The DIY Driver: What Car Issues Shouldn’t You Fix On Your Own (And Which Can You Fix)?

car maintenance tips
car maintenance tips

When you own a car, there is a guarantee that you will run into certain issues and that your car will require regular maintenance over its lifetime.

From checking tyre pressure to removing a punctured one and putting the spare on the wheel, checking low oil levels, these were (and still are) some of the tasks that you learned how to do with usually the family “bomb” that may or may not have been on its last legs. 

In decades past, when you (or your parents) were younger, one was often taught these as the basic maintenance of how to fix minor issues with their (or the family-owned) car. 

Skip forward to the present day, and you’ll find it has often been a waning practice. Nevertheless, there are reasons why they are the doctors and surgeons of our vehicles. 

Here are some of the car problems you shouldn’t fix yourself (and those repairs you can make). 

Those You Shouldn’t Fix:

Timing Belt:

One thing that you shouldn’t conduct on your own is anything major to your engine. 

Just as an electrician does for your house, a mechanic in Airport West can be the perfect place to have any major engine issues fixed or serviced. 

This is particularly advised with the timing belt in your engine as, in any up-to-date car, they are the nucleus that is sending all the signals to everything else. 

They also require a large dismantling of the inner body to correct any problems.

Therefore, if it’s a vehicle you need for regular transport, leave it to the professional. 


If sweat glands help us to regulate our temperature, this is what your radiator does for your car. 

The radiator keeps the car at a comfortable thermostat, which aside from heat transference, can potentially affect the operation of several other functions if it breaks down.

As this process uses antifreeze to keep much of the engine cool, it is wise not to handle it yourself. This is because you may cause further problems, such as corrosion issues, which may lead to blockages, inefficient circulation of coolant or [further] overheating

Diagnostic Testing:

When it comes to your car, in these days where so much of our cars seem to be run by computers, it can feel as if checking anything under the hood just isn’t worth your time. 

Unless you know computer mechanics, these days it can be much wiser to push your vehicle into the closest auto shop. 

Because let’s get real, going over a whole area of functions, how many of us have “ignored a check engine light until it’s time for an inspection?”

Those You Can Fix:

The knowledge of these can be awfully helpful, especially if you take a trip out bush or somewhere remote that isn’t close to a local mechanic. Here are one or two. 

Air Filters: 

Even in the age of computerized motor vehicles, provided you have some skills and know where to look, the car’s lungs can still be cleaned out on your own. Much like our lungs get clogged with phlegm and bacteria, your car’s air filter can fill with dirt and debris. 

Your car will need its filter changed yearly or every 15,000kms. You can do this by checking the car’s user manual to locate the filter.

Brake Pads:

These are what apply the pressure to help you come to a halt. As you come to know your car, you can learn the warning sound of screeching for when they need replacing.


So when it comes to fixing your car, have a look over your user manual, check the manufacturer’s warranty and then try a home repair, but, if it’s critical or you’re inexperienced, put it in the shop and talk to its doctor. 

Good luck!


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