What Car Repair Is Best Left To Professionals?

Illustration for article titled What Car Repair Is Best Left To Professionals?

Working on one's own car is a point of pride for many owners. Doing-it-yourself is both rewarding and a way to prevent someone else from mucking things up. Inevitably — for even the most hardcore gearheads — there are certain tasks best left to people wearing ASE badges on their sleeves. What repair or maintenance tasks are best handled by trained professional mechanics?

You can have all the power in the world and all the sophisticated suspension and braking gear ever designed, but if that ability to manage force isn't delivered to the pavement in a precise manner it's badly compromised. Proper alignment is one of the keys to having a happy car. And especially for vehicles with four-wheel independent suspensions, doing a decent alignment job at home verges on the impossible. You'll want to make sure that your shop of choice has a well-calibrated rack, but they will do it better — and much faster — than any amount of driveway fiddling can accomplish.

(QOTD is your chance to answer the day's most pressing automotive questions and experience the opinions of the insightful insiders, practicing pundits and gleeful gearheads that make up the Jalopnik commentariat. If you've got a suggestion for a good "Question Of the Day" send an email to tips at jalopnik dot com.)

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Photo Credit: David Moffitt / Flickr

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zerogspacecow
zerogspacecow

Oil changes.

Yeah, I said it, what're you gonna do about it? But seriously, the money you save (if you save any money at all) is so small that it's not really worth the effort. Shops get oil in bulk for cheap, filters in bulk for cheap, and are setup to do the job very quickly and cheaply. The only problem is making sure you use a shop that actually does the work, so no trips to Jiffy Lube! I find Walmart does a good job and you can trust that they'll actually do the job.