If there is one thing most people know about Americans, it is that they love their cars. The American love affair with all things auto has been strong and steady ever since cars first went mainstream well over 100 years ago. Many people in the United States also love to work on projects themselves and the “do it yourself”(DIY) mentality has spawned numerous cottage industries. With the advent of more cars easy to work on, Americans merged their love of cars and trucks with their desire to handle things on their own. Today, many car owners take care of their motor vehicles at home rather than taking them to the local auto shop.
As with everything, there are pros and cons to taking care of your car at home without the help of the car dealer. Here is a rundown of the pros and cons of DIY car maintenance and upgrades.
It is something just about anyone can do.
Now, more than ever, it is possible to learn how to take care of a car or truck on your own. Not only are there many cars easy to work on out there but you can find more than enough information and instructions to teach yourself how to do this. You do not need any set skill set or knowledge to learn how to work on a car. All you need to get started learning how to repair or upgrade a car or truck is the desire to learn and the interest in vehicles.
In the past, if you wanted to learn how to take care of auto upgrades or general repairs, you had to take a class or find someone who knew what they were doing to help you learn. Back in the day, the only people looking to buy Ford Mustang GT parts, for example, were people looking to soup up the engine.
Today, the internet has brought all of the information you need to teach yourself how to take care of your vehicle. YouTube has a plethora of videos on car repair and other car-related issues. There are also many DIY blogs for car repairs. You can consult online forums if you have specific issues or questions. The DIY community is huge and there are a lot of car buffs out there who want to help. You can also get books on the subject if you desire that.
You can find online help for everything from fixing up your vehicle, building a custom car (such as a Shelby Cobra), to handling a custom garage floor installation, or putting in new or repairing garage doors. If there is a project you want to tackle, you will find help online.
You will spend less money.
One reason people are looking more and more at cars easy to work on is they want to spend less on car repairs. While there are still expenses associated with DIY car repair and maintenance, it is less than what you will spend at the car dealer or auto shop. For instance, you will still have to buy materials, tools, equipment, and parts. The big savings is in the costs of the labor to do the work.
Moreover, there are a lot of online options when it comes to buying everything you need to have to fix or maintain your car or truck that will save you money. As you learn more about the art of car maintenance and repair, you will see that it does not cost all that much to buy the items you need. The main costs associated with professional car services lies in the person or people doing the work. Being able to handle your own transmission tune-up can also be a big ego boost. Finishing these kinds of projects does give people a great sense of accomplishment.
Keep in mind, when you are buying items for your car or truck that the pricetag should not make all of your choices for you. Sometimes, it is worth it to spend a little more on a part or product. Before you buy, unless you are dealing with a product you have used before, you should take some time and research it. Sometimes, you do get what you pay for.
It may take less time.
We have all been there. We go to start the car or truck and nothing happens. When we call the auto shop, they are closed for whatever reason. If they are open, they may be booked up. Meanwhile, you are left in limbo until the right professional is available and ready to take a look at your vehicle.
If you have one of the cars easy to work on, you can take a look yourself and get yourself back on the road in a much shorter amount of time. You get your car or truck fixed on your schedule, not someone else’s. Just think about how much time you will need to spend to get your car back in shape.
Knowing more about a car always comes in handy.
Even if you realize that you may need to bring your car in from help from a professional mechanic, knowing a little more about your car will make that experience better. The ability to diagnose the problems with your vehicle means you will not get ripped off. People are often taken to the cleaners by unscrupulous auto mechanics (and computer technicians) who benefit when people do not know much about cars or trucks.
As you get to know how to fix up your car, you will also learn more about who is and who is not reputable in your area. Taking your car to the right place is a good way to have a better experience.
You can skip work on your vehicle that you do not need.
It is way too easy for a mechanic to say you need a lot of work done when you do not know what you are talking about. Knowing what your car needs is the best way to keep someone from offering to do a host of other things that you know you do not need.
You can help yourself when/if your car breaks down.
Whether you break down or have an accident, you may need to repair your car just to get it home. Car accidents happen all of the time in the United States. They cost Americans nearly $230.6 billion every year. If you know how to make even modest repairs to your car or truck, that can make a big difference if you find yourself in this position.
You may violate the warranty on your car.
Often products with warrantees have specific rules for who can and cannot work on it. Many cars easy to work on have warrantees than can be invalidated if a person who is not considered to be a qualified mechanic. That means before you make any changes to or do any repairs on your car or truck you should take a look at the warranty.
The problem really comes in when or if you have a big issue that you would like to be covered by that warranty. If you have made modifications to or repairs on the car or truck, that warranty may no longer be in effect. The best way to avoid this is to look at it before you do anything.
You may anger your car insurance company.
If you have a vehicle, whether or not it is one of the cars easy to work on or not, you have auto insurance. Like you check the warranty, you should also check your car insurance policy to see what is and is not permitted. If you make those modifications to or repairs on your car and not take it to a licensed car mechanic, there is always the chance that you will not get the help you need from your auto insurance company when you need it. If you are not sure about this, after reading over your auto insurance policy, do not hesitate to contact the company from whom you buy the policy. They can let you know what repairs and upgrades you can do and what you should avoid.
There are times when you really need to go to the auto shop.
Not every repair should be taken care of at home. It matters not if you have one of the cars easy to work on or not. There are just some things that require professional equipment, tools, and expertise. Sometimes the issue may be one of your personal safety. There are some auto projects that are just too hard to take care of as a DIY project. If you are not sure, you can take your car in for an estimate and then see what you think. As great as DIY projects are, safety should be the top priority for any project.
Just remember that not all DIY projects are created equal. It makes sense to replace a few shingles on your roof but if you need a new roof installed, you should probably hire someone. If you apply the same logic to car and truck repairs, you will be in good shape.
It does take time.
There are instances when taking care of a car or truck repair on your own will save you time, there are also times when it will not. It can take a lot of time to find the tools, equipment, or parts that you need. Sometimes, you may think you can do something faster than the professionals can but do you really have that time? If you do, go for it. If the repairs need to be done at a busy time for you, it might make more sense to bring it in. Again, this is a personal decision. Only you know how much time you can spare.
Sometimes people think they can fix up a car or truck but life happens and the vehicle sits waiting to be worked on for a long time. Be honest with yourself in this area.
Another way to think of this is in terms of money. Sometimes your time may be more valuable to you than the money you would spend repairing a vehicle.
There are a lot of reasons people like to work on cars and trucks at home. For some people fixing up an older car or truck can provide a great way to bond with friends or family. For other people, buying one of the cars easy to work on allows them to take part in an activity they find fun or stress relieving. It can be very rewarding to look at a car or truck and be able to say, “I brought that back from the dead!” or “I keep that girl purring like a kitten!”
One great thing about the internet today is that it has democratized a number of areas. DIY car repairs and upgrades are two such areas. Whereas people in days past had to rely on the local auto shop, more and more of us are looking to YouTube and other online sources to learn how to care for our cars and trucks on our own. In some way, this is due to the availability of cars easy to work on. That is not the only reason shops that sell parts for cars and trucks are so popular today.
As was mentioned earlier, there are good and bad aspects of all projects. When it comes to making repairs to your vehicle or to upgrading it, it is very important that people weigh the pros and cons to doing the work at home vs. taking the vehicle to a professional to do the work.
Sometimes it can take some effort and energy to weigh everything to make this decision but it well worth spending. Knowing what you can and cannot do and how much time you actually have to spend on the project can direct you to either handle it at home or go to the auto shop. This will also prevent you from the pain of the buyer’s remorse that you may feel later if you make the wrong choice. Even cars easy to work on need professional help from time to time.