The 21st century automobile is a technological wonder. It is envisioned by Ph.Ds, designed by the holders of Masters degrees in engineering and manufactured, by and large, by guys with bachelors degrees. What makes you think that you can fix one? Here are five common misconceptions about auto repair that the average guy has never considered:
It’s Easy-Peasy – Professional mechanics don’t have that world-worn look on their face for nothing. Working on cars is physically demanding and mentally challenging. It’s a great hobby but a very intense career. Unless you are working on a classic car in your garage with no time constraints on the project, stay clear of amateur car repair.
No Experience Necessary – Sure, anyone can get under the hood and replace the battery – just make sure you don’t connect the pole in reverse order or you will be looking for a new alternator. This example – of one of the simplest auto repairs possible – shows that experience does count and newbies should keep clear.
You Can’t Do Any Further Damage – In the old days of the “shade tree” mechanic, an automobile was essentially a series of physically interacting parts and thus difficult to damage if you put them back together in the wrong order. Those days are over, damaging a single component of a modern car while repairing a different one can have serious repercussions in a variety of the car’s other subsystems.
Any Old Tools Will Do – Have you ever heard of a “torque wrench” and do you have any idea what it does? If not, you have no business underneath the hood of a car. Today’s cars – even the “affordable” ones – are so finely engineered cars that professionals need a slew of electronic gear just to diagnoses the problem. Simply put, amateurs are engaged on a fool’s errand when they try to do more than replace the fuses in a car.
It’s Safe – As already noted, it is relatively easy to damage your car when trying to repair it, but you will be careful not to injure yourself. Right? Everything from scraped knuckles through sliced fingers to electrical shocks can be had while “operating” under the hood of a car. We won’t even mention the potential dangers of battery acid, coolants and other liquids that keep your car operating in tip top condition.