If you live at a location without any car shops nearby, or you simply want to spend some time in the garage and feel like those people from the movies who fix their cars, there are quite a lot DIY Car Maintenance things that you can do by yourself, even if you are a complete beginner.
Our vehicles need and deserve love, so every once in a while you’ll have to do some cleaning, fixing and testing. That is if you want to make sure that the next time you’re out on the road, you won’t feel worried about being left there in the middle of the night.
When you take a look at how a mechanic works, you probably get all worried up because it looks very complicated, but is that true? Yes, it’s true, but does it mean that you can’t learn to do it yourself? Not.
You might not be able to rebuild entire engines and create a project car from scratch, but you will be more than able to do the basic maintenance stuff that a regular car owner should do. Our list has some very simple yet effective things on it, so why not stick around for a while and take a look?
1. Air Filter
Changing your air filter is something that you’ll have to do multiple times while you are the owner of your car. Usually, people change this component once a year, or every 19,000 kilometers, which can sometimes be less than a year depending on how much you are using your car.
To change your filter, you don’t need any tools, and a brand-new one costs about ten to fifteen dollars, which is quite cheap for something that makes a lot of difference in your car-using experience. The time you’ll need to change the filter shouldn’t be longer than fifteen minutes, even if it is your first time under the hood.
2. Spark Plugs
When you take a look at the owner’s manual, you will see a tip from your manufacturer, suggesting when you should be replacing the spark plugs. Now, these are usually replaced after 48.000 kilometers, but it is different for every vehicle, which is why we suggest that you follow what’s written in your manual.
Without fully-functional spark plugs, your car is unusable, because they are a major component responsible for the work of the engine. Changing these should be done whenever you notice that something’s wrong with them, or when you see that they are getting very old.
It takes less than twenty dollars to purchase them, and about half an hour to replace them. Pretty easy, but you have to be very careful with the order because you shouldn’t remove all of the wires at once. While you are installing them, they require a special order, make sure to follow it.
3. Oil Filter and Oil
According to what car experts and professionals say, you should be changing the oil in your engine every five thousand kilometers, but some people tend to “bypass” this slightly, and they extend the time up to seven or eight thousand.
Some do this because they believe newer cars operate more efficiently, and this means that they don’t spend as much oil as older ones, and although that is true, you should still follow what your user manual suggests.
Without enough oil, your engine cannot run smoothly, and if things are not well-lubricated, some parts will wear out much quicker, causing tons of damage that will cost you a lot more to fix afterward.
Changing your oil doesn’t cost a lot of money, but it can take a bit of your time, so try to do it when you are not in a hurry, and most importantly, when your engine is not hot. To get started on your car repairs, visit onlymanuals.com and find the manual for your car.
4. Brake Pads
Your brakes are what keeps you safe while you are driving. Whenever you need to stop immediately, the quality of your brake pads will make the entire difference between hitting something and stopping safely, even if it’s not your fault.
It is very important to have brakes that are not worn-out from extensive use and you will be able to make sure of this by replacing your pads every thirty thousand kilometers on average. Some people may argue that this number should be a lot higher, but it depends on how much you are using them and what their current quality status is.
If you rarely use them, you can go a lot longer before needing a replacement, but it’s good that you follow your user manual and do as it says.
Changing these will take you up to an hour, and you will need a C-clamp, an adjustable wrench, a hammer, and a lug wrench. Purchasing new pads will be somewhere around fifty dollars, but this may vary depending on the model of your car. It’s not the easiest thing to do, so it can take you even an entire hour of your time if you are not very experienced at it.
5. Radiator Flush
If your radiator and cooling system are not functioning properly, your car will face a lot of temperature issues, which can damage important parts if they persist for a longer time.
As you keep putting miles into your vehicle, in the radiator part a build-up deposit will start forming, and that can completely disrupt the system responsible for lowering the temperature in your car. When something like this happens, you will have to do a quick radiator flush to clean things up.
These products should cost somewhere around thirty to fifty dollars, depending on the brand, and the entire procedure shouldn’t take you more than thirty minutes, or even a lot less if you are already experienced doing something like this.
If you are not sure where to find the radiator plug in your vehicle, you can always check your user manual and you will find it along with some useful instructions about the entire process. Always use the manual because it’s a valuable source of information designed specifically for your car model.