Essential Car Maintenance

A trip to the mechanic can be prevented by doing DIY car maintenance. You don’t have to be an expert car mechanic in order to learn the job the professionals do to your car. You can save plenty of time and money if you do your own car maintenance. 

Here are some of the DIY that you can try with your car.

1. You can replace your air filter every year or for every 12,000 miles that your car has clocked. The process just takes about 10-15 minutes. Check the filter located under the hood of your car. You can also read the manuals if you can’t find it under the hood. Open up the car casing and make sure to take note of the direction where the filter faces. Simply remove the old filter and replace it with the new one. You can hit the new filter with some compressed air so it can have an extended life.

2. Changing your wiper blades can just cost you about $20 and 20 minutes of your time. You can lift the blades just like when you are washing them. Gently remove the old blades and take note how they’re attached to the metal arms. Wiper blades can vary from one car to another but most of them should have a tab that is located on the side of the wiper. If you are not sure how to attach the new blades, the packaging can also come with helpful instructions that include pictures to make your installation easier.

3. Changing your car’s spark plugs may sound like rocket science but they are fairly easy to do. You just need to have a lot of patience and make sure that they are installed in the right order. Never remove the spark plugs all at once. They can differ depending on the number of your car’s cylinders. Remove the spark plug from its socket and screw in the new one very carefully. The new spark plug should be snug. You should not over tighten when screwing them in. The right plugs can come pre-gapped so you don’t need to worry about “gapping” the new ones.

4.  In maintaining your car’s batteries, you need wrenches, a wire brush, rags and corrosion-removal fluids. Your battery is important because it enables your car to run efficiently and smoothly. Remove the battery from its terminal by using a screwdriver. You can clean the post by a solution of baking soda and water. Some say that Coca-Cola will actually work but you can check with your local automotive store to see if they offer other effective cleaning brands. Check the hood of your car every few months and see if your battery is still in a pretty good shape.

5. Oil filter and Oil

You need an oil filter wrench, funnel, ratchet and a funnel to complete this job. You might want to change oil every 3,000 miles. Make sure to work only with cool engines before getting started. Locate the oil pan, and remove all the oil by unscrewing the drain plug. Use your wrench to remove the old oil filter. Use new motor oil to lubricate the rubber gasket. Fill the filter with two-thirds of new oil. Screw the new filter and double check the oil level using a dip-stick.

DIY Maintenance can take a few tries and a lot of time when you are still starting. But it is worth it in the long run. If you are uncomfortable doing the DIY method, you can always call a professional. You might also want to ask them for some tips and tricks while they are in the process of maintaining your car.