Car Repairs

Car Repairs – What You Can and Can’t Do by Yourself

Cars are the assets we all wish to have for comfort travelling. But, having such an asset also demands regular maintenance and repairs of damaged parts. While it is easier to go and look for an expert mechanic for your car repair, sometimes, you can do by yourself also.

However, whether doing by your own or taking your car to a mechanic, here are some regular checks and repairs you need to perform often for smooth driving.

DIY Car Repairs You Can Perform by Yourself

1. Oil change

Oil should be changed timely as it can contain harmful substances. Some experts say you need to change engine oil every 3000 miles. But modern cars can perform better and efficiently beyond this number. It is one of the fundamental skills you should know how to do yourself.

If you don’t know how to change your car engine’s oil, here are the steps you can follow:

  • For changing oil, you need to get under your car and find the oil pan. It’s not hard work to locate the oil pan under your car.
  • Then unscrew the drain plug to drain out old oil in it. After draining, replace the plug.
  • Now, go to the engine and remove the old oil filter. Remove it with the help of a wrench.
  • Add some motor oil to the rubber gasket of a new oil filter for lubrication.
  • Add the two-third of new oil into the oil filter and hand tighten it.
  • Fill the new oil into the engine and double-check the level. 

2. Replacement of air filter

Air filters are usually clogged after a while and lower the performance of your car. So, changing the air filter at least once in a year increases the power and gas mileage. You can either take a mechanic’s help or do it on your own by following some steps:

  • First, open the casing of the filter box under the hood of your car. 
  • Check out the faces of the filter fitted inside and make a note.
  • Remove the old filter and insert the new one exactly it was fitted before.
  • Now, close it with the metal clips.

3. Changing Brake Pads

Brake pads ensure your safety while driving. Car’s brakes always need to be in perfect condition as most accidents happen due to their failure. So, here are the steps to change your brake pads:

  • Firstly, you need to loosen down the lug nuts of the wheels. And, then, lift the car with a jack.
  • After that, remove the wheels.
  • Now, remove the slider bolts and old brake pad.
  • Put new brake pads and then slider bolts back to the position.
  • Place the wheels back on securely.

4. Replace a flat tire

Tires are the essential parts of your car, and changing tires is one of the basic DIY tasks that everything must know how to do. But still, if you don’t know how the flat tire is changed, here are the steps to follow:

  • To start changing a tire, loosen the lug nuts using a wrench.
  • Lift the car off to ground with a jack stand.
  • Remove the lug nuts and the old tire as well.
  • Place the spare tire and wrench up the lug nuts tightly.
  • Lower down the car, and you are ready to drive.

5. Replacing windshield wipers

Windshield wipers ensure your safety during heavy rain or snowfall. That’s why faulty wipers need to be replaced on time. Wiper blade set up can be different from car to car, so you need to read the user’s manual to fix it. However, here is a similar basic process you can follow:

  • Lift the old blades and remove them.
  • Keep a note of how they fix on the metal arms.
  • In some models, there is a tab underside of the wiper. Just push that tab and remove old blades.
  • Now, attach the new blade, but be careful. It shouldn’t bend wiper arms or give scratch to your windshield.
  • Make sure the new blades are tight enough and secure.

6. Spark plugs

Sparks plugs hold long life and ideally need to be changed after 30,000 miles. However, the number of miles is different in some cases. You might think it is intense work, and only a professional mechanic can do it, but it is a relatively simple process.

