5 Things first-time car owners shouldn't DIY

Leave it to the pros
by Jason Tulio | Mar 12, 2018

So you just bought your first car. Great! And now, you're excited about the prospect of tinkering and fixing up your ride to your heart's content. Who needs to go to a shop, you think to yourself. You've read every article imaginable (on this website, of course) on car maintenance, so you're basically a TESDA diploma short of being a professional mechanic.

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Not so fast, dude. You might think you know what you're doing, but the reality is that some jobs are best left to the real pros. Saving a few hundred pesos now could end up costing you thousands if you screw up. Now, that's not to say you shouldn't try any DIY jobs later on when you have a bit more years under your belt. Just know that they take a lot of commitment, time, and experience to pull off properly. 

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If you don't have any substantial expertise in car repair, then you'd be best served not doing the following at home.

1) Painting 

Your car's exterior might look like it's a plain color, but it's actually a particular shade that might not be easily bought from a store or mixed at home. Get it wrong, and you could end up with ugly mismatched patches that'll make you cringe whenever you see them. Even surface preparation and the actual painting is a skill that can't be learned overnight.

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2) Bodywork  

Dents aren't as easy to fix as you think. Do it wrong and you risk warping or discoloring your panels. Worse, you could end up weakening the metal and affecting your car's crash resistance. You might even make things worse. There's a reason why the latero is considered a craftsman.  

3) Changing the clutch

Changing something like your clutch isn't like switching out a light bulb. It's a complicated process that requires time, knowledge, and the right tools for the job. Changing a clutch involves removing lots of parts and hoisting the engine from its supports before you can even access the clutch. The process can take an entire morning, so save yourself the time and the hassle by going to a reputable shop. 

4) Messing with the electricals

If you find yourself tempted to dive deep down into your car to tinker with its many electrical wires, don't do it. It's not just complicated down there, but it's also dangerous if you make one wrong move. Aside from potentially harming yourself, you could also destroy your car's computer box. And you don't want to know how much replacing one is going to cost. 

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5) Any job that requires specialized tools or machinery that you don't have

It should go without saying, but you shouldn't attempt a job if you don't have all the required equipment. Some jobs call for tools or machinery that are either way out of your budget or garage space. So if you read up on a particular job and it requires industrial-level equipment, then you best shut down your computer, put your ego in check, and head to a nearby repair shop.

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