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Cost-effective car maintenance every South African should do themselves

There are four basic car maintenance tasks that every South African can and should do for themselves, not only to save money on parts and labour, but also to learn a valuable skill.

Of course, you will still need the correct tools, but for the most basic of car maintenance jobs, they fortunately wouldn’t be that difficult or expensive to come by, and you might even have them stored somewhere in your garage already.

Third-party car insurance provider MotorHappy has detailed a number of easy-to-do car service and maintenance scenarios that most owners would be able to do themselves with little to no assistance.

These are:

  • Changing the oil
  • Replacing air filters
  • Replacing wiper blades
  • Checking and topping up fluids like coolant, windshield washer fluid, and brake fluid

“One of the most important aspects of car ownership is knowing when you can perform car maintenance and repairs on your vehicle, and when to call in the professionals,” said MotorHappy.

When leaving it to the professionals is best

While DIY car maintenance is possible, there are also scenarios when it would be best to call in the help of a professional mechanic.

For example, if your car is experiencing issues such as transmission problems, engine trouble, or electrical malfunctions, it’s recommended to rope in a trained mechanic as soon as possible as delaying a repair could result in a bigger problem that could be more expensive to fix.

In modern cars, an ambiguous warning light may also pop up on the dash and require advanced diagnostic tools in order to identify and fix the issues, which is something only the experts have readily available.

Finally, if your vehicle is still under its factory warranty, the manufacturer may dictate that all service, repairs, and maintenance be carried out by an authorised shop so as to guarantee the quality of the job, and to avoid you accidentally voiding the warranty by attempting to do it yourself or taking it to a backyard mechanic that gives you a better deal for shoddier work.

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