DIY car maintenance: if you own a car, you should know how to do these 8 simple things

DIY car maintenance: if you own a car, you should know how to do these 8 simple things

Even though most modern cars require specialized expensive equipment and electronic diagnostics systems to repair problems, some of them you can easily fix yourself. All you need is a bit of experience and appropriate tools – equipped with those, you can begin by dealing with small problems and then move on to complex issues that require some experience. Here are a few examples of simple car repairs you can easily do on your own.

CHANGING OIL

Oil change is relatively easy, as long as you maintain certain precautions. Don’t do it right after driving your car – it can get very hot! Wait at least a couple of hours and proceed with the oil change, using tools like: wrench, ratchet, oil filter, funnel and oil container.

HEADLIGHT BULBS

If you notice one of your headlights is burned out, don’t worry. If it’s not sealed, you can easily replace it on your own. Just make sure to buy the right bulb for your car and just do it – you’re really saving up on it.

REPLACE AIR FILTER

If your air filter is clogged, you risk losing on many different aspects of car performance, such as power and gas mileage. Replacing a worn out filter is one of the easiest maintenance tasks you can do on your own.

MAINTAIN WINDSHIELD WIPERS

Old wipers are no good – the strips of rubber are worn out and won’t keep your windshield clean. All you need is a screwdriver and a pair of new wipers to change. Now driving through a curtain of rain won’t be a problem.

FIX FUEL FILTERS

Fuel filters are extremely important – replacing them regularly can save you hundreds of dollars from engine damage. They keep fuel injection and carburettor systems clean and efficient. Remember: before replacing your fuel filter, make sure to release the fuel system pressure – otherwise, you’ll face damage or even injury.

SPARK PLUGS

Spark plugs are cheap and will help your car to improve its fuel consumption ratings and allow for a smoother drive. When you’re replacing your spark plugs, don’t forget to have a look at your plug wires too. Actually, if you’re already down there, you can also check your distributor cap and rotor – if they’re worn out, you can easily replace them together with spark plugs.

REPLACE A DRIVE BELT

If you hear a loud squealing noise from your car, have a look at your drive belt to see if it’s worn – look for cracks and signs of looseness. If it’s just loose, you might only tighten it up, instead of replacing it. All you need is a ratchet, a screwdriver, as well as sockets and wrenches.

FIX BRAKE PADS

Hearing a squealing noise every time you apply the brakes is no good – it means it’s time to replace your brake pads. Prepare a jack, a torque wrench and ratchets, a c-clamp and a tire iron and get down to it.

Finally, educate yourself. There are lots of free resources scattered around the web – try them for some insightful how-to guides, instructive videos and even diagnostic assistance. Some are available on mobile devices, allowing you to use its help when out and about.

Having a firm grasp on the workings of your car is essential if you want to maintain it in great condition and not lose a fortune over each and every repair that could be easily done without the help of a mechanic.

Monique Craig is an Australian blogger and marketing specialist, who works for Oneflare , an Australian online marketplace, which connects customers with service providers.

Need a car?
Rent one from your neighbour from $5/hour or $25/day. Join for free