Whitney Russell
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4 Places to Work on Your Car When You Don’t Have a Garage

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oil change service maintenance
Garages aren’t the only place to perform an oil change

Garages are ideal places to perform maintenance on your car. But where do you work on your vehicle if your house or apartment doesn’t have one? You might live near a few alternative spaces that are safe to use for this purpose. However, make sure to check your city’s regulations in case it prohibits do-it-yourself car care in certain public areas.

Be Prepared: Find the right parts for your vehicle’s service item

Parking lot

parking lot
An abandoned parking lot can be a good place for quick vehicle maintenance jobs when you don’t have a garage
Photo: Pexels via Pixabay

A parking lot can make a great garage alternative. Pick an abandoned one in your neighborhood. Or, better yet, go with an auto parts shop parking lot. That way, you’ll have easy access to parts if you find out that you’re missing a couple of items that you need to get the job done right. According to The Drive, some auto shops discourage customers from wrenching on your car in their parking lot, but there are many shops that are OK with it.

A shared space or storage unit

Another option is a DIY shared space or rented garage. It’s likely that such a place won’t mind if you use the unit as a temporary car care space.

The woods

If you live in the country or have a friend or relative that does, the woods can be a decent location for tinkering on your car. Make sure to have plywood and tarps on hand to help keep your vehicle clean during the process and prevent it from getting stuck in the mud. If you need electricity to get the job done, bring along a portable generator. You can also use nearby trees to help hoist up your car or any heavy parts you’ll be working with.

A friend’s garage or driveway

auto mechanic repair tools
A friend’s garage is one of the safest spots to wrench on your car

Ask a friend if you can use their garage or driveway to work on your vehicle. If they give you the green light to do so, make sure to bring all the tools you need to perform the service task. And pack cleaning supplies so you can tidy up before you leave.

If you plan on caring for your car yourself, make sure that you have everything you need in a car maintenance toolbox so everything goes smoothly. No matter where you work, don’t forget to look up the proper way to dispose of car fluids so you don’t pollute.

Stress-Free Car Care: Schedule a service appointment for your vehicle