More and more people are saving money by doing maintenance and repair jobs on their cars - and are finding it easier than they feared. "Open the bonnet of a modern car and it looks complicated and daunting," says Haynes, publishers of world-leading car manuals. "But even modern cars still have wiper blades, oil filters, brake pads and light bulbs - things people can easily replace themselves."
A recent AutoTrader survey of 2,000 motorists found that 70 per cent were willing to try to replace brake pads or discs and replace broken lights.
However, Britannia Rescue warned: "We are increasingly being called out by people who have broken down because they have tried to repair their car themselves. We'd advise people to stick to the knowledge level they are comfortable with and not try to attempt jobs they aren't sure about."
Obviously this is sound advice, and all tasks in Haynes Manuals come with a difficulty rating, indicated by one to five spanner symbols. One spanner means: easy, suitable for a novice with little experience. Two spanners indicate 'fairly easy', three 'fairly difficult' and four 'difficult', while five spanners indicate 'very difficult, suitable for an expert DIY or a professional'.
Most routine maintenance and repair tasks fall into the one to three spanner ratings. Each task is described in detail and comprehensively illustrated with photographs and diagrams. There is advice on tools required plus information about torque settings and the correct parts to use. Haynes Hints give tips to make the work easier and show how to manage without special tools.
Haynes says: "Of course, even changing an electric plug can be hazardous if you don't know what you are doing - which is why all our manuals have sections on safety precautions, general repair procedures and the selection and use of tools."
Haynes publishes manuals for more than 300 cars (from classic vehicles such as the Morris Minor to modern cars such as Toyota Prius) as well as manuals for motorcycles, vans, caravans and even dishwashers and pianos.
Haynes Manuals retail at £19.99 (hardback) and are available from all good car accessory retailers and bookshops including: Halfords, Motor World and WH Smith. A comprehensive stockist locator can be found at www.haynes.co.uk.
The information on this page is supplied courtesy of Haynes Publishing, please credit accordingly if you intend to use it. For more information or to request a review copy please contact Spirit PR on 0117 944 1415 or email Haynes PR
Haynes Manuals is the world's leading publisher of illustrated workshop car and motorcycle manuals, as well as producing manuals on a wide range of DIY, leisure and lifestyle subjects. These will continue to include motoring and motorsport related subjects.