Inevitably, your car will need repairing from time to time. Some repairs are minor and can be done in your driveway with a few affordable tools, but sometimes it’s better to get professional help if you’re not sure what you’re dealing with. Here are a few things you can fix on your own, and the things you should leave to a mechanic.
What can I do myself?
If you’re quite car savvy, these are small fixes that you should be able to do with yourself or with the help of a friend.
- Replacing a flat tyre
Flat tyres can happen at any point and anywhere. It’s important to have a spare, emergency tyre with you and something to aid in the removal and replacement so that you can get back on the road safe and sound. Remember that emergency tyres shouldn’t be used as a permanent replacement, as they are less durable and should only be used until you can get into a garage for a replacement. They should be switched out for a regular tyre as soon as you can get to one.
- Filter changes
The air filter in your car will prevent dirt and other harmful particles from entering the engine. These filters can become clogged due to a build-up of these particles and can result in the filter needing to be changed. This should be an easy process and the air filter you require should be in your car’s manual – if you have never changed the car air filter before, you can use online videos for guidance or ask a friend to help you.
- Checking the tyre pressure
It’s important for your tyres to be at the right pressure for optimum performance on the roads when breaking. This is particularly important in wet and icy weather conditions. An incorrectly inflated tyre can cause accidents or cause for the wheel to blow out. Check your car manual to find out the correct pressure level for your tyres. The pressure of your tyres, tread, and general wear of your tyres should be checked every two weeks. Inflating your tyres can be done at any petrol station and often costs as little as 20p.
To maintain safe car DIY, make sure that you have the right tools for doing so. These will include; an adjustable wrench, a socket and ratchet set, a set of pliers, a flat-head screwdriver and Phillips screwdriver and a suitable jack. Depending on the make and model of your car, you might require something tailored to the shape of the underside of the vehicle, such as a low profile trolley jack.
What should be left to the experts?
It’s important to leave the bigger and fiddlier repair jobs to the experts as it can be dangerous if you take these on yourself. Things to do with wiring and brakes should always be looked at by an insured and reputable engineer as they will need the expert knowledge to ensure the repair is done safely. Replacing glass panels such as windows and windscreens can be difficult and result in injury if dropped. Removing the airbags and replacing them is also dangerous and needs to be done professionally as they contain small explosives when triggered.
If there’s ever a job you feel uncomfortable with handling, no matter how small, take your car to a repairs garage and they will be able to help you.