Money savers - Top 10 DIY car jobs

Save a fortune on garage bills with some easy home maintenance

Take a look under a modern car’s bonnet and you’ll be hard-pressed to guess an engine was in there at all! Covered in black plastic and shielded from view, the powerplants of today look nothing like those of old.

Gone is the time when you could spend hours in the garage, spanner in hand, fettling for fun. Now, manufacturers want you to take your car to a dealer for the simplest of jobs. Auto Express has heard of cases where even adjusting your headlights involves a trip to a local main agent.

But it’s not only the makers which have changed – motorists have, too. As modern cars are far more reliable than their predecessors, many owners believe they can forget about simple DIY tasks. “Neglect usually leads to breakdown,” said a spokeswoman for recovery firm Green Flag. “Spending a few minutes checking the essentials is the best way to steer clear of trouble.”

But why are these tasks now so much more difficult? A spokeswoman for industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said: “Makers have invested heavily in technology to improve safety, and they need trained technicians to work on it.” Fault finding often involves plugging in costly diagnostic equipment – so, if in doubt, get it checked by a dealer. And before carrying out any routine maintenance, check you won’t invali­date the manufacturer’s warranty.

If you’re still prepared to get your hands dirty, there are many essential checks that are realistic for DIY mech­anics to carry out. We list 10 jobs that will keep your car in great condition, and rate how easy they are to do.

Click on the images at the top of the story for a full explanation of what the job entails.

Recommended

Ford to launch online car sales this summer
Ford

Ford to launch online car sales this summer

Lockdown has accelerated Ford’s plans to offer a complete online service
4 Jun 2020
European cars subject to 10% import tariffs from 2021
Dacia Duster row
News

European cars subject to 10% import tariffs from 2021

UK will default to World Trade Organisation rules from 1 January 2021 unless a a free trade agreement is struck with the EU
19 May 2020

Most Popular

New 2021 Mercedes EQA electric crossover arrives with 302-mile range
Mercedes EQA - front
Mercedes EQA

New 2021 Mercedes EQA electric crossover arrives with 302-mile range

The new Mercedes EQA is a premium rival for the Volkswagen ID.3 and Kia e-Niro, with a maximum claimed range of 302 miles
20 Jan 2021
BMW, Mercedes and Tesla owners could be at risk of higher insurance premiums
bmw x5 m50d tracking front
News

BMW, Mercedes and Tesla owners could be at risk of higher insurance premiums

Raw, uncapped insurance group rating data could be used by insurers to increase premiums on various high-end cars
19 Jan 2021
New Skoda Fabia spied in production panelling for first time
Skoda Fabia spy
Skoda Fabia

New Skoda Fabia spied in production panelling for first time

Latest Skoda Fabia supermini is due to arrive later this year – and our spy photographers have spotted a mule in sporty Monte Carlo trim
20 Jan 2021