If this is your first foray into the world of car maintenance, upkeep and modification, then you might be feeling a bit in over your head. It all looks incredibly complex to start with, and if you don’t have any close friends and family to help you out, it’s easy to get too daunted to start anything.
However, you shouldn’t get put off that easily. When you get going, a lot of what you’ll face is easier than you might have originally thought.
Customising body kits
There are a few ways you can make this part cheaper. This first one applies if you’ve got an older car that you’re not too worried about the finish on! Say you’ve got some dents in the panels. Instead of taking it to a garage to a repair, just work the dents out yourself. Simply turn the panel over, and use a hammer or solid object to straighten it out.
Next, if you’re thinking about painting your car, this is definitely a job you can do yourself. Professional paint jobs will cost you a lot of money, so if you can try to do it yourself – go for it. There’s a great guide here from popularmechanics.com that will take you through every step – from preparing the car to finishing it off.
What about if you want repair, join or replace panels? Well, then you might think it gets too hard, especially if you need to weld anything together. Actually, it’s easier than you think – and much cheaper. There’s a free guide to learn to weld auto body panels from pickwelder.com, which you should check out if you were thinking of paying someone to do it!
Servicing and upkeep
A lot of what a garage will do during routine servicing is easy to do yourself – you just need to know where to look. If you need to replace your oil, look at buying it yourself. Main dealers and garages will charge hundreds of dollars – whereas you can normally pick it up for under $50 from DIY shops or online. Here’s a thorough guide from familyhandyman.com on how to change your oil: you’ll find out what tools you need and exactly what you need to do.
The same goes for testing and replacing your tyres. If they’re beginning to look a bit worn out, don’t worry about taking the car into the garage. Learn to change tyres yourself, and save yourself a whole heap of money! It’s also often cheaper to buy tyres privately, rather than through a garage. If you’ve never changed a tyre before, follow this step by step guide for assistance.
If you need to use a garage – be savvy
Sometimes using a garage is unavoidable. When it comes to car problems, if they’re out of your skill level, it’s not worth risking your safety by trying to fix something yourself. So, find a good, local garage and stick with them. Often if you build up a good relationship, you’ll be able to lower the price.
When you’re quoted for a job, don’t just accept it at face value. Ask for a breakdown of prices and compare online. You might be able to order the parts more cheaply yourself, rather than going through the garage. Then, all you need to do is pay for labour. And if you think you’re being overcharged, ask around on different car forums for a rough guide of what you should expect to pay for certain work.