Times are difficult and people are looking for ways to save money in all spheres of life. This holds true for car maintenance, as well. Remember a car is a necessity to stay mobile. So, if you want to save money on car maintenance, learn to do the maintenance yourself. While some maintenance jobs are best left to a specialist, there are others that you can do yourself.
Changing the Air Filter
It will hardly take you 10 minutes to change the air filter in your car. You need to change the air filter every 12,000 miles or 12 months, depending on what comes first. Here is how you can do it.
- Open the hood of the car and locate the filter. It will be present in a rectangular black box, which will have metal clips at the sides. If you can’t locate the air filter, refer to your owner’s manual.
- Open the box and first inspect how the air filter is fitted inside.
- Remove the filter and replace it with a new one.
- Close the box and put the clips back in place. And, you are done.
Replacing the Windshield Wipers
You can always get free installation at a local auto parts shop, but this is only when you spend money on an expensive set of blades. Why spend money unnecessarily when you can replace your car’s windshield wipers in about 15 minutes for hardly any money? Change your windshield wiper blades every 6 months if you use them frequently. Otherwise, once a year will suffice. This is how you can do it:
- Lift the blades like you would do when washing the windshield.
- Remove the old blades while paying attention to the way they are attached to the metal arms. There will be a tab that you would have to push to dislodge the blades.
- Then fix the new blades. Make sure you don’t bend the metal arms or scratch the windshield while doing it.
Changing the Oil and Oil Filter
Most auto experts claim it is important to change the oil every 3,000 miles. However, it is best to follow your manufacturer’s instruction when it comes to oil change. It will take you about 45 minutes to change the oil and oil filter in your car, and you will need an oil pan, ratchet, oil filter wrench, and funnel to get the job done properly. Make sure the engine is cool before you change the oil and use a jack to elevate the car, so that you can work comfortably.
- Slide under your car and locate the oil pan. Check the owner’s manual if you face a problem locating the pan.
- Unscrew the drain plug and let the old oil drain into the oil pan.
- Replace the plug once all the oil has drained.
- Open the hood and locate the oil filter. Remove it using the wrench.
- Use motor oil to lubricate the gasket of the new filter and then pour some new oil into the filter, so that it is two-thirds filled.
- Place the new filter into position.
- Fill the engine with oil. You can use the funnel to pour it in.
- Check the dip-stick to ascertain the level of the oil, so that you know you have added enough oil.
- Take the old oil to a gas station where it will be recycled. You can throw away the old oil filter since it is of no use any longer.
Maintaining Your Car’s Battery
If your car battery has solid connection, your car will operate smoothly and efficiently. So, make it a point to regularly inspect your car’s battery and if you notice white residue on the connections, clean it. It will take you about 20 minutes to clean the battery, but it is time worth spent. Before you start cleaning, make sure you get some battery cleaning solution that removes corrosion. This solution should be available in your local auto parts shop.
- Disconnect the battery terminals. Remove the negative cable first. If the cables are stuck, a flathead screwdriver can loosen them.
- Use the battery cleaning solution to clean the posts. Apply the solution on the post and then use a wire brush to clean them.
- Use a little water to remove the cleaning solution and then wipe dry with a clean rag.
- Replace the terminals and you are done.
These are some of the car maintenance jobs you can do at home and save on money. However, only attempt them if you are comfortable doing them. Always take precautions to avoid injuries. If you feel you are unable to do your own car maintenance, don’t. Take your car to a reliable and wonderful car repair workshop and get a qualified mechanic to do it for you. It is always better to be safe than sorry.