Many people only take their car to a professional mechanic when they encounter problems they can't solve on their own. This is good because it helps you save money. However, there are several precautions that you need to take before engaging in a DIY repair session. These precautions, which are necessary for your safety and success, include these four:
Knowing Your Limitations
The first thing is to know what you can handle and what you can't do. Don't overestimate your abilities; using online videos to learn how to change a tire is miles from doing the same thing to learn how to upgrade your car's onboard computer system. The latter can easily end up as an expensive damage if you mess it up. It's best to build up your confidence and start with small projects before getting into complicated things.
Getting the Right Tools
Once you know your limitations, then the next thing is to gather the tools you need. If you are into DIY repair for the long haul, then it makes sense to buy the necessary tools and equipment. If you just want to try a one-time thing, then their purchase may not make economical sense. Whatever you decide to do, ensure you have got the right tool for each job.
Using the Right Jacking Points
To raise a car, all you need to do is to place the jack under it and work it up, right? Unless you are driving an old model, that would be a sure way of damaging your car's body. For newer vehicles, there are designated points for placing the jack. If you don't know where they are, just check your owner's manual. Apart from preventing damage, they have also been designed to provide maximum stability (and hence safety) when the vehicle is raised.
Labeling the Parts
Most DIY car repair enthusiasts will tell you that taking it apart – unscrewing parts, loosening bolts or unfastening pulleys – isn't the hard part. Most people can do those things easily. However, it is the reverse process where most people go wrong. If you don't want to spend hours hitting your head when you can't tell which part goes where, then you need to keep a record of the parts as they were before disassembly. Do this by taking pictures, labeling the parts and even doing sketches – whatever works for you.
As hinted at the beginning of the page, it's important only to bite as much as you can chew. Otherwise, the damage you may cause may cause more to repair than the initial problem. Contact a local shop, like Steven & Francine's Complete Automotive Repair Inc, if you don't want to tackle the job yourself.