Categories: Cars

Broken Family Car: When To DIY and When Not To

When it comes to driving the family car, it’s like a computer. You just want it to work. You take it for oil changes. You keep it clean. It’s always filled up and ready to go. That should be enough. However, it’s bound to break down at some point since it is mechanical. Parts wear out. When your car has a problem, you need to decide what to do. You can try to save yourself a few dollars by doing it yourself or you can go to a professional when it is out of your depth. The key is in knowing the difference.

To Fix it or Not to Fix it? That is the Question

There are repair jobs for your car that you can handle on your own. You can perform simple changes for:

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  • Brake pads
  • Spark plugs
  • Oil and filter

You can swap out a broken windshield wiper or a headlight. You can manage a taillight too. You can even handle minor chips in your windshield. There are commercial repair kits available. If your directional signal goes out, you can replace the fuse. For any of these repairs, you’ll need to make a small investment in some basic tools if you don’t already have them. You’ll also need to look up instruction guides online to lead you through the process step by step. There are plenty of videos online as well. It if it is a minor repair, you may surprise yourself with what you can do.

When All Else Fails, Seek Professional Help

There comes a point when going solo to repair your car is only going to get you into trouble. You’ll end up spending more money to correct the mistakes you made. You need to accept your limitations and turn to a professional auto mechanic. If you are dealing with electrical issues it’s best to place your car in the hands of an expert. If something is going on with the transmission, giving you problems getting the car into gear, it is out of your league. The same can be said with engine troubles or an issue with the starter. If you see smoke and there is a risk of fire, don’t hesitate to go to someone who is competent in car repairs. If you need to replace large or heavy components then taking some time to consult with a company who manufactures or installs similar components could be a good idea. For something like a trailer or a truck bed, Hillsboro Industries or a similar service would be a good option.

When in Doubt, Get a Professional Opinion

While there are many small jobs that you can do on your car, especially if you are mechanically inclined or have a friend that knows cars, there are going to be times when you don’t even know where to start. If you have no clue as to what is wrong with your car, don’t try to self-diagnose. Shop around for an affordable, trustworthy mechanic.

Anica O:

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