Car Repairs – Eight Signs You Need an Expert

Cars have been steadily becoming more and more specialist, and more and more complex in the last decade. With the advent of electric motor technologies, with computer controlled systems and electronic fuel injection, the cars of today are nothing like the FJ Holden your Dad could be found underneath every Saturday morning! The range of vehicles that can safely have minor car repairs performed on them by amateurs is shrinking. Here we look at eight signs that you should take your car to a shop, and save yourself the hassle and possible expense of breaking something extra.

1. Your car is less than ten years old

Cars newer than ten years old usually have quite advanced systems integration. Even car repairs like changing a battery or a fuse, replacing brake pads and doing common car service tasks can actually cause other components of the system to fail if the correct procedures aren’t followed.

2. The car repair you’re considering isn’t in your new car handbook

If the manufacturer isn’t telling you to do it yourself, it is probably safest not to. If you’re in doubt, why not call a mobile mechanic to have a look at the job first? They’ll be able to advise you on safety points to remember, if its likely that you’ll need to make the fix again in the future. You can make sure that you won’t have to spend more having the mechanic fix your work as well as the original problem, and possibly save money in the future.

3. The repair requires something to be lifted out of the car

Block and tackle safety is a serious issue. Any time you lift something heavy out of your car into the air, you’re risking the other parts of your car as well as your own body. We always advise that you have professionals perform this sort of work.

4. The car repair requires tools you don’t have

Contrary to Clint Eastwood’s belief, not every car repair job can be done with a shifter and sticky tape. If you don’t have the tools to do a repair job yourself, the cost in buying them often outweighs the savings you could make on labour.

5. Your car has electronic fuel injection

If your car has electronic fuel injection (and in many cases, this is stamped in big letters right on the head, or along with the model name somewhere on the body), it is not safe to work on it by yourself. Even repairs that aren’t related to the timing could throw the computer out, and then cost you more to fix at the mechanic’s than it would have originally.

6. You aren’t 100% confident of your diagnosis

If you have even the shadow of a doubt about what exactly is causing a specific problem, you shouldn’t work on it. Even experienced mechanics have often found that the complexities of the petrol engine and drive train have tricked them … when they were 100% confident. If as an amateur you aren’t confident, it makes much more sense to take it to someone that can be.

Mobile mechanics will often provide fixed quote prices – so even if they make one of these mistakes, they are still bound to honour the price they gave you before beginning work.

7. You haven’t done the repair yourself before

Online forums and guides are certainly handy, but there is a reason that automotive mechanic apprenticeships last for a long four years! A wealth of hands-on experience in what to do when things go slightly wrong, if a bolt is too tight or another part is blocking your way, and the order in which to complete tasks, belongs to qualified mechanics. There simply isn’t enough space on the net to explain all this is a forum.

8. The time it will take you to perform the repair is more valuable to you spent doing other things

It may take a qualified car repair-person 1 hour to replace your brake pads and check over the braking system. It might take you 3 hours without the proper tools, knowledge of sensors etc. Sure, you didn’t pay for those hours – but unless you truly enjoy working on and learning about cars, you are prepared to deal with any mistakes you might make and are performing only repairs that are non safety-critical on an old car – in most cases they aren’t worth it.

Lube Mobile are “The Mobile Mechanics” equipped and trained to perform any Car Repair or Car Service. We have a mechanic come to you at a time and a place convenient – 6 days a week. Convenience, Quality and Service are guaranteed. For more information or to make a booking, visit Mechanic.

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Basic DIY Guide to Car Maintenance

Driving a car brings lots of convenience to the user, and beyond the selection and buying of a car, we also have to take care of the car and maintain it in good condition so that it will continue to serve us well for at least the next 5 to 10 years.

Today, I will be sharing with you the Basic DIY Guide to Car Maintenance and how you can also do it yourself and save the time and cost spent going to car mechanics!!


The first thing to do is to look under the car hood. It looks like a maze, isn’t it? Essentially lying underneath that is the fuel system, ignition system, and the cooling system.

We are not going into details on how all these system works. Instead, we will look at how we can perform the simple weekly check on the car and what are the items to look out for when doing so.

DIY CAR MAINTENANCE – Items to look out for

1) Fluids

– Engine Oil fluids

– Coolant fluids

– Windshield fluids

– Washer fluids

– Brake fluids

– Power steering fluids

2) Car tire pressure

DIY CAR MAINTENANCE (1a) – Engine Oil Fluids

TIP: Always check the oil level when the engine has been turned off for an extended period to avoid hot oil from scalding yourself.

Purpose of Engine Oil fluids:

To lubricate the car engine parts and to prevent wear out.

