Some auto repairs can be handled by most car owners; you may know how to open up the panel that holds an air filter and pop in a new one, or change spark plugs without much problem. However, some repairs, even those that are seemingly minor, should be left to a mechanic. Note a few of those repairs and why you don't want to try to tackle them on your own even if you think you're pretty skilled working under the hood.
Changing brake pads
Changing brake pads isn't terribly difficult; if you know how to remove a tire and then remove the pads from the calipers, the small clips that keep them in place, you can slide in a new set somewhat easily. While this may sound easy, the job doesn't stop there, and that's why it's often more complicated than you might realise; the brake lines need to be bled and pumped so that air in the hoses is released. You also need to ensure you install the brake pads evenly and check the rotor for excess wear. Without doing this, you may not have proper pressure from the brake fluid, may see the new pads slip, or may be applying new pads over worn rotors; in turn, you may have no braking power when on the road.
When your car's exhaust system has a hole in a pipe or the muffler, you don't want to assume you can just weld a tin can to it or put muffler tape over this; a hole in the exhaust pipe often means that it's been eaten through with rust, and this rust will simply spread. Some homemade fixes are also illegal and can get you ticketed. Not fixing your exhaust system properly can also mean that the car is not expelling fumes and emissions out the back of the tailpipe and that they're collecting in the cab of the car, which is very dangerous for you.
Bumpers bolt to a car's frame in preset areas; when a bumper falls off, you will see the bolt openings in the car's frame. It may seem easy enough to just bolt a new bumper to the car but if this job is done with the wrong types of bolts or the bumper is not fitted correctly, this can actually be very dangerous. A bumper absorbs impact during a crash and disperses it along the width of a car; without a bumper being attached properly, you might suffer more injuries during a collision. Leave this repair to a good body shop instead.
I've always driven used cars, and when I first started driving, I made some costly decisions and bought a couple of cars that just weren't worth the money I spent on them. I knew I needed to learn how to inspect a car's engine and how to spot warning signs when I was buying a used car, so I started reading everything I could find on the topic, including basic car mechanics and maintenance. I started this blog to share what I've learned over the years, and I hope my tips will prevent other new drivers buying used cars that will drain their wallet and sap the enjoyment out of driving. I hope you find my posts informative and useful.