Categorized | Auto Blog

Don’t Ask The Family

Don’t Ask The Family

Running a car – any car – is an expensive business. These days they are fairly complex too, so the days of DIY car repairs have perhaps lost the appeal they once had and we have lost those basic automotive skills. Obviously, there are still some diehard auto enthusiasts who will tackle pretty much any job but most of us baulk at the prospect. Nevertheless, DIY saves money so maybe it is worth a shot – or you could ask the family; but is this a good idea?

Many of us will have a family member or friend who reckons that he or she knows a thing or two about cars. Often this is an overbearing avuncular who won’t take no for an answer. The danger is, no matter how well intentioned, their assistance could end up being a costly experience.

Figures reveal that motorists and householders pay out an estimated three hundred million pounds a year after being forced to enlist the services of a professional to put things right. It seems that one in six of us is left regretting ever accepting help.

The maintenance blunders, made by well-meaning amateurs, range from elementary mistakes involving car batteries, to more serious errors such as using the wrong oil or fiddling with the electrics or engine parts. As a result almost half of those who subsequently had to employ an expert were left with an additional bill of over one hundred pounds

“What’s the worst that could happen”? Well, here’s some true examples – One in twelve experienced problems starting their cars after a battery change because the leads had been connected wrongly and a further one in six had water added to their screen wash not realising that diluting it reduced its ability to clean effectively and increased the risk of it freezing in winter. Imagine using your screen wash whilst driving at speed and having it freeze on the windscreen! It doesn’t bear thinking about.

Finally, even if all goes well there’s another problem. Many of us will feel obliged to return the favour or at least feel indebted to the person who helped them. This means that we have to return that kindness. Who knows where that could lead? You could find yourself teetering on a high ladder in a gale fixing someone else’s guttering. No – best play safe. If you cannot do it yourself or feel that the job is beyond you then leave it to the professionals. It will cost more but what price do you put on peace of mind?

This post was written by:

- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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