DIY Car Repair on the Rise: How, Why and Where?

    Posted by Ben Davidson about 24 days ago

    Car repairs can quickly exhaust your pocket. However, you can do a wide range of repairs yourself, regardless of your technical skills. 


    We're not just talking about oil changes. As long as you can hold the key, you can fix everything from fuel filters to alternators. We'll talk in detail about the tools you need for your DIY toolbox, where to go for help during repairs, and how to solve some of the most common car problems yourself.



    The biggest obstacle to convincing someone that they can handle repairing a car is fear. However, it's quite difficult to ruin a car forever. You may break something temporarily, or the repair may not work out in the long term, but you probably won't set yourself or your car on fire just because you hit the valve too hard. 


    Cars are resilient machines, meaning regardless of the year; there are many repairs, even the most clumsy and technically challenged person can handle them, provided they have the confidence to push through.

    Why Do It Yourself?

    A recent survey showed that 10% of drivers do DIY repair work. About 15% of drivers do not have a DIY car serviced once a year. And almost half of the drivers in their 20s don't do a DIY inspection. Some drivers are willing to spend extra time and effort rather than pay expensive repair bills, the study showed.


    The study showed that people repair their cars themselves to reduce the high cost of getting the car to the garage, and 12% of them use general parts rather than those produced by the car manufacturer.


    Ignoring a small problem that can be easily corrected will not make it disappear, but may increase the cost over time. While repairing a car may cost a fortune, there are other ways to ensure that your car will last for a long time. 


    Numerous repair manuals, DIY YouTube videos, and specialized forums provide extensive information on the topic. A serious challenge now is to filter the flow of data and focus on quality content and useful tips. 

    The Common Tools You Need 

    Every car is different, but the myth about foreign cars that require special tools is not quite true. Almost all cars use base nuts and bolts for the most common repairs that need to be done. Here is a shortlist of what you usually need:



    There's no secret to choosing tools, but they must have a good grip. Buy tools with big handles.


    You will also need to buy new parts for your car if you are replacing anything. If you buy them from an online auto parts store, you will enter the year of your car, make, and model in the form before looking for the part you need. 


    If you are not sure about the technical name of the part, you can find the part number for the part in your car, or you can go to the spare parts store for qualified consultation. 


    Each vehicle is slightly different, so to get the correct part, make sure you enter the correct information and always double-check if it does match.

    Types of DIY Auto Repair Work

    As mentioned earlier, you can't repair all the damage. However, repair work that you can easily complete in your garage is as follows:


    • Dents

    • Scratches

    • Replacing lights

    • Bumper repair

    • Fender bender damages


    You might be interested: Repairing Your BMW

    DIY Car Repair: Scratches and Dents on the Body

    Repairing a scratch is easy, but not as easy as filling a damaged area with a layer of paint. Fill the scratch either with a few coats of paint or some filler if the damage is deep enough to bare the primer.


    Grind the area with special care and patience and then apply wax until it is smooth and shiny.


    Dent removal suction cups work if the dent is minor and jumps out from behind. However, most dent marks require puttying and painting. You should repair the affected area with body putty and then apply a coat of paint to make it look completely new!

    DIY Car Repair: Bumper

    All it takes to repair a bumper is patience and a few hours. Just follow these few simple steps:


    • Scratch the damaged area. 

    • Correctly wipe the damaged area for a while with a clean plastic surface. 

    • Rinse the surface with water and use a pre-treatment solvent (a mixture of an even amount of repair adhesive and hardener) after the surface has dried. Finally, polish the area with 80-degree sandpaper.

    • Restore the cracks. Hold the broken parts together with a special glass fiber repair adhesive and apply a layer of glue to the damaged area. Another coat can be used to give additional strength and hardness. 

    • Polish the stain with 80 grams of polish, and then with 120 grams of sandpaper, apply a layer of wet, flexible sealant and then a second coat after the first one has dried. Finally, sandpaper with a 400-degree layer.

    • Paint the area. Spray two or three coats of paint to match the original color of your car. Then apply two coats of a mixture of clear coat and hardener, with a corresponding dry time between them. 

    • Let the transparent coat sit on the area for the night before sanding with 1500 grams of sandpaper.

    DIY Car Repair: Fender Bender

    Most wing damage only requires painting. However, in the case of other damage, follow these instructions:


    • Repair dents - Use a suction cup dent remover to pull the dent back to the surface level. Then gently use a small hammer to level the spot with multiple small cranes.

    • Scratches on the bumper - Plastic bumpers easily collect scratches and large scrapes. However, you will need the right bumper filler to repair such scratches. Give it a finishing touch by polishing with sandpaper and then applying wax.


