Auto maintenance can either be really easy or really hard to do yourself, with the difficulty being directly related to your level of knowledge about cars and how good your tools and equipment are. This creates a number of pros and cons to performing auto maintenance yourself versus taking your car to an auto shop. If you do have the tools and experience then performing auto maintenance yourself will be cheaper than an auto shop and often times more convenient. However, the purchasing, maintaining, and storing of large amounts of tools is no simple task, along with the fact that often times you are sacrificing a significant amount of your own free time to save a few bucks here and there. So in the end its like a balancing of both time and money.
Ask any person who does their own auto maintenance and they will tell you is that is far cheaper to do most auto maintenance yourself. Changing your oil, refilling fluids, even rotating your tires can all be done with a minimum of fuss for a couple of bucks, provided that you know how. Oh! Also, that you already own all of the wrenches, sockets, screwdrivers, and jacks you will need, plus a multitude of other tools that you only need in very specific situations. You will also need to be performing regular maintenance on all of those tools, which will require even more tools. Over time your collection of tools will prove useful for all sorts of things beyond auto maintenance and they will pay themselves off even if you only use them for that, given a long period of time. However, this is still a very large upfront cost, particularly if you aren’t sure of what tools you will need. Trying to figure out such requirements can also be time consuming.
Another positive for doing all your own auto maintenance is that you aren’t restricted by a shop’s open hours or hampered when they are busy. Well many auto shops strive to be open and available at a variety of hours so customers with busy schedules can stop in, being able to just say “I am going to change my oil Saturday after lunch” can be important. However, this is balanced by the fact that it is very possible that once you start working on your car, you will notice an issue over here, and then another one, oh, and that needs replacing too. Five trips to the parts store later you notice that it is Sunday evening and your entire weekend was eaten by working on your car. Where if you had just taken the car to an auto store, all of that work could have been done over your lunch break thanks to the fact that they will already have all the parts and tools necessary, along with incredibly useful things like hydraulic lifts and compressed air guns that speed up auto maintenance work immensely.
At the end of the day, you will always need to perform regular auto maintenance. The when and how of your car receiving the care and upkeep it deserves is something that will vary drastically from person to person. As time goes on and circumstances change, your position on how to upkeep your car will change as well. What was simple and practical to do in your early twenties, won’t make sense any more at forty when you have two kids and a mortgage. On the other hand, now that you own a house and have the space and possibly some spare time, maybe working on your own car can be a new hobby to invest yourself in. Only you know what is the best option for you and your life. However we at All Around Auto Repair want to save you both time and money so contact us for all your car repair needs.