Should You Repair Your Car Yourself, or Take it to a Mechanic?

female bring car to mechanic

Experiencing car trouble doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be stuck forking over a huge percentage of your monthly earnings to a mechanic. In fact, there are a great number of repairs and maintenance issues that you can handle on your own, with only the help of a few tools and a strong dose of self confidence. But sometimes, avoiding the repair shop is an impossibility. Here are a few questions to ask yourself that’ll help you decide if you should perform a car repair yourself, or take it to the pros.

  • Have I been here before? If you find yourself retreading old ground and keep having to perform the same fix over and over, this is good indication that you might be doing something wrong. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to hand the work over to a professional mechanic, it’s certainly a sign that you may not be understanding the problem accurately or don’t have the necessary tools to make the fix stick. Before you continue to bang your head against that proverbial wall, take stock. You could save both time and money by giving over control to a professional.
  • Is the amount of time I’m going to spend doing it myself worth the money I’ll save? Even if you have the knowledge to perform a variety of auto repairs and maintenance tasks, that doesn’t necessarily mean that doing it yourself will always be the most profitable alternative. Sometimes, taking your car to a professional mechanic to have the job turned around in a matter of hours can be worth every penny, especially if taking the DIY route (Do-It-Yourself) is going to cause you a major inconvenience or require you to take too much time off work to accomplish. Weigh your options carefully – you might just determine that going pro is the only acceptable option.
  • Do I have the necessary tools to repair my car myself? Some repair jobs are simple enough to be done at home. But without the right tools, you could just be spinning your wheels and wasting time. This is yet another scenario that requires you to weigh your options. Tools cost money, and the amount you spend on those tools might be far more than you would end up paying at a professional auto repair shop. But if those very same tools will come in handy down the road for future self-serve repairs, it could be a smart investment.
  • Are there any safety concerns here that might cause me to let a pro handle it instead? Always put your own safety at the top of your list of considerations when deciding whether to fix your car yourself or take it to a mechanic. If there’s even the slightest chance that performing a repair yourself could put you in harm’s way, it’s better to err on the side of safety than to put your health on the line. Auto mechanics aren’t cheap and some may be downright expensive. But it’s a fair bet to say that a hospital bill will cost you much more.
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Far too often, lack of knowledge is what causes people to take their cars to the shop to perform minor fixes that could be done right at home. This is perfectly understandable. But if you’re serious about saving money, there are plenty of online resources that can help you diagnose your car’s troubles. You can find innumerable step by step guides that will walk you through literally any procedure, from basic to advanced. Don’t overlook the resources that you have at your fingertips. They could end up saving you a bundle.

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