A great number of factors contribute to the growing trend of drivers not seeking an expert when automotive service is needed. More and more drivers are attempting to perform car maintenance on their own. A recent study from AutoMD.com dives deeper into this increase in auto service DIYers, and the findings indicate, without surprise, that the economy is the primary factor. Times are tough, and the average age of cars on the road is increasing. As people hang on to their used wheels to stay within their shrunken budgets, they are also trying to identify ways to tighten the automotive purse strings even further. And why not, considering the resources of DIY tutorials are seemingly limitless. For example, a YouTube search for "DIY auto service" produces no less than 4,950 results.
When you look at all of the line items in the pro column for automotive DIY projects, it probably seems like it is worth a try. You may even enjoy the new skills you pick up over a weekend in your driveway. Unfortunately, the contents of the DIY con column need to be addressed before you go under the hood without an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification.
Do you have the tools? Investing in even the basic tools to perform automotive maintenance is likely going to compete with the cost of having your car service performed by a professional. Unless you have a small fleet of cars and trucks that will require regular maintenance, the investment in car care tools may never have a positive return. Additionally, vehicle systems are increasing in complexity through the advancements in automotive design and manufacturing to improve safety, performance, fuel efficiency, etc. Developments in technology require specialized tools and machines to service the cars.
Do you have the time? Your time is valuable, and with your family, work or social schedule, finding even an hour for an oil change at your local auto service store is often a challenge. Understandably there will be some wait time, but an expert can perform an oil change in 30 to 60 minutes -- soup to nuts. That includes recycling the used oil. Even with a couple of oil changes under your belt to polish your skills, this service is likely to take a good piece of your Saturday afternoon. More extensive services can take a professional several hours. Do you have a week to go without your car while it is stranded in your garage awaiting your free time for maintenance and repair?
It’s no secret that when a car is well maintained, it will not only run newer longer, but the need for expensive auto repairs down the road is greatly reduced. Even with the growing online service and repair resources available, the authority of the source is an issue. Additionally, even if the resource was able to deliver all of the essential information in the clearest light to an automotive novice, there are still mistakes to be made. Consider what theses amateur mistakes actually mean for your car, for your safety and for the end goal of protecting your pocketbook.
Weigh all of the pros and cons associated with taking on auto service at home, including the diagnostics itself. Time and expense can also be wasted with a missed or undiagnosed automotive problem.