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Save Money on Auto Repair by Doing it Yourself

Save Money on Auto Repair by Doing it Yourself

Saving money on a car doesn’t mean avoiding car maintenance and repair — in fact, neglecting maintenance 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 only 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, you will spend some of money to have it fixed. In addition to saving money, these skills you learn will help you become more confident driver. You’ll have a better idea of how to react if a car breaks down on you or someone you know.

Want to save even more money?

Sarah H Ketcher

Thursday 21st of January 2021

You can also buy parts online, I bought a starter for super cheap compared to what a family friend mechanic was going to charge for the part, and if you send the starter or whichever part back to the company refunds your payment to equal an even cheaper price. My hubby always goes to a local huge car yard called U-Pull It and just as the name suggests you pull the part that you need. I believe it costs 5 dollars to search the yards( more like 5 football fields lol) and they can look up either the part or year make model and tell you before if they even have anything you need and narrow it down to like one football field. After going off a 2 story drop on XMAS eve head first in our GMC Suburban and only living outside Beaumont Texas in Silsbee, TX for less than 6 months, if you don't know the country town like the back of your hand the roads, are super dangerous and have zero guardrails with reflectors fixed leaving those of us who only drive 1o MPH end up driving off the 2 story drop in Hwy 327 and turning an almost 30,000 vehicle into maybe 1000 in scraps. Besides the frame being bent straight up everything else is in great condition. I have seen many vehicles like this at U Pull It or I would google similar businesses. Also do not waste your money on a product called FIXD. It's a complete ripoff and I bought 3 for almost 65 each. Keep your log for what and when you replaced anything and everything, place, or website you got parts as well as final price so you can go back to compare notes God forbid you to run into another similar issue. The App NextDoor has where you can write a post asking your neighbors to recommend anyone trustworthy and willing to possibly trade putting in a part to say help with their yard. Or just honest, fair workér. You can even get it used towards your taxes if used for work. Keep all receipts also and just out everything in an accordion binder in the glove box. Hope any of this helps. I lost my car in Imelda after it survived Harvey and am carless, so chins up! You at least have wheels! Thank you so much to my dear sweet friend Nicole and her entire hard-working team. I met Nicole by just stumbling upon her site right after Harvey hit Beaumont and we were not only broke but had to watch everyone we had just finished building our first and only house with our bare hands and then with those same hands had to rip it down to beyond the studs. My husband was in welding school at Lamar Universities trade school LIT. When I didn't even know what or where to even begin this amazing woman took charge and wrote an ENTIRE step by STEP article on Harvey and what to do now. She even called my husbands School and got in touch with maybe the Counselor, not sure but they had a major pull and were blown away that Nicole's heart leads her to call and see what or when and how these students who had lost everything but this were able to hold onto it. I'm in tears just thinking about how every time you can't see any sort of light at the end of the tunnel someone Always shows up with a spotlight screaming follow me, I found the way out. Coastal welding donated lost equipment, the school covered books, gloves, FR gear, helmets, and ended up paying for the exam which is 200 just to take, and as we all know most of us do not have that laying around. Besides, the Cajun Navy that rescued us from the rising waters in the garage where my 2-year-old was in a life jacket whiLe I had to manually raise the garage door then swim to my life jacket in what looked like fecal matter. Just a little mental pic for y'all ??! 911 put us as number 67 in the ER help list and within 15 minutes an airboat and 3 men in Waders jumped out and got my daughter first then helped us properly shut everything off to prevent electrocution then piggybacked me to our master to get our ER box and waterproof bag that contained 2 months of meds (epileptic) and psych meds and clothes for a week. Along with a portable hard drive. Best 2 days spent putting all that together. Didn't get any insurance or Fema but 500 from Redcross and my 4 angels. Nicole who I will eventually meet one day, and my 3 guys who we had the chance of returning the favor to this past year with Laura. It's heartbreaking but if you can set your mind to I can survive this then nothing can or will get in my way, you will do things you never thought were even possible. They give us the tools but we have to do the work.

Hannah Benge

Thursday 21st of January 2021

Thank you so much for your kind words and your advice! We hope you have a wonderful one! -Hannah

Richard Taylor

Tuesday 7th of May 2019

There are a number of things you can do like changing the oil, cleaning it every week, checking the water level, etc. I mean these are all the easy things which save you time and money.

Riley Thomson

Tuesday 7th of May 2019

Richard, Thanks for the tip! -Riley

Lary Cook

Tuesday 5th of March 2019

Great article. DIYs indeed can help you save money especially when it comes to auto repairs. Like you can change your own tires, oil, battery, air filters and windshield wipers. But be careful and if your car is giving serious trouble like the check engine light is blinking or brakes are squealing then show it to a professional mechanic as you might not be the right person to work on your vehicle in such situations.

Riley Thomson

Wednesday 6th of March 2019

Lary, Great tip! Thanks! -Riley