The average American driver spends $397 on vehicle repairs and maintenance every year, but doing these repairs yourself can help you save money where it counts. You can fix up your car or truck at home without visiting your local mechanic. However, working on your car can be time-consuming and some repairs may void your warranty. If you’re considering making some changes under the hood, use this guide to find out if it’s worth your time.
1. Saving Money
The biggest advantage to making your own repairs is that it can help you save money. There’s always a chance your local mechanic will overcharge you for parts and labor. You’ll have to visit multiple auto shops to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
You don’t have to pay for labor when making DIY repairs, but you will still be on the hook for parts and tools.
You can save money by shopping around for replacement parts online. Most mechanics charge a set price for replacement parts. There may even be a surcharge to have the part delivered. You can find all kinds of diesel parts online and have them shipped to you in just a few days or less. Spend some time shopping around for the best price so you can fix your car for less.
2. Continuing Education
Fixing your own car gives you the chance to learn more about what’s happening under the hood. You’ll need to research your specific make and model to make sure you know what you’re doing, but you will build valuable knowledge and skills over time. Every driver should know how to make common repairs in case of an emergency.
The internet is full of free guides and videos that show you how to fix common issues. Just type the name of the part or task you’re looking for into Google or another applicable search engine. Check the make and model to find a guide that works with your vehicle.
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3. Repairs on Your Schedule
When you repair your car at home, you don’t have to wait on the mechanic or auto shop to get the job done. Some shops can finish repairs in a few hours, but others may need several days or more if they are short on staff or overbooked. Most of us use our cars every day, so waiting around may not be an option.
As your own mechanic, you can start making repairs right away, but there’s a risk you may need more time to finish the job.
4. Choice of Parts
When you take your car to a mechanic, you’ll have to use whatever part they have in stock. Fixing the car yourself gives you access to a wider range of parts and accessories. Most DIY mechanics own used or rare vehicles that are no longer in circulation. If you own a vehicle that’s over 10 years old, you’re probably better off learning how to fix the car yourself.
1. Risk of Vehicle Damage
You should only repair your car or truck if you feel confident you know what you’re doing. If you use the wrong part or make a mistake along the way, you could make the problem worse. It’s always better to visit a local mechanic instead of taking on projects that go above your skill level. Be thorough when making repairs on your own. Read the model numbers on your tools and replacement parts to make sure you’re using the proper equipment.
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2. Could Invalidate Your Warranty
Some repairs and aftermarket accessories may void your vehicle warranty or insurance policy. Some policy providers prefer their customers visit a mechanic unless they have experienced under the hood. Read through your vehicle warranty and car insurance policy to make sure you aren’t violating the terms.
3. Time Crunch
Life is hectic, and lots of people don’t have the time to master the art of vehicle maintenance. Taking your car to a mechanic frees up your time so you can focus on other things. You can answer emails while the professionals take care of the repairs.
Keep in mind that you won’t have a car during this time, so your options may be limited. Some people can only be productive when they’re behind the wheel.
If you decide to do your own repairs, you will have to rely on your own expertise. You will need to watch out for warning signs that something is wrong with your vehicle while learning how to fix the issue. Once you’ve located the broken part or component, you will need to find a replacement that will prevent these kinds of issues from happening again down the line.
For example, if you are having trouble starting your vehicle or experience a rough idle, there may be a problem with the fuel injection regulator. Look for high-quality IPR valves that reduce clumping and gelling so you don’t have to worry about your fuel injectors failing.
If the EGR cooler on your engine fails, you’ll need to find a replacement that can stand up to extreme temperatures. Look for specialty EGR coolers with added durability so your engine stays at the right temperature.
Taking the DIY approach will help you save money in more ways than one, but you run the risk of damaging your car. Some jobs are better left to the professionals. Keep this information in mind as you consider tinkering around under the hood.
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