With the downtime afforded to many during the pandemic, many people have taken up do-it-yourself car repair. The internet is full of DIY tutorials and articles instructing drivers how to do anything, from how to do an oil change or fixing the transmission.
Just because you can repair your car at home, that doesn’t mean you should.
Here are 4 fixes you should leave to a professional mechanic!
It is possible to repair minor issues or replace parts of your car’s brake system. You can replace brake pads with little special equipment. Consult your owner’s manual to learn what parts are required or find it out online.
You should know how to use a car jack properly and which kind to use for this type of job. Ultimately, anything dealing with your brakes should be left up to a car repair professional.
Replace the Timing Belt
The timing belt is a carefully designed rubber belt (or a chain) that sits near the front of the engine, which keeps the camshaft and crankshaft synchronized. This part needs replacement every 60,000 to 100,000 miles due to wear and tear or otherwise specified by your car manufacturer.
Depending on how much you drive and the age of your car, you may not need to worry about this for a while. However, repair may come at any time if it becomes damaged or misaligned.
This is a routine fix at an auto shop. However, you should never replace this part yourself unless you have the right tools and training. Around half of the engine must be taken apart to access the belt, so even if you can replace it, you need to take apart the engine and put it back together.
Recharge Your Air Conditioner
Recharging your AC sounds like a simple job, right? If the air coming from the vents isn’t as cold as it once was, so your solution might be to buy a car AC recharging kit. However, what people often don’t know is that it’s more complicated than that.
The reasons for your not-so-cool air conditioner may not be fixable with a DIY solution. In fact, the chemicals in DIY kits may damage AC components like the compressor, valves, hoses, and pump. A pro mechanic can figure out exactly what you need and offer the right solution the first time around.
A Blown Head Gasket
The words “blown head gasket” may sound like a hit in the stomach. True, it’s not a cheap and easy fix. A head gasket is a relatively small piece that sits between your car’s engine block and head. It has the important job of preventing the mixture of coolant with oil and directing exhaust fumes to the proper area.
When the head gasket blows, you may notice your oil turn a milky color, bubbling coming from the coolant reservoir, overheating, or white smoke coming from the tailpipe. Driving with a bad head gasket (or trying to fix it yourself) leads to a host of other issues. Look locally for a quality mechanic and avoidable making your troubles any worse.
Leave These 4 Auto Repairs to a Professional Mechanic
Replacing windshield wipers or changing a sparkplug is easy enough to do from the comfort of your own home. Bigger tasks, like brake repairs, replacing a timing belt, recharging your AC, or fixing a head gasket, and more need to be addressed by a professional mechanic.
If you enjoyed this post on car maintenance, check out the rest of our blog for more automotive news, reviews, and advice.