Contrary to popular belief, the main reason for automotive DIY repair/projects is not (or should not be) about saving money. While DIY projects have become a growing trend within the past few years, there are other, far better reasons to do-it-yourself.
Main reasons are gaining knowledge, new skills, and the enormous feeling of satisfaction that comes from building or repairing your own parts. This is worth far more than any money can offer. As the youth of today look to acquire the basics in automotive repair or custom fabrication, we refer to a common metaphorical phrase that so fittingly suits any rookie do-it-yourselfer: We must learn to walk before we run. Looking for a simple translation? Take baby steps to learn the ins and outs of what you’re planning to build or repair before you drive headfirst. Each and every new skill you pick up along the way enables the learning processes to be “exercised”, making it easier to learn other new things that come your way.
The skills you learn from building an engine harness project or fabricating a custom part extend far beyond soldering a few components and wires. You must source the components, working your way through a flurry of technical data and service manuals to figure out if the part you think is right is actually right. But it doesn’t end there.
You will probably need to brush up on your math skills as electronics schematics, such as resistors/diodes require mathematical principles. The greater your understanding, the more you have learned in the process. These are not trivial skills; you will also need to learn how to perform basic metalworking skills if attempting to repair items on your vehicle. Drilling, tapping threads, and resurfacing are all tasks that need to be done to complete your project. These are all skills that aren’t just used in short-term detail. Chances are they are simply trade skills that might come in handy later on in life.
But don’t go over your head and attempt to fix everything yourselves. DIY projects can also open you up to liability should an accident or injury result due to your auto repair work or fabrication. The reality is if you are not experienced or have the right tools to do the job, it won’t be done correctly. That’s something a professional mechanic with years of experience can and will address correctly the first time around. Auto repair and/or custom vehicle fabrication is not the place to cut corners, especially if your family’s well-being comes into question every time they jump in your car. Keep in mind shoddy repairs or DIY work can lead to even more expensive repair bills to bring your car back to safe driving conditions.
When you build something correctly, there is a sense of pride, of achievement—there is something to show for it, something tangible. Something you made from raw materials, dedicated blood, sweat, and tears to finish provides enjoyment that no store-bought item ever will replicate.