No car runs forever, and problems are bound to appear sooner or later. Some parts break and others get worn out, and need to be replaced. As annoying as this can be, an estimate of how much it would cost to repair the car yourself can help you decide whether to leave the car to a professional car repair shop, or do the job yourself.
Finding auto parts online
As an example, let’s assume one of your car’s spark plugs is worn out and needs to be changed – a rather common issue that most car owners face from time to time. In auto part stores online, you can find suitable replacement spark plugs from about £ 1.98 per piece. All you need to do is enter the carmaker (for example Audi or BMW), car model, and type of engine. Spark plugs ignite the mixture of fuel and air in the engine’s combustion chamber, and last everything from 15,000 kilometres up to almost 200,000 kilometres, depending on quality. They are also fairly easy to replace at home. Some signs that the spark plugs may need to be replaced are that the engine makes a rough idle sound, is difficult to start, misfires, or that the fuel consumption suddenly increases.
One benefit of buying auto parts online is that it is easy to browse through a large selection of suitable parts and compare prices between producers and retailers. By carefully comparing prices, large cost savings can be made. Many times, buying auto parts online is also much cheaper than buying them in a physical store or directly from an auto repair shop. In addition, serious retailers, such as AutoParts Pro, offer plenty of useful information about the actual replacement procedure, as well as personal expert advice. Moreover, the parts can be shipped directly to your home, which is particularly beneficial if your car is really broken.
How to calculate the car repair cost
The spark plug is just one example out of hundreds of parts that could potentially break in a complex construction like a car. Let’s consider a more general situation. When calculating the cost of repairing the car at home, several things need to be taken into account. First, you need to find the root cause of the problem. Surprisingly many amateur car mechanics – and even professional ones – fail at this, leading to fully functional parts being replaced, while the real problem remains. In order to identify the root cause of the problem, it is advisable to carefully read your car’s official guide, use scan tools and other diagnostic tools, and seek expert advice, if needed.
Once you have identified the root cause of the problem, it is time to find out how to solve it. Again, your car’s manual will help, as will many online tutorials. There are thousands of brilliant step-by-step videos online that explain in detail how to fix almost all problems in all car models – do take advantage of them! When you know how to solve the problem, it is time to list all the replacement parts you need, including the tools (those that you don’t already have). Once this list is complete, you can go online, and easily find out how much it would cost to acquire everything. If you consider your time valuable too – do take that into account as well.
Information is power
This simple and straightforward procedure should give you a very good idea of how much it will cost you to repair your car at home. Not only will this information help you estimate how much money you could save by doing the work yourself, this information is also very valuable if you approach a professional car repair shop. Not all of them are honest, unfortunately, and some unethical ones may try to sell you things you don’t need. The better prepared you are, the more likely you are to get a good deal, and avoid being scammed.
Repairing the car at home is not so hard!
There are some other things to consider before deciding whether to handle the car yourself or leave it to a professional. First, your abilities and skills – which of course depend on the magnitude and the complexity of the task at hand. But don’t underestimate your capabilities! Sometime has got to be the first, and you don’t need to be an expert to go under the hood. Repairing cars is primarily about carefully following a set of instructions that someone else has prepared. Second, the availability of tools. If you need to buy many special tools, it may be more economical to hand the car over to a professional. And third, the average price charged by repair shops – knowing this will give you an idea of how much money you can save. In most situations, there are huge potential cost saving to be made, for those that are willing to get their hands dirty.