Keeping your car in running order requires some do-it-yourself tasks and maintenance that might seem like regular upkeep, but knowing when to have a qualified auto repair mechanic look at your car can save thousands of dollars later, if you’ve ignored potential do-it-yourself problems.
The owner’s manual that came with the car really does have useful information, so pay attention to the suggested schedule of preventative maintenance and necessary repairs.
Older cars need special care (don’t we all?) and often the older cars have outdated systems that only a qualified mechanic will know how to handle. The mechanics will have resources for each make, model and year of vehicle, and can troubleshoot a problem faster than a DIY book for Dummies.
Safety is a big factor in DIY car repairs, and is better left to the professional mechanic’s shop to worry about. Blocking up the wheels while trying to work under the car is an invitation to disaster; many people have been crushed to death because the car slipped and fell on them while they were on the ground, working underneath an unstable homemade hoist.
Using the right tools is also important when it comes to car repairs. Mechanics have just about every size and type of wrench or tool available at their fingertips – and because they use the right size of tools, they don’t risk losing fingertips that might be pinched in the wrong places. DIY tasks like changing the oil even require special wrenches, and if you’re not into buying a lot of new tools to maintain your car, it’s better to let the pros take care of those things.
Value your time – while it can be said that some auto repairs take longer than others, a mechanic has performed those tasks over and over, and can usually predict how long the car will be unavailable. DIY repairs often take longer than anticipated, especially if you find yourself having to order parts that you didn’t plan for in advance and the car is laying in pieces until the new part arrives.
Mechanics are trained for maintenance and repairs on just about every type of car, and can offer good advice on the upkeep of your vehicle. Find a good mechanic you can trust, and stick with him – your auto repairs will be done correctly, with little stress on your part.