    Repairing a DIY car will not look like a professional job, which may reduce the resale value of your car. However, DIY repairs are convenient in emergency cases and save you a significant amount of cash.


    A Few DIY Tips To Repair Your Car At Home

    Keeping up with the latest accessories and technology requires a lot. Plus, relying on mechanics, you have to give up some control. Well, imagine you get your reins back by learning how to repair DIY cars.


    Don't let it intimidate you in any way, because we've consulted experts on the simplest fixes. We will explain each of them below to give you the confidence you need. 


    You may not change gearboxes or replace the engine. However, you'll probably be surprised at how simple the repairs listed below are.


    So save some money, time, and trouble by doing everything yourself. Plus, job satisfaction can make you want to know more.


    Be sure to check out: 5 Ways To Spend Less On Auto Repairs

    1. Air Filter Replacement

    Park the car on a flat surface and switch off the ignition. Apply the parking brake and leave the car parked for motor vehicles. Now find the switch to release the bonnet. In most cases, it is under the dashboard, and if you cannot find it, refer to your owner's manual. 


    Open the bonnet using the external hood unlock and secure it in place with the stem.


    Position the air filter box inside the bonnet (a square or rectangular plastic box in front of the vehicle). 


    The box is usually located near the top and contains the air filter. Look at how the box closes. Some use just clips for quick release, while others use multiple screws. 


    You will find a hose that connects the box to the air filter. This hose is locked in place using a hose clip. Slightly loosen the clamp so that you can remove it. Now unscrew the screws of the air filter box to remove the top half. Put the bolts in the tray so that they can be easily found later. Remove the top half to open the air filter.


    The air filter can be made from different materials such as cotton, paper, or foam. The peripheral part should be made of rubber so that air cannot enter the aisle without passing through the air filter. 


    Simply take the air filter from the rubber edges and pull it out of the case. After that, thoroughly clean the air filter housing. That is important, as some dirt tends to accumulate in the case after extended use. 


    Use a vacuum cleaner on its blower to remove all dirt from the case. When doing so, make sure you seal the air duct with self-adhesive tape, this will prevent dirt from entering the engine during cleaning.


    Install the new air filter and ensure the rubber rim around the filter points upwards. Also, make sure that the rubber rim seals the edges of the filter housing, and there is no clearance for the air outlet. 


    Refit the cover. Make sure it fits flat on the chassis, and all dots are the same as the original. Replace the clamp or screws and make sure that the cover is securely attached. Slide the hose back in place and tighten the clamp. Close the hood, and everything is ready.

    2. Oil Change

    Park the car on a horizontal platform, start the engine and keep it running for about 5 to 6 minutes, this should heat the oil enough. If the engine is already hot, you can skip starting the engine and proceed to the next step instead.


    Open the engine hood, remove the dipstick and wipe it with a cloth. To check the engine oil level, insert it again, and remove it to check the mark. Make sure the oil level is really below the low-level mark and needs to be refilled.  


    Remove the oil filler cap. If you are not sure where it is located, check the vehicle's owner's manual for location. Fill the engine oil in small doses (250 - 275 ml) using a funnel followed by check to make sure the oil level does not exceed the full level mark as this could adversely affect the engine.


    After refilling, put the oil filler cap back on and insert the dipstick before closing the engine hood.


    Pay attention to the following:


    • It is better to refill the engine with oil recommended by the manufacturer.

    • If your engine requires a relatively frequent refill (every month). Check it with a mechanic. It may require a significant overhaul.

    3. Spark Plugs

    Spark plugs are essential for starting a vehicle, and a suitable spark plug can make your car have better fuel consumption and smoother running. Recently, Iridium spark plugs have become popular for increasing your car's performance. 


    Spark plugs are easy to replace, and you should also check the wires when you change spark plugs.

    4. Windshield Wipers

    Look at each step to check which ones you have completed.


    • Determine the size and type of wiper blade you will replace. Car's owner's manual has info on which type of wiper blade you need, and some even give you step-by-step instructions on how to replace, specific to your car. On some wiper blades, one can replace the rubber scraper with a new wiper blade insert, while others require that you replace the entire wiper blade.

    • Determine the unlocking mechanism for the wiper blade. Manufacturers have different designs for the hooks. In some, you can simply pinch and pull to remove the blade; with others, you need to push a button or pull a latch to unhook them.

    • Disconnect the defective wiper blade. Some jiggles may be necessary. Wrap your hands in a towel to prevent damage to the windshield.


    Some replacement blades come with a rubber optimization gasket. Use this optimizer to clean the windscreen wipers before installing them.


