Do It Yourself or Find a Mechanic?

Do It Yourself or Find a Mechanic?

do it yourself mechanicsThe idea of driving a vehicle, for someone with minimal auto mechanical knowledge, may seem unsafe. There are, however, several potential problems that do have easy and safe solutions for a mechanical newbie. There are also many issues that could arise with one’s vehicle that would best be resolved in the hands of a skilled and knowledgeable auto mechanic. 


Do It Yourself

Most major vehicle problems should be evaluated and repaired by a professional. There are, however, some minor repair jobs that can be done without the help of a mechanic. Before attempting to do any repairs on your vehicle, it is important to make sure you have a complete set of tools and diagnostic equipment. Here is a list of examples of repairs that can be DIY:

  • Car battery replacement: this is an easy DIY project, but one must make sure that a faulty battery is really the problem. If it is the issue, removing the old battery and replacing it with a new one is as simple as it sounds. 
  • Brake repair: as a very common DIY auto repair, any individual with basic auto repair knowledge can successfully complete this repair. 
  • Add air to tires: a vehicle’s manual will indicate the proper amount of PSI (pressure per square inch) needed in your tires. Many newer cars have a sticker with this information on the driver’s side door. 
  • Replacing windshield wipers: worn or damaged windshield wipers can lead to obstructed vision. It is important to replace windshield wipers every six to twelve months. 

If at any point you feel confused or unsure of your repair work it is best to take your vehicle to a mechanic. 


Tips for Finding a Mechanic

Locating a reputable mechanic can be tricky. It is important, when leaving your vehicle in the hands of a mechanic to make sure he or she is adequately trained and experienced in servicing vehicles.  Keep these tips and suggestions in mind when searching for a reputable mechanic:

  1. Locate and use a mechanic from an ASE and manufacturer-certified shop: Any mechanic that is certified by the ASE (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence) and/ or the manufacturer of the particular make of car that they work on is likely to be highly skilled and hold significant auto mechanic knowledgeable. 
  2. Search for a mechanic online: there are many online resources that provide mechanic reviews and recommendations (read them).
  3.  AAA-approved auto repair network is a good place to look: even if you are not a member of AAA, you can select a shop from their Approved Auto Repair Network. Any mechanic who works in a shop that is part of this network has surely been vetted. 
  4. Better Business Bureau check: once you have a few mechanic contenders, you can help narrow down you choice by doing a quick ratings and reviews search on the Better Business Bureau website.
  5. Interview: always interview a prospective mechanic and ask as many questions as you see fit. Any reputable mechanic will gladly answer all of your questions in order to make you feel comfortable and gain your confidence. 

Doing your due diligence when searching for a mechanic can ultimately save you money and time. Using a mechanic that is respectable can also help keep your car running longer. It is best to establish a relationship with a mechanic prior to anything major happening. Relying on a mechanic to keep your car tuned properly (i.e. oil changes, tire rotations…etc.) can help you test out his or her skills and can help to ease anxieties should a major repair be required. 


Further Information

As an automotive parts and supply shop with decades of experience we have access to extensive inventory. Northstar Automotive is staffed with incredibly knowledgeable professionals, dedicated to provide topnotch service to all its customers. Let us help you make sure you are equipped with everything you need to ensure all of your vehicles are in excellent shape. Please feel free to contact one of our sales associates for more information. 

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