It’s relatively easy for any car owner to pick up parts with a few clicks online.  For those with a little knowledge and a DIY attitude performing light maintenance tasks is an easy way to save money.   

Changing the air filter, a flat tire, engine oil or replacing a relay are all tasks that can be done by the car owner.   While it can tempting to try repairs and maintenance to save money.  Perhaps you know a have a knowledgeable friend.  There are some occasions when you really should leave it to the professionals.  Sometimes it just makes more sense to.  Let’s take a look at what you should reserve for the pros..

Trouble is today’s cars are getting more and more complex.  It’s not always as simple as it may seem, or safe either

Air Conditioning Re-Fill

The A/C system involves several components and isn’t always as simple as picking up some refrigerant and filling it up.  A working understanding of the required pressures is essential to ensure a proper job and preventing any problems that could be caused by refilling.  This is best left to the pros.

Replacing Brake Pads

It’s certainly possible to perform this repair yourself, but you’ll need a garage full of tools to do it.  You may already have the brake pads but you will probably need to buy several specialist tools to complete the job.  If you are inexperienced this can become a complex, time consuming job. Save yourself the hassle and leave it to a professional.

Replace Battery

You could replace the battery yourself but it might make more sense to use a professional. Not all battery problems are straightforward.  Sometimes you may not need to replace the battery at all. A quick jump start might be all you need.  A proper check will help to determine this.  Most good garages will fit the new battery without adding any extra charge.  They may also check the charge on your current battery for you too.

Electrical Problems

With modern cars there are a lot more electrical components that could go wrong.  Some modern cars have several computers to handle all of their functions.  With complex software it’s not something that should be freely tampered with.  Attempting to repair the car’s electricals could also void your warranty.  

Rotating the Tires

It’s not too difficult to jack up the car and rotate your tires.  What the average person can’t do however is re-balance the tires, this is something that requires specialist equipment.  Your tires are one of the most important safety features on your car, they are something that should be carefully maintained to ensure the safety of you and your passengers.  Rotating the tires alone doesn’t take into account misalignment or wear in your tires.  

A tire rotation service isn’t expensive, it will also cover balancing and expert checks of the integrity of your tires.  To be safe it is best left to the professionals.

It’s good to take an active part in keeping your car maintained, including performing some DIY maintenance and repairs.  However be mindful that there are some risks not worth taking, and in some cases it may seem cheaper/better but in reality it would be best left to a professional.

If you’re not fully confident or don’t have the specialist equipment needed, it is best to have some repairs to the experts.

Article written by Fred’s Auto Center, auto repair shop based in West Haven, CT.