Top 5 Self-Servicing Mistakes

Posted by Motorama in Servicing Tips

Self-servicing can be a great way to not only save some money, but also to save time. However, if you’re not a mechanic or someone who isn’t experienced working with cars, what usually appears to be a simple job can turn into a very expensive one.

Out of the thousands of vehicles that we see each month, the frequency of poorly fitted components or use of low quality parts in vehicles that are coming through our workshops is becoming more and more common. 

So, here are what our technicians say are the most common self-servicing mistakes and the damage it can cause:

Number 5: Replacing of timing chains and belts

A timing chain or belt is part of your engine that synchronises the rotation of the crankshaft and camshaft. This is so the engine can open and close its valves that allow fuel or exhaust gases to enter or escape. 

These parts in modern cars rarely need replacing, but when they do, it isn’t a very easy job to do. Plus having this part working correctly is critical to keep your car driving!

What our technicians see frequently are chains and belts that haven’t been fitted or adjusted properly. This could result in your camshaft skipping a beat and causing some very serious internal engine damage.

 If you’re set on doing the work yourself, make sure that you stick to the manufacturers replacement recommendations. 

Number 4: Brakes

Being able to stop your car is a pretty important function and over time parts of your braking system will need to be replaced as they age and wear down. 

Brakes on the surface are pretty simple to understand, but for those new to changing brake components, it is crucial to know what exactly needs to be done to ensure proper operation and safety.

If your brake pads or brake rotors haven’t been fitted properly, not only do you risk not being able to stop your car, but it can also cause the car to handle poorly on the road. In some cases, it can also cause damage to things like your wheels. 

After you’ve fitted new pads or rotors you need to bleed your brakes. Why? Because there can be air bubbles that have got into the brake lines. If there is air, it can result in no brake pressure when you press the brake pedal. 

Lots of guides can be found online to ensure that you do both correctly. However it is a safety issue and sometimes it’s best to let a professional do the work.

Number 3: Topping up the cooling system

There are lots of things working under the hood to keep your engine cool, and in our warmer climate, this system really gets a good workout.

When topping up or flushing your coolant, it’s extremely important to bleed the system. This allows air to escape from the system that will have entered the system when working on it.

If there is air trapped in the system, the system can fail, as the fluids can’t get to where they are needed most. Failure can then lead to overheating of the engine that will leave you on the side of the road waiting for roadside assistance to come.

Number 2: Using the wrong fluids!

In a modern engine, there are lots of valves, hoses, caps and fillers. Each of which are designed to do a specific job. Sometimes the caps and fillers can look the same and cause confusion of where and what you should be filling.

Even the most experienced ‘do it yourself’ mechanics can get this mixed up and need to end up visiting someone like us.

Normally during a scheduled service, the critical fluids are checked and/or topped up to ensure normal operation continues for you on the road. If you would like to know more about fluids in your car you can check out the following blog post: 5 Fluids to Watch

Number 1: Suspension Repairs

The suspension in your car has a huge influence on how your car looks, handles and drives. Repairs or attempts to adjust your suspension with the wrong components or components that haven’t been fitted properly can seriously impact the safety of your car.

Our technicians mention that they see suspension problems or other damage caused by incorrectly fitted or the use of wrong parts far too often.

Before repairing or adjusting your suspension, it’s recommend that you visit your preferred factory dealership. They will be able to advise on what the best way to undertake what you’re wanting to do, in a safe and road worthy manner.

Avoid the hassles!

Self-servicing is a great way to save money, but if you don’t have the right tools or the know-how you put yourself at risk of spending significantly more than you originally hoped to save.

At Motorama, we pride ourselves on having state of the art facilities, factory trained technicians and genuine parts and accessories. Plus, whilst the work is being done on your car, you can enjoy a Café quality coffee or tea as you enjoy reading the latest magazines and newspapers or browsing the web with our free Wi-Fi.

All of our work is guaranteed and all genuine parts have a statutory warranty to add some extra piece of mind.

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