On average, people are forced to pay about $400 every time they have to send their vehicle to the shop for auto repair. In the event that they have to send their vehicle to the shop multiple times in one year, the costs can really add up.
Would you like to attempt to steer clear of these costs? You can do it by learning how to do some simple car maintenance projects at home. By taking care of them yourself, you can save quite a bit of money on auto repair every year.
There are, of course, some car maintenance projects that will prove to be anything but simple. Replacing a timing belt, for example, is a job best left to the professionals.
But there are also plenty of car maintenance projects you can do on your own. Here are six projects that you should consider adding to your to-do list.
1. Checking the Tire Pressure
Simple doesn’t even begin to describe this simple car maintenance project. It’s so simple that we probably shouldn’t even refer to it as a “project.”
But it’s important for you to keep close tabs on your car’s tire pressure at all times. If you’re riding around on underinflated tires, it could hurt your car’s fuel economy. It could also put you into harm’s way since underinflated tires won’t always grip the road as they should.
You can check your tire pressure in a matter of seconds by using a tire pressure gauge. If any of your tires are low on air, you can then pump them up so that you don’t have to worry about them being underinflated anymore.
2. Replacing the Windshield Wipers
Take a look at the windshield wipers on your car right now. Does it look like they’re starting to deteriorate right before your very eyes?
You put your windshield wipers through hell when you use them to clear rain, snow, sleet, hail, and more off your windshield. You also put them through hell when you’re not using them by allowing them to bake in the hot sun.
Replace them about once every six months to ensure they’re able to do their job when you turn them on. It’s as simple as unhooking your old windshield wipers and snapping your new windshield wipers into place.
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3. Changing the Oil
For years, mechanics recommended that everyone change the oil in their cars every three months or 3,000 miles.
These days, there are many cars that can go a lot longer than that in between oil changes. But you should still make it a point to have your oil changed on a regular basis.
Take a look at these car repair manuals to see how often your auto manufacturer asks you to perform oil changes. Then, change your oil by:
- Allowing your car to cool off completely before you get started
- Locating the drain plug underneath your car and draining all the old oil in your car out of it
- Removing the old oil filter from your car
- Filling a new oil filter with new oil and installing it in your car
- Filling your engine with new oil
- Discarding your oil properly
It might take you one or two oil changes to get the hang of things. But it won’t be long before you’re changing your own oil in a hurry.
4. Installing New Spark Plugs
Most car owners only have to replace old spark plugs once. Spark plugs often last for more than 100,000 miles, which means you won’t have to worry about replacing them much.
That being said, spark plugs do play a very important role in the overall well-being of your car. It’s going to be difficult to start your car up and keep it firing on all cylinders without reliable spark plugs.
If your spark plugs are on the older side, you should think about installing new ones. With little more than a socket wrench, a socket extension, and a new set of spark plugs, you can get this simple car maintenance project done in under 30 minutes.
5. Putting a New Air Filter Into Place
When is the last time you thought about the air filter in your car, much less took the time to replace it? You should be installing a new air filter in your car about once every year or every 12,000 miles.
The thought of doing this on your own might terrify you, but it’s one of the easier auto maintenance projects on this list. You can do it without any tools in most cases.
Here are the steps you’ll need to take to do it:
- Pop your car’s hood and locate the air filter (it’s usually situated in a black rectangular box that has several clips on it to keep it closed)
- Open up the casing for your air filter and take your old air filter out
- Put your new air filter into the casing (make sure it faces the same way your old one did!)
That’s all there is to it. You’ll have a fresh air filter under your hood in no time.
6. Cleaning the Battery
The only time most people pay any mind to their car battery is when it’s not working. There are few things in life more frustrating than getting behind the wheel and realizing your car battery is dead.
You can avoid this situation by taking better care of your car battery. That means inspecting it every so often and cleaning any corrosion found around your battery’s terminals with a professional cleaning product.
By taking 20 minutes or so to do this, you can keep your car’s battery up and running for the foreseeable future.
Start Performing These Simple Car Maintenance Projects From Now on
You don’t have to be a highly skilled and experienced mechanic to perform any of the simple car maintenance projects we just discussed. You can learn how to do most of them in an afternoon.
Take on one of these simple car maintenance projects the next time your car needs a little TLC. You’ll be so glad you took the time to do it once you realize how much money you saved and how accomplished you feel.
Check out the articles on our blog to find more tips on taking great care of your car.