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Should You Fix Your Own Car?

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Should You Fix Your Own Car?
Photo credit: Rutger Middendorp / Flickr

Automotive repairs can be costly and time consuming, especially when you take your car to a service center. You never know if they are being honest with what is actually wrong with your car, and a “15-minute wait,” always turns into an hour. Knowing how to fix your own car has its benefits, but there are some inherent drawbacks as well.

There is a laundry list of benefits to fixing your car. Most prominently is that it can save you money, and, let us be honest, who doesn’t like saving money? For most small repairs and maintenance services, like oil changes, doing them yourself can save you money. Most maintenance information for almost any make and model is available online, with video tutorials, detailed instructions, and pictures to help you get started.

Local automotive parts stores also provide a great resource for the do-it-yourselfer. They can point you to the right products special to your car. For some, there is also an added benefit of accomplishing something. Working on your own car can have a rewarding feeling when, after all is done, your car is ready to go another 5,000 miles in tip-top shape.

Not everyone has the knowledge and tools to work on a car, though. There are some jobs that doing yourself would just be a disaster, and require nothing short of an expert.

When working on your car, knowing what you can and cannot do is key. Knowing when to step back and realize you don’t have the knowledge and tools to do certain jobs will save you future headaches. Replacing a set of brakes is one thing, but replacing a head gasket is another story altogether.

So, should you fix your own car? Ultimately that depends on your time, knowledge, and skill. For most people, taking your car to a professional will prove the safest route, but if you are inkling to get your hands dirty, and have the patience to learn, working on your own car can not only save you money in the long run, but be quite fun as well.

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