  • The sparks plugs are attached to thick rubbery wires, and you can quickly locate them.
  • The number of plugs depends upon the cylinders in your car.
  • First, remove the first spark plug’s wire.
  • Remember not to unplug all wires at once because these plugs are maintained in a specific order.
  • Use a ratchet and spark plug socket to unplug the spark plugs.
  • Install the new plugs and tighten them with the help of a wrench. 
  • Attach the spark plug wire again.
  • Repeat these steps for every single plug

7. Maintaining battery

A good battery connection is vital for a smooth-running car. A small amount of dirt in your battery can cause your car’s damage. So, maintaining a car battery is necessary. Here are some simple steps to perform a check on the battery:

  • First of all, remove the battery terminals. The process is simple, but make sure to remove the negative cable first. 
  • You can use a screwdriver to loosen them if they are stuck. 
  • Clean the posts of the battery using a professional product. Apply the solution and clean it with a wire brush.
  • You can also make the solution at home by using baking soda and water, but it is preferable to buy from a spare part shop.
  • Rinse a little clean water to remove the solution.
  • Dry out the posts with a towel or clean cloth.
  • Replace the battery terminals as before.

Apart from the above said DIY tasks, there are some repairs you cannot perform at home. And, if you try, it can cause severe damage to your car. So, it is better to go for a professional car service in such a condition.

Significant Repairs That Need Expert Help

  • Changing a clutch

It is a complicated procedure to change the clutch into the car. In such processes, the engine is removed, which makes it a hefty task. So, in such a condition, it is advisable not to try at home and take the car to the mechanic shop. 

  • Repairing AC in car

Air condition repair is a serious professional grade task. It involves lots of tubing, high pressures, and many other things that need an expert hand. Also, there are some professional tools required to replace or repair any AC system in the car. That’s why it can’t be a DIY task.

  • Replacing or repairing the windshield

Windshields are the sensitive parts in the car that can crack with just roadside stone. Also, it is a massive big piece of glass that cannot be installed without the help of a professional. If you do so, may it fit perfectly by you and cause you to spend more money on it. 

Replacing a windshield is a procedure that you cannot do without significant practice. So, whenever your car’s glass breaks down, it is better to go with professional help. 

  • Bodywork

Whether it is a whole-body work or minor bodywork, it is hard to give potential attention. It demands intolerance of small mistakes and needs an excellent physical capacity. Also, working with a metal sheet is extremely sensitive and needs more attention. 

If you wish that your car’s bodywork looks perfect, then find an expert mechanic or mechanical shop to do this task. It is better not to try any experiment at your home as it can leave you with a disaster. 

  • Differential rebuilding

The differential refers to any vehicle’s front and back end. Some of the issues related to these parts can be fixed easily, but in major conditions, it requires the rebuilding process. These gears are delicate ones and need an expert touch.

The alignment of these gear parts just needs to be perfect with measurement. So, it’s better to leave this task on your mechanic’s shoulders.

  • Repairing an automatic transmission

Now, this one is a complex and delicate piece to work-on. Modern technology makes it tougher even for mechanics. Only an upgraded mechanic with the right tools and technology can repair the automatic transmission. So, it is advisable not to take the risk of handling yourself.

  • Frame straightening

This task needs experience hands, and it’s an expensive machine to do it correctly. That’s why it is beyond the reach of everyone. Only professional mechanical shops or garages can perform such tasks like frame straightening.

It needs perfection that only a mechanical with knowledge can provide. That is the reason it is the most unrealistic DIY task at home.

  • Changing headlight and taillights

This task can be listed in both lists. You can do it by yourself if you have some knowledge. But if you don’t possess any experience or knowledge, it can be a disaster for you. Changing the head or tail lights need little perfection about what makes them sparkle to light fuel while driving your car. So, in such a case, better to go for a mechanical shop.

Either it is a DIY task or professional handling, you always need to have some knowledge of the car parts and tools and equipment required. So, it is still better to follow some steps if you are doing at home or ask your mechanic first, what is the main issue and in which part.

If you maintain your car thoroughly with regular checks, it will increase its resale value. Whenever you wish to sell your car or want to buy a used car, a roadworthy certificate is mandatory, which is only approved if your vehicle has passed all the conditions declared by RWC authority.

Hopefully, the above-said tips are helpful when you try to handle your car issues at home or mechanic shop.

Author Bio:
Hi, I am Mike Morleye. As a professional writer, I put together my writing skills to share knowledge on automobile-related topics in a readable, understandable, and appealing format.