Minor Car Repairs – DIY or Hire a Mechanic? Minor Car Repairs – DIY or Hire a Mechanic?

If your vehicle broke down due to a car crash or because the engine needed repairing after driving over 200,000 miles in the past seven years then there does no doubt you’d want to go to a mechanic. However, is it worth it to drive over to an auto repair shop if all you need is a minor fix or to change oil?

The Conundrum of DIY and Small Repairs

The mantra of DIY believers is that any job that doesn’t require a diploma can be done at home. It will cost less and you’ll still relatively get the same results. The only issue is that you need to spend time teaching yourself in order to get the job done correctly.

A lot of DIY car owners don’t want to pay up for a Pep Boys or Midas services for replacing a radiator or a busted muffler. These tasks seem so insignificant that they believe it would be simpler and far more affordable to learn how it’s done and then do it at home.

There are a lot of tutorials found on the Internet anyway. You’ll find blogs all over the place and YouTube gives direct video tutorials so you can visually see how it is done. It’ll be like have a guide right there on your phone or tablet.

However, there are a few problems with this approach.

The Issues of Repairing on Your Own

The first big issue is that tinkering with your car will cost you a bit when it comes to your warranty. Any damage done intentionally – and this includes self-repair jobs – might not be covered so if you botch the job and have to turn it in for even more serious repairs, the expenses will have to come out of your pockets.

There also implies the second major issue – the possibility that going the DIY route could further damage your car. There are a lot of video tutorials but each vehicle is different, each repair situation is different, so what works for them might not work for you and your car.

Lack of skill, training, and experience also play a big part. You might have a video guide but you’re only following the steps blindly. You won’t have the understanding as to how all the procedures fit in together or why they have to be done to fix your car.

The knowledge and skills can only be gained through months and years of training. That’s why mechanics have to go to school otherwise everyone would be fixing their own cars.

Trusting the Mechanics

car-repair-wrenchMechanics at an auto shop do a very good job. They are trained and certified, especially at commercial repair shops like Pep Boys or Firestone. Even the crew workers at some gas stations are required to have some form of certification. This means they are knowledgeable when it comes to working on vehicles.

But the proof goes beyond what’s on a piece of paper. Most of the time, these mechanics can provide a detailed paper report that shows you all the issues your car may have, the issues you are hiring them to address, details about how they plan to fix the issue, what parts are being used for replacements, and how much it all costs.

This detailed report is important.

When you do a repair job in your garage you won’t have any report to show the insurers in case a real problem arose. They’ll blame you and they’ll make you pay for the repairs out of your pockets.

With repair shops, everything goes by the book. You get more assurance with an auto repair shop since they do not want the detailed report t be used against them. They’ll follow the rules and repair your car step-by-step and according to regulations since they are legally bound to do so.

How Much Do Professional Repairs and Services Cost?

Major repairs can cost thousands of dollars but you’ll most likely have car repair insurance and auto insurance to cover those expenses. For minor services you can expect the costs to from a mere $20 to just $200, depending on what you need.

For example: Walmart oil change prices rarely go over $40 from state to state, even with the use of higher grade motor oil. You could buy the oil and do the oil change at home but what if the filter breaks during installation or what if you put in the wrong grade of oil? What then?

For $40, having the experts do it can save you a lot of time, effort, and money. They’ll get it right the first time and that not only saves you cash but it also gives you peace of mind. In the rare case they get it wrong then the expenses are on them.

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