is especially true for simple jobs that won’t take long to complete. You must, however, be aware of your surroundings. You should take your car to a professional if you have any doubts about a fault with it.
Things you can do yourself
- Air filter: Dirt and other abrasive particles are kept out of the engine by your air filter. The filter can become clogged over time due to matter build-up and may need to be replaced.
- Windscreen wipers: Windscreen wipers that are too old can cause scratches and streaks on your windshield, impairing view while driving. It’s time to replace them when this happens.
- Spark plugs: Spark plugs ignite the fuel and air in your vehicle’s internal combustion chamber, but they can wear out with time. Learn how to identify when and how to change a spark plug.
- Engine oil: Your engine’s oil protects it from wear, corrosion, and pollutants. Check the engine oil at least every two weeks and before long trips. Oil should be changed every 5,000 miles, and the oil filter should be replaced if the oil begins to leak.
- Coolant: The engine’s coolant keeps it from overheating. Once a week, check the levels. Only do this after the engine has been turned off and cooled for a period. When the coolant level drops too low, you should quickly replace it.
- Flat tyres: Flat tyres can occur at any moment and in any location. It may be more difficult to seek help if you can’t wait for a mechanic or live in a rural region; therefore, understanding how to replace a flat tyre is necessary. Remember to replace the spare tyre (which is only meant to be used temporarily) with a new normal one.
- Wheel balance: When a wheel revolves, wheel balancing ensures that the weight of the wheel and tyre is evenly distributed. Out-of-balance wheels can cause your car to move unsteadily and rattle at high speeds; causing tyre and suspension wear to accelerate.
- Tyre pressure: This is necessary because wrong tyre pressure can jeopardize vehicle safety and cause poor fuel usage. You can find the correct pressure level in your car manual. Every two weeks, inspect your tyre pressure, tread, and general condition.
The guidelines are intended to be a general guideline for cars and are not particular to your vehicle.
Tips for DIY car repair
- Read the owner’s manual for your vehicle.
- Buy a Haynes manual for your specific vehicle’s make and model.
- Every week, double-check that all of the lights are operational.
Make sure you have a well-stocked toolkit, which includes the following items:
- an adjustable wrench
- a torque wrench
- a set of sockets and ratchets
- a set of pliers
- a car jack
Professional car maintenance
It is sometimes difficult or risky to fix a fault like converting halogen tail lights to LED on your own. If you need specialized tools, moving somewhere new, or have warranty difficulties, it’s probably best to leave it to a professional.
Things you should leave to a professional:
- Changing the clutch is complex, making it both complicated and risky; leave it to the professionals.
- The air conditioning in your car comprises several components and requires some understanding of thermodynamics and pressure.
- Small explosives are contained in airbags. These are extremely dangerous and should only be handled by skilled personnel.
- The automobile battery is one of the most common causes of car breakdowns in the UK, accounting for 16.8% of all breakdowns, more than any other factor. Sometimes all a battery needs is a jumpstart, but they can be tricky, so do it only if you’re sure.
- It’s risky to replace a windscreen since you could drop it or misapply the glue.
- The gears in a car, whether automatic or manual, can be very complicated and requires a great deal of skill. Professionals should handle them.
- Electrics are abundant in today’s automobiles. Not only may dealing with wiring be a hassle, but computers often have complicated software. Interfering with the systems could result in your warranty being invalidated.
Being an excellent video watcher does not imply that you can handle every facet of DIY vehicle maintenance, especially for difficulties that go beyond routine maintenance. Take your car to an expert if you’re still uncertain or if it’s outside your reach of routine maintenance. Even the most dependable machines can fail. Although there are DIY repairs like restoring your car headlights with a restoration kit. knowing what your automobile requires in routine maintenance, how to repair the essentials, and when to take it to a professional could save you money and a lot of stress.