Repairs You Honestly Don’t Need to Make a Trip to the Dealer For
If you are anything like I was when I owned my first car, then the concept of any major or minor mechanical meltdown was almost too much to bear. A lot of first-time car owners are intimidated by the time and money required to own and sustain a vehicle, and they often have hair-trigger anxiety when it comes to problems — the slightest scratch seems to warrant an entire afternoon at the dealership. A friend of mine has likened the experience to raising one’s first child, and to a certain extent, I agree. Professional dealerships and corner garages alike are aware of this logic, and some are not above exploiting it to line their pocketbooks. To prevent such scenarios, we have a few honest DIY servicing tips that even the most amateur of handymen can accomplish at home with just some time and a few tools.
What You’ll Need to Service Your Car Yourself
To start you off, there are a few tools that every auto kit or garage should have, and you’ll find this modest set of gear will take you a long way in helping you around some overpriced dealer visits. These items include:
- A torque wrench
- A car-jack
- A ratchet and common socket set
- A pair of phillips and flat-head screwdrivers.
Once you outfit yourself with these things, you can get to work.
DIY Car Maintenance Tips
If your car is experiencing problems with the cooling system, windshield wipers, or if the power-steering feels off and you’ve checked the fluids, one of the culprits is likely to be the drive belt. Consult your vehicle’s manual to find the belt, inspect it, and see if it is the likely cause. A damaged drive belt is pretty easy to detect, and they are usually located at the front of the engine. If you see significant signs of wear, consult AutoMD, get out your ratchet-set and screwdriver, and grab a replacement belt from an auto parts store or order a genuine part online from a local dealer to install it yourself.
If your car won’t turn over, borrow an amp-meter from a neighbor and check your battery before you call a tow truck to take it to the dealer. If someone can give you a jump or lend you a starter kit, all the better. Even if your battery is completely dead and needs replacing, you can do this yourself by picking up a new one at a local parts store. Be wary, however, as batteries are filled with lead and toxic materials, so take proper care in removing, handling, and disposing of them.
Honest Car Dealer will continue to provide tips to help save you from trips to the dealership. Keep checking in with us for more automotive tips for casual motorists.
July 22, 2012 by Jamie Rettig