Paying loads of money for every little thing that needs maintenance or a quick repair on your car, can be a real pain for your finances. However, if you have the time and will to learn something about cars, there are lots of things that can be replaced and repaired by pretty much anyone with the proper tools. Most of these repairs take a few hours of work and they will save you hundreds, if not thousands of $$$s. Here we present you the best ways to start learning and doing small repairs, as a start-up for becoming your own auto mechanic.
Start to Learn on an Older Car
The good idea to start learning is to buy an older car to practice on. The process of learning these repairs and maintenance works will probably be full of trial and error. These starting mistakes can end up being very costly on newer model cars, and this is a good way to avoid that. Another benefit of this is that you can start your own project car rebuilding, which is an amazing hobby and something that you will be proud upon later on.
Buy a Proper Tool Set
Almost nothing can be done around cars without a proper tool set. This is the first step in making sure you are ready to start doing some actual work on your car. However, this is only a startup necessity, as later on, you will find out that car repairs require some very unique tools, which are luckily not expensive.
Start by Learning How Stuff Works
Before you get into any detail, you should simply inspect the basics. Just the general things about the engine and car build and learn how things function. You will get a better feel for the car and learn what’s what for learning details later on.
Watching Youtube Tutorials
This is a necessary first step even before reading anything about a certain problem on your car. You can read about it, but unless you see it with your own eyes, you probably won’t have a clue what someone is writing about. Youtube is a helpful platform for learning these things because there are a lot of people who will guide you through the process in detail and show you around on a video.
Get Yourself a Good Repair Manual
Repair manuals can be quite handy in these situations. Unlike Youtube videos, they will give you less visual guidance, but you will get professional information about certain repairs and how things work.
Start Engaging the Forums
Now when you already learned your way around the car, you can start engaging people on the forums which already know a thing or two about cars and repairs. There is a vast pool of information and experiences to gain from them, and it’s a valuable place to learn.
Diagnosing a Problem
When you learned enough about your car, you are most likely ready to try and diagnose what is causing the issue. Keep in mind that at first, it might seem like there are countless possibilities, but soon after you will start applying your knowledge and eliminate most of them.
Ask the Clerks at the Auto Shop
If you are still uncertain about what’s causing your car problem, you can always ask someone at the local car parts store for an advice. These people come in contact with numerous customers each day, and they tend to know from experience what are the problems on each and every car model.
Doing Regular Maintenance
With all the knowledge you gained, you can do car maintenance checks by yourself pretty often. This will keep your car in an outstanding condition and save you lots of money by diagnosing certain problems before they even get to that point.
Replacing Dirty Air Filters
You should replace air filter every 12,000 miles. Mechanics usually charge extra money to do this replacement which takes about 15 minutes. You can easily do it yourself by locating it under the hood and remembering its exact position before simply replacing it.
Replacing Fuel Filter
Fuel filter replacement can be a bit harder since you are working on your car’s gas line, but it’s usually a quick and easy fix. It’s very important to do this under regular maintenance because as the name says, it keeps the fuel clean for the engine.
Check and Replace Spark Plugs and Wires
Spark plugs ignite the fuel in your car’s engine. Bad spark plugs reduce gas mileage and starting your car can get difficult. These are very easy to replace and there is simply no reason to pay any money for replacing them.
Oil change is another very easy thing to do and it should be done regularly and inspected upon every maintenance. However, make sure you have a place to dispose of your old oil.
Replace a Broken Headlight
A broken headlight is easy to diagnose and it doesn’t require any special mechanical knowledge. Once you pop the hood, it easy to access and replace from the inside.
Replace Windshield Wipers
Worn out windshield wipers are a nightmare in the rainy weather. Easy to replace and it doesn’t take much time, but make sure to remember the mechanism and how to pop new ones back into place.
Replacing the Battery
Car starting problems and electronics not powering up might mean that your battery has gone flat. You can test it with a multimeter and if it’s dead you can easily replace it.
Replacing the Alternator
The alternator shares its purpose with the battery in the car’s electric system. Car starting problems can be caused by a faulty alternator as well. Like the battery, it is tested with the multimeter, but it is a bit harder to replace. Although, nothing too hard with a bit of effort put into it.
Replace Worn Out or Broken Drive Belt
The drive belt is a rubber belt that connects pulleys on the front of the engine. If it breaks during the drive it can pretty much destroy the engine. That’s why it is practical to know how to inspect and replace it. Worn out drive belt usually starts squealing, which alerts you to replace it.
Replace the Brake Pads
When you start hearing squealing or grinding sound upon braking it means your brake pads or rotor might need replacement. Both are not that hard to replace, but they take a bit of time.
Fixing Exterior Coolant Leaks
If you notice green liquid under the car, it is probably an exterior coolant leak. If you are able to see the leak then you can easily fix it by yourself. Simply unclamp the leaking hose and put a new one. After that reinstall the clamp. It’s one of the easiest fixes and it can save you lots of money.