Whether windshield wipers, headlights or brake pads – various auto and wear parts have to be replaced over the course of a vehicle’s life. In addition to the purchase price of the spare parts, many vehicle owners want to save the additional costs by visiting the workshop. With a little manual skill, some car repairs can actually be carried out by yourself. We show you when initiative pays off and when it is better to trust a professional!
Basics for your own car repair
Just a decade or two ago, it was no problem to replace various vehicle parts in series from all major manufacturers. A trained look into the engine compartment and a private lift were sufficient to carry out many repairs, from the brakes to the shock absorber and the transmission itself.
While this is still possible, it has become more difficult over the years. The reason for this is the increasing proportion of vehicle electronics, more and more components of the car are equipped with sensors and are controlled electronically.
Even if smaller vehicle parts can still be replaced, the number is getting smaller. Very few lay persons should venture into the electronic components of the vehicle in particular. If incorrect settings occur here, in the worst case the vehicle can no longer be started or interprets the driver’s inputs in a dangerous manner.
The most important yardstick for your own car repair is therefore whether it is a matter of eliminating purely mechanical damage or interfering with the vehicle electronics.
You can easily repair these auto parts yourself
What can be repaired depends on the model series, year of construction and the technical skills of the vehicle owner. Frequent areas in which the independent car repair or replacement of wearing parts continues to be successful are:
Bulbs: If one or more lights fail, replacement lights can be screwed in very easily and save you having to visit the workshop. This applies to all vehicle models in which classic bulbs are still used as illuminants.
In comparison, a xenon headlight lasts significantly longer, but makes a visit to a car workshop necessary. You can clean or polish the headlights yourself.
Windscreen wipers: If the wipers wear out and there is no clear view in rain and snow, the windscreen wipers should be replaced as soon as possible. by simply pulling the wipers off and snapping them into place, this exchange is easy for even laypersons.
Paint and body: From a small scratch to a dent in the body, you still have the opportunity to give your car the look you want. Of course, it depends on the size of the body damage. When painting over cracks or rust, pay attention to the exact choice of color.
Tires: Even changing tires by hand continues to work; in the most modern vehicles, only the electronic sensors for air pressure control need to be observed. It is worthwhile to look over the shoulders of a specialist company and to master the exchange of tires yourself in the future.
Tasks to Consult a Professional
In many areas of the vehicle, you should keep your hands off the automobile even with manual skill. The most important areas for professional vehicle repair include:
Vehicle Electronics: Almost all components of a motor vehicle are controlled or controlled electronically these days. In the event of error messages on the instrument cluster or physical damage to cables and components, there is a risk of exacerbating the situation through your own intervention.
Air Conditioning System: If the vehicle’s cooling system no longer functions properly, all components of the system must be checked for leaks and new coolant filled in as a demanding chemical. You should also leave these tasks to a professional.
Engine and Transmission: Both components are the heart of your vehicle when it comes to the drive and maximum driving performance. Even the incorrect replacement of the smallest spare tires or other parts can lead to considerable engine damage or rapid wear in the gearbox. Even if the exchange is technically successful, the vehicle often loses its performance potential.
More practical tips for car repairs
The decision to carry out a repair yourself is almost always financially motivated. It is important to know how expensive the upcoming car repair would be at a specialist workshop.
In conclusion: Which repairs you can do yourself depend crucially on your equipment. In addition to classics such as a wheel hub and jack, a large set of torque wrenches and screwdrivers, ratchets, ratchets and other tools is essential.
If you, as a layperson, are not equipped with a large tool case, you have to think again. Buying a tool for a one-off repair can ultimately be more expensive than an alternative workshop visit.