Owning a car is an expensive endeavor.
Not only do you have to consider a monthly car payment and the cost of insurance, but you can expect to pay 1.5 percent of your annual income on repairs.
That is, unless, you learn how to repair your car yourself. Here are 5 of our best car repair tips to get you started.
The 5 Best Car Repair Tips You Need to Know
1. Learn the Lingo
One of the most time-intensive parts of DIY car repair is the research.
If you’re starting from scratch, you might need a little initial help learning the terms associated with the automotive industry.
Take some time to review a good automotive term dictionary. Keep it handy while you research so you can define any obscure keywords you come across.
2. Get the Tools
Depending on the job you’re trying to complete, your tools may vary. In general, there are a few heavy-hitters you should have on-hand:
- Adjustable wrench
- Socket and ratchet set
- Torque wrench
- A good set of pliers
- Screwdriver set, with Phillips and flathead options
- A jack, if one didn’t come with your car
- A bright work lamp
Next, you’ll need to make sure you have all of the necessary safety equipment accessible. You should have:
- Goggles or other eye protection
- A charged fire extinguisher
- Rags and pans to collect any spills
3. Start with the Easy Repairs
The best way to build your car repair confidence is to start with the simple tasks. Remember, the best car repair is the one that works.
Some of the easiest car repairs include:
- Changing your windshield wiper blades
- Cleaning up a gunky battery
- Changing your oil
- Replacing your air filters
- Switching out spark plugs
- Replacing your brake pads
- Flushing your radiator
While there’s no shortage of online guides that can help you complete these repairs, your best resource is your car manual.
4. Get the Manual
Every car is a little different. When it comes to finding where a specific part is located, you need the official repair manual.
Your manual will also tell you when you should complete regular maintenance on your car.
If you’ve misplaced yours — or your used car didn’t come with one — you can find the official manual for your make and model online.
5. Know When to Call a Mechanic
As you’re starting out, it’s pretty likely that you’ll come across a serious problem that requires experience to repair.
You can save yourself a lot of time, money, and stress by admitting when you’re out of your element.
Cultivate a relationship with a local mechanic. Some dealerships, like House of Cars, offer service and parts centers, too. That can turn into a great resource if you need parts or a little professional help correcting a problem.
Keep Learning with Help from Motor Era
At Motor Era, we strive to help our readers learn more than the basics of car repair.
Visit our blog today for more information on how to care for your car yourself.