Do-It-Yourself Matrix

How do you know if a certain repair is right for you?

Great question.

In our opinion, there are three factors to consider:

How dangerous is the repair to life and limb if something goes wrong during or after the job?

The risk that you might cause permanent, unalterable damage to your car. The degree of complexity of the repair, or the need for very special and expensive tools.

To help you decide whether to attempt a specific repair, we've ranked many of the most common repairs in each of these three categories.

Car Talk's Do-It-Yourself Matrix
Each of the repairs listed below is assigned a risk ranking of Low (green), Medium (yellow) or High (red). Green signifies the least-risky DIY repair with red being the riskiest. For more on these rankings, click here.