Do it yourself auto repairs are a great idea whenever you come across repairs that you can handle on your own rather than paying someone else to do them. When you tackle projects like maintaining an old car, you will usually learn something new about your car and save money all at once. The secret to all of this is to learn how to diagnose problems so that you can quickly move toward fixing them without wasting your time and money. There are certain times when DIY auto repair is totally legitimate and a great idea, but also some possible snags that we need to try to avoid. Pay attention to what you are doing and you'll get more done in less time and save money as well.
Disconnect Battery before Repairing Cars
Before you get going poking around under hood of a car, especially if you are a beginner but even if you're an expert, disconnect the battery to make sure there is no chance of electrocution. This is a risk that is simply not worth taking under any circumstance. The best way to do this is to disconnect the negative side first, and many mechanics say to also go ahead and disconnect the positive as well. This is just in case the ground side happens to come into contact with a solid ground by pure mishap. This is something many DIY mechanics forget to do before they dive into their repairs, but it is an essential and simple first step. For example, if you're working on the alternator or starter and you pull it without first disconnecting the battery, trouble can ensue because these arts have positive voltage applied to them all the time, even when the key isn't in the ignition.
Read the Car Owner's Manual
When sparks fly as you are pulling that alternator or starter, a spike in the electrical system of the car can actually be caused, which can damage electronic components. This is just one example of the need to be careful when you work on your car, and to read the owner's manual completely before you begin work. There are some great high quality auto repair manuals that also help tremendously; you can get them at most any large auto parts store and other locations as well as online, like on your internet auto insurance website. Follow the steps as outlined in the repair manual exactly as they are given and do not even think of deviating from them.
Also, be sure not to get ahead of yourself in these repairs. Some DIY car owners might be working on pulling their spark plugs and not realizing that they are actually numbered and there is a certain order to them and to the way they need to be done. By pulling and replacing just one at a time, you keep things simple and mistake proof. But when you pull them all, it can be very hard even with the repair guide to determine which one goes where.
Safety First in Car Repair
Overall, the biggest thing we all need to remember is to emphasize safety in everything that we do. If you are a total novice, you need to pay close attention in order to not make a mistake and possibly get hurt. If you are more skilled, you might have a tendency to move too quickly and over tighten something, for example, or make some other such mistake. Avoid all these pitfalls and you can be successful working on your car. Enjoy do it yourself auto repairs but always pay close attention to what you are doing.