DIY car repairs have almost become the norm in the automotive industry, and there's nothing wrong with it per se. However, there are car repairs you don't DIY and best left to a professional mechanic.
The do-it-yourself mindset saves you the trouble and expenses of having to visit an auto mechanic every time something is amiss with your car. Besides, you get that feeling of independence and inner satisfaction. It is a good thing to learn how to tinker with your car as long as you don’t void your warranty or endanger yourself and others.
That said, it must be understood that not all auto repairs can be handled from your garage or on the roadside. There's only so much that an average car owner can fix on his or her own. For some advanced repairs, you need a skilled, certified mechanic. Such repairs usually require a specific set of equipment and experience that can only be provided by professional mechanics.
This article is about car repairs you should not DIY.
What is the hardest thing to fix on a car that you need a mechanic for?
1. Engine repairs
The engine is the most complex component of any vehicle and repairs involving it are arguably the hardest. Considering modern engines are now computerised, it is no place to do trial and error. If and when your engine needs repairs, best head to an auto repair shop.
Car owners that have had to replace their engines in the past know it is not an easy thing to do, especially on your own. Engine repairs are no doubt costly, so it's necessary to have some funds set aside in case your engine fails. The full cost will depend on the extent of damage to the engine.
2. Transmission repairs
Repairs involving transmissions are arguably the second hardest, after those involving the engine. Transmission repairs are a pain in the neck. For starters, transmissions are engineered with many parts. Transmission repairs are also time-consuming since they require following several steps to get them right.
It is because of this complicated nature of transmission that makes them best left for qualified mechanics. We understand that transmission repairs are expensive. However, fixing them on your own will only worsen the damage and make it even more costly.
3. Suspension system
A car’s suspension system is a combination of different working elements like sway bars, ball joints, and coil springs. It is not unusual to see a friend wondering where to start from when his or her car’s suspension system stops working fine. Although suspension system repair isn't as meticulous as that of the transmission, it is not easy either. If you mess up one part, you could end up damaging the entire system.
You’ll also probably end up using a lot of time trying to find the issues because of the many parts involved. Besides, you need the right set of tools such as a hoist to pull off the repair if you decide to do it on your own. These reasons precisely answer why you need to leave it to a professional mechanic.
4. Exhaust system
The exhaust system of a car is crucial as it collects and expels exhaust gases from the cylinders. When the system fails or stops working as it should, your vehicle will have trouble discharging exhaust gases.
More often than not, when there’s problem in the exhaust system, the first suspect is the muffler. Other parts that could be the source of the problem are exhaust pipes, catalytic converters, exhaust studs, oxygen sensors, exhaust manifolds, or exhaust headers.
Trying to pinpoint the problem on your own is expensive and requires specific equipment. For this reason, you need a certified mechanic to identify the problem and fix it.
Cars today come with evolved systems controlled by computers thanks to advances in technology. The wiring set-up is intricate, so if you doubt your abilities in tackling electrical issues, it is best to leave it to better skilled and equipped personnel.
Certified auto electricians have the right skills to diagnose the issue correctly and perform the necessary repairs. If you don't have these skills, then don't DIY this car repair issue.
What are the most common auto repairs that you should not DIY?
1. Repairing or recharging an AC
AC systems are complicated in design, and their operation makes them even more complicated. The majority of car owners do not bother understanding how their car’s AC system works. That’s precisely why it's not advisable to carry out any repairs involving the AC system without a mechanic. Besides, AC systems usually contain chemicals that can cause harm if handled poorly, so you should not do this car repair yourself.
2. Balancing tyres
Most, if not all, car owners can comfortably change a flat tyre as it is basic maintenance that can be handled with ease. However, when things move from a flat tyre to balancing the tyres, you need help from a professional.
Balancing the tyres is more complicated than most people think. It needs specific tools that you can only get in an auto repair shop. When car tyres don’t rotate regularly, they wear out unevenly, forcing you to replace them.
3. Heating & cooling system
Most people don’t realise what goes on inside the car to regulate the temperature of the running parts. If the cooling system starts acting up, you need to immediately book an appointment with your mechanic. Don’t rush to diagnose or fix the issue because many parts are involved, and it's a tough job finding the exact problem on your own.
Another reason why you should leave it to the mechanic is the difficulty entailed in accessing many components of the cooling system. Some repairs may even necessitate dismantling parts under the hood. The tricky part is usually assembling the components back as they were.
Repairs involving the body panels are a nightmare, best left to the pros. This is because the repairs are messy and take up a lot of time. Chances are it’ll cost you even more if you decide to take matters into your hand instead of visiting an auto repair shop. You’ll need to buy all the right equipment, including protective gear to protect against fumes from the paint. Unless you're a pro, don't DIY this auto repair.
5. Brake system
The brake system consists of different correlated parts such as brake master cylinders, brake rotors, wheel cylinders, brake drums, brake callipers, emergency brakes, brake lines, brake pads, and brake shoes.
These parts are likely to wear out after a while of being in use. While their replacement isn't overly complicated or time-consuming, it is costly when done at home. Except for worn brake pads, which are quite straightforward to replace, having a professional car mechanic do major brake repairs will save you both effort and money.
Don’t unnecessarily put your car at risk by carrying out repairs on your own. It’s not worth skimping on important repairs if you jeopardise your safety or end up spending more on amateurish efforts.
Rather than attempting to DIY the auto repairs, you’re better off bringing your ride to a professional mechanic. What’s more, you also get assured of quality services at an auto repair shop. For replacement parts, Carpart.com.au offers an efficient auto part locator, which is free for you to use. Get a quote for your auto part today!
By Sam O.