KISSIMMEE, Fla. - How old is your car? Chances are good that it's not brand new.
In fact, Edmunds.com reports that the average age of the car driving next to you this morning is 11 years old.
Keeping your car roadworthy for that long can get expensive, but if you have a little time and don't mind a little dirt, you can save big bucks.
Carlton Pierce spends his days off at Do-It-Yourself Auto Repair in Kissimmee and he's not a mechanic by trad.
"No matter what I needed to have done," said Pierce.
At Do-It-Yourself, you are the mechanic.
"You wanna do a brake job, you've never done it before, our mechanic will tell you basically what to do, and how to do it safely," said shop manager Oscar Verdejo, who tells us this is the only garage in Central Florida where customers can rent bays to work on their own cars.
"I think that everyone should learn something about their own vehicles, and this is a great place to do it," said Veredjo.
Another place to learn about your car is on YouTube, where you can watch certified technicians like Eric the Car Guy take you through a step-by-step repair.
"The more time and effort that you invest into your own vehicles, the more attached you become to them, and the more in-tune you become with them," said Eric.
While shop owner Dennis Raghunandan of World Automotive Services agrees that small repairs can be handled by most people, he urges caution with more complex jobs.
"I think if you feel tentative about working on your own car, you should weigh the benefits between how much money am I going to save vs. the risk I'm taking in causing a bigger problem," said Raghunandan.
So how do you know whether to fix it yourself or pay a professional?
For the novice: wiper blades, air filters and light bulbs are some quick fixes with a low risk factor that will save you money.
For the more advanced: hoses, belts, brake pads and spark plugs can provide additional savings, but you may need a few special tools to get the job done right.
More complex repairs, such as head gaskets, transmission, and suspension components are best left for a certified technician.
"You don't want to just dive into your vehicle repairs. You need to know the systems in order to repair them, and you need to have a certain level of understanding and that takes time, a little bit of effort, and some experience," said Eric The Car Guy. "Ultimately, at the end of the day, the most important tool you have is right here,"
Pierce says he's saved thousands by doing his own repairs.
"Because you can just guess what I did with the extra money that I saved, I purchased more parts for my car," he said. ?
Now if you're thinking about doing some of your own repairs, remember - safety first!
Mechanics Local 6 spoke with recommend wearing safety glasses like these for eye protection.
Also, wait until the car cools down so it doesn't burn you when you're working on it, and always keep a fire extinguisher with a "B" or "C" rating nearby, just in case.
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