Four DIY mistakes car owners should avoid

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One simple error in a DIY process could cause major damage to your car. We point out four common automobile DIY mistakes you should steer clear of.

Most car owners are much more comfortable with engaging in some common automobile DIY such as topping up their vehicle’s engine oil and jump starting the car battery.

Fixing your automobile yourself comes with several benefits. Aside from the fact that it saves you from spending some extra buck to send the car to the mechanic, it makes you feel good about yourself. It also saves time.

We know it is advised we learn from our mistakes but then there is the saying that ‘prevention is better than cure’. Besides some mistakes are just too costly and not worth experiencing in the first place.

In view of this, Naijauto would point out to you four common automobile DIY mistakes you should steer clear of.

1. Not changing the spark plug

Car owners are either ignorant of this or like postponing it. That is why it is advised that when you purchase your car, you read the manufacturer’s manual as it would give a guide to certain basic maintenance procedures that you can carry out on your own. A damaged spark plug could result in a ‘check engine’ light and ignoring to replace it can cause even greater damage as it is in the case when you are required to purchase a new catalytic converter.

Never change the spark plugs when the engine is still hot. If you need to change the spark plug, it is best you do it in the morning before using your car or wait a few hours after parking.

You know it is time to change your car’s spark plugs when it no longer has the capacity to bridge gap between electrodes effectively. At such point, you start getting signs such as engine misfiring and decreased acceleration.

>>> You can refer to this post for detailed instructions: Step-by-step guide for spark plugs replacement


Sparkplugs are best changed when the engine is cool

2. Mistakes with disconnecting and changing the car battery

Car batteries last for as long as five years provided they are given proper maintenance. Its longevity is however also dependent on other factors such as the climate, how often you start up your vehicle and the distance your vehicle frequently covers. Car owners sometimes make the mistake of overcharging or undercharging their car batteries and this make the battery not to last for long.

 Another mistake they make is trying to disconnect the dead battery in the wrong order. Before changing your car battery, you should ensure that the new battery you are replacing it with is fully charged. Then start with disconnecting the negative cable first. Lift the dead battery by removing its clamping device while ensuring that you hold the battery in an upright position. This is to prevent its acidic solution from leaking out. You can then place the new battery at the position of the former one.

If your car is a recent model, you might be tempted to disconnect your battery while the engine is still running to test your vehicle’s alternator. You could do that and get away with an old model car that doesn’t have much computers and electronics fixed into it but in the modern cars that are well equipped with these devices, it could cause the alternator to spike a high level of voltage that can damage things. Rather, use a voltmeter to test your alternator.

>>> You could take care of your car battery yourslef if you learn How to recharge and maintain your car battery

3. Mistakes with changing engine oil

Do not ignore your car manufacturer’s manual, as it will give you a guide or an idea of how often you ought to change your oil. This is necessary because every car is different and not maintaining the recommended oil changes as stated by the manufacturer can damage your engine. Some even make the mistake of using the wrong engine oil, which can cause the vehicle to act strange.

Also, ensure you don’t constantly drive with a low oil pressure. Driving with a very low oil pressure can in fact damage your engine in a matter of few minutes.


Using the wrong engine oil could make your engine go totally bad

>>> Here are 5 clear signs that your car needs an oil change. Please pay more attention to it!

4. Mistakes with removing old oil filter

Just as its name denotes, a car oil filter functions to filter the engine oil thus, removing contaminants that might have accumulated over time in the oil. If this is not done and the engine oil is contaminated, several parts of the engine stand a high chance of experiencing failure.

The oil filter needs to be changed each time you change your oil. Car owners make the mistake of either installing the wrong filter or not fixing it properly. Do not over-tighten it as that could break the O-ring and ensure that you change the oil filter with the O- ring as well.

These four simple DIY mistakes have destroyed many engines because they were done wrongly. Now you know how not to make these DIY mistakes and save your engine.

DIYs are very cool and pocket friendly but make sure to know what you are doing before you proceed.

>>> Plenty of car maintenance tips and car buying & selling advice are available on!

Okenwa Emeka is a prolific writer who combines his content creation skills with a strong passion for automobiles to make engaging articles for Naija car lovers. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing CAM with a diploma in digital marketing. 




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