Everyone is looking for ways to save money, and do-it-yourself (DIY) auto repair and maintenance can be a great way. While there are other advantages of DIY car maintenance, there are certain drawbacks as well. Drivers should consider these pros and cons before deciding to repair their cars themselves.
Advantages to DIY Car Maintenance
Labor is often a major cost to repair a car. In some mechanics’ shops, the labor costs can be $100 an hour and higher. If you decide to repair the car yourself, you can save substantially. It’s also possible to save money on the cost of parts by shopping for a better deal. Most mechanics won’t use used car parts for liability reasons, but you can decide to install used parts if you choose (just make sure they’re in good working order).
You’re also able to your own repairs or maintenance on your own schedule, rather than making an appointment with an auto repair shop. Mechanics may take a week or longer to complete a repair because they have other customers in addition to you. If you do the repairs yourself, you can schedule it whenever you want.
Finally, many people simply enjoy working on cars. It can be fun to work with one’s hands, and it allows some people to build self-confidence knowing they’re able to accomplish repairs.
Risks and Drawbacks to DIY Car Maintenance
Doing the repairs yourself may take longer than a mechanic would take. Mechanics usually complete dozens of the same types of repairs a year and have access to tools to speed the process, so it becomes quicker and easier.
A car is a dangerous machine as well. Doing repairs yourself may expose you to harmful chemicals and other hazards. You may damage other car systems if you’re not sure what you’re doing. This can lead to breakdowns and even car accidents if you do not perform a repair correctly.
While saving time and money certainly can be an advantage of doing the repairs and maintenance yourself, if you’re not sure what you’re doing, you could actually end up spending more time and more money. You may have to buy more parts to fix another problem you create or may have to take the car to the shop anyway after spending time and money on the repair yourself.
In large part because of these risks of hurting the car, DIY repair often voids a manufacturer’s warranty or extended warranty. Read your warranty to determine if it requires certain repairs to be performed by certified and trained mechanics.
So be very cautious when choosing to perform repairs or perform other maintenance on the car. Most people can perform basic maintenance themselves (changing the oil, replacing the battery, changing the sparkplugs, etc.) but may be better off taking the vehicle to a trained mechanic for more difficult repairs.
Legal Issues Surrounding DIY Car Maintenance
If a mechanic doesn’t perform a repair correctly, you have the right to ask the mechanic to redo the repair. In the event of an accident, a mechanic is liable for damages if he or she negligently performed repairs that caused the accident. If you do the repairs yourself, you assume this liability.
If you’re in an accident involving defective auto parts or faulty repairs, contact Rob Levine & Associates to discuss your legal options and entitlement to benefits with the Heavy Hitter. Contact our office at 800-LAW-1222 (529-1222) to discuss your accident today.