Cars are bound to develop issues after being on the road for a while. It could be an auto part that has become faulty, a system failure, or even a maintenance issue. Many car owners often find themselves in a tough spot, not knowing what to do when this happens. That doesn’t have to be the case.
As a car owner, it is important to be always prepared for any unfortunate issue that may come your way. Being prepared helps you keep a calm head and gives you an idea of what’s wrong and how to fix it. In this article, we walk you through everything you need to know about and around car repairs.
Proper maintenance goes a long way in ensuring your car runs smoothly and stays roadworthy for many years. The majority of cars require maintenance when they cross the 8,000-km (5,000-mile) mark. From here onwards, regular maintenance is advised.
Note that the maintenance schedule may vary depending on your car model. Also, keep in mind that different parts, e.g. brakes or batteries, may require unique maintenance practices. To be on the safe side, always refer to your owner’s manual for servicing that needs to be done and when they are due.
Car repair essentials
It is advisable to always have repair tools around you to avoid getting inconvenienced when you suffer a minor setback on the road. Make sure you never leave your place without tools/accessories such as screwdrivers, zip ties, wrenches, a jack, multimeter, pliers, safety gear and duct tape. These come in handy in unforeseen circumstances like a flat tyre.
Don’t worry if you only have a small garage with a few parts. As you make more and more repairs, you’ll often visit a tools store and soon have a garage full of the tools you need.
Not all the issues your car will have need a professional hand. There are a few that you can handle by yourself from your garage, like replacing brake pads or headlights. The more you know your car, the easier it will be to make DIY repairs. However, some repairs need a professional mechanic, which is often the case for challenging car repairs or replacements.
You should never attempt to DIY these repairs as you can make the problem worse. Beware that some repairs are not worth making. You will end up incurring a loss, not to mention you won’t restore your car if you insist on making such repairs.
Emergency car repairs
Every car owner is bound to experiences unexpected issues on the road, such as a dead battery. These could cause a problem, especially if you’re not sure how to deal with them. Make a habit of familiarising yourself with basic repairs such as jump-starting a battery and fitting a new tyre. Equipping yourself with such skills saves you not only time but also unnecessary expenses.
Diagnosing common problems
Is the colour of my oil okay? Does my engine make the right sound? These are common questions, and if it is a relief, most car owners ask themselves such questions.
It is a good thing to want to know if your car is running as it should. Fortunately, there are ways that you can use to determine if your vehicle is okay. You can diagnose many car problems using your senses such as smell, sight, and hearing. There are also signs that you can watch out for to know when something is amiss, e.g. if it's a car starter issue, bad fuel filter, or even faulty transmission.
Taking your car to the workshop
An average car owner visits a mechanic every six months. Before making this trip to the mechanic, you have to be prepared to avoid getting ripped off. You also need to know how your car works, what questions to ask, what repairs are to be made, and how they should be done.
It is also equally crucial that you know how to choose a mechanic or a repair shop. Some of the factors you need to consider when making this decision include location, licensing, price/rate charged, warranty terms for new parts, reputation, and specialisation. You can scour the internet or asks for recommendations from colleagues to find a reliable repair shop. You may also use Carpart.com.au’s directory for this purpose.
Buying auto parts
Some failures or faulty/damaged parts need replacement rather than repair. You need to get replacement parts for these. There are three different part types in the market, each with its drawbacks and benefits. Carefully evaluate your situation, needs, and budget before choosing the type ideal for the repair and your car in general. Remember making the wrong choice might cost even more.
There are different ways to get parts in Australia. You can use wreckers near you, authorised part dealers, or even buy the parts online from online auto part shops. Some parts like manual transmission and steering shafts are difficult to find, so take good care of your car always.
Car repairs are almost inevitable. At one point or another, your car is going to develop some issues. The best way to prepare for this is to acquaint yourself with most car issues and how to deal with them.
While car repairs may not be as difficult as they look, a simple mistake can be very costly. If you need replacement parts for a DIY fix, check out Carpart.com.au to locate what you need. You may browse through the listings for auto parts or use our reliable Car Parts Finder tool.
By Sam O.