Your car gets you everywhere, and it deserves the best care you can offer. That said, not everything has to be done at the repair shop. While some car maintenance can be complicated and require some level of professional knowledge, many others can be done safely in your own garage. In this article, we let you in on five basic DIY car maintenance tasks that you can include in your checklist.
1- Changing the Oil
This is a quick and simple task, but you have to be sure that the car is raised and stable before you get under it. Never get under a car supported only by a jack; invest in one of the various car service ramps available on the market, or jack stands.
If the car is cold, run it for a few minutes to warm the oil, and if it is hot from recently being driven, then you will want to wait for at least 30 minutes to avoid burn injuries. You will also want to place all of the items you need in one place near you; this includes wrenches, a drain pan, and a new oil filter.
Start by removing the drain plug and draining out the old oil, then reinstall the plug. Then, remove the old filter, coat the new filter’s gasket with fresh oil, and install it. Now you can add the new oil and use the dipstick to check that the level is correct.
2- Swapping Out the Battery
The first step here is to buy your new battery. Then, use a wrench kit and start by removing the black negative cable first when taking out the old battery (similarly, when you’ve installed the new battery, remember to replace the negative cable last.) Be careful when switching cables, for a mistake could lead to a short circuit. You will want to clean your cable terminals with a mix of baking soda and water, and coat them with petroleum jelly for longevity.
3- Changing the Light Bulbs
Take out the old bulb and make sure to take it with you to the store to ensure that you’re buying the correct bulb size. Remember to never touch headlight bulb glass with your bare hands, as the oils in your fingers can cause the bulb to burn out early.
4- Changing the Wiper Blades
Wiper blades are all very similar with minor differences, so check your owner’s manual if you have any doubts. That said, it’s a pretty simple task; first, lift up the blades and check how they are attached to the metal arms. Then simply push the tab and carefully slide out the existing blade. Similarly, and in the opposite direction, slide in the new blades without bending the metal arms or scratching the windshield.
5- Changing the Air Filter
This should take about ten minutes. First, locate the filter under the car’s hood (look for the black rectangular casing with metal clips on the side.) Once you’ve found it, open it up and examine how the air filter is installed, also remembering the way your filter is facing for when you install the new one. Now carefully remove the old filter and insert the replacement in the same direction of the old one, then close the metal clips on the casing.
If you want to take care of some car maintenance tasks yourself, and save some money in the process, it’s actually easily doable. All you need to do is invest in some basic tools, study this quick guide above, and you’re ready!