My journey into DIY car maintenance and improvement

I often get a little frustrated looking at a car I own and noticing yet more work that needs doing. But that’s the ‘car life’ if you actually use them - things wear out and the elements conspire to make them less than the sum of their parts.

So I thought I’d do a quick interim post about the work I've done to cars in the last few years. That includes: welding, painting, replacing wheel bearings, ball joints, wiring, brakes, sensors, fans, a radiator, an engine mount, bits of interior, suspension and exhaust, services and with a lot of help even rebuilding a cylinder head.

It’s useful to remind yourself sometimes how far you’ve come. Drawing on that experience can give you the confidence you need to keep going and tackle more. There’s vanishingly little that scares me looking at faults on a car now. Once you get to a certain stage it’s all a matter of time and resources. Although a little fear is useful because having unquestioning faith in yourself is only likely to result in a costly or dangerous mistake.

However looking back helps you to know that you’re heading in the right direction.

Because when the cars you’ve owned and worked on are sold or they reach the end of their useful life what you are left with are the skills you gained. They can help you do something better, more interestingly or just continue with fuller confidence on future projects.

Whether it’s a full restoration, a service or quick paint touch-up it’s great to see people getting stuck in and having a go. I got started about 10 years ago when a wing mirror got knocked off the Rover 25 that was my pride and joy at the time. Being a thrifty student I bought a some cheap aftermarket parts and got stuck in - it’s the only way to really learn this stuff.*

*That said a mention has to go to the countless people who have helped me virtually or in person that I’ve met through online forums. Without which, I’d probably still be working out how to get that Rover’s door card off!


If you enjoyed this you can subscribe for free to get updates, and if you’re feeling kind please share on social media. Many thanks to those who have already. I’ll catch you next time when I may have another ‘Alf’ update or perhaps some news on the Rover that is currently up for sale.