Is DIY Car Repair a Way to Save Money or Better Left to the Pros?

Why DIY Car Repair Is So Popular Right Now

If there is one thing nearly all Americans are worried about these days, it’s money. We hear the news every day—no job growth, more foreclosures, skyrocketing rents, lower loan approval, factories closing down, no jobs for new graduates or unskilled workers, and so on.

Because of this, people are looking for more and more ways to save money, especially when it comes to our vehicles. For some people, this means keeping their cars longer. In fact, according to Polk, a leading global automotive market intelligence firm, the average age of cars and trucks currently on American roads is 10.8 years. Overall, average vehicle age has been steadily increasing over the past five years.

Another way people are saving money is by putting off maintenance and repairs. A Consumer Reports study released in December 2011 stated that “Forty percent of respondents who are involved in repair decisions stated that they are postponing car maintenance or repairs on their primary vehicle.” Of those who did put off work on their cars, “Forty-four percent … also admitted that they felt the value, safety, or reliability of the vehicle would suffer, with some saying the car was becoming an embarrassment.”

That is a lot of people. And putting off repairs that could affect safety and reliability just because of money is worrisome.

So, what can you do about it?

One option that many are turning to is the Do-It-Yourself route for repairs and maintenance. In this article, we are going to explore the pros and cons of DIY car repair, figure out what is safe and what isn’t safe to do on your own, and whether or not going the DIY route is less expensive than taking your car into the shop.

Continue to Part 2 - How Much Do People Really Know About Cars?


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