So the time has come to take on your first DIY repair. The question you’re most likely asking yourself in this very moment is “Where do I begin?”. Whether it’s changing a flat tire or replacing a headlight, there are certain basics you need to know before getting the process started. While safety gear and equipment is a must, it’s also important to assess your workspace, especially if you plan on tackling a bigger project. Some could potentially take months to complete. That is why we’ll outline the best places to work on your car no matter the task at hand or location you’re in.
Best places to work on your car
Before you carry out a project on your car, here’s a look at the top places to perform maintenance and repairs:
In a garage
If your house is equipped with a full-size garage, that’s typically the best place to perform vehicle repairs and maintenance. This gives you a designated space to unbox your tools and keep important equipment close at hand. With electrical outlets nearby, you’ll also have the ability to charge any tools that will be useful throughout the duration of the repair.
One of the biggest advantages to working in a garage is the protection from weathering elements. Rain or shine, you’ll have no problem replacing air filters or tending to a few paint scratches on your car. The garage, in essence, becomes a safe haven, both for you and your vehicle as you begin working on the bits and pieces of a repair job.
Because not every driver has a garage or carport at home, it never hurts to ask a family member or friend to share their space. In some cases, you can temporarily rent a garage for certain DIY projects that will last longer than a few hours or days at a time. To give an example, if you plan on replacing an engine in a classic car, you’ll need over eight hours at minimum.
On the side of the road
In most cities, drivers are authorized to perform work on a personal vehicle directly on the street. However, we only advise this option if you find yourself located on a quiet street or in a ‘worst case scenario’ situation, such as ending up with a flat tire.
Despite some of the obvious dangers of working on public roadways, like traffic and noise concerns, it’s oftentimes the only feasible place in the moment. If you need to change a tire as quickly as possible, you’ll find the side of the road is the only place to get the job done unless you pay a towing company to move your car to a new location.
Generally speaking, any driver that takes on a repair or maintenance task on the side of the road should be cognizant of their mechanic abilities. You don’t want to end up with an immobile vehicle should you be unable to fix the problem.
In a parking lot
There are many times when an abandoned parking lot makes for a great alternative to a garage space. With ample room to work on your vehicle and little to no traffic nearby, you’ll find its a relatively safe and quiet location to get your car back in working condition.
On the other hand, some drivers think one of the best places to work on your car is directly in the auto part shop parking lot. That means, you’ll have easy access to any parts or supplies you may need while working on DIY maintenance, such as swapping out windshield wipers or adding washer fluid.
In either case, it’s important to ask for permission beforehand and stay mindful of city ordinances. Some auto part shops will discourage customers from working on a car in the parking lot, while others are perfectly fine with the idea. At any rate, it’s better to ask than find yourself in too deep!
No place like home: professional tips for doing repairs yourself at home
Most car enthusiasts would agree one of the best places to work on your vehicle is right at home. Apart from the comforts of being at your place of residence, its also the location your car spends most of its time (other than the road).
While working from home, you can tackle the minor and major repairs without ever feeling the time crunch. Not to mention, if you make a mistake, your vehicle is in a safe spot for the time being until you can get it to a professional.
There are plenty of advantages to performing vehicle tasks at home. However, before you start dismantling any car parts, here’s a list of important safety tips to keep in mind:
- Always have a phone handy in case of an emergency.
- Never work on a vehicle on a sloped driveway. If you plan on jacking up a vehicle to work underneath, a sloped driveway will jeopardize your safety.
- Be cautious of the temperature outside. High heat can cause fatigue and irritation, which could impact your job performance.
- Check with your landlord before getting busy with a DIY repair from home. Not all landlords will permit car maintenance due to messy cleanup and safety risks.