If you want to live a frugal life, you should learn how to perform DIY car maintenance without paying a mechanic. We’ve put together five simple car maintenance tasks you can handle on your own.
Replace the Air Filter
The air filter should be changed yearly or every 12,000 miles in most cars. Sure, you can pay a mechanic to handle this, but the task only takes a few minutes.
- Locate the filter under your hood.
- Open the casing and make a note about which way the filter is facing.
- Remove the old one and replace a new filter in the same position.
- Close the casing and install metal clips.
Change the Windshield Wipers
Sure, you could get a professional to change the wipers, but there’s no reason too. There are some different ways to handle this DIY car maintenance task, depending on what kind of wiper you use. However, the process is simple.
- Lift the blades away from the windshield.
- If there are tabs on the underside, push them to remove the blade.
- Attach your new blades.
Plus, the packaging should have clear directions if you need further help.
Change the Oil and Filter
Surely, this isn’t a DIY car maintenance task you want to do if you have no automotive knowledge. However, for the average person with some basic tools, it’s pretty simple.
- Allow the engine to cool off.
- Jack up the car and place it on stands.
- Unscrew the drain plug and allow the oil to drain out into a pan.
- Replace the drain plug.
- Remove the filter.
- Lubricate the rubber gasket on the filter and replace it on the vehicle.
- Screw it on with your hand.
- Fill the engine with fresh oil.
- Check the oil levels before driving.
Replace the Battery
When the battery starts to die, you don’t want to wait to get a new one installed. Otherwise, you might find yourself late for work (which might not be a bad thing!).
- Turn off the engine.
- Remove the battery terminals, starting with the negative side.
- Carefully lift out the old battery and dispose of it properly.
- Place the new battery in its place and reconnect the terminals, starting with the positive side.
If there is any corrosion on the battery, make sure you clean it with a baking soda mixture.
Replace Fuel Filter
Another job for the auto enthusiast is to replace the fuel filter. This one requires a little more finesse and isn’t for everyone.
- With the engine running, pull out the fuel pump fuse or relay. The engine should die out.
- Disconnect the fuel lines from the filter with a rag over the fitting, just in case.
- Slide off the fuel line on either side of the fuel filter.
- Remove the old filter.
- Change the washers, which are found on the bolts.
- Install your new fuel filter by working in the opposite order.
- Put the fuel pump fuse or relay back in and start the car.
DIY Car Maintenance Saves Money
In these times, everyone is looking to save money. Whether you implement some of our car buying tips or you tackle maintenance on your own, there are ways to cut down on your expenses. What DIY car maintenance tasks do you handle yourself?