Getting a car is not only exciting; it's also a learning experience. Who doesn't love the thrill of getting a new ride? Not a lot, I guess. It's not all bed of roses, though, especially when the car starts developing a fault or when you have to do maintenance.
New car owners generally prefer to leave all repairs to the experts or auto mechanics. However, if you’ve had some previous experience with cars and you know your way around, you may prefer doing the repairs yourself.
Ideally, you should know how to do simple repairs. It will save you a great deal and you get to learn about your car even more. You also won’t have to keep visiting the mechanic to have the smallest things fixed.
On the other hand, although it may seem like a good idea to cut down on expenses by doing most of the repairs yourself, you should know that certain parts of your car are better off handled by an auto mechanic. Because of the complications that can arise when doing these repairs, special tools and knowledge may be required.
In the end, trying to fix car parts that require a specialist's attention may cost you more than you would have saved. Here is a list of 5 parts you can change yourself and another 5 you should definitely leave to a professional.
5 Parts of a Car You Can Replace Yourself
In most cases, your wiper is one part of your car you will need to change at least once a year. Local stores may offer you free installation if you purchase a certain wiper. The main catch is that the wipers are probably already overpriced.
Since it is something you will have to do frequently, it is probably best you learn how to do it yourself. The process of changing the wiper may differ depending on the car, but generally it is very simple. Here are the most common steps required to change your wipers:
- First, you have to lift your blades as though you want to wash, then remove the current blades.
- Follow the same pattern of removing the blades to try to fix the new blades on.
- If you see a clip that holds the blade down, you can unclip and remove the blade, don’t force it out.
- The next thing for you will be to carefully put new blades safely, make sure they don’t bend or twist. Secure the new blades firmly into your frame.
- Just in case you are feeling a little confused as to how to replace the blades. Check on the pack of the blades you have; there are basic instructions there with pictures to guide you.
Air filters play an essential role in preventing dirt, debris and other materials that can contaminate your engine. Without the filter, your car might be vulnerable to any garbage, dirt, and even air. It acts as a protective filter for your car’s heat vent and A/C. Ideally, you should change your air filter once a year or after 12,000 miles of the journey. It should take you less than 15 minutes to replace your car filter, but it would take you a whole day and some extra cash to have your mechanic change it for you. To replace it yourself, follow this procedure.
- Different car models have slightly different placements of their car filters. The first thing for you to do is to search for the air filter. You can refer to the car’s manual if you want to find it quickly, or check underneath your car’s hood. It can be found in a rectangular box, and on its sides has metal clips.
- The next thing to do is to pick up the box, open up the case and observe the placement of the filter.
- After paying attention to the placement of the filter, remove the old one and replace it exactly how the old one was positioned.
- Close the box, clip back the metals and return the filter.
Particular emphasis is placed on the car spark plug: Make sure to get the exact type you're replacing. Ideally, you will need to change your spark plug after traveling 30,000 miles. This value might differ depending on the car model and manufacturer, so check your manual to be sure. To do this, you will need a few tools and supplies, like a new spark plug, socket extension 12 inches long, and a racket wrench. Here’s how you can change the spark plug yourself.
- First things first, you need to find the spark plugs. They shouldn’t be too hard to find, look out for the thick tube-like wires.
- As we know, the car manufacturer and model dramatically influence the number of cylinders in the car. Some cars have four plugs, others have six and others even have up to eight.
- Make sure you only remove the plugs one at a time. Your manufacturer arranged the plugs in a specific order, with all the thick rubber wires. Follow the same arrangement by removing the plugs one after the other to avoid it from mixing up.
- Take the extension with you and place it on your spark plug. Make sure it is firmly in place in the ratchet then twist a bit to bring out the spark plug; you should be able to repeat the process for other plugs.
- Safely place in the new plugin the same manner you have removed the old plug. First make it stand firm by twisting it with your hand, then use the wrench to complete the tightening process. Never over-turn till the plug gets too tight.
Brake pads are meant to be checked consistently; they should not be left unattended. Ideally, brake pads are changed after clocking 40,000 km, but always refer to your manual because limits differ from one manufacturer to another. It is safe for you to replace your brake pads, but you must be very careful.
