3 Automotive Repairs That You Can Perform at Home

Each year, automobiles become more technologically complex. Engines become more streamlined and efficient; computer chips become more advanced; new systems, such as smart cruise control and lane change warning devices, are integrated. With every improvement, motorists become more wary of performing repairs on their own. There’s a pervasive fear that a single wrong tweak will impact other components. The problem is that mechanics charge up to $80 an hour. Simple repairs can end up costing far more than they would if you were to do them yourself.
Below, I’ll describe three automotive repairs that you can perform in your own garage. With a little time, patience, and elbow grease, you can potentially save a bundle.
#1 – Replace A Bad Fuse
Many of the electrical systems in your vehicle are managed by fuses. Over time, those fuses will go bad and need to be replaced. A lot of drivers will experience an electrical problem and take their cars to a mechanic to have it resolved. The mechanic will end up doing a test which usually costs between $40 and $50. Then, they’ll simply replace the blown fuse that caused the issue. If you have a pair of tweezers (and your owner’s manual), you can replace it yourself. The cost? About $3.
#2 – Replace Bad Spark Plugs
Despite the increasing complexity of automobiles over the last few decades, the gas engine’s 4-stroke internal combustion process has remained virtually the same. Spark plugs are a vital piece of that process. When they go bad, it can cause your engine to misfire, dramatically reducing its performance and efficiency.
A mechanic will usually charge an hour’s worth of labor to replace your spark plugs. The plugs themselves cost less than $30. If you have a gapping tool, socket, and ratchet, you can do the job at home and save yourself up to $80 (for the labor).
#3 – Replace A Worn Fuel Filter
Of the three, this repair job is the most labor-intensive. Don’t let that discourage you. With a couple of wrenches, rags, jacks, and a pan to catch the fuel, you can finish the job in an hour. The filter itself should cost less than $20, which means you’ll be saving up to $80 in labor charges by doing it yourself.
It’s important to take a few precautionary steps to ensure your safety. Because you’ll be working with gasoline, wear gloves. Also, disconnect your car’s battery to prevent a fire. Lastly, make sure the jacks that you use to lift your vehicle are sturdy.
There are several other minor repair jobs that you can perform without the help of a mechanic (I’ll cover them in a future article). The key is to realize that you can do them yourself. As long as you purchase high-quality parts, you can potentially save hundreds of dollars over the long run.