Can I maintain my own car -- or do I really have to take it to a garage for regular servicing?
The answer is yes and no. You are capable of not just maintaining your own car but also making one from scratch. So don’t worry about your capabilities. The more important issue is the kind of maintenance you would like to do. If you have a basic understanding of your car and have the equipment, you can do periodic servicing like oil change, fuel filter and air filter cleaning. And no, looking after your machine is not a full-time job. If done regularly, you won’t need to spend more than a couple of hours on it every 10,000 kms. How do you begin? It will help to spend some time with a mechanic to learn the basics. Also invest in a good car mechanics manual that will get you started. The positives? You save a lot of money which you could use for the fuel. You also learn a new trick and have a sense of accomplishment. Car mechanics are a different breed and a rather fun kind to be part of.
The negatives? If it’s a new car, you lose the warranty and will actually end up spending rather than saving. Plus you need space especially to store your tools and equipment, not to mention a good laundry to take care of the grease. If you do not have garage space or a separate store-room to stack your tools, don’t bother. But the most important con that many men have revealed is that their better halves would rather have them do them the dishes than get their fingers dirty on a spark plug!
Rohitaaz Kumar has been a national level rallyist and keen car enthusiast. He is now heading the events division at JK Tyre Motorsports.
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