Steps to follow:

1. Wipe the engine oil dipstick clean which is provided by the manufacturer

2. Insert the dipstick into engine, then pull up and check the level. If the top edge of the oil is above the ADD mark, the oil level is acceptable, else you need to add oil immediately. Typically amount required is one quart of oil.

3. To add oil, open the engine oil cap, place a funnel over the opening, and slowly pour the oil into it.

4. Wait for a few minutes and then recheck the oil level to ensure that the oil level is now within the “ADD” and “FULL” marks. Be careful not to add oil beyond the full mark as it will reduce the oil’s lubrication qualities and prove less effective.

DIY CAR MAINTENANCE (1b) – Coolant Fluids

Purpose of Coolant Fluids:

Circulates throughout car engine to remove excess heat. Comprises of a mixture of antifreeze fluid and water, which collects the heat and and brings it to the radiator where air flow cools the liquid before returning back to cool the engine.

Steps to follow:

1) Ensure both engine and radiator are cooled down before checking coolant level.

2) Locate the radiator, and the corresponding coolant reserve tank which is holding the top layer of coolant from the radiator. Check and ensure that the coolant level is within the lowest and maximum levels.

3) When the need to top-up arises, turn the radiator cap counterclockwise by 1 quarter turn to release any built-up pressure remaining in the cooling system, before turning all the way to open the cap.

4) Add coolant as required until level is within the min and max marks.

5) Replace cap and do a basic clean up.

DIY CAR MAINTENANCE (1c) – Windshield Fluids

Purpose of Windshield fluids:

To clean the wind screen as required.

Steps to follow:

1) Locate the windshield washer fluid reservoir. It appears like a white plastic milk jug or jar and hold a small quantity of the windshield fluids.

2) In most cases, you can do a visual inspection of the fluid level, and as long as it is an inch or two below the top, it is considered full, and do not require topping up.

3) If it is too low, simply unscrew the cap and top it up with commercial windshield washer fluid or create your very own diy windshield fluid by adding few drops of dish washing detergent to water.

4) Replace cap and do a basic clean up.

DIY CAR MAINTENANCE (1d) – Brake Fluids

Purpose of brake fluids:

Supports the hydraulic systems which enable the brake systems to function properly.

Steps to follow:

1) Locate the master brake cylinder

2) Clean the top of the reservoir before removing the cover with a wrench

3) Check and ensure that the brake fluid is up to the “FULL” mark. Do not compromise as this is a critical factor in car safety.

4) Top up with the brake fluid through a funnel carefully until the level is about one quarter inch below the top.


Brake fluids have different grades, so it is advisable to check the owner manuals for specific requirements.

Don’t let the brake fluid touch on the car paint, you will be in for a nasty surprise.

5) Replace and tighten the cap when done.

DIY CAR MAINTENANCE (1e) – Power Steering Fluids

Purpose of Power Steering Fluids:

Required for cars enabled with power steering capability, without which it is very difficult to turn the steering wheel.

Steps to follow:

1) Locate the power steering reservoir

2) Remove the cap of the reservoir and check the current fluid level.

TIP: Perform the check only when the engine is cool, else the readings will be inaccurate since the fluid expands when hot.

3) Top up the power steering fluid as specified in the car owner manuals, and be careful not to overfill it.

4) Replace and tighten the cap when done.

DIY CAR MAINTENANCE (2) – Car Tyre Pressure Check

Purpose of Tire Pressure Check:

Regular pressure checks will help to maximize the lifespan of the tires since the wrong pressures can cause over contact with the roads reducing the lifespan, or under contact with the road causing safety issues. Under-inflated tires will also reduce fuel economy resulting in higher costs unknowingly.

Steps to follow:

1) Find out the recommended tire pressures required from the car manuals, measured in psi.

2) For ease of checking, go to any gas station, and insert their tire pressure gauge into your car tire valve stem. Push it until you hear a rush of air, and then release it. Observe the pressure reading immediately on the tire gauge machine.

3) If air pressure is not enough, add air with the air line, and double check pressure when done. If air pressure is too high, release a bit of air with the tire gauge and double check before releasing more air.

4) Replace the valve stem cap when done.

5) Repeat for all tires.

TIP: It is good to also perform a quick check on the tire for any wear and tear and replace early for better car safety.


To summarize, through better understanding on the essential items to look out for during your routine car maintenance, and steps to follow during maintenance, you are now able to keep your car in tiptop performance at all times, and maximize the enjoyment of the car rides for yourself and your family.

Originally Written Article @

The author Jimmy Lee is involved in article writing, publishing, and website design on a freelance basis amid a daytime job as an electrical engineer. His favorite works can be found at and []

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