Easy DIY Car Repairs (Don’t Forget To Bookmark This Page)
Repairing your car by handcan save you money and time (simply Google “average cost of car repairs” after reading this to see why we were inspired to write this article).
By doing some simple repairs yourself, you can avoid the hassle and cost of taking your car to a mechanic. At the very least, you’d only need to go if it is absolutely necessary.
Even if you never plan to get under the hood of your own car, having a basic understanding of routine maintenance and auto repair can be helpful in an emergency situation. With a little research and effort, even car repairs can become an enjoyable DIY project.
When It’s Appropriate To Repair Your Own Car
As a car owner, it's important to know when to perform your own repairs and when it's time to leave it to the professionals. For example, we advice that you don’t make any repairs on a leased vehicle.
While many people feel comfortable tackling simple tasks like changing their oil filter, changing windshield wipers, or replacing a headlight, there are some repairs that are best left to professionals who have the right training and experience.
For example, if you need to replace your engine or transmission, it's best to visit a mechanic and just pay for those labor costs. And depending on your situation, your car insurance company can cover the cost of your repairs—there’s no need to do it yourself.
What are some easy DIY car repair ideas?
You don't have to be a mechanic to perform some basic car repairs. With a little know-how and the right tools, you can save yourself time and money by tackling some common car problems yourself.
It's also an excellent way to learn more about how your specific car functions, while giving you a sense of accomplishment when everything is back in working order.
The Essential (and affordable) tools that you need for car maintenance
As a car owner, it is important to have the right tools on hand to keep your vehicle in good condition. The average cost of a common repair varies, so investing in the right set of tools will actually save you money in the long run when fixing minor damages.
While some tools are only needed for occasional emergencies, others should become part of your regular maintenance routine. Here are some essential (and affordable) tools that every car owner needs:
- A jack: A flat tire is always a hassle, but if you have a jack, you can easily change the tire yourself.
- A flashlight: A flashlight can be useful for many different purposes, from checking under the hood to finding something that you dropped on the floor. Keep a small flashlight in your glove compartment for those times when you need an extra light.
- A basic toolkit: A toolkit should include a few basic tools, such as a screwdriver, pliers, and a wrench. Having these items on hand will allow you to perform minor repairs and adjustments, such as tightening loose screws or changing a headlight bulb.
By keeping these essential tools in your car, you will be prepared for any minor damage that comes from being on the road.
How to fix a car dent
First, wash and dry the area around the dent. This will help to remove any dirt or debris that could prevent the adhesive from bonding properly. Next, apply a thin layer of adhesive to the area surrounding the dent. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for best results.
Then, place a suction cup over the dent and press firmly (we’ve also seen people succesfully use layers of duct tape or a combination of boiling water and a plunger). The suction will pull the metal back into place, and the adhesive will hold it there. Finally, allow the area to dry completely before driving your car or washing it again.
With just a little effort, you can fix a car dent and restore your vehicle's original beauty with just under $10.
How to fix or replace your air filter
Replacing a car air filter is a relatively simple task that can be completed in a few minutes. First, locate the housing unit and remove the old filter. Next, insert the new filter into the housing unit and close the lid. Once the new filter is in place, start the engine and check for any leaks.
If everything appears to be working properly, you've successfully replaced your car's air filter.
How to replace your brake pads
To replace your brake pads, you will need a few tools and supplies, including a socket wrench set, a hammer, and new brake pads. The process is relatively simple and can be done in a few easy steps.
You’ll begin by using the socket wrench to remove the two bolts that hold the caliper in place. Next, use the hammer to gently tap the caliper off of the rotor. Be careful not to damage the rotor.
Once the caliper is removed, you will be able to see the old brake pads. Remove them and clean the caliper housing before installing the new pads. Finally, use the socket wrench to bolt the caliper back into place and test your brakes before driving.
How to maintain or replace your tires
Regularly checking your tires is an important part of keeping your vehicle in good condition.
If you notice any discolored spots, cracks, or low tire pressure, it's important to take action right away. The first step is to consult your owner's manual to see what kind of tires are recommended for your car. Once you've selected the right tires, you'll need to decide whether to have them professionally installed or to try doing it yourself.
If you're going to install the tires yourself, be sure to read the instructions carefully and follow all safety precautions. With a little care and attention, you can keep your tires in good condition and help ensure a smooth ride in the future.
Why we recommend that you don’t jumpstart your car
Jump-starting your car can be dangerous. When possible, it is best to have a professional take care of this process for you.
A damaged battery has the potential to start a fire when placing the jumper cables on. Car batteries contain sulfuric acid that can become vapors, leaking out of vents. These vapors can be highly flammable. Jumper cables are known to cause sparks and can ignite these vapors, causing fires or even possibly an explosion.
If not done correctly, you can cause some serious injuries to yourself and others.
A car that is jumped in the rain can also pose harmful results. Water is a very good conductor of electricity. While it might not cause you injury, there is a potential of permanent damage being done to your car.
Vehicles today are built with more electronics inside than ever before. Improperly jumping your car can cause harm to these electronics.
Placing the clamps on the wrong terminals can also short-circuit or even damage parts beyond repair. Making this a very expensive mistake.
What Should You Do If You Can’t Fix Your Car Damage?
If you've been in a car accident for example, chances are that your vehicle has sustained some damage to your car's interior. If the damage is more significant, such as a cracked windshield or bent frame, or dead car battery, you'll need to take it to a professional for major repairs.
Many insurance companies will cover your car repair costs, so be sure to file a claim as soon as possible. They’ll find the right repair shop to go to as well, so you won’t need to worry about searching for one.
And as quick reminder, all of the advice mentioned above is only appropraite for a vehicle you are financing or one that you own outright. Do not do any repairs on leased vehicles.
Learn About Car Repairs and more with LOOP
Are you looking for easy ways to improve and maintain your car? LOOP has the answers!
We're here to provide you with simple tips and tricks that will help you keep your car in top shape. With our comprehensive library of expert advice, we can help you take care of the most common car repair problems quickly and easily. From brake pad replacements to oil changes, we've got DIY maintenance guides that won't break the bank.
So read some more related articles below. Get all the advice you need from professionals who have seen it all.