DIY Car Maintenance and Repair Tasks
Regular car maintenance is critical to keeping your vehicle in good condition and running smoothly. It can also save you money in the long run by preventing more expensive repairs. Besides that, well-maintained vehicles have the least chance of leaving you stranded by the roadside. You surely don’t wish to experience such on a rainy Sunday evening.
However, many people don’t know how to do even the most basic car repairs or are scared of working on their car. This guide will teach you some common DIY car maintenance and repair tasks to keep your car in good condition without spending a fortune at the auto-body shop near you.
You don’t need specialized tools or equipment to do DIY car maintenance tasks. Generally, the tools that came with your car are enough for basic tasks like changing a flat tire and other emergencies when they arise! If it’s more of routine, then buy them individually- but buy good quality items from reputable brands such as Autoparts-24.com.
Changing the engine coolant
The vehicle coolant is the liquid that prevents your car from overheating and or freezing. However, it does not last for long. It needs constant replacement. On average, you require to change the coolant every 25,000 miles. Alternatively, it should be changed after every five oil changes.
You do not need to be a professional mechanic to do this. All you will need is an air compressor, a socket, hose, wrench, and a 4-in-1 screwdriver. Before changing the old coolant, ensure that the engine is cool and check on the coolant levels. Always ensure that the coolant and brake fluid are clean.
Replacing the filters
Air filters keep your car running smoothly. The filters improve the heat in the vehicle and ensure that the air conditioning is working properly. Ideally, the filter should not be discolored and full of debris. However, if you notice that they are dirty or clogged, it is time to replace them.
Replacing them is easy and should not take up much time. All you need to do is unscrew the cap covering the filter, take the old one out and slide in the new one. Additionally, you may check the car’s manual for guidelines. If the air conditioning is still not working properly, there might be a problem with the serpentine belt.
Changing the engine oil
An oil change is among the simplest DIY car maintenance tasks every driver should know about. Changing the oil should be done after every 3,000 to 5,000 miles or after every three months. Regardless of how often you drive, you should change the oil often. It is an easy routine that can be done in about 40 minutes. Before you start, ensure that the engine is cool. To change the oil, place your car on jack stands and locate the oil drain plug under the vehicle. Place the drain pan below to catch the oil and remove the plug. Drain out the old oil.
The last step should be replacing your oil filter using an oil filter wrench if you cannot loosen it by hand. Remember to place the oil drain pan directly underneath the oil filter to catch any oil that drains. Remove the old oil filter and then clean the mounting surface on the engine with a rug.
Now, lightly coat the new oil filter rubber seal with fresh oil. When done, screw the new filter by hand and ensure the seal is properly seated in the filter. Using a funnel, pour in the type of oil for your car. Before you smile or clap your hands, run the engine and look on the area around the oil drain plug for leaks. Lastly, check your oil level using a dipstick to ensure you have added adequate oil.
Cleaning the headlights
Dirty headlights can make driving in the dark harder and riskier. It is important to remain safe, and cleaning the headlights is part of the safety routine. Cleaning the headlights is an easy DIY car repair task. For this routine, you can use toothpaste to clean the glass, which will, in turn, save you a lot of trouble. It leaves the headlights brighter.
Fix the defroster grid
Have you noticed some broken grid segments at the back windshield while driving? If you have, then your defroster grid needs repair. The lines are small wires that heat up when you activate the grid to assist you in keeping the windshield clear. However, at times they malfunction or may even stop working.
Fixing the defroster grid is, nonetheless, a small DIY car repair task. All you need is a defroster grid repair kit. Start by washing the windows and spotting any breaks in the grid. Proceed to paint the breaks with some conductive paint and let it dry for about fifteen minutes, and you are done.
Clean the car battery terminals
If your battery keeps dying off, its terminals might be corroded. Please do not rush to replace it with a new battery because all you may need is to clean the terminals. If you check and find that the terminals are rusty, clean using some baking soda, clean water, and a brush. Rusty terminals can place a strain on the charging system. Additionally, if the terminals do not clamp tightly, it is time to replace them. Furthermore, if you notice green corrosion on the copper cable, it would be best to replace the terminals entirely.
Replace the fuses
Fuses are important to any driver. If they get worn out, you might experience a turn signal failure or notice that the horn is not blowing properly. Your car may also refuse to start. It is important to note that fuses blow out before further electrical damage on the more expensive parts. As much as replacing the fuse is easy, the real task is identifying which fuse is spoilt. The first step is finding the fuse box and checking all the fuses. Check for whichever is broken or out of place. Pull it out and insert a new one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it worth doing your own car maintenance?
Yes. That is because it will save you time and money you would otherwise spend on an auto parts store.
Can you service a car by yourself?
Yes, you can. Modern vehicles have more complex electronics as compared to previous versions. However, most of the work is done under the hood, and it is still mechanical. Therefore, you can manage on your own.
What are the most necessary car maintenance tasks that need to be performed?
- Changing the oil regularly
- Replacements in the cabin air filter
- Checking and replacing wiper blades
- Replacements in the spark plug socket
- Replacing worn-out brake pads- brake pads tend to wear out with time. However, you should check the owner’s manual on how to replace brake pads.
What is the easiest vehicle maintenance?
Changing the oil has to be the easiest vehicle maintenance procedure. It also does not use up a lot of time.
Should you do your car maintenance?
Yes, you definitely should. Tasks like replacing wiper blades should not merit a trip to the auto parts store. This way, you get to know your car better than anyone else will, and it will also save you some money.
What car repairs should I do myself?
- Battery replacement
- Replacing the spark plugs
- Oil replacement
- Changing the engine air filter and ensuring the cooling system is properly functioning.
- Tire pressure maintenance – refilling with air pressure
- Replacing windshield wipers
- Changing brake pads
Keeping your car in top shape will not only save you money on labor but also make for a more enjoyable drive. With all these benefits, it’s no wonder that basic DIY car repair tasks should be part of any modern-day auto ownership.
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