    1. The optimizer solution helps remove trash, grease, oil, etc. from the rubber.

    2. Be sure to remove the plastic tread from the rubber side of the wiper blade.

    3. Secure the new wiper blades (in reverse order to remove old wiper blades).


    There are three styles of windscreen wiper blades:

    1. Frame

    That is the most common type of wiper blade and only allows removal and replacement of the rubber insert, which is the most economical replacement. Frame style blades tend to work well in most conditions.

    2. Winter

    These blades have a design similar to the wiper blades in the frame style, with one exception: They come with a rubber shell designed to withstand harsh weather conditions.

    3. Single-beam

    These are low-profile and aesthetically pleasing wiper blades that do not collect ice very easily. Single beams are usually more expensive, and unlike other types, they require replacement of the entire part, not just the blade.

    5. Headlight Bulbs

    While the primary setting of the car headlight is common to all manufacturers, the difference is the incandescent bulb inside the headlight. Here are three different types of bulbs that can be installed inside a car headlight:

    Halogen 

    That is the most common lamp type that can be found in most car headlamps. Halogen is produced on the principle of a normal household lamp and has a filament inside the glass element that burns in a vacuum to produce light. The reason for the widespread use of such lamps is their low cost.

    HID/Xenon

    The obvious choice for those looking for a lamp upgrade is HID (High-Intensity Discharge) lights. HID was first introduced in the automotive segment in the mid-1990s and is widely used as a factory option for high-end cars such as BMW, Mercedes, and Audi. 


    So if your car comes with HID lamps, you will have to replace them with HID lamps. And if you are looking to upgrade to HID lamps from halogen, you need to match the conversion kit, since HID lamps require a different current.


    In terms of performance, unlike halogen lamps, HID lamps have no filament. Instead, they emit light by burning xenon gas inside the glass, hence the name Xenon lamps. The light produced by HID lamps is much brighter than halogen lamps with a statistically longer life and require less power to operate.

    Light-emitting Diodes. (LEDs) 

    The latest addition to the list of lamps are LEDs or light-emitting diodes. Although in use since the 1900s, LED technology has never found its way to illuminate our roads, but has been widely used as cockpit lights, rear lights, and other applications commonly referred to as "non-projection applications.


    Only after the year 2000 that LEDs gained great popularity in projection applications such as headlights.


    LEDs are the easiest way to light up something and do not require any ballast, or any other special wiring. LEDs are simple diodes that are much more durable than halogen and HID lamps. 


    Like HID lamps, you need a conversion kit to install LEDs if they do not come factory fitted. LEDs are usually your most expensive option for a lamp.

    Wattage

    Whether it's a halogen lamp or a halogen bulb, you need electricity to get them to work, which means they have the power associated with them. 


    Simply put, the higher the power, the more intensity it will have. A standard car with a halogen bulb will have 55 watts of power, so you will only need to replace it with a 55-watt bulb.


    If you decide to switch to a higher power light bulb, such as a 120-150 W light bulb, you will need a relay to supply power, since higher power means more load on the car's electrical system, which can overheat the wires and cause damage. 


    A standard HID lamp, on the other hand, operates at about 35 Watts of power. It is not recommended to increase the power in the HID system, as it can easily blind oncoming traffic. In some countries, there is a limit to the maximum power allowed for your headlamps.

    Kelvin Rating

    Have you ever heard of your mechanic replacing a yellow light bulb with white light? Kelvin's rating determines the color of the light that the bulb emits. Although we generally do not pay much attention to it, this is paramount for safety reasons as well as legal issues, depending on local laws.


    Here are the different Kelvin ratings:


    • 2500K to 3500K - Yellow light

    • 3800 to 4000K - White light

    • 6000K to 10000K - Blue light  

    • 10000k to 12000k - Purple light.


    While Kelvin's rating does not affect brightness, a change in color can make it brighter, as with white light. However, higher on the Kelvin scale, as with blue-violet lamps, they won't be as bright as yellow-white lamps. 


    As mentioned above, for safety and legal reasons, most incandescent lamps are between 3400K and 5000K.

    6. Car Batteries

    If you've been driving for a while, you must have had a sinking sensation of a discharged battery. There are a couple of basics to learn.


    First of all, let's solve the simplest problem. Maybe you left the internal light or somehow discharged the battery. If that's the case, you can just use the jumpers to recharge the battery. 


    You should always have a set of jumper cables in your trunk. And under the hood, you can easily find the battery. If not, check the user manual for its exact location, here's a good guide for Audi A3 I've been practicing on. 


    Another problem with the battery may be that you just need a new one.


