You don’t need to go to a garage to get your car fixed, and the less often you go through a mechanic as a car owner, the better you’ll be. We know how liberal mechanics can be with their quotes and they will overcharge you for things you could easily do yourself. This is why all car owners should know how to identify issues with their vehicles and learn how to make basic and even complex repairs if they can. If you want more freedom as a car owner and not have to be reliant on a mechanic for everything, here are a few tips for fixing your car yourself.
Get the Proper Tools
If you want to make car repairs, then you need to be equipped like a mechanic. You don’t need to invest in a hydraulic lift, but you should have most of the tools they have. Thankfully, you can find tons of mechanic tool sets online. You just need to know the things that absolutely need to be present there.
The most important tools you’ll use include sockets, socket extensions, combinations and box wrenches, and a few accessories. Some manufacturers like to exaggerate the number of pieces that come with their sets, and the number of tools doesn’t really matter. The most important part is making sure that it has the essentials. You should check the toolset manufacturer’s website to know exactly which tools are in there. Some of the other tools you’ll need include a creeper, flashlight, and a proper lift.
Another very important tool you should get is an OBD code reader, which will help you know what issues your car has exactly and allow you to make the proper repair. If you don’t know what an OBD reader is, you can learn more here. This page by Carly explains everything you need to know about OBD readers and how they can help you. You’ll also learn a few tips on what to look for in a reader so you can buy the right one for your needs.
Know What You Can and Can’t Do
You have to know that not all repairs are safe for you to do. You might end up injuring yourself trying to perform them, do a bad job, or end up causing more damage to your vehicle. Anything that involves major leaks just needs to be handled by a specialist. These are often very complex issues and making mistakes there could be very dangerous, so don’t even try to find out what is causing a leak if you see one and instead contact a mechanic.
There are also components in a vehicle that an amateur should never touch, like the electric system, for instance. Do not go near the gas tank and make motor fixes or replacements at your own risk. The transmission is also touchy, but if you’re advanced, you could learn how to replace it and it’s not as difficult as many people think.
If you want to carry out important repairs, then you’ll probably have to think about buying parts. Know that there are many ways that you could save here. You could buy parts on the aftermarket, buy ODM parts, or go to a scrapyard. Scrap yards are like a treasure trove if you have a slightly older vehicle and have some of the best deals on parts you’ll find anywhere, so don’t dismiss them.
The only thing with scrap yards is that you’ll usually have to remove the parts from cars yourself. You also have to call scrap yards to find out if they have your model in their yard. From then on, you’ll need to do some hunting and know how to remove the part.
Learn from YouTube Videos
No matter the type of repair you want to perform, there’s a good chance that you’ll find a video on it online. YouTube is a great place for repair videos, and video is really the best format to learn how to make repairs. Some of the channels you should check out include Scotty Kilmer’s, EricTheCarGuy, and HumbleMechanic, but there are many others. Just run a search for the exact repair you’re trying to make, and your model, and you’ll probably find results that match it.
Check out how they’re repairing the vehicle and the tools they’re using. We also suggest that you check multiple videos to see if they are using different techniques. Once you have a few videos, you can bookmark them and keep your laptop, tablet, or phone close so you can check them while you’re doing the repairs.
These are all tips you need to follow when performing DIY car repairs. The most important things are knowing your limits, having the right tools, and starting slow until you integrate core car repair skills.