Useful Car Tips

Leave It to the Pros: Car Repairs You Should Never Attempt on Your Own

September 04, 2018
Car repair … once a straightforward job that many drivers prided themselves on doing at home. But, like it or not, advancing technology has made this simple task into a highly technical undertaking that often requires special tools and diagnostic equipment. While there are still plenty of car repairs that can be done at home by the mechanically inclined, many are best left to an experienced, qualified mechanic. If your car is acting up and you’re thinking of cracking the hood to see what can be done, read on for a quick look at car repairs that are best left to the pros.

Engine Diagnostics

With OBD II engine code readers available for use at most big-name auto parts stores, reading the code for a check engine light is now easier than ever. The problem is … what do you do with that code? Most check engine codes are vague at best and give no clear explanation for what’s actually going on. In most cases, a check engine code is a good indicator of the area of your car that’s having problems. You’ll then need to take a closer look to identify the problem. The same code could be caused by a number of different issues. A certified mechanic who has experience with your vehicle is often better equipped to properly diagnose engine problems.

Paint and Bodywork

Another car repair you shouldn’t attempt on your own is bodywork or painting. Bodywork is very time-intensive and requires a level of skill that’s tough to develop without lots of experience. Could you learn to remove dents or straighten a dinged up fender? Probably. But, making those panels look like new--as a capable body shop could--is another story. Painting is tough to do on your own too. To properly paint a vehicle, you really need a large, enclosed space and some specialty tools to get the job done right. If you’ve been in a wreck, leave the paint of bodywork to the pros. The tools needed and level of skill is tough for the average driver to acquire.

Internal Engine and Transmission Repair

You might have a solid grasp of how modern internal combustion engines work or the nuances of the automatic transmission, but have you ever taken a peek inside one? Modern engines and transmissions are incredibly complex with very tight tolerances and require lots of special tools. Leave these types of repairs to the pros. Paying a professional to get it right the first time may be cheaper than having one come in and fix your mistakes.


Are there any repairs you can do yourself? Sure. Depending on your personal experience, there are lots of car repairs you can make on your own. Changing brake pads, swapping out your engine oil, or changing a tired out set of shocks are all relatively simple tasks with most modern vehicles. If you’re comfortable doing tougher tasks, just make sure you understand what you’re getting yourself into. Ultimately, a pro is probably still your best option.
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