I Support DIY, But…
I believe in DIY repairs and fully support encouraging others to experience the frustration and enjoyment of DIY repair, BUT---and this is a big but---times have changed along with our modern vehicles. What used to fly without too bad of a crash not so long ago, is now guaranteed failure when attempting car repairs you used to watch your old man do as a kid
In other words, while he may have been able to get by with some mechanical experience and gut instinct, todays car and the DIY owner are both under the control and mercy of an unforgiving digital computer that demands acknowledgement and understanding of how modern cars differ and operate today.
Related article: Are Cars Too Complicated Today? History Says No!
To put it another way, your family car as a kid was Robbie the Robot, but what you are driving today is something much closer to a Host from West World.
Doing DIY Right
Fortunately, it’s not that bad…and preferable when you consider the advances made in fuel efficiency, reliability, and emissions control.
Regardless of how vehicles have changed, what remains true is that all cars require some level of maintenance despite what some dealerships would have you believe.
Still, even then it requires skills that have changed that require modern car owners to RTFM (read the fancy manual), tune into an informative YouTube video, and sometimes ask for some expert help and advice on the best way to perform a maintenance task on your particular make and model of car.
Related article: Toyota Tacoma Service Warning
To go further with more advanced repairs you may have to consult multiple manuals, learn about automotive diagnostics using an OBD-1 & OBD-2 scan tool, and watch even more videos and learn about diagnostics in small and logical steps.
Failure to do so will assuredly result in making matters worse for your car and the guy who has to figure out and fix your mistakes.
Car Wizard Explains How a Toyota Owner Made His Tacoma Problem Worse
That was the message in a recent Car Wizard YouTube channel episode where the owner of a Tacoma began with some simple component removal and cleaning/replacement only to discover that none of his fixes worked and actually made things worse.
The problem: The owner of the Tacoma did not know that oft times anything done to certain components in an electrical connection to the engine’s computer system require resets to make things operationally copesetic. Think of it as a digital handshake, which can be done with a proper scan tool IF the manufacturer allows a non-dealership mechanic access to the needed codes.
That said, follow along with the host and discover how this affects DIY owners with modern cars and why it is necessary to know and understand your limitations.
DO NOT touch your car until you've seen this video!
For additional articles related to the Toyota Tacoma, here are a few for your consideration:
- Toyota Tacoma Rust Problem Demo
- Toyota Tacoma Fatal Design Flaw Revealed
- Toyota Tacoma Misfire Mystery Problem
Timothy Boyer is an automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on “Zen and the Art of DIY Car Repair” website, the Zen Mechanic blog and on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites and Facebook for daily news and topics related to new and used cars and trucks.
Image source: Deposit Photos