A Mecanics View on do it yourself Car Repairs

I have read so many articles about people doing their own maintenance on cars. I am not going to bore you with alot of pros and cons. What I am going to try and tell you is something that might get you to think before you leap.

I am a mechanic I have been now for 17yrs,before I started in this profession I tried to maintain a car I owned. I bought a manual read it 2 or 3 times to make sure I understood what I took to do the job, I even called a mechanic and asked what tools I needed for the job. He was real nice and told me every thing that was needed (parts,tools and even where to dispose of the old parts). After all that I went and tried to maintain my car.(this was changing the oil,transmission fluids and filters). I know their are probably a lot of you thinking thats not to hard. Well let me tell you a couple of things I never thought about,

First, the amount of time and money it takes to just get the parts,tools and then you need to factor in the disposal fees(which some places charge and some places don’t). That was a nightmare in its self,but then when trying to maintain a vehiclewhat isn’t right. All the supplies that was needed for these tasks were two catch cans(one for engine oil and one for transmission fluid),oil filter and filter wrench,transmission filter(which at the time I didn’t know you either had to know what transmission you had or it was going to take longer to look it up by yr make and model(then you hope that there is only one transmission the manufacture used for your car if not then its a guessing game).

Second, If that is confusing thats when I suggest to take a look at going to a reputable mechanic preferable one that you can trust or one that you have used before that you know does good work.

The other thing to look at is if you do the work and something goes wrong you have to pay again to fix it(which might cost even more then the first time). If you take it to a shop then you have their warrantytime on parts and labor. Which means it breaks in a certain amount of time you usually don’t pay. Now what I mean by usually is if the part breaks due to poor installation then they cover the cost(which is what you don’t get if you do the job), but if the part breaks due to wear and tear or someone messes with it then you pay.

All I am trying to say is weigh your options first. I know from experience that some of the repair manuals out there are hard to understand. With these newer vehicles they require computers to to figure out what’s wrong as well as looking at books and charts.


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