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While most car owners can perform basic maintenance tasks like oil changes, many are scared of confronting more involved automotive repairs. The reality is, most vehicular repairs aren't that tough and typically revolve around replacing worn-out parts. Here are a few automotive repairs you can do yourself with nothing more than a jack, some stands, and a few basic tools.
If you need new front brake pads and rotors for a sedan, a mechanic will probably charge $250 for the job at a minimum. The actual hardware itself costs as little as $60. If you can manage to work a socket wrench, you can do the job yourself and save a bundle in the process.
Since they don't support the weight of the vehicle, shocks can be fixed by unbolting the old part and replacing it with a new one. According to Rhino Axels, nowadays replacing struts is just as easy thanks to the availability of complete assemblies. With a little elbow grease, Ori struts replacements for cars and off-road vehicles is a snap.
Changing spark plugs, ignition coils, wire sets, and starters is a cinch as long as you can find the correct parts. Do yourself a favor and get the right tools to diagnose and fix problems such as a spark tester, a multi-meter, an induction clamp for measuring current, an OBDII code reader and a decent torque wrench.
Anyone with a breaker bar or a cheap impact wrench can replace all their exhaust hardware easily by themselves. Shopping for mufflers, catalytic converters, and 02 sensors online will save you a bundle right out of the gate. As always, it's just a matter of loosening bolts and tightening them up properly.
As long as you haven't blown a head gasket, coolant issues are a snap to sort out. Swapping out a radiator takes an hour or two of time on most cars and trucks. All you'll usually need is a socket wrench, a few jugs of coolant or transmission fluid and some patience.
If you're new to DIY automotive repairs, the thought of tinkering with your vehicles can be scary. Fortunately, there are plenty of how-to guides and vehicle-specific forums on the web to help you through the process. As long as you're not dealing with a complicated internal engine or transmission problem, most automotive repairs are pretty easy to tackle.