TodayApril 15, 2022

Tips on do it yourself car repairs

Do-it-yourself vehicle maintenance

I remember as a kid watching my father put his overalls on and lay on his back and shimmy underneath the car. There’s a lot to be said for tackling vehicle repairs. There is no better way to understand the way your engine runs. Not to mention that, when you break down on the side of the road, it typically is just your vehicle and you. 

With that in mind, the more repair basics you teach yourself, the better chance you have of running smoothly on the roads and giving your vehicle the reverence it deserves. And, that’s before you even consider the money you could save!

Do-it-yourself DIY vehicle maintenance is a serious business. Your vehicle is responsible for your life and that of others. Key points in taking care of your car are:

# 1 – Location

Create a safe space to work on your car. This is, after all, a task that takes concentrated focus, tools close to hand, and lights that shine in the right places. With that in mind, you need a decent garage or similar space before this even becomes an option. That means investing in racking to keep your tools in order, and also contacting an electrical company or solar panel installers to ensure that lighting never lets you down at the last moment. These may seem like a small issue, but electricity guarantees that you can do the best for your car. 

# 2 – Patience

If you jump into car repairs, you’re asking for trouble. Instead, this is a task that takes real patience and research skills on your part. You must take the time to understand the processes necessary and have the tools necessary before you get started on a task. To do this, you should research which parts you need, and even look at a few different tutorial videos on platforms like YouTube. This way, there’s no risk of making the engine worse by working on the car. Instead, you’ll know what you can work on and when to call a mechanic. 

# 3 – Logic

Speaking of leaving well enough alone, you should never attempt car repairs without accepting that there are some things you simply won’t be able to do. The fact is that you should never skip the car dealership for deep engine repairs and extensive issues. Only by letting experts take care of the tough stuff do you stand any chance at staying safe on the road. Simply use your logic here, and consider whether a task is well out of your reach. You should know, pretty easily, if you don’t feel right about taking such jobs on your shoulders.

So, there you have it – location, patience, and logic: three skills, and three simple ways to keep your vehicle in top condition.

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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