Car Help 101: 3 Safety Tips For Attempting DIY Car Repairs

Some people just like to do things for themselves. If the old adage that if you want to get it done right, you have to do it yourself is your motto, we certainly admire your enterprising spirit and confidence, but we want to remind our readers that undertaking your own car repair can result in disaster for your vehicle if you lack the knowledge of how to properly perform a car repair, and more importantly it can even be dangerous. So, for this installment of Car Help 101, in the spirit of empowering all of you go-getter DIY-ers, we’re going to provide a few tips to keep yourselves safe and injury-free while doing your own car repair. And don’t forget, if you get stuck you can always come to the repair shop and speak to your friendly local auto technician for a little car help or repair advice.

  1. Wear eye protection and the right gear for safety – This is very important when working on your car. Though those snazzy plastic safety glasses, probably won’t be worn by any supermodels strutting their stuff on the runway anytime soon, suck it up and put them on so you don’t end up with an equally unattractive eyepatch for life. Eyewear is crucial to make sure that you don’t end up with a piece of metal or nasty fluid in your eyes that can cause you a bunch of pain and anguish, and maybe even the loss of your vision. As for the get-up, make sure that you aren’t wearing any loose fitting clothing that could get caught on something and no open-toed shoes or sandals. Boots with a non-slip grip are best.
  2. Before you start a car repair, make sure you can do it right– Before you get started with a car repair, you want to make sure that it is going to end in a fully-functional vehicle and a smug sense of satisfaction, rather than involve hour-long tantrums, long, frustrated nights and copious amounts of curse words. So, in order to make sure you can pull this off, you should ask yourself a few questions to make sure you can get a car repair done right. First, do you have the right tools for the job? Do you know how to do the car repair (how much confidence do you have in that online guide)? Do you have the proper safety equipment? If any of those questions are a ‘no’, or even a ‘maybe’ stop by the auto shop to get some car help from your local auto technician.

    Don't be afraid to get your hands a little dirty, but be safe while you're doing it. (photo by Robert S. Donovan via Flickr)

  3. Don’t go it alone, take advantage of online and local resources – Do-it-yourself doesn’t mean do-it-alone. If you are attempting a car repair and have even the slightest doubt that you are fully capable of doing it correctly, get some help. There are a number of excellent online resources that you can check for information on performing most basic car repair operations. Check out AutoMD or Expert Village for car help and repair advice. Also, if you have a smartphone you can download a repair app like RepairPal that can provide you with tips and guides on simple repairs, or alternatively the price you can expect to pay for the repair done by a professional auto technician so you can decide if it really is worth your time, or if you should just let the professionals handle the car repair.

There’s not much more satisfying than learning a new skill and successfully performing a car repair, but it is important to make sure that you make use of all of the resources around you, use the right safety equipment and don’t put yourself in danger or end up breaking something else on your car. So, make sure to follow these tips next time you are considering a DIY car repair.