The tools you will need for the process are C-clamp, a hammer, a lug wrench, and adjustable wrench. Make sure you get all these things in place before you start to avoid too much stress while carrying out the replacement process.
- The first thing you need to do is to get your car jacked firmly before you can get to your brake pads.
- Make sure your car is held firmly in place on the jack stands, then you proceed to remove the tyre lugs, for you to proceed to the next step.
- Remove all the wheels. Alternatively, you can remove the wheels one at a time according to the one you’re working on.
- This is the part you have to pay attention to. Gently remove the calipers from the brake and let the pads slide out by themselves. Just behind the calipers, you should see bolts holding them in place, unscrew the bolts and place them separately.
- Hold the calipers firmly and pull them in an upward manner. Try as much as possible to keep the brake lines intact, without affecting them. If you have to tap or move the calipers a little, then do it without affecting the black hose. After you remove it, place it somewhere, you feel it is safe. After removing the calipers, your old brake pads can be easily removed.
- The next thing is to replace the brake pads with the new ones you have bought. Put them firmly in place and clip them securely. If your car is a bit advanced in age, you might have to hammer it in, but gently.
- Try compressing the brake piston. Use your C-clamp with a screw attached to it. Press it against the piston making sure the other end is on the caliper assembly back.
- The clamps should be tightened enough causing the piston to move far in such a way that you can place the caliper assembly on the new pads you want to replace.
- Replace the brake calipers, make sure it is the reverse process of how you removed the calipers, and then fix the wheels back.
The car battery is an essential part of your car because it powers up all electronic parts of your car. The battery can develop a fault at any time and you should learn to change it yourself. Sometimes the battery might be totally bad and you may need a new battery. During other times you might need to remove certain white residues on the battery. To do the replacement, all you need is a wrench, rags, and your new battery. The steps to remove the battery are as follows:
- The first thing is to reach for your battery, then remove the rubber covering on it.
- After removing it, you should remove the negative cable first. Proceed by removing the positive cable next.
- Remove the old battery immediately, or unscrew any metal holding the battery in place.
- Make sure your new battery is not on the ground, then you replace the battery
- Securely fix in the battery, putting in the positive cable first, then the black,
- It shouldn’t be hard since the rubber covers are colour coded.
- Screw back the metal holding your battery, and you’re good to go.
5 Parts of Your Car You Hire Professionals for
Air Conditioning System
The AC system is not as simple as you think it is. It is made up of a number of complex systems. You can find the AC compressor in this system, and if you tried opening it, you would definitely find it a challenging puzzle to work around. You should make sure to stay away from making any modifications to your AC system by yourself. You should give it to the professionals to help it. It is equally dangerous to loosen the evaporator, condenser and various parts that make up the entirety of the AC system.
Airbags come in containment that should not be tampered with, especially if you know nothing about them. Dismantling and replacing old airbags in itself is very complicated. Another very stressful thing would be fitting the new airbags into the containment with an accurate dimension and size. While you might be intent of saving cash, airbags are not the thing to save on. A wrong replacement would mean the airbag would be unavailable when you need it. That could in itself be fatal.
Car Body & Paint
Painting your house is a far different process from painting your car. Even if you are a professional painter, unless equipped with the right equipment and skill set, you may be unable to properly paint your car. The type of paint is also of the essence. Even the spray to be used to apply the paint has to be taught to you before you can so much as paint the first mirror. Make sure you leave this process to the professionals who have the experience, the tools, and the skill to do the painting.
You might think you will save a few bucks by getting a windshield from a truck, getting some adhesives or clips and fixing the windshield on. The only problem is you are most likely going to have a poor fix and will have to pay extra to have it redone. It is always better to leave the replacements of windshields to professionals.
The fuel system is another very complicated system you should never meddle with. Never think about replacing it yourself. The injectors, the tank, the fuel pump, and rails make up the delicate system and if you so much as miss the arrangement, you might earn yourself a one-way ticket to being o a “bomb voyage.” Leave the process entirely to the experts who will definitely have a good job done.
To make your search for professionals quick and easy, you may refer to our directory of auto mechanics, body repair shops, car part suppliers, and all who play a role in the industry.