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Friday, March 27 2020 14:10

COVID-19: DIY Car Tips for the Amateur Garage Monkey

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Even though most auto shops are still open in the midst of the coronavirus lockdown, more and more car enthusiasts are finding ways to fill their extra free time. In fact, British automotive publisher Haynes has seen a stark increase in the number of car manual sales since the kingdom adopted social distancing measures to stop the spread of coronavirus. Sales have surged by over 54% as more people begin to work on their own vehicles. While similar reports have yet to be seen in the United States, there's no doubt that DIY car enthusiasts are going to work on their pet projects under COVID-19 procedures.

Are you trying to learn how to fix your own car? Rely on these tips to stay safe and feel more productive.

Don't start a project without the right tools

The number one reason accidents happen in the garage is poor planning. Without the proper tools, no auto shop would be able to stay open for long. It's thanks to plenty of planning that automotive experts are able to carry out their duties with speed and precision. That's why it's essential to organize your tools so you never have to scramble at the last-minute should something go wrong. Creating a simple pegboard to hold your most-used tools is a great way to organize your inventory and streamline your storage space.

You might think that changing your car's oil is a simple task, but there's so much to it than simply putting in new oil. Firstly, you'll need to rely on your car's manual to get started. After all, no two cars are the same and even new models of older cars can result in important changes. You'll also need a drain pan, paper towels, and a car lift to ensure you're able to get under the car safely.

It's the same for every project: without the right tools, you'll flounder. Most fixes can be achieved with a few wrenches and sockets, but you never know when a more complex tool will be needed to get the job done right. Do your research beforehand and you will have a much easier time diving into a new automotive project.

Keep it simple

Even though you want to supe up your favorite car, novice car mechanics cannot hope to do a great job on their own. If you're just starting out, it's much more realistic to start small, then work your way up to bigger and bigger projects.

It might seem mundane, but regular, simple car maintenance is essential to keeping your car on the road. In fact, cars would only last a few years without proper maintenance. In the long-term, these simple fixes can also save you money since you're able to do the work by yourself.

Patience is a virtue

If you think you'll be able to perform a simple car fix, think again: some projects can last days and difficult fixes can take weeks, even with ample free time. It can be easy to lose your cool when you simply want to get the job done but working on your car demands patience.

Take it slow and be deliberate. Document everything you do to your car and be sure to store parts in easily accessible, labeled locations. This can prevent a number of headaches later on. Should something go wrong, you can always go back to fix your mistake and view the project with new eyes. Fear might get the better of you at times, but checking your notes and reviewing your research should help steer you in the right direction.

Performing work on your car is a valuable skill to have, but everyone needs to start somewhere. If you're new to working on cars, follow these tips to make the most of your time during this period of social distancing.