Getting Ready for Your First Big Car Repair
26 June 2015
If you're like most people, then you definitely enjoy DIY tasks. There a special kind of fulfilment that comes with fixing broken things for yourself without needing to call for professional help. Where your car is concerned, you will have to do some more preparation compared to your usual DIY tasks. This is because cars are complex and approaching your first big car repair without adequate preparation will prove a costly mistake. Here is what you should do before you embark on DIY auto repair:
Do your research
Learn everything you need to know about the repair job by getting your hands on helpful resources that contain detailed instructions on the type of repair you want. Web forums and factory service manuals from the manufacturer are good places to start if you really want to understand what the repair job entails.
Set up a workspace
Before embarking on your big repair job, ensure that you have plenty of room to allow yourself to maneuver the different car components. Position your car in a way that allows for maximum elbow room. If you are not comfortable when carrying out the repair, chances are high that you will not do a good job.
Be patient, as it will take time
Your first big car repair job will take longer than you had anticipated, usually because you have never attempted it before and do not have a real sense of the actual amount of time that goes into the repair. It is a wise move to arrange for alternative transport, as your car might be out of use for a long time.
Take pictures, label the parts and make notes
Save yourself the trouble of remembering which part goes where by labeling everything after dismantling it. Take pictures so that you can remind yourself what the initial layout of the components was. If you do not keep track of the different fasteners, bolts, clips and washers that you will disassemble from the car, you will find yourself with a million different parts and no clue as to where you are supposed to fit them.
Make a checklist
The excitement of having repaired your car might overshadow the need to carry out an extensive final check before getting your machine on the road. For this reason, it is a good idea to have a checklist to remind yourself of what you must closely inspect before you consider the repair job well done.
When in doubt...
Usually, if you follow these steps, you will be able to repair your car successfully. The repair job will definitely not be easy, and may cut into your weekends and all your free time, but once you've gotten your car back on the road you will be really proud of yourself. That being said, if you get to a point where you feel like you are running around in circles and not achieving much in terms of repairs, there's no harm in calling the auto repair professionals. Perhaps the problem was much bigger than you had thought!
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