Things to Know About DIY Auto Maintenance - Service Information at Capitol Chevrolet

There are several reasons people become interested in DIY auto service. Some want to save money, while others enjoy spending a Saturday working with a wrench. We understand the appeal! When it comes to do-it-yourself maintenance on your Chevrolet, there are some important things that you should know beforehand. We've compiled a list of them here.

Wrenches, screwdrivers, and other tools

6. Make Sure You Have All the Necessary Information, Tools & Parts

As exciting as it may be to get started on your latest DIY project, jumping in unprepared is usually a quick way to end up disappointed. Before you pop the hood, be sure that you understand the service you're about to perform. Look it up in a book, watch a video of it being performed, or do both.

After you have an understanding of what it is you're going to do, it's time to make sure you're really prepared. We recommend using OEM and GM-approved parts for all DIY services so that you can get the guaranteed quality and longevity that these parts provide. Furthermore, it's important to have the right tools for the job. While it might not seem like a big deal to improvise with similar tools, the recommended ones are the best way to get the job done right.

Oil change

5. Start Small

It may be tempting to start off with things like changing the timing belt or installing a Chevrolet small-block engine, but the best course of action is to begin with smaller things. Before you begin doing DIY work, learn how to do things like check the various fluids in your Chevy. After that, begin with simpler tasks like replacing the windshield wiper blades or changing the cabin and engine air filters. This way, you can get used to working with a car without getting in over your head. Afterwards, you may wish to progress to things like oil changes and brake pad replacements--or you may find that you prefer leaving those things to the dealer.

4. Put Aside Extra Time for the Job

Things sometimes have a way of becoming more complicated in ways that we can't necessarily predict. Maybe a tool snaps, or you find that an oil-change chain stripped your drain plug, or you discover an entirely different problem once you get started. For this reason, it's wise to make sure you set aside more than the estimated amount of time that the service will take. It's very likely that a service that's expected to take an hour will only take an hour, but that's a dangerous bet to make when you have an anniversary date or an important meeting in two hours.

Service center

3. Get a Friend To Help You

If you haven't done much in the way of DIY work, a more knowledgeable friend can be immensely helpful. They may be able to help you if you encounter an unexpected problem that you don't quite know how to handle. Of course, even if you feel comfortable with the job you're performing, an extra pair of hands and eyes can make a task go smoother. Many hands make light work, after all. And, if you need to make a quick run back to the parts store, having someone with a car that's not in a state of disassembly can be a lifesaver!

2. Be Safe

It's common for people to forget how dangerous cars are when they're in motion, but they're also dangerous when they're not moving. Even the 2020 Chevrolet Spark, one of the lightest of the 2020 Chevy lineup, weighs in at over 2,200 pounds. If you're lifting your car up to work on the underside, it's best to make absolutely certain that it's secure. Similarly, if you're working on the engine, make sure that it's cooled down before doing something like checking or adding coolant.

1. Know Your Limits

If you're not certain about your ability to do something, it's often best to leave it to the experts. Even longtime shadetree mechanics sometimes bring their vehicles into the dealership for repairs, especially if there's a problem that lies outside their area of expertise (for example, if there's a problem with the wiring). There's no shame in letting a certified technician take care of a larger project, and it may save you lots of time and trouble.

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