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Common Mistakes in DIY Auto Repair and Maintenance

Some people prefer to do the job themselves when it comes to auto repair and maintenance. However, sometimes attempting repairs yourself can lead to costly mistakes or even injuries. Although some people are qualified and experienced enough to work on their own cars, most people do not have the necessary knowledge and skill to perform major repairs without damaging their vehicles.

Do-it-yourself-maintenance-tips-TrueCar-pricing-thinkstockHere are some common mistakes that DIY auto repair practitioners often make:

  • One of the biggest mistakes that DIY practitioners make is neglecting to perform necessary maintenance tasks like changing the oil as often as they should. It is also a big mistake to ignore warning signs, like flashing lights on your dash or strange noises.

  • Vehicles are very heavy pieces of machinery. Failing to set a jack correctly or properly raise your vehicle can not only damage your vehicle, but also result in serious injury to you or others.

  • Another big mistake that people make when attempting to perform automobile repairs themselves is not knowing their own limitations. While some repairs and maintenance tasks are relatively simple, it is important that you know your limitations to avoid damaging your vehicle and creating the need for expensive repairs.

  • Sometimes during DIY repairs, people forget to label parts, making it much more difficult to replace them correctly.

  • If your vehicle is still under warranty you could void it by attempting certain types of complex repairs yourself or using the wrong fluids during maintenance or repairs.

  • Another risk of DIY repairs is in not having the proper tools to get the job done right. Using improper tools when attempting repairs can do serious damage to your vehicle.

  • Sometimes DIY auto mechanics recruit less than qualified help for their repair projects. Just because a good friend offers to help you out in exchange for some beer, that does not mean you should trust them to work on your car.

Don’t risk damaging your vehicle by attempting repairs that are beyond the scope of your knowledge and experience. German cars in particular are very complex machines due to their superior engineering. Even if you have worked on some cars in the past, you might not be knowledgeable enough to avoid doing damage to your car. European Auto Tech specializes in German automobiles manufactured by Audi, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen, MINI Cooper, and Porsche. If you live in the Tucson, AZ, area and want the best in auto repair and service for your German automobile, contact European Auto Tech today.

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  1. Ronald Swanson
    Posted March 31, 2015 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    I am very guilty of not performing the necessary maintenance tasks that I need to perform, when they are needed – the very first thing on your list. Putting off oil and other fluid changes is something I\’m very good at, even though I know I shouldn\’t do it. I\’m just very old fashioned when it comes to things, and I want to get the most life out of it as I possibly can, which can end up hurting my car more than helping it.

  2. Dave Thompson
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    I have seem these same mistakes made all the time. My friends tell me all the time they accidentally put the wrong part in the wrong place. That, in my opinion, is one of the easiest mistakes to fix. All you have to do is label parts as you take them off. That way you\’ll be sure to put them back in the place in which you got them.

  3. Sergio Freddson
    Posted April 14, 2015 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    I think you\’re right: one of the most common issues is trying to do repairs/maintenance without the right tools. It seems like it\’s not a big deal, but it really can harm your vehicle if you\’re not careful. I think it\’s important to have everything taken care of by a professional if you plan to resell the car. Thanks for sharing your tips with us!

  4. Davey Hiltzs
    Posted April 16, 2015 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    I think it\’s smart to do some of your auto work, but it\’s also good to have a professional look at it if it gets too bad. I can count the times I\’ve had to call my brother to put my car back together after I\’ve torn it apart. It\’s good though to know a bit about engines. That way, you can tell the difference between a $10 repair and a $1000 repair.

  5. Jenn Davies
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    I think your last point is the most important. A lot of people offer services when you mention your car isn\’t working, but most of them aren\’t really qualified for that. Make sure you trust anyone you let near your car with a box of tools. If in doubt, take it in to a shop.

  6. Marc Fillion
    Posted April 30, 2015 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    The warranty issue is an especially big one. When you attempt certain repairs, you make it hard to take the car into a professional. Sometimes it\’s better to take it in to a shop in the first place.

  7. Anna Picket
    Posted February 17, 2016 at 3:31 am | Permalink

    That makes sense that setting my jack in the wrong place could hurt something. I\’m nervous enough when I\’m trying to change a flat tire. Maybe I should just stick with the professionals for most repairs, so I don\’t make anything worse. I really don\’t know that much about cars beyond the basics.

