Routine maintenance of your car is essential in ensuring that your car remains in good condition for many years without a major breakdown. While modern cars are becoming more sophisticated, not every maintenance task requires a skilled technician. There are simple maintenance tasks that you can do to avoid hefty bills.
Of course, some repairs and maintenance will still need the hand of a professional mechanic, yet there are tasks that you can do without needing to become a mechanic. Here are quick-&-easy 8 car maintenance tasks you can handle yourself.
1. Replace The Air Filter
A car needs a new air filter every 12 months or 12,000 miles. Surprisingly, changing an air filter only takes about a minute, and you don’t even need a tool.
- Find the filter which is located under the hood of your car. If you aren’t able to find it, check the owner’s manual.
- Open the casing and inspect the air filter inside.
- Remove the old filter and replace it with a new filter.
- Close the casing and secure it with the metal clips just the way it was before.
That’s it. That didn’t even take a minute.
2. Change The Coolant
It can take somewhere around five to ten minutes to change a coolant depending on the car model & type. You will need an air compressor and hose, a wrench, a socket, and a screwdriver. Tip: Make sure the engine is “cool” before you change the “cool-ant”.
- Check the levels of the coolant.
- Open the drain cock by unscrewing.
- Remove the hose to drain the remaining coolant.
- Refill the radiator with fresh coolant.
3. Battery Maintenance
With a good battery, your car runs smoothly and efficiently; and you won’t face ignition issues mostly caused by a dead battery. In this DIY task, you will need a corrosion-removal fluid and wire brush.
- Check the condition of the battery. You may notice some specks of white residue.
- Disconnect the battery before you start. Start with the negative terminal and then the positive terminal.
- Apply the corrosion removal liquid on the posts of the battery.
- Clean with the wire brush until all the dirt is gone.
- Rinse the fluid with water.
- Dry the posts with a clean, dry cloth.
4. Change The Oil
You should change your car’s oil every three months. This process can take between 30 to 45 minutes. You will need an oil filter wrench, an oil pan, and a funnel.
- Make sure the engine is cool and jack up your car.
- Under your car, locate the oil pan and unscrew the drain plug.
- Drain the old oil into an oil pan and replace the drain plug.
- Go to the engine and remove the oil filter and the wrench.
- Fill a new oil filter with new oil and screw it in place.
- Using the funnel, add new oil to the engine.
- Put the oil cap back in place.
5. Clean The Headlights
If your car’s headlights are cloudy, you can easily clean them instead of replacing them with new ones using the below procedures.
- Buy a headlight restoration kit.
- Apply some grease on the area around the headlight for protection.
- Apply the polishing compound to soften the coat on the headlight.
- Sand the lens with medium pressure.
- Clean the lens with clear water and ensure all the polishing compound is cleaned.
- Apply a new clear coat and let it dry.
6. Replace The Fuses
You should check fuses regularly; otherwise, a broken fuse can damage the electronic components of your car.
- Locate the fuse box using the owner’s manual.
- Inspect each fuse.
- Remove any broken fuse and replace it with a new one.
7. Windshield Wipers
Replacing the windshield wipers of your car is a simple maintenance task that takes about 10 minutes.
- Remove the wiper from the windshield.
- Detach the wiper from the wiper arm.
- Attach the new wiper with the existing wiper arm and make sure it’s tight.
- Return the wiper arm on the windshield.
- Repeat this process on the other wiper.
In case your car’s windshield is cracked or broken, you can take help from an Idaho auto body shop, as they will be able to assist you better.
8. Replacing Brake Pads
Replacing the brake pads may seem complicated, but it is a simple task that takes about 45 minutes to one hour.
- Jack up the car and break the lugs on the tires.
- Remove one of the wheels of your car.
- Remove the old brake pads by unscrewing the bolts.
- Put new brake pads in place.
- Put your wheel back and secure it with the lug bolts.
Once you learn how to DIY maintenance tasks on your car, you can save hefty mechanic bills. In case you find some tasks to be complicated, you can take up simple 1 to 10 minutes tasks that you are comfortable with.
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