Three Things You May Think You Can Fix On Your Car, But You Probably Shouldn't.
Are You Sure You Want To Do It Yourself?
Whether you're handy around the house or you're hoping to save some money by avoiding parts and labor costs, you've probably looked at your car and thought "how hard could it be to fix this thing?" or perhaps you've bragged that nobody knows you car better than you do.
Sometimes that's true, but there's at least three things you probably shouldn't attempt to do yourself at home on your car. While talking with Zippity's head of operations, Henry Ebosh, he's given a short list of three things people think they can do, but really shouldn't, and why. "If you don't understand how the modern vehicle comes apart, you can do more damage, and this is not the sort of thing you want to learn on."
Whether it's your headlights or tail lights, it's tempting to think it would be as easy as replacing a light in your reading light at home, but that's not the case with your car.
"Modern cars are made to look nice, and they're made to be safe," Henry explained. "But the problem is [car makers] don't make the access as easy as it once was." It used to be easy to pop the hood, remove the screws around the housing, and replacing the bulb, but more modern cars all have different housings that keep the bulb in place. Likewise, there are some aftermarket lights that are brighter, and therefore generate more heat, than the original manufacturer's parts, which can sometimes lead to damaging the socket or even the wiring.
2) Wiper Blades
"They're not hard to install, but if you're not savvy, they can be installed improperly," Henry warned, pointing me to additional clips on the windshield wiper blades of a car he had just worked with. When this happens, the blades are more likely to come apart from the car during use due to a cover being improperly seeded, which often leads to an exposed metal piece scraping across the windshield and leaving distracting marks that would mean having to replace the windshield. Henry also mentioned that he will often see the wrong size wipers are installed because the clip that keeps the wiper in place is a universal fit and there are no indicators to the lay-person that they’ve chosen the wrong size blades for their car.
3) Air Filters and Cabin Filters
Henry says, "Air filters and cabin filters aren't a difficult installation, and so we don't charge any extra labor, we charge for the part. But a lot of times, if you're replacing an air filter, there are other things in that area -- you’ve got to be careful taking it out." The challenge in doing this at home is in making sure you're doing it cleanly. "You don't want to get dirt in any of the sensors, so when we take those out, we also clean out the air boxes, make sure that's all taken care of."
Similarly, the care Henry and his team take in replacing a cabin filter is about cleanliness. "They're not difficult to get to in most cars, but if they get really caked up with stuff, and you pull it out to inspect it, debris falls into the heating and air conditioning ducts, and then you'll get noises [inside], or you turn on your air conditioning and you'll get a blast of dust coming through."
For a full list of auto services Zippity offers their customers, visit them at Zippitycars.com.