Contrary to popular belief, it is not only perfectly acceptable, entirely safe, and, perhaps most importantly, completely legal to repair your own car at home, on your own driveway, or in your own garage. Most people don’t have the knowledge required to undertake these types of repairs safely.
Here is a quick and comprehensive guide to the dos and don’ts of repairing and restoring your motor vehicle at home.
DO Research Online
In the modern world where technology and, more specifically, the internet is truly the proverbial king, almost any task you or anyone else can possibly imagine has been done before and by a large number of people from across the country. Furthermore, some of these people will undoubtedly have filmed their experience and shared it on social media platforms or specialized internet groups for others to watch, listen and learn from.
YouTube is one of the best examples of a website that you can go to to learn how to do something at home, particularly when it comes to restoring or repairing your car. Simply type what you are looking to achieve and watch the corresponding videos in the results.
DON’T Attempt to Paint the Bodywork
Inevitably, painting anything, be it a wall, a fence, or a car, always costs more than you planned, takes more time than you planned, and always looks worse than the vision you had in your head before you started.
For anything to do with the fundamental bodywork of your car, it is always best to consult a professional company or at least someone with practical experience and knowledge of the task at hand.
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DO Buy Your Equipment from a Knowledgeable Supplier
Upon first glance, this may seem particularly obvious, but actually, lots of people fail to grasp the concept. When you purchase your tools and equipment from a professional, established, and knowledgeable supplier such as Tradefix Direct, anything you need to know they will be able to assist you with. Not only that, but such suppliers will be able to recommend a specific part or fixture and will take pride in providing you with exactly what you need, not just what is the most expensive product they can get away with selling to you.
DO Start Simply and Slowly
There are a plethora of tasks pertaining to repairing and fixing your vehicle that, quite frankly, if you took your car to a garage or mechanic, they would most likely overcomplicate the problem and end up charging you astronomically over the odds. Whether you are confident in tinkering under the bonnet or are merely considering having a go yourself, it is strongly advisable to start slowly and simply.
One small mistake could accidentally lead to an extremely expensive, not to mention mightily embarrassing, visit to the local garage or mechanic. Simple and manageable tasks for people who only have a modicum of mechanical experience include jump-starting your car battery from another vehicle, changing the air filters, changing the wiper blades, replacing a headlight, and changing the oil.
Don’t Overload Your Vehicle
Some people use their car like a portable storage. They carry around things like strollers, kid’s bikes, and recyclable waste in their car. Most of the stuff is there just because there is nothing to put in the boot or there is no one in the back seat. When you clutter up your car, you are making it difficult for yourself when you really need the space. If the back seat or leg spaces are cramped, it becomes uncomfortable for rear passengers. It also becomes more difficult to keep the inside of the car clean.
Weight makes a significant impact on the performance of your car. Extra weight puts extra strain on all components of your vehicle, speeds up wear and increases fuel consumption. Every vehicle has a prescribed maximum load. Never exceed that limit.
Keep Your Car Clean
Moisture retaining dirt on the outer body increases the risk of rust. If the dirt enters critical components or moving parts, it can cause them to corrode or impede movement. Keep your car clean, both the inside and outside. Touch up places where the paint is damaged.
Use The Hand Brake While Parking
Cars with automatic transmissions have a ‘P’ position, which is an additional safety to prevent the vehicle from moving. It’s not meant to be used as a parking brake. To keep the vehicle from moving while parked or while stopping on an incline, engage the hand brake.
The ‘P’ position engages the parking pawl, a small finger-sized piece of metal in the transmission, which prevents the output shaft from turning. Using it as a parking brake will put the entire weight of the vehicle on the pawl. This will eventually ruin it and cause other transmission problems. If it breaks, your car could move unexpectedly and result in an accident.
Don’t Floor The Gas Pedal
If you like speed, you may be tempted to push the gas pedal to the floor when you get an opportunity. Don’t do it because it makes the engine over rev and your car burns more fuel. It also puts additional strain on mechanical components like the drive train and transmission. A burst of speed usually ends with sharp braking, which causes further problems.
Don’t Come To A Screeching Halt
Except for emergencies, there is no case for sharp braking. Anticipate and slow down in advance before stopping. Sharp braking heats up the braking system and accelerates the wear of brake pads and tyres. When you stop abruptly, the probability of a rear end collision also goes up.
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