    That will happen from time to time, especially in more extreme climatic conditions. To turn this into a DIY repair, first, make sure you have the right battery for your car. Then, with a few turns, you can loosen the brackets by holding them in place. Make sure all connections are tight and in the right place before you tighten a new one.


    Finally, you may find that you need a new generator. If your bouncing car is not working in the long run, you can check your battery and alternator. Use a multimeter to see which one does not supply power. If it is your alternator, it can be a problematic solution for some models. 


    However, if you are starting to feel comfortable with car repairs, you may want to give it a chance. When it comes to replacing parts under the hood, replacing the alternator isn't that difficult.

    7. Tire Replacement

    First, pull out the spare wheel and tools, including the jack. You can usually find them in the trunk of your car, under the floor of the trunk. 


    Then take the instruction manual and look through it to find the jack point in the car. The manual may also contain instructions for changing the tire. 


    Ensure sure that your handbrake is fully engaged and the car is in gear. If so, lift the car by placing the jack under the jack point closest to the wheel you are about to change, and then turn the jack handle clockwise. 


    After the tire you are replacing has cleared the ground, remove any trim that covers the wheel nuts or bolts. Then use the supplied wrench and special wrench if your car has wheel nuts to remove them. 


    By removing the mounts, you can remove the wheel with the puncture and replace it with a spare one. 


    Secure the wheel nuts again and then lower the car to the ground. After the car has been lowered, tighten the nuts, ideally working diagonally. 


    Congratulations, you have just changed your tire. 


    What's next for my car tire? Most spare wheels that come with cars are only suitable for low speeds, often up to 50 miles per hour, so you will need to replace or repair the original tire as soon as possible. 


    Even if it is not limited to a certain speed, we suggest you visit the garage anyway so that you can tighten the wheel mounts to the right tightness.

    8. Washer Tanks

    Your car's tank washer is essential for cleaning dirty windscreens. The car washer tank is located under the hood, and you can easily detect it with a printed sign on the lid. 


    Your car washer tank can explode for a variety of reasons. However, you can replace them quite easily – unscrew the tank bolt and replace it. Make sure the washer tank is filled with washer fluid and check that it is working.

    9. Coolant Leak Repair

    Leaks of any kind can bother the driver. However, some of them are more problematic than others. For example, if you notice a coolant leak, you may be able to fix it yourself in just a few minutes. 


    When you notice a leak, it's vital to determine where it came from. If it is yellow, green, or orange, you should check to see if there was a coolant leak. Check under the hood, and if you see a leak in one of the hoses, you are in luck. 


    With just a couple of tools and a few simple steps, you can completely replace the hose. Simply remove the old hose and secure the new one. It's as easy as that in most car models.


    However, if you see colorful coolant coming out of your radiator, that's another story. In that case – take it to your mechanic.

    10. Replace a Broken or Worn Drive Belt

    Along with hoses, belts are a common source of trouble for car owners. However, as with the repair described above, it can also be quite easy to repair a DIY car. Sometimes a damaged or worn belt does not even show any initial signs.


    It is, therefore, essential to look under the hood regularly. There are a few things to remember when checking the drive belts. First, they can be released. Cracks or other signs of wear and tear can usually be noticed during a thorough visual inspection. And if you hear suspicious noises while driving, this can be a sign of a problem.


    If the belt is loose, you can usually take a wrench with you to tighten it. However, for more serious problems, it may be better to take it off and attach a new one. 


    With suitable tools, it is only a matter of removing and re-attaching a few parts. Once the new belt is tightened, you're ready to hit the road again.

    11. Brake Pad Replacement

    More advanced replacement includes your brake pads. Usually, you can tell when you need a replacement. The most common sign is a squeal when you press the brakes. 


    That is a sign that you must remove the tire and install a new pad. There is one other thing you should know about when it comes to your brakes.


    If you hear a shrieking sound rather than a squeaking sound, you may have to replace the brake rotors. It's an even more advanced procedure so that you can keep it for professionals. However, with a little practice, you can easily learn to replace your own.


    You might be interested in reading Globalpartszone.com Case Study.


    Car Maintenance On Your Own - Challenge Or a Simple Task?

    We hope our guide has helped to make car maintenance a little less intimidating, whether you have a Qashqai or a Ford Fiesta. Most typical problems have a fairly simple solution. 


    At least, they seem simple when you are comfortable working on your car.


    Once you are comfortable fixing minor problems with your car and performing regular maintenance, you will probably want to try more advanced repairs. 


    Every car will have its quirks, and there will inevitably be a few things that you cannot understand or reach. The main thing to remember is that repairing a car is not as difficult as it looks, and it is quite difficult to ruin it.


    Even newer cars with more electronics have parts that can be repaired in the driveway. It is just a matter of trusting yourself.


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