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Car repair: 1 tip that could save hundreds of pounds

Car repair: 1 tip that could save hundreds of pounds
Image source: Getty Images


Looking to save money on car repairs? We’ve got you covered. Here’s the only car repair tip you need to save hundreds of pounds on repair bills.         

The secret to cheaper car repairs

Do you call a mechanic whenever a headlight bulb blows? Don’t worry, you’re not alone – 63% of under-35s have never tried to fix their own car, and only 50% of over-35s can change a tyre. 

So, do you want to know a secret?

If you learn how to handle basic car repairs yourself, you could save hundreds of pounds over your car’s lifetime.

Honestly, you can do this. Car care is much easier than you think. Here’s what you need to know. 

The car repairs you can do yourself

Before we look at the DIY car repairs you can attempt at home, here’s a quick disclaimer: don’t attempt any repairs you’re not comfortable with. It’s also a wise idea to call a mechanic if you need to fix your car’s:

  • Electrics
  • Engine 
  • Coolant system
  • Transmission

We’re trying to save money here, remember. And if you take on major repairs yourself, you could do more harm than good. 

All that said, let’s look at 10 parts you can save serious money on by simply buying and fitting them yourself.

1. Windscreen wiper blades

Wiper blade changes take around 10 minutes, and you don’t need any tools.

Just pick up some new wiper blades online or from a car parts store like Halfords and follow the instructions on the pack. This repair costs under £20. 

2. Air filter

Again, you don’t need tools for this job.

You’ll find the air filter under the bonnet, and all you need to do is lift the old one out and click the new one into place.  Most air filters are under £20. 

2. Headlight bulbs

It only costs a couple of pounds to buy new headlight bulbs.

Check your driver’s manual for instructions and advice on what bulbs to buy. It only takes about 10 minutes to replace blown bulbs. 

3. Seat belt buckles

You can usually fix jammed or lose seat belt buckles yourself. All you need is a screwdriver.

If you need a replacement buckle, you can buy these at car part stores for under £20. The parts should come with instructions. 

4. Fuses

Got a blown fuse? Check the driver’s manual to find your fusebox, and use a meter to identify the faulty fuse.

Remove the fuse and replace it with a new one. Again, check the manual to see what fuse you need. Fuses only cost a few pounds. 

5. Paintwork 

You can repair minor scratches, chips and dents on your own.

Most car parts stores offer paintwork repair kits which are much cheaper than asking a mechanic to take a look. Just make sure you buy the right colour paint for your car.  

6. Windscreen damage

Minor windscreen chips are easily fixed with repair kits. So, if you’re dealing with a chip less than one inch in diameter, you can fix it in a few minutes for £10 or less. 

7. Tyres

Got a puncture? You don’t always need a new tyre. For small punctures, all you need is a puncture repair kit.

If you’ve got a car jack and some wrenches, you can change your own tyre at the roadside. This is usually cheaper than calling a mechanic. 

8. Horn

A broken horn isn’t always a big deal. Sometimes, it’s as simple as changing a fuse or cleaning the battery contacts. So, don’t call a mechanic unless you’re sure you need a new part.

If you do need a new horn, get it replaced professionally – you could invalidate your car warranty otherwise. 

9. Spark plugs

Most spark plugs in new cars last around 100,000 miles, so you may never need to perform this repair. But if you do, just take out the old plugs with a wrench and fit some new ones. Check your driver’s manual if you’re unsure where to find them.

Spark plugs cost around £10. 

10. Battery

Yes, honestly. You can change your own battery. All you need is some wrenches and a spare 20 minutes. 

Disconnect the negative cable first. When you put the new battery in, connect the positive cable first. 

You’ll easily find car batteries for under £100. 

Car repair tools you’ll need

Ready to save money and tackle some DIY car repairs? Your basic toolkit should contain:

  • A set of wrenches
  • a jack
  • Rags
  • Pliers
  • Gloves
  • Protective eyewear
  • A multimeter 

You can pick all of these tools up pretty cheaply at Halfords or hardware stores. In the long run, it’s cheaper to have these tools than call a mechanic whenever something goes wrong.

Takeaway

While there are some car repairs you should leave to the professionals, it’s easy to save money by doing the simple repairs yourself. So the next time those windscreen wipers need replacing, don’t turn to your credit card – turn to your toolbox. 

What next?

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