  8. Jim\'s Auto Dublin
    Posted February 29, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    These are all spot on. DIY folks often think they know it all. Unfortunately, some of these mistakes can cost you big time. Now that you\’ve read about them, you\’ll hopefully be more careful and attentive. Good luck

  9. Jack Palmer
    Posted March 2, 2016 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    As much as I would like to do repairs myself on our car I avoid it because of my car being under warranty. Like you said, I could potentially void it by trying to do it myself and doing something wrong. Our car has a warranty that is really helpful and we would like to keep it that way. I\’ve always been interested in working on cars but it would probably be better if I was working on the car I had in high school instead of the one we have now. Thanks for the reminder!

  10. emily bennette
    Posted April 13, 2016 at 2:54 am | Permalink

    John, this is some really good information about how to make good auto repairs. I like what you said on knowing your own limits. It seems like it would be smart to have a professional do the work because it will get done no matter how hard the repair.

  11. Braden Bills
    Posted May 6, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    I\’ve been trying to figure out how I\’m going to go about the repairs on my vehicle. I was going to try it out myself, but now I don\’t think it\’ll work out. I just don\’t have all the skills required. I\’ll make sure that I get a qualified professional to do it for me. Thanks for sharing!

  12. John Carston
    Posted June 2, 2016 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    I like to do my own repairs and maintenance when I can, but I realize there are somethings I shouldn\’t attempt to fix myself. This is especially true when it comes to european cars needing service. I have less experience with european cars so I\’m limited to basic maintenance. I\’ll foloow your advice and use your tips for finding an expert european car repair service for when I need more complex automotive repairs.

  13. Lillian Schaeffer
    Posted July 21, 2016 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    This is some great information, and I appreciate your point that knowing your limitations with auto repairs is important. My dad taught me a little bit about cars, so I like to do as much work on my car as I can myself. I\’ll definitely keep in mind that I have limitations, though, and that some jobs are best left to professionals. Thanks for the great post!

  14. Posted July 21, 2016 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the advice. My son\’s car has had a flashing check engine light on for 3 days. He just told me about it. I have no idea what that might mean. I will have to take it in this weekend and have him stop driving it right away. I am no expert with car care, but I could tell that meant something bad.

  15. Justin Knox
    Posted August 9, 2016 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the warning. I was about to try to repair the car myself. I had not even thought about the parts possibly still being under warranty, as you discussed. How would you go about choosing a good auto mechanic?

  16. Kenneth Gladman
    Posted August 16, 2016 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    I like that you mentioned not having the proper tools. Not only does this possibly damage your vehicle, but it is a safety hazard as well. If you have loose parts there could be serious consequences.

  17. Marie Watson
    Posted August 18, 2016 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    John, thank you for explaining some of the possible mistakes you can make when you try to fix your car by yourself. You make a good point about how important it is not to ignore things like flashing lights or strange noises. It also makes sense that it would be easy to mislabel parts if you aren\’t familiar with the engine of your vehicle. I was going to let my husband fix our car, but I think I will take it to a professional instead.

  18. Jack Mulligan
    Posted August 30, 2016 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    I didn\’t know that working on my car myself might void my warranty. I have a pretty new car, so at most I would need to change the oil, but I don\’t want to risk anything. I know that for a lot of car companies there are certified technicians that won\’t void the warranty, so I\’ll have to find one of those to do the work for me.

  19. siaosi
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    I forget sometimes how often things need to be maintained. I would love to be able to get my brakes checked. I would also like to get all of the fluids checked as well.

  20. Posted September 21, 2016 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    My car needs repairing, so I was going to do it myself. I didn’t know that I could void the warranty if I try that! I’ll make sure that I find a reliable repair shop instead.

  21. Johnny McCarron
    Posted October 24, 2016 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    You make a good point when you say that some people forget to label parts when they are doing their own repairs. Do you have any other tips when it comes to finding someone to help you with these kinds of repairs? To be be honest, I don\’t trust myself when it comes to repairing my vehicle. I would much rather have someone help me out instead.

  22. Danni Black
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    I definitely like your tip about knowing your limits. I know a few things about cars, meaning I can change my oil without a problem. Anything else is a struggle for! I think taking your car in to get the proper repairs by the proper hands is definitely the way to go. You don\’t want to cause any more damage than their already is and end up spending more money.

  23. Posted December 28, 2016 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    I would have to agree that vehicles are very heavy pieces of machinery. I know that it would be nice to have something that can hold heavy machines. I would want to get some help installing some new air filters.

  24. Posted January 12, 2017 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    I like that you mentioned paying attention to the warranty on your car. You don’t want to jeopardize this by working on it yourself. It is best to leave it to a professional if you have doubts.

  25. Posted February 6, 2017 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    I like your advice to not risk damaging your car by attempting repairs that you can’t do. It only makes sense that you would want to repair your vehicle by looking for a good mechanic. However, you need to know what you are looking for when you are choosing a good mechanic. Do you have any other tips about finding a good mechanic?

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