There was recently a funny (not funny?) meme circulating on Instagram. It featured an image of a gas station. Next to a pump, was a car that had rolled onto its side. The caption read, “My car fainted at the pump when it saw the price of gas.” Millions of people are yearning to go back in time (when Trump was active in the oval office) when gasoline was less than $1.75 per gallon. With prices soaring at $5 and above per gallon nowadays, it’s causing serious financial distress in many households. The rising price of gasoline makes it difficult to keep up with other expenses, such as car repairs, when needed. Many people are resorting to a DIY style of car maintenance. In some cases, this is fine. In others, however, it is highly unsafe and may produce disastrous results.
Safety is always the top priority when it comes to car repairs or operation of a motor vehicle. There are several types of “fixes” that you can do yourself, even if you have no background in auto mechanics. In fact, DIY car repairs can sometimes help you save a lot of money. There’s a difference between being frugal and foolish. Some things are simply best left to licensed mechanics, even if it’s going to burden you with an added expense.
5 car repairs you can make yourself without placing safety at risk
If you aren’t comfortable making any type of DIY car repairs at home, then don’t. However, you might consider asking a family member or trusted friend to help you with simple issues. The following list includes five types of “easy fixes” most people can do at home:
- Replacing windshield wiper blades
- Installing a new battery
- Attaching new brake pads
- Changing the oil
- Replacing headlights and tail lights
If you don’t have the strength to loosen or tighten a lug nut, you’ll want to enlist the help of a friend or family member to assist with brake pad replacement. This is because you have to remove your tires to get to the brake pads. Each of the car repairs included in this list are considered basic car maintenance, which doesn’t require a mechanics’ license to safely perform. Making these DIY tasks can save a lot of money. For instance, an auto shop may charge upwards of $300 or more to replace brake pads, which typically only cost about $35 to $150. Do the math.
Auto repairs that are best left to the experts
In certain circumstances, although it might be an added expense, it’s better to let a certified car mechanic handle your vehicle’s maintenance or repairs. This next list includes issues that some people try to do themselves, then wind up going further into debt when they can’t do it right, or, worse, place safety at risk:
- Installing a new windshield
- Electrical car repairs
- Any issue associated with the fuel system
- Swapping out coil springs
- Air conditioning system restoration
- Transmission repairs
While some of these repairs can be costly, it’s always safest to let a licensed mechanic handle the tasks. In some cases, such as swapping out coil springs, a mistake can be lethal. With inflation being what it is, you might have to shop around for a while before finding a mechanic with prices to fit your budget. However, it’s better to do that than to create a safety hazard by trying to make car repairs you don’t have the skill, knowledge or expertise to make. Think of auto repairs in a similar way to home renovations; just because you CAN do it yourself, doesn’t mean you SHOULD.
If you don’t keep up on car repairs, you might not only be placing yourself at risk but others, as well. Some issues, such as improper tire repairs or lack of maintenance, greatly increase the risk for a collision. It’s best to reserve DIY projects for simple tasks, such as those mentioned earlier in this post. For major repairs or issues that involve safety risks, schedule an appointment with a certified auto mechanic; it’s worth the expense.