Every year people spend thousands of dollars on auto repair. Often, they may think, “Well, for this much money I could just do it myself!” Many may even try. But at the end of the day, auto repair can be a tricky thing if one has no experience in it. The following is a very brief guide to help you get started on the road to auto repair. Think of it as “auto repair for dummies.”
First, safety. Auto repair can be dangerous if you don’t know what precautions to take.
1. Always make sure that the parking brake is on, the gears are in neutral (or park,) and that the engine is off. This is probably the first step in safety for auto repair for dummies. The last thing you want is for your car to suddenly start rolling with you underneath it!
2. Watch out for hot parts, especially if the car was recently running.
3. When using a wrench to get at nuts and bolts, make sure that the seemingly stuck bolt won’t cause you harm if it suddenly comes loose. Clear the area around where you’re working and always pull on wrenches instead of pushing.
4. Always work in well ventilated areas because of the toxic fumes you may be working with. Outdoors is best, but a large, ventilated garage is fine too.
Second, stay on top of general maintenance. The following items should be checked up on every couple of months or thousand miles to prevent further work from being needed.
1. Air filter
3. Brake fluid
8. Windshield wipers and cleaning fluid
Third, some general tips to keep in mind while you are working on a car or other automobile. These are things every good mechanic needs to know.
1. Don’t panic, don’t hurry, and don’t stress. The worst thing you can do when doing auto repair is get frustrated and damage the machinery further. If you get angry, take a break. Try to keep distractions at bay. If this means working in a silent, closed off garage, then so be it – just make sure that garage is ventilated.
2. Always keep a clean rag handy. You will be needing to clean a lot of parts that may have fluids on them, and it’s always good to have something clean on hand to leave parts on. If you go through a lot of rags during one session, you can leave a pile of them nearby.
3. Approach everything logically, as if it’s a puzzle. If you take something out, make sure you remember what it is and what it’s for. Even better if you can remember how it goes back in. WE all know the joke of someone putting something together and there being pieces leftover. In auto repair, that’s never a good thing.
Auto repair for dummies doesn’t have to be hard or too daunting. By following simple maintenance work on a regular basis, you can save yourself thousands of dollars in mechanic costs every year.