Top 5 Car Repairs That Are Better Left to Professionals

Times are hard and money is tight. You’re probably looking to save a few dollars any way you can this year, though saving money period is always a great thing. When it comes to car repairs, however, saving your hard-earned dough is easier said than done.

You might be confident that you can do the repairs on your own, especially when you can easily find “do it yourself” videos on YouTube. That’s an excellent option with simple repairs but, outside of lemon law cases in California for manufacturer defects, these five fixes are better left to the professionals. 

Timing Belt

Changing the timing belt on your car isn’t nearly as simple as changing the belt on your old vacuum cleaner. The timing belt is not only essential to keeping your engine running but in order to change it, you’re going to have to take apart about half of your vehicle’s engine. So, even if you manage to properly change the timing belt, your chances of putting the engine back together correctly are slim to none.

Shock Absorbers

Three words: Don’t do it! Not only is climbing under your vehicle to replace the shock absorbers dangerous in itself but if you make one mistake you will have a serious safety hazard on your hands. It’s also difficult for anyone but a trained professional to tell the difference between a shock absorber and a strut. If you start the repair and can’t finish it, you’ll end up costing yourself more money.

Engine Diagnostics

You’re driving along and your check engine light comes on. Your first instinct is probably to try to figure out the problem on your own. When this happens, make sure your gas cap is screwed on properly. It could be as simple as that. If that doesn’t seem to be the problem, you’ll need to seek professional help. Engine diagnosis requires expensive equipment that the average person just doesn’t have.


Without a properly working radiator, your vehicle will overheat, malfunction, and cause you expensive repair bills. Although YouTube video makes it look simple, replacing a radiator isn’t as easy as it looks. If you mess up the repair, it could end up costing you upwards of $7000, as opposed to hiring a professional for less than $1000, which is much cheaper than a new engine.

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Head Gasket

This repair typically takes a trained professional around 25 hours to complete, so you can imagine what you’d be getting yourself into. The head gasket seals in the internal combustion and keeps coolant and oil from mixing in your engine. If you get it wrong, your engine will be permanently damaged. Save yourself a lot of time, and potentially a lot of money. Leave this repair to a mechanic.


It’s no secret that the transmission is arguably the most expensive and complex repairs to a vehicle. It contains thousands of parts that have to work together perfectly. In fact, when the transmission goes, a lot of people just scrap their car and get a new one. If you would rather spend the money on repairs than buying a new car, do yourself a favor and leave it to the pros.