The annual costs of owning a car continue to rise. Once you’ve purchased the car, you’re still on the hook for expenses like loan payments, insurance, gas, maintenance, and repairs. When you’re financially responsible for other things, these costs can eat away at your budget. That’s why many car owners look for ways to save money. One increasingly popular method is by completing your own car maintenance and repairs.
How DIY Car Maintenance and Repairs Save Money
You don’t have to be a certified mechanic to complete many of the common car repairs and maintenance. With a bit of guidance, the right tools, parts, and space, the average person is able to save hundreds if not thousands of dollars each year. Doing the repairs yourself essentially means you cut out the middleman and avoid having to pay the high costs of labor. DIY car maintenance and repairs can save you a lot of money if you take the appropriate steps and avoid common pitfalls. Below is a look at some things you should and shouldn’t do.
Steer Clear Jobs That are Too Complex
There are a lot of car repairs and maintenance jobs that you can tackle on your own. They require very little mechanic skills and are very easy to learn. Yet, there are some things that are best left to the professionals. If there is major engine or transmission work that needs to be done, for instance, these jobs are complicated. They require an understanding of the inner working of your vehicle, the proper tools to disassemble the car, and the training to understand how to do so safely without causing harm to yourself or the vehicle.
Your trusted mechanic not only has a shop packed with tools to work on such repairs, but they also have auto parts software which allows them to quickly find the right parts for execution. Not to mention, they also have insurance so should something go wrong, you’re not on the hook for the consequences. So, if the repair or maintenance job is too difficult or involves a sensitive area in the car, do not attempt to do it yourself, instead schedule an appointment with your mechanic.
Find the Proper Space
Working on your car isn’t something you can do in the middle of the street. In fact, in many cities, it is against the law to work on vehicles in public areas. You’ll need to find the proper space to work on your vehicle. If you have a driveway, garage, or large backyard, you can complete the repairs there. It is ideal that you not only have enough space to store the vehicle but that you also have enough space to safely work around the vehicle.
Get the Right Tools
You’re going to need several tools to work on your vehicle. From a car lift and screwdrivers to wrenches and everything in between, you’ll need to make sure you have these things on hand. You will also need safety gear like goggles and lamps or flashlights to see hidden parts of the vehicle. You can find many tools and safety gear affordable at your local auto supply store.
Purchase Your Parts
You can find general car parts like filters, hoses, and batteries at an auto supply store. However, if the problem is more significant, you may need to search for parts online. To save money on parts, you might consider ordering remanufactured parts. They are essentially as efficient as original parts. Before making the purchase it’s a good idea to check with your insurance provider to ensure that these parts will be covered. Once you have the space, tools, safety gear, and correct parts, you’re ready to do your own car repairs and maintenance.
Doing your own car repairs and maintenance can save you a lot of money – when they’re done right. Remember, before starting any car project, it is imperative that you are capable of completing it, you have the space to work safely, and that you have the right tools and parts. If the job is too complicated, it is always advised that you hire a pro to protect yourself, your vehicle, and your wallet.
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