A safe, reliable vehicle is something every motorist wants. But all cars, trucks and SUVs (even plug-in electric ones) require a certain amount of maintenance to keep them in good running condition. And all types of vehicles will eventually require some type of repair work as parts wear out with age and mileage. The question is, can you save money doing the maintenance and repairs yourself?
Most new car dealerships and auto repair shops today charge around $100 per hour for repair labor, plus the cost of any parts, fluids or filters that may be required. By doing the work yourself, you can eliminate the labor cost and save $$$$$ on maintenance and repairs. And by shopping online or locally for parts, you can save even more!
The purpose of the Do-It-Yourself Auto Maintenance & Repair website is to provide information that can help you diagnose and understand common automotive problems so you can decide the best repair approach.
A couple of points to keep in mind about do-it-yourself auto repairs and maintenance:
First, it takes a fair amount of know-how to diagnose and service today's vehicles. If you do not feel comfortable attempting an auto repair yourself, don't try it. Take your vehicle to a repair professional for service.
Second, it often requires special tools and service equipment to do many repairs. This includes hand tools as well as diagnostic equipment such as a code reader or scan tool, multi-meter, test light and pressure/vacuum gauges. Some repairs also require special tools. You may also need vehicle specific service repair information such as a factory shop manual and wiring diagrams.
Third, doing auto repair yourself can be difficult, dirty and dangerous work (See Safety Tips for DIY Auto Repair). Again, if you don't feel comfortable doing this yourself, don't.
Yet in spite of these obstacles, one in five motorists do their own oil changes, replace filters and belts, replace burned out headlamps and other auto parts.
You don't have to be a skilled mechanic to replace a pair of wiper blades, a fuse, a burned out lamp, a dead battery, a dirty engine air filter or cabin air filter. Even things like replacing a set worn disc brake pads, a bad alternator or starter, a set of spark plugs, a pair of shock absorbers or similar parts are well within the capabilities of most do-it-yourselfers is you have some guidance on how to do the job.
So with that in mind, check out the list of topics below to find the guidance you may need to maintain and repair your own vehicle.