Did you know that about 75% of auto repairs are performed by independent automotive shops while the rest is done by dealerships? It’s great to know that you can rely on professionals to fix your vehicle, but what if you learn to do repairs on your own?
Most drivers shy away from fixing their own cars because they think it’s hard, time-consuming or boring. However, anything can be learned these days, even how to fix your vehicle. Learning how to fix a car comes with numerous benefits. For example, you save time, money, and develop a better appreciation for the inner workings of your vehicle.
Keep reading this article to discover simple ways to become the mechanic of your car!
1. Get Yourself A Set of Tools
You cannot fix your car with your bare hands. You need a basic set of tools which can be bought at an affordable price from a car repair shop. Usually, an automotive toolbox comes with the most popular tools such as pliers, adjustable wrench, Philips screwdriver, a ratchet set, etc.
Even if you have a slightly different car model, these tools will still be useful to you. Keep in mind that most vehicles are based on the same principles and they are put together using nuts and bolts. A basic automotive toolkit will be more than enough to perform simple repairs and parts replacements when necessary.
2. Buy An Old and Barely Functional Vehicle
A junk car can be useful for drivers who want to learn automotive mechanics. These old and rusty vehicles feature simple components and they are dirt cheap. You can get one for a couple of hundred dollars and use it to practice your mechanic skills. For example, you can learn to change the battery, jump-start the vehicle or fiddle with the braking system.
One of the best ways to learn how to fix cars using a junk vehicle is to start dissembling it while filming yourself. This helps you learn its core components and what part goes where. If you get stuck and forget where a component fits, you can just look at the video and get back on your track.
3. Watch YouTube Videos
In a similar fashion, why not watching others how they repair vehicles as well? There are countless hours of content on YouTube where professional and amateur mechanics perform different car repairs. You can learn how to replace the battery or a headlight from a 10-minute video and save a trip to the auto repair shop.
Best of all, these videos can also be streamed in various languages. If you don’t find a video in your native language, you can just watch the clip and repeat what the mechanic does. In many cases, the video uploaders also mention what tools you need to fix your vehicle, so you have everything in place to learn!
4. Learn From Blogs and Forums
Apart from YouTube videos, you can also get useful tips and tricks from websites, blogs, and forums. Chances are that another driver has already faced a problem similar to yours when it comes to fixing a car. He might have found a solution and posted it online, for others to see. You can visit these websites and learn from others’ experiences and opinions.
5. Buy A Repair Manual to Learn How To Fix A Car
Some people like to learn from videos, others prefer websites, while others still love to learn from books. If you’re old-school and prefer a traditional learning method, you should get a car repair manual suitable for your vehicle.
Such books are carefully written and they contain detailed explanations as well as colorful illustrations. A basic toolkit and a repair manual can kickstart your career as a mechanic. Best of all, if you’re in the middle of the highway with no access to the internet, the repair manuals can save the day, so have them in your car wherever you go.
6. Ask Your Friends or Coworkers for Help
Especially if you don’t have a lot of experience fixing cars, it’s possible that some of your friends, coworkers or acquaintances can help you. Try to ask a friend of yours who is a seasoned driver how to replace the air filter or brake pads. You might need to bribe him with one or two beers, but you learn something new!
If one of your family members performs car repairs, offer to join them as a spectator. Ask questions and don’t be afraid to show your inexperience. No one has been born an expert, so every bit of information you can learn counts.
7. Ask the Guys at the Auto Parts Shop
When you begin to learn how to fix a car, chances are that you’ll be visiting automotive shops on a regular basis. Whether you need to buy new tires or a set of tools, these visits provide an opportunity to talk with experts. Ask the guys at the auto parts shop how to do basic vehicle maintenance or what wrench you need for a certain task.
Most people are happy when someone asks for help and you’ll be amazed by the amount of useful information you can receive. Don’t forget to say thanks when you obtain useful answers and visit the shop frequently to learn more in the future.
8. Take A Mechanics or Engineering Class
You’re never too old to learn. If you’re particularly curious on how to do more advanced repairs or explore the complexity of a V8 engine, you might want to take a class in mechanics or engineering. Such classes can be booked online and they give you the opportunity to learn more and make new friends at the same time!
Ready to Become A Mechanic?
Now you know how to fix a car and you’re ready to take the first steps towards automotive enlightenment. Put some of the aforementioned tips into practice and you’ll become a much more confident car owner.
Don’t hesitate to check our website frequently as we routinely post automotive news and useful articles on how to fix vehicles!