Saving money on a car doesn’t mean avoiding car maintenance and repair — in fact that can cost you much more in the long run. There are actually many car maintenance tasks that any driver can perform effectively. Only an owner’s manual, a few hand tools and a willingness to learn are required. Here are four DIY ways you can skip a trip to the mechanic and save money on your family vehicle.
While certain maintenance tasks require a mechanic’s attention, the internet gives you greater access to how-to guides and materials to make DIY work easy. As YouFixCars.com explains, “Another advantage the Internet brings to your front door is the ability to get your hands on top quality, deeply discounted, automotive tools and equipment.”
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1. Change Oil
The recommendation is that you have your fluids replaced every year. Mechanics often advertise for oil changes, but it’s a simple task that anyone can do at home. Review the owner’s manual to see which type of oil to use and then drain the old fluid carefully. Replace the oil without spilling any onto the engine and check for leaks under the car.
2. Replace Air Filters
An air filter prevents too much polluted air from entering the engine area. The longer you use the screen, the more clogged up it becomes and needs a replacement. First, open the car hood and locate the filter cover. The whole process of switching an old filter with a new one takes a few minutes.
3. Replace Windshield Wipers
You don’t need to use windshield wipers every day. Not getting them to work correctly during heavy rain or snowfall is dangerous for any driver. Being a mechanic is not necessary to replace them if you follow instructions well.
First, know the size and brand of your old wipers for an idea of which new ones you should buy. Remove the old blades and then install the new set, making sure that they are correctly aligned and clicked into place. Last, turn on the car and test the newly installed set.
4. Perform Radiator Flush
A radiator cools off your car’s engine and sustains a lot of heat and debris buildup. Keep this part clean by draining the fluid and removing built up deposits. Remove the remaining particles by flushing it out with water. Last, refill the container with new coolant.
There are several maintenance tasks that all drivers should consider doing themselves. Changing the oil or replacing the air filter takes only a few minutes if you’ve done it before. If you go to the mechanic, though, you spend an unnecessary amount of money to have it fixed. In addition to saving money, you will become a better, more confident driver. You’ll have a better idea of how to react if a car breaks down on you or someone you know.