Save Money By Troubleshooting Minor Mechanical Car Problems Yourself

Automotive repairs are one of those things that always seem to come along just when you can least afford them. For example, you might have finally saved up enough to pay for a vacation, and then your car decides not to start or the dreaded "Check Engine" light comes on. As a result, your vacation plans go out the window and you are stuck at home for yet another staycation.

With all of the electronics and specialty parts found in automobiles today, it's not always possible to fix things yourself. Thankfully, for these times, there are professional auto repair service providers who can help. However, not all auto repairs need to be expensive or require sending your vehicle to a professional mechanic. Even if you don't have any mechanical skills, there are a few automotive problems you can still fix yourself, including:

Problem: Your Vehicle Won't Start

All cars and passenger trucks need two things to start: a spark and fuel. Thankfully, this makes troubleshooting relatively easy. All you need to do is:

  1. Check the gas gauge to ensure the vehicle has gas. 
  2. Turn the key and listen for the fuel pump to come on.

If you have gas and hear the "whoosh" of the pump, then fuel isn't the problem. 

To get a spark, the car's battery needs to be fully charged and the starter needs to work properly. To check the battery, turn on the headlights to ensure they are bright. If they aren't, jumpstart the battery or replace it. If the battery is fine, then the starter has likely failed and you will need a mechanic to replace it.

Problem: The "Check Engine" Light Is Illuminated

To very quickly determine the reason the light of doom has come on, you can plug an inexpensive code reader into the car's diagnostic port. Code readers can be purchased for less than the cost of a fast-food meal and will not only give you the description of the problem but also allow you to turn the check engine light off.

Not all auto repairs require a mechanic or any special skills. So, before you call the tow truck and miss your vacation again this year, take some time to learn about the things you can do yourself and perhaps buy a code reader so you will easily be able to see what the "Check Engine" light is drawing your attention to. For additional information, contact a car repair service