When a car breaks, it’s no longer all fun and games, as usually serious investments in service and parts is required to repair the damage and get the car running again. However, one could save important amounts of money through DIY (do it yourself) projects. Using a repair manual and the right set of tools, some automotive repairs can be done at home, inside the garage. This way, some amount of money is saved and the owner also gets the satisfaction of achieving something on their own.
Before enrolling to fix your car using an automotive service manual, there are a few elements to consider first.
Are you up to the task?
Getting to save money by repairing your car at home sounds great, but is you up to the task of managing certain repairs? It is all about the extent of the damage, the skills and tools required to finish the job. In other words, one must understand that, unless you have a full service-like equipped garage and the knowledge of a mechanic that spend the last 25 years in a service unit, not every bit of a car can be serviced through a DIY project.
So, what can you repair at home? Since some repair jobs are less complex than others, they can be done by everyone with a bit of understanding of car mechanics and a proper service manual. Such operations include oil change, filters replacement, brake pads and brake calipers replacement or wheel replacement.
As mentioned above, doing home car repairs feature a few prerequisites needing to be fulfilled. First of all, one should acquire a proper service manual for the car needing repairs. Although in older cars, service manuals were supplied along with the vehicle, nowadays service manuals must be bought separately. Although not difficult to find, service manuals may cost a considerable amount, but the cost can be deducted in time from the money saved by repairing the car at home. Make sure the service book features the exact make and model for the car in question. Different models may feature similar specs, but slight differences may appear and create an obstacle.
When the proper service manual has been acquired, one must make sure he owns the tools required to perform certain repair operations according to the instruction found in the manual. As mentioned, only easy, low complexity repairs should be done at home; this is why only basic tools are usually required to perform them. A set of wrenches, a straight screwdriver and a Phillips screwdriver are mostly going to do the trick. It is advisable to purchase a tube of WD-40 or equivalent penetrating spray; it will do wonders on tight, rusty screws and will clear oil with increased effectiveness. It requires about 4-5 minutes after application to penetrate inside the joints and loosen screws.
How to work with the manual
When repairing cars using service manuals, at home, one must follow the exact steps featured in the book. Do all the necessary preparing as mentioned in the manual, prior to starting the actual repair process. For example, have a tray prepared in advance to collect residual oil when doing an oil replacement operation.
Get used to sorting screws and other removed components on a flat, dust-free surface, placing them in the order they were removed. Then, when doing the reassembly process, just collect the pieces in the reversed order. When things don’t go out as planned or internal damage does not allow regular removal or replacement of certain components, it is strongly recommended to contact specialized service units. Going further on your own could cause even more damage and cost a lot more to repair in a service unit.