A quick Google search shows that car owners themselves can perform many car maintenance jobs. Whether you’re in a rush or just want to save on costs, you can opt to do simple tasks, like changing tyres or replacing your car battery in Dubai.
Of course, there are certain things that you should never DIY. From part replacements to extensive repairs and tune-ups, here are seven car care tasks you should definitely leave to the professionals:
1. Engine Tune-up
The engine is the beating heart of any vehicle. And like the vital human organ, it needs to be cared for and maintained to function at its best.
There are several maintenance tasks that engines undergo, some of which you can perform yourself. However, there are others that require a higher level of expertise and experience to do correctly, like auto tune-ups and repairs.
A regular tune-up keeps your car functioning as it should while preventing any further damage to the engine. Depending on the details, tune-ups can also help:
- Boost petrol efficiency (via filter replacements)
- Increase mileage (with new spark plugs)
An auto-mechanic determines whether anything needs to be replaced or repaired during car diagnostics. If you want to save on costs, skip any amateur effort and let the professionals handle your engine, especially if it’s highly computerised.
Look for the following signs that point to the need for an engine tune-up:
- Poor or decreased fuel mileage
- Unusual noises
- Diminished braking capacity
- “Check Engine” light on the dashboard
- Ignition issues
2. Transmission Issues
Some of the most common transmission problems occur because the car manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations weren’t followed. In many situations, issues arise after failure to change fluids and filters within the given timeframe.
When this happens, you’ll be facing a number of potentially catastrophic situations that begin with seemingly minor issues like leakage.
Transmission leaks often occur because of an axle, driveshaft seal, or pan gasket. It could also be because of unresolved issues with the transmission cooling line.
This can lead to insufficient transmission fluid, overheating, and damage that can no longer be resolved by simply replenishing fluid. In this case, it’s time for professionals to step in.
While you can take part in solving the issue by helping locate the source of the leak, you must step aside and let a licensed mechanic do the job. This is especially true if the problem is already beyond a simple pan gasket or cooling line repair.
3. Wheel Alignment
Proper wheel alignment keeps you far from any dangerous road situations because it ensures ease of control of your vehicle. Because of its importance, this key part of regular car maintenance is something that you should leave to the professionals.
More than that, qualified mechanics have the necessary tools to do the job correctly, not to mention the expertise and know-how required for the task.
You may also seek such services outside of the regular schedule, especially if one or more of the following issues emerge:
- Rapid or uneven tyre wear
- Crooked steering when driving straight
- Wheel pulling to one side
- Noisy steering
- Screeching tyres
4. Suspension Issues
Tyre suspension also affects the comfort and ease of driving. But beyond what you “feel” behind the wheel, it can be challenging to know if there’s an issue with your car’s suspension system.
This system consists of many parts, such as shock absorbers, struts, springs, and ball joints. It is a complex mechanism that may be challenging to diagnose – let alone maintain and repair – without thorough knowledge and extensive experience in the task.
Watch out for the following to know when it’s time to call a qualified mechanic for your suspension problems:
- The wheel pulls to one side when turning on corners
- Repeated bouncing long after passing bumps on the road
- Dipping after hitting the brakes
- Difficulty in steering
- Unusually bumpy rides
5. Air-conditioning Maintenance
Air-conditioning (A/C) maintenance for vehicles is also a task best left to qualified experts.
A/C systems tend to lose about 10 to 15 percent of the Freon annually. Considering that this car mechanism needs an exact amount of Freon to function optimally, you’ll want a trained professional to make sure that is achieved.
In fact, even if the issue revolves around low Freon, it’s not a good idea to just refill it.
Since you cannot know how much is needed for the system to run as it should, you might put too much, wreaking havoc on the compressor. This may also lead to high-pressure situations that lead to burst hoses.
What you can do is keep your car air-conditioner running for about 10 minutes every week, whether or not you go on a drive. This will allow the oil to circulate within the system, ensuring that seals are adequately lubricated.
You should also pay attention to the condenser’s condition. All you have to do is pop the bonnet and check for a blocked bug screen or any other issue that could potentially restrict airflow.
6. Tyre Rotation
While inflating and changing tyres are two of the most critical skills every driver needs, you must not DIY tyre rotation.
Besides removing and replacing the tyres, this task also involves rebalancing them based on the wheel alignment. This is a bit trickier since tyres and wheels don’t easily achieve equal weight distribution due to the everyday wear on the tyres.
Furthermore, inspecting the tyre sidewall and tread for damage and uneven wear requires a trained eye. Sure, you can rotate the tyres yourself, but it takes a professional to perform the task optimally.
7. Electric Component Repairs
Your car’s electrical system is another aspect you should just leave to the licensed experts. Because newer vehicles have complicated computer-controlled wiring, it’s best to seek help from someone who can determine and perform repairs and calibration expertly.
Among the most common electrical problems you may encounter are:
- Engine starter issues
- Dead or leaking car battery
- Short circuits
- Loose spark plugs
- Faulty fuse boxes
- Loose wires
Don’t Hesitate to Seek Help
Some repairs and maintenance tasks on vehicles are reserved for qualified experts, like the ones listed in this article. However, you should never hesitate to seek help in car care tasks you’re not confident you can do correctly – like tyre replacement or oil change in Dubai.