Car repairs that you shouldn’t try at home

5 car repairs you should leave to the experts

Who needs to pay a garage hundreds of pounds to fix your broken car when you’ve got Youtube videos showing you exactly how to do it yourself?

There is obviously plenty of car maintenance you can do yourself: replace a spark plug, put on your winter tyres, check fluid levels, maybe even change the battery. But there are also many car repairs you should not do yourself unless you have relevant training, because the potential for things to go wrong is just too big. Changing your brakes is a great example – while it’s not an overly complicated job, the consequences of getting anything to do with your brakes wrong can be so severe that it’s better left to the professionals.

The risk with all home car repairs is either that you might make a complete hash of it and have to get a garage to undo your mess, or worse, cause an entirely new problem yourself. Both of these are likely to be significantly more expensive than if you’d just called the garage in the first place – in the absolute worst case scenario, you might even end up needing a new car.

Here are five repairs you should not attempt to make yourself:


The trouble here is that you are messing around with electrics. Short circuiting the wiring would be a less severe outcome. A severe one would be starting an electrical fire.


Changing a cambelt – or timing belt – requires several other parts to be removed and replaced without damage, not to mention correct alignment of the belt and avoiding oil leaks.

Shock absorbers and suspension

Suspension repairs may look easy – but they are usually anything but, often requiring specialist equipment like spring compressors, and with the potential to go dangerously wrong.

Engine diagnostics

There are many reasons why the engine malfunction light might come on, and some of them are pretty serious. By all means check that there is not a very simple explanation, such as your fuel cap not being on properly, but if it's not obvious what’s wrong, trying to work it out is likely to be fruitless at best and damaging at worst. Take the car to a mechanic as soon as you can.


The transmission is one of the most complex parts of a car, made up of multifarious components, and replacing it yourself is a big and difficult job. Canadian news and media website Goliath described this as “truly the Kamikaze mission of home auto repairs,” adding, just to make the point completely clear, that you’re probably better off scrapping the car than attempting it yourself.

At Carwise Group, we have a huge range of used cars for sale of a variety of makes and models – and they're all thoroughly inspected by our in-house technicians before they go on sale, so you know everything is in good working order. If you'd like to test drive one of them, call us at whichever of our dealerships is most convenient for you – you'll find us in Harlow and Maidstone.