Whether you are buying a new or used car, the fact of the matter is, there are going to be a lot of fixes that has to be done. When it comes to general car repairs, the temptation can be to cut corners, especially to save us money, and tried to do most of it ourselves. But the fact of the matter is, the vast majority of us are not qualified mechanics! That being said, there is no need to turn your car into the nearest mechanic at the first sign of trouble. It’s about knowing which car repairs that you should, but also, shouldn’t do.
Shouldn’t: The Engine
It might seem like common sense, but if you don’t know the first thing about an engine, especially in terms of specific makes and models, do yourself a favor and don’t even bother. If you have a car like a Subaru, and you think that a Subaru head gasket just needs a little oil, you are very much mistaken! The engine and the transmission are the most crucial components of the vehicle. As such, they are expensive to replace and repair.
Should: The Battery
Amazingly, as far as DIY repairs are concerned, this is the easiest of all. All you need to do is have a basic toolbox, and then, it’s all about replacing the cables in the right order. Remove the negative first, install the new battery, and replace the negative cable at the very end. If you don’t do it like this, you could short circuit the positive terminal. But if all this sounds Greek to you, there are plenty of resources online that show you how to do it bit by bit.
You should never attempt to fix the automotive computer. Mechanics need to become certified ASE master technicians before fixing ECUs. Because the in-car computer has control over the air-fuel ratios, shift points, and numerous other components that makes the car function at optimum levels, you’d be foolish to attempt this.
Should: The Oil
Oil change isn’t expensive, but a lot of people mistakenly believe that it has to be done by a professional. And many mechanics could give you a low-grade oil, instead of a synthetic blend or full synthetic oil. This could be a problem for your car further down the line. The solution is to get good quality oil, and do it yourself. You also need to buy a good quality oil filter. And the great thing is, you purchase the tools, such as the jack, oil filter wrench, and drain pan, they will last you a long time- it’s a very small expense!
Shouldn’t: The Body
There is a caveat to this. You might think that you can make little alterations to your bodywork, especially with the abundance of scratch kits out there, but if you decide to go one step further and completely makeover the bodywork by painting it, without the adequate skills, you might not cover the vehicle properly, damage the original paint underneath, or cause the car to bubble.