No matter how much you might believe in the DIY ethic, the hands-on approach doesn’t make sense for all car repairs. Some jobs require too much skill for all but the most experienced auto hobbyists, and other tasks require serious investments in time or equipment. You might be motivated by the possibility of saving money; however, as you’re eyeing your broken-down ride, consider that there might be a few surprises in store if you decide to tackle the repairs yourself. There are times when it might be worth it to call a pro to fix your car. Let’s take a look at some specific situations.
Question 1 of 20
If you're reading about DIY maintenance on the Internet, chances are, it's an older vehicle that's giving you problems. But before we get started, we really have to ask: Is the car still under warranty?
Question 2 of 20
What's the worst-case scenario if your first repair attempt is unsuccessful?
Question 3 of 20
There are a few more things to consider before you start getting dirty. If it comes down to it, do you have any skilled friends or neighbors to help you out with your repair project?
Question 4 of 20
How well stocked is your garage?
Question 5 of 20
Think about what you’re about to do, and try to remember if you’ve ever successfully completed similar repairs before. If you’ve never tackled this specific repair before, what’s your plan of attack?
Question 6 of 20
Let’s look at more specific types of repairs. Brakes are a common repair or replacement project, since brake parts wear out regularly. What do you know about brake repairs?
Question 7 of 20
Your car’s been running a little sloppy for a day or two -- hesitating, misfiring and making weird noises. So far, you've been able to ignore it -- until your engine started giving you error codes. Do you have any idea how to figure out what might be wrong?
Question 8 of 20
The car seems to be running fine, but the "Check Engine" light is on. What now?
Question 9 of 20
You just noticed your car might be leaking some sort of fluid. What do you do next?
Question 10 of 20
What does it mean if you have a sudden decrease in your average gas mileage?
Question 11 of 20
Do you know what to do if your car starts shaking?
Question 12 of 20
So, you safely made it home with your shaking car, and you figured out that all the wheels are still on securely. That means your alignment is probably off. Can you fix that yourself?
Question 13 of 20
If you notice an odd odor when you’re driving, it’s often a sign that something is wrong. Do you know what it means if your car smells like it’s spewing sulfur, or the exhaust reeks like eggs?
Question 14 of 20
The exhaust system can reveal a lot about how your car is running. Do you know what it means when blue smoke is coming from the tailpipe?
Question 15 of 20
Now that we know what blue exhaust smoke means, what about black exhaust clouds?
Question 16 of 20
What should you do if you hear a loud grinding noise when you step on the brakes?
Question 17 of 20
Have you noticed a lag when you step on the throttle? If the engine revs really high, and it feels like the rest of the car is struggling to catch up, it could be a problem with:
Question 18 of 20
If trying to steer your car in a crowded parking lot is like going to the gym for an upper-body workout, what's wrong? And does a mechanic need to get involved?
Question 19 of 20
Often, an auto mechanic can help out when you might think you know the source of the problem, but you’re still not positive. In the previous question, you learned that a lack of power steering fluid can make it difficult to steer your car at slow speeds. But similar symptoms can mean different things. What might be wrong if your car is dragging to one side?
Question 20 of 20