I am a strong advocate for car owners learning to do some DIY auto work beyond fluid changes and other maintenance. Why? Because the mistaken assumption by many is that cars have become too complex compared to yesteryear’s vehicles for the everyday car owner to even contemplate a repair let alone do it. But the truth is that there are common repairs that you can do on your car that will not only leave you with a feeling of accomplishment, but will also save you hundreds of dollars---if not more---every year.
Taking Pride in Your Ride
But there’s an even better reason for learning some DIY repairs, and it’s a car psychology thing---taking pride in your ride.
I’ve seen this happen: Someone owns a car and puts the minimal amount of care into it to keep it running. However, when something damaging happens to the exterior such as a dented fender or bumper, dinged door, cracked or broken taillight, etc., too often the owner starts descending a spiral of disrepair.
This spiral of disrepair is when other things start to slip. Even that minimal but regular oil and filter change the owner used to do, is now less frequent. It’s like a relationship that was once fresh and exciting has now soured and the car owner loses interest in the appearance of their car possibly rationalizing that it’s old and will be replaced soon anyway.
If only there was a divorce court for cars. Think how much longer cars would last.
However, if this line of thinking is a little too “out there” for you to grasp at the moment, there’s another good reason for taking pride in your ride: its resale or trade-in value. It’s a no-brainer that the resale value of a car has a lot to do with its appearance and probably some, but less so, when it comes to trading with a dealership.
Broken Side View Mirror
What got me thinking about this recently was a walk through the neighborhood and seeing a car parked along the street with the worst duct tape repair in the history of broken side view mirrors. It gave what was otherwise an okay looking vehicle all the appeal of that old style sticky fly strip tape you may have seen hanging in some future crack den.
Yeah---it was that ugly.
And nothing raises as big of a red flag when it comes to shopping for a used car than finding either no repairs or disrepairs that would shame even a timeshare salesman when a used car looks not just used…but abused as well.
The point I am driving toward is that in many cases there is no excuse for not keeping your ride looking right and running well enough not to be a hazard on the road or to the senses. In other words, learning a little DIY can take you a long way as a car owner.
A Good DIY Example
As an example, here is a simple DIY repair of a broken side view mirror on a Lexus from the Mike the Backyard Mechanic YouTube channel. Although a Lexus is demonstrated, the basics apply to many cars and a little perusal though a repair manual covering your car model can clarify some confusion.
Follow along with the host and afterward ask yourself “Why can’t I do this too?”
Simple Replacement of a Side View Mirror
For related articles, here are three useful repairs or fixes you can do on your car:
- Easy Toyota RAV4 DIY Fix That Can Save You Hundreds of Dollars
- The One Toyota Part You Do Not Want Replaced Because There is an Easy Fix
- Easy Ford Explorer Electrical Problem Fix That Will Save You Thousands
Timothy Boyer is a Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily new and used vehicle news.
Image Source: Pixabay