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Nov 5, 2014

5 Car Repairs you Should Never DIY

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For most DIY projects in life, the worst that can happen is that you waste a little time and money. For some car repairs, though, the worst that can happen is trashing your car and/or dying. For something that will realistically only save you a fraction of the cost, these at-home fixes simply aren’t worth it.

Car Repairs

Here are some repairs that you really need to hand over to a professional.

  1. Timing Belt Replacement
  2. Timing belts wear out at 60,000 miles. Over the course of an average driver’s lifetime, this can mean replacing anywhere from 4 to 15 belts. Since the belts are so cheap, why not do it yourself?

    Instead of a simple replacement job, changing a timing belt requires a specific amount of tension. Too much or too little tension, and your pistons and valves will collide, potentially causing thousands of dollars of engine damage.

  3. Air Bag Repair
  4. A jerry-rigged air bag is arguably worse than no functional air bag at all. Air bags need to be installed just right in order to deploy correctly. A small mistake can either lead to the air bag not deploying at all, or deploying in a way that is actively harmful to the driver. On the bright side, most airbags are covered by warranty.

  5. Brakes Repair
  6. Brake repair was a little bit safer fifty years ago, when it was a simple hydraulic system. It still wasn’t all that safe, though.

    These days, brake systems are complex and finicky. If you repair them yourself, then the dangers of your brakes either locking up or failing to engage are huge.

  7. Post-Overheating Repair
  8. If your engine runs a little hot, and you are experienced at maintenance, you might be able to patch up the cooling system. If your engine has already overheated, then you’re better off going to a garage.

    The extreme heat caused damage. You might not be able to find it, but it’s there. A professional mechanic is the only person qualified enough to diagnose the extent of the damage and take appropriate action.

  9. Suspension Repairs
  10. Car springs are dangerous items. Think about it this way: there is enough tension in your suspension system to push most of your car several inches upwards. This amount of tension makes both taking suspension apart, and putting it back together, difficult and dangerous. Most DIY enthusiasts also do not own wheel alignment racks that are needed to do it properly. Instead of buying an alignment rack, take your car in to a professional.

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