To do it yourself (DIY) or not to DIY? This is the question that plagues many savvy car owners when experiencing problems with their vehicles. Many owners have at least a basic understanding of their vehicles, and with help from a few web searches, they believe they can complete repairs alone. It is critical to know when you should DIY for repairs and when you should call a mechanic. Here are two repairs you may be able to accomplish without a professional, and two you should never attempt by yourself.
DIY: Replace a Drive Belt
Replacing a drive belt is a relatively simple task that can serve you well if your car begins to make a squealing noise when you start it up or when you use certain vehicle accessories. First, visually inspect your belt, looking for looseness, cracks, and general wear and tear. If your belt looks worn, it’s best to replace it even if you don’t hear squealing. Follow these instructions from Popular Mechanics to learn how to replace your belt and/or tensioner.
Don’t DIY: Bad Brakes
There is no such thing as minor brake repair. Your brakes are major components of your vehicle. Brake integrity is crucial for your family’s safety on the road and the safety of those around you. Always trust a certified mechanic to inspect, maintain, and repair your brake system. The professional should be knowledgeable and test your brakes properly before allowing you to get back on the road. For brakes, find a mechanic in Fort Worth, TX.
DIY: Dead Battery
Replacing the battery is something many vehicle owners do on their own. It may be necessary to first get a professional to check that your battery is truly dead and doesn’t just need a jump or recharge. If you know your battery is dead, purchase a new one at your local auto shop. Turn your vehicle off, release the hood, and locate the battery. Remove the negative (Black) cable from the attached battery. Loosen the nut with a combination wrench, then detach the positive cable. Remove the battery hold-down clamp and take the battery out of the vehicle. Insert the fresh battery into the tray and secure the clamp. Attach and tighten the positive battery cable first, and then the negative cable.
Don’t DIY: Transmission Problems
An automatic transmission has thousands of tiny parts and is a very delicate piece of equipment. It doesn’t take much to permanently damage your transmission during DIY repairs. If you’re experiencing issues with your transmission, always take it to a mechanic. Transmissions are expensive to replace, and the costs of professional repairs will be cheaper.
When in doubt about DIY repairs, call Otobots of Forth Worth. Our trained and certified mechanics can come to your location.