DIY Car Repair Procedures
Getting your car repaired can expensive very quickly. Labor costs for the specialized skills and training of certified technicians usually starts at $60 an hour. Add in the mark-up for any replacement parts, and costs can spiral in a hurry. Some people like to avoid those expenses whenever possible with DIY car repair.
If you are not a certified mechanic, the most important thing to have before beginning any do-it-yourself car repair is the correct auto repair manual. Even if you are a mechanic, it’s still a good idea to have an auto repair manual on hand. A repair manual will have instructions and diagrams to help people with some mechanical aptitude make simple car repairs.
Car repairs are not one-size-fits-all, so if you have a 2007 Chevy Malibu, then you need the manual for a 2007 Chevy Malibu. The manual to a comparable Ford or Honda will not help. Even a manual to the same car for a different model year may not be as useful because of changes made to the car from one year to the next.
Another key part of DIY car repair is keeping accurate service records. When you get your oil changed at a service station they put a sticker on your windshield telling you when you will need your next oil change. If you do your own oil changes that sticker won’t be there. Your owner’s manual should tell you how often to replace different parts and when to have various maintenance procedures done. Replacing parts too often can get expensive and defeat the purpose of DIY car repair. Not replacing parts often enough can lead to engine troubles. Poor maintenance can even void the warranty if something goes wrong, so keeping accurate records is a must.
Finally, make sure you are using the right replacement parts when you do your own car repairs. This includes getting the right oil for your oil changes. You also need to dispose of used oil and dead batteries properly. Many service centers will take them for a small disposal fee.
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 DIY car repair work if you take care to do everything correctly and on time.