Car maintainance on a DIY basis and your ability to carry this out is dependant upon your skill levels. As individuals we all have differing practical skills and abilities. Before you look at how to do your own repairs you need to ask yourself what you are capable of doing. We can all do some of the lower level repair and maintenance work required on a vehicle, and with this approach, we can save some cash and gain some satisfaction in doing something for oneself.
There are some low level tasks we can all do. Change a bulb, check the oil and fluid levels, check tyre pressures and cleaning and detail work. Some of these you probably already do. It’s not a great leap to move from these tasks to one that is more involved, such as changing the engine oil and filter for instance, and this particular task is probably one of the most important of all. If you are not sure how to change the oil then this article will help you.
The easiest way to learn how to do these tasks is to assist a friend or colleague when they do this sort of job, and then get them to advise/assist the first time you attempt the process. It wont be long before you are carrying out an oil change as a part of your vehicle routine and will be saving money each time you do it.
If you want to move to doing more complicated tasks, such as changing brake pads, bleeding brakes etc. then if you do not have a handy car nut as a friend, join a car owners club. There will be an owners club for whatever car you own, and within such a club is a wealth of knowledge and advice for the novice mechanic. It is also quite likely that there will be members of the club near you, and they will be more than happy to help your learning process in person. You can easily find an owners club using on line search, or buy a car magazine as they often advertise in the classified sections.
Most parts and service items are readily available and if you do join a car club, then you may get discounts on these too. You may find that you have to buy tools to do the job at the outset, but see this as an investment as once purchased, they are always there for when you need to do some maintenance. One tip here is that if you have to buy a specialist tool, it’s likely that the intended work may be better handled by an expert. Also, such tools tend to be for a specific job, which you may only have to carry out once in the life of the vehicle, in which case, such a purchase may not be cost effective.
It is also a good idea to purchase a maintenance manual, as owners handbooks for vehicles tend not to provide much information regarding actual maintenance. Haynes as a publisher sell a whole range of handbooks specific to makes and models of vehicle. The content of such manuals cover anything from an oil change to a total engine strip down.
Start small and grow your knowledge of your vehicle. A lot of what you learn will be applicable to many vehicles so your initial investment in learning will pay you back many times over the years.