From patching a tire to replacing an old battery, being comfortable with basic car repairs can help you save money. However, there are situations when it’s best to leave a car repair or maintenance task to the pros.
Performing these complex repairs can be at best frustrating and at worst dangerous for yourself and your vehicle.
A bad transmission will typically slip, grind, or jump when you change gears or switch to idling. These issues are easy to diagnose, but even a minor repair means you’ll have to take the entire transmission apart.
You’ll likely find that you’re in over your head halfway through since this car repair requires specialized tools and modern vehicles use electronic transmission components that can be challenging to replace.
Anything involving the engine
With more than 200 moving parts, combustion engines are not easy to work on. Plus, engines can weigh anywhere between 300 and 700 lbs. and require specialized equipment to lift them safely.
The main risks with performing engine repairs yourself are that you might misdiagnose the problem or fail to install the new parts properly. You could cause further damage to the engine and other systems or even make your vehicle unsafe to drive.
Fuel and emission systems
It’s best to leave fuel system repairs to the professionals since a mistake could result in your engine receiving the wrong fuel mix.
The emission system isn’t easy to work on either. A poorly installed catalytic converter, which is one of the most common reasons for the check engine light to come on, can reduce your fuel efficiency and even cause your vehicle to fail an emissions inspection.
Tires and suspension repairs
Changing a tire on the side of the road is an essential skill, but it’s best to take your vehicle to a licensed mechanic for rotating or replacing your tires.
Any changes to your tires mean you’ll need an alignment check, which is difficult to perform if you can’t lift your vehicle.
DIY suspension repairs can also be dangerous since failing to install new components properly can put stress on the chassis.
While swapping your old radio for a new model or tweaking your AC can seem like an easy car repair, electrical systems are more complex than you might think. Improper repairs can cause some systems to become unreliable, drain your battery, or even cause damage to other systems.
Is it time for a new vehicle?
Cars tend to have a long lifespan, but maintenance and repairs are becoming costlier. It’s important to know when to cut your losses and upgrade your vehicle instead of paying for repairs.
If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, Mike Duman has a selection of affordable cars, SUVs, and trucks in stock. Please take a look at our inventory to get started!