Many simple car maintenance tricks can be performed at home, without needing to hire a mechanic.

DIY car maintenance mistakes to avoid

March 31st, 2016 by

Many simple car maintenance tricks can be performed at home, without needing to hire a mechanic.

Many simple car maintenance tricks can be performed at home without needing to hire a mechanic. This can be a great way to get a better handle on how your car is running, as well as save you money. But with doing-it-yourself can come some pitfalls that are easy to stumble into. Here are a few of the common mistakes that DIY mechanics make, and how to avoid them. 

Not being careful
Safety should always be your top priority. With seemingly endless moving parts, it's easy to miss steps while preparing that will keep you safe from bodily harm. Before you begin, make sure the car is in park with the parking brake on.

"At my shop safety is priority number one," Charles from HumbleMechanic.com on a Youtube video detailing common DIY car repair mistakes. "We want to make sure that when we're doing our own work on our cars, we're lifting our vehicle properly, using the proper lift points on the vehicle, working with a jack stand instead of working under a jack…"

Use proper safety equipment like goggles and gloves, especially when handling hazardous chemicals. Never perform maintenance on a car that is started without the supervision of professional. 

Not consulting with the owner's manual
Even if you've long since lost the owner's manual for you car, you should never go into a repair blind. Manuals are frequently available online to download as a PDFs for free from the manufacturer. The manuals may additionally offer repair tips or maintenance guidelines. 

Not labeling parts
You may be temporarily removing pieces of equipment from the car as part of your work. Some of these small pieces may look very similar or seem interchangeable, like nuts, bolts and spark plugs. To avoid getting things mixed up, label and photograph each item you remove to make the reinstallation process smoother.

Not having the proper tools for the job
A socket wrench, pliers and hammer can go a long way — but maybe not as far as you think. Often, the pieces you will be working with require very specific tools that are more specialized. Consult your owners manual to see what tool you will need before you begin. 

Not using the right parts
It may be tempting to substitute the recommended part or fluid for something less expensive. This, however, can have serious consequences. 

"Not using the proper fluids can result in faster engine wear or even engine breakdown," says Charles. "If we get the wrong oil, it may not have the proper lubricating or detergent packages built into it."

One of best things you can do for your car is insure it. That's how the low automobile insurance rates offered by Fundy Mutual can help. Call us today.