4 Vehicle Repairs Not to Try at Home
Some Jobs are Best Left to the Professionals
Many of us believe that we are pretty handy. And many of us actually are pretty handy. The DIY attitude is great to have, but there are times when you can end up doing more damage to a vehicle when you try to tackle jobs at home. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not good enough, it likely just means that you don’t have the proper tools (some of them are really expensive).
We have rounded up a few of the vehicle repairs that seem like they should be easy, but in the long run, they’re not at all. These are the jobs best left to the professionals who spend every day doing this, and have the right (expensive) tools to get it done.
Paintless Dent Repair
Paintless dent repair (PDR), is a method of pulling or pushing the dents out without the need to drill holes are otherwise repaint the vehicle. Normally, these are done after a light hail storm hits the area (heavy hail damage means cutting off panels and welding new ones into place). While it seems easy with a suction cup kit (or one of the many home remedies involving hair dryers and dry ice), the process isn’t quite as simple as you think.
Pulling a dent out is easy. You can quickly pop that dent out. The trick is getting the dent out, and the metal back into the right place. Too often, trying this at home results in the dent being removed too well, and now it sticks out above the rest of the surface.
Painting a car is not like painting a house. It doesn’t involve brushes or rollers; instead relying on paint sprayers. But have you ever painted a board, room, or house and a little too much paint got on the surface? It beads up and dribbles down. No problem on wood, just brush it lightly and spread it around. It doesn’t work that way on a vehicle.
Even if you buy or rent the proper air compressor, this isn’t a job you can do in the driveway. It’s hardly one you can do in the garage. Automotive paint takes time to dry and cure. Tiny specs of dust will cause all of your work to look terrible… and you won’t know it until all is completely done.
Big Sky Collision Center has a room just for painting. We can speed up the curing process by “baking” the vehicle in a controlled environment.
Working with large panes of glass is not easy. Especially if you have to grab them with your hands and hope that you can drop the glass into place getting your fingers out of the way in time. Even with suction cups to help steady the glass and place it into the channels, there’s more to it than that.
Installing glass requires the right glues, precision placement, and knowledge of replacing weather stripping. Can it be done at home? Yes. Will it leak in the first rain? Most likely.
Large Dent Repairs
Of course you’re not going to get out a hammer and smash the metal back into place. You could, but it would never go back just right. But if you have a dented fender or quarter panel, just pop it off and put a new one on. Easy right? Despite the obvious that panels don’t just “pop” off, there’s more to dent and collision repair than that.
Many vehicles have wiring that runs behind those panels. There are also other components that are intricately combined. Popping a panel or fender off is the first step. Inspection to ensure more damage isn’t present is next (some isn’t obvious to the bare eye), and replacing the new panel securely is last.
Vehicle Repairs that You Can Do on Your Own
Of course, there are a lot of things that you can do on your own. Some may be frustrating, but feasible. Here are a few that you don’t really need a professional, unless you want to save some time and possibly a handful of curse words.
Many mirrors can be replaced by removing trim and detaching a couple of screws. Even if you mess this one up, you’re not going to put yourself in a dangerous situation.
With the exception of most newer vehicles, bumpers often unbolt easily and a new one can go on. Integrated bumpers, where they blend into the auto body, are trickier, but potentially done at home.
Most of us can clean our own vehicles. Even if you don’t have a shop vac, and you need to swing by the gas station or car wash to use theirs, you can do it yourself. Just please, for the love of all things holy, don’t use olive oil to “condition” your dashboard.
Big Sky Collision Center Fixes Vehicles
Here at Big Sky Collision Center we are taking great steps to be the best auto body repair shop in Billings. Our goal is to restore your vehicle to factory safety standards. Trust the professional work to the professionals, and only tackle the jobs you are certain you can do on your own.
Need to schedule collision repairs in our Billings shop? Call us at 406-259-6328 to set up a time to bring your vehicle in.