When to Take Care of Automotive Maintenance Yourself Jan 25, 2016 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)
As a car owner, you know that your vehicle requires regular maintenance to keep running properly. Performing the maintenance and any needed repairs is in your best interest, as it ensures that your car will last as long as possible while requiring very little major work. Some people, however, are hesitant to take their vehicle to the mechanic because of the cost, preferring to do the maintenance themselves. This is a reasonable option for some of the more simple tasks, but you need to know when you can take care of automotive maintenance yourself and when you should hire a professional.
You Feel Confident
Before you attempt any maintenance yourself, look over the instructions for the task or go through the steps in your mind. If you understand everything you need to do and feel confident that you can do it, then go ahead. If for some reason you aren’t confident in your abilities or don’t completely understand how to do something, it is best to take your car to a mechanic. You will also want to take your car in if you need specific tools or equipment that you don’t have access to and don’t want to buy. When choosing whether or not to do maintenance yourself, remember that you don’t want to accidentally damage your car. Incorrect maintenance can sometimes lead to serious issues and costly repairs, costing you more money in the long run. If you know what you are doing and have all the supplies, then go ahead and do the task yourself. Just be sure to write down what you did and when for your records.
Easy Tasks to Do Yourself
Some automotive maintenance tasks are easier than others, and most people will be able to do simple things. You can probably check your oil level yourself or change a tire. With a little bit of research and minimal tools, you can also probably replace a brake pad, remove a stripped screw or clogged fuel filter, replace a worn disc brake, change the spark plugs, replace the battery, change your windshield wipers, or replace a headlight.
More Challenging Tasks
Once you have successfully done the automotive maintenance tasks mentioned above, you may have the skills to do a few more challenging tasks as well. These can include replacing drive belts, replacing the fuel gauge sensor, filling a dent, and installing a water pump. Just be sure you truly understand the instructions before doing any complicated or invasive maintenance on your car.