When it comes to taking care of cars, countless “do it yourself” videos make it all seem so straightforward and easy. So, too many people take matters into their own hands, then realize after they’ve taken everything apart that only a trusted mechanic can fix the problem.
As cars are becoming more advanced, it’s important to visit your automotive repair shop for professional car care. Here’s a list of seemingly simple but actually complex repairs you shouldn’t try at home.
Simple Maintenance and Repairs:
Brake fluid flush: Without proper equipment, home mechanics will not be able to get all the old brake fluid out of the system. You might accidentally put power steering fluid in the brake fluid reservoir, potentially causing a complete failure of the entire braking system, requiring thousands of dollars to repair.
Coolant flush: Similarly, without proper chemicals and equipment, you can’t properly remove built-up residue and deposits, leaving behind old coolant. Additionally, home mechanics might not know the correct mix of antifreeze and water, causing the system to be at the incorrect freezing or boiling point. You might also put ordinary tap water in the system, causing excessive corrosion.
Fuel injector cleaning: Most products sold in auto parts stores are meant to be added to the gas tank and do not provide proper cleaning. A professional auto repair team, such as the ones at Meineke, will clean the carbon deposits from the throttle body and intake/exhaust valves, improving engine performance and fuel economy.
Moderately Complex Repairs:
Brakes: Few things are more alarming than brake failure. In fact, brake maintenance may be the most important service in terms of safety. A good brake job doesn’t just require resurfacing rotors and drums but also properly oiling key components to avoid excessive wear and noise. And failure to tighten all bolts can result in unexpected brake failure if they loosen. With the complexity of the modern car, it’s better to visit a shop that is equipped with the special tools and diagnostic equipment needed for maintaining your brakes.
Suspension work: Vehicle suspension systems are complex and many components have significant spring tension. A professional will make sure spring tension is properly secured, limiting the possibility of serious damage to your vehicle.
Battery replacement in hybrid or electric vehicles: Not only could an incorrect replacement cause engine or drive train damage that could cost thousands to repair, disposal of the old batteries may also be an environmental hazard.
Air conditioning systems: Attempting to recharge a system using cans of refrigerant available at auto parts stores could overcharge it, leading to catastrophic failure and costing thousands to fix. Additionally, refrigerant could leak into the atmosphere, contributing to environmental issues.
Whether a vehicle needs seemingly simple maintenance or moderately complex repairs, you should visit an automotive repair shop for professional car care. And with the recent chip crisis affecting the supply of new cars at dealerships, technicians at car care centers such as Meineke can help prevent further damage and extend the life of your car.