Simple Do-it-yourself repairs for your common car problems (Without a Mechanic)

Do it yourself repairs

Do it yourself repairs

Car repairs are very costly but you can tamp down on the expense by engaging in do-it-yourself repairs. While many issues may take you to the mechanic’s shop, there are some common car problems you can resolve on your own with less stress and even less cost. All you need to do is follow our clear and easy auto repair do-it-yourself instructions.

Are All Simple Repairs Do-It-Yourself Repairs?

There are so many problems that can come up with your car that seem like a walk in the park or “simple” for your mechanic but are not advisable for a non-specialist to do. This is because some mistakes are to be avoided, no matter how small, to prevent catastrophic results not only for your car but also for you and the people around you. Additionally, improperly diagnosing some issues can cost you even more than you would spend at the auto repair shop.

Here are some car repairs you should not do yourself:

  • Engine replacement
  • Transmission replacement
  • Repair of the fuel system
  • Suspension system replacement
  • Timing belt or chain replacement
  • Anything electrical
  • Repair of leased vehicle

Important Tips for Do-It-Yourself Auto Repairs

Before you commence with these simple repairs for common car problems, take note of the following tips:

  • Have the complete toolkit necessary for the repair.
  • Be ready to watch do-it-yourself auto repair videos to guide you on the exact vehicle part you’re touching and the ones to avoid.
  • If you prefer supervision while working on your car, you can find a do-it-yourself car repair shop near you.
  • Take pictures while removing vehicle parts so you can remember where to put what and also where you removed some things.

4 Easy Do-It-Yourself Car Repairs Guide For Every Driver

Here are some common car problems you can fix yourself without the need for a mechanic:

1.   Head or tail light replacement

Driving your car without a head or tail light is illegal. Therefore, you need to fix it as soon as you can. For this, you’ll need a headlight or taillight bulb, gloves, a screwdriver, and pliers. Ensure that you take the old bulb to the store so that you can find the right replacement for your car. It is advisable to change both bulbs to ensure that one headlight is not dimmer than the other. Follow these for an easy fix:

  • Pop the hood of your vehicle
  • Confirm which bulb needs replacement, then make sure your car and light are turned off.
  • Identify the location of the headlight housing. Please consult your owner’s manual for this and follow the guide on how to access it.
  • After locating the headlight housing, you’ll see a socket with three wires attached. You need to carefully detach it by putting a little pressure on both sides before pulling it. Some sockets may need additional attention if they are held by a screw cap, plastic catch, or metal clip that requires unscrewing, pulling, or pressing a lever. Just ensure that it’s the socket you’re gently pulling and not the wires.
  • Remove the bulb gently while wearing a rubber glove. Handling bulbs without a glove can cause oil to damage the bulb.
  • Attach the new bulb and ensure it is secure.
  • Reattach the socket and test your bulb to see if it’s working.
  • If it doesn’t come on, there’s likely a problem with the wiring.
  • The same principle applies to your tail light.

2.   Oil change

For an oil change, you need to get oil, an oil filter, and an oil filter socket, cup, or strap wrench, depending on the type of oil filter your car uses. You’d also require a drain pan, funnel, gloves, rags, jack, and jack stand (if your vehicle is low), a wrench, or a socket and rachet. Follow these for oil changes:

  • Pop your hood and confirm the position of your engine in the engine bay to ensure you don’t drain the transmission fluid instead of the engine oil.
  • Locate your filler cap and open it. After this, it’s time to slide underneath your vehicle.

common car problems

  • If your car is low, you need to jack it upward.
  • Use your wrench to remove your drain plug with an anti-clockwise movement. Tightening it in the opposite direction can damage the oil pan.
  • Allow the oil to drain completely. Be careful, though; the oil may be hot.
  • While the oil is draining, take time to examine your drain plug. Ensure the threads are intact. If the gasket of the drain plug is rubber, confirm it’s fine. If the gasket is metal, make sure you replace it.
  • Reinstall the drain plug using your wrench. Don’t overtighten it to prevent damage to the pan.
  • Locate your oil filter using your owner’s manual.
  • Using your oil filter removal tool (cup or strap wrench for a canister, spin-on oil filter/ oil filter socket, or the correct cup for a cartridge filter), remove the oil filter and replace it with a new one.The canister type’s seal must be lubricated with oil and requires an extra quarter turn during installation.
  • Pour in your oil. Ensure you read your owner’s manual to confirm the type and amount of oil for your car.
  • Start your car and leave it to run for 10 to 15 seconds, then turn it off and leave it for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Locate your dipstick. First, remove and wipe it with the rag. Reinsert it, then pull it out to confirm the oil level. Make sure the oil gets to the top of the checkered area.
  • Replace your filler cap.

1.   Wiper blade replacement

For your wiper blade replacement, ensure you get the correct size of blades. You can measure the blade of your car, consult the owner’s manual, or take the old one along to ensure you get the correct size. Follow these 3 simple steps to replace your wiper blade:

  • To remove the old blade, locate the tab on the underside of your wiper and depress it. Once it is depressed, slide it out. If your car uses the pin type, you need to disengage the lock by locating the tab and pulling it up. Pull the pin out of the hole and slide out the blades.

remove the old blade

  • Install your new blade by opening the tab on the underside of the wiper and then sliding the blades down the connector. Push the tab back down until you hear a soft click. For the pin type, pull the tab up, insert the wiper, and push it down firmly until the tab clicks.
  • Test the wiper to confirm that it’s working.

1.   Air filter replacement

For this replacement, you don’t need any tools but can keep a flathead screwdriver handy.

  • Pop your car’s hood and locate your filter compartment by checking your owner’s manual. It’s essentially a box with a lid.
  • Open the lid by popping the sides as may be required. If it’s screwed shut, gently remove the screws with a flathead screwdriver.
  • Remove the air filter and vacuum the box. Pay attention to the seals at the edge and ensure they’re clean.
  • Place the new air filter into the compartment and close it. Make sure it’s properly placed with no gaps.


While paying a visit to a mechanic can shave a bit of stress off you, you might find that a little do-it-yourself repair approach can prove more beneficial and cost-effective. You need to make sure that the repair you intend to carry out is appropriate for a non-specialist to carry out. Once you get the go-ahead, take your time to read the instructions provided and carry out do-it-yourself repairs for your common car problems.

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