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Don’t Try This At Home: Car Maintenance Edition

While there are some car maintenance tasks you can perform yourself to save time or money, there are even more that are best left to professionals. Biting off more than you can chew when it comes to working on your car can cause you more damage in the long run. Read on to learn what maintenance you can do and when you should bring your car to your trusted technicians at City Auto Repair. 

The Green Light for At-Home Maintenance 

There are several ways you can perform minor upkeep on your car at home to avoid small issues becoming larger ones down the line

  • Regularly check fluid levels and tire pressure.
  • Check and replace windshield wipers as needed.
  • Inspect and replace spark plugs and blown fuses.
  • Install headlights and tail lights.
  • Replace cabin and air filters.

Even when tackling these minor car maintenance tasks, it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with your car’s owner manual first. And, in the event that you cause accidental damage to your car while doing these minor fixes, it’s smart to have a picture or notes of what your process was so professional mechanics can correctly fix whatever has gone wrong. 

The Red Light on Maintenance You Shouldn’t Do Yourself 

Performing more intensive maintenance than those tasks listed above can cause damage to your vehicle that requires expensive repairs. Further, you run the risk of injuring yourself if you try to perform complex maintenance work and don’t know what you’re doing, so these are services that should be left to skilled technicians. 

Air Bags

Not only could incorrectly installed airbags fail to deploy properly in the case of an accident, but even trying to fix these yourself could result in them going off on accident and injuring you. If you think of your car’s airbags as tiny bombs, you understand why anything having to do with them is best left to the pros. 

Transmission 

Your car’s transmission is its most expensive and complex component. Trying to fix it on your own can end up necessitating the need for costly repairs or the purchase of an entirely new one, often costing you more than your car is worth. For the cost reason alone, not to mention the headache of trying to figure this complicated piece of machinery out, transmission maintenance is not something you should try yourself.  

Suspension Parts

Your car’s suspension system is made up of several different components, including tires, tire air, shock absorbers, springs, and linkages that create a symbiotic relationship between the wheels and your car. It’s easy to tell when your suspension system needs attention because your smooth car ride will turn into a bumpy one. It may be tempting to try to maintain and repair your suspension yourself, but one of the most obvious reasons not to is that you have to raise put your car to access the suspension parts. Doing this improperly can result in severe or even fatal accidents that could have been easily avoided.  

Timing Belt 

A timing belt’s primary function is to keep the camshaft and the crankshaft turning at the proper rate, and when it breaks, your engine will typically stop running altogether. While it may be tempting to try this repair yourself, it is time-consuming and complicated due to the timing belt’s placement under an inaccessible cover. In addition, if you fail to replace all of the associated tensioners, pulleys, and pumps too, you risk your car stopping suddenly on the open road, endangering your car’s driver and others. 

Fuel System

When dealing with your car’s fuel system, you are handling highly flammable fluids, and fuel leaks or even fires can result from improperly connected fuel lines. Save yourself possible injury and property damage by entrusting fuel system maintenance and repair to the pros.  

Check Engine Light 

Possibly the most important professional maintenance cue is one your car clearly gives you itself. Any time your “Check Engine” light comes on, it’s best to have a professional take a look at your car. The culprit could be something relatively simple, but with today’s computer-based cars, it’s unwise to try to determine the cause on your own. 

City Auto Is Here to Help

Whether you’re comfortable enough to attempt minor car work on your own and want to rely on City Auto Repair only for the big jobs, or if you want us to handle it all to take the worry off of you, we are here to help. Our expert technicians knowledgeably inspect, repair, and maintain your vehicle so that minor issues don’t become more costly service jobs down the road. No matter what your car needs, big or small, contact City Auto Repair today.