Don't be scared of DIY car maintenance. Harness your inner mechanic.
Cars have made leaps and bounds since their beginning especially when it comes to the basic mechanics of a vehicle. Just take a look under the hood of any car and you’ll see barely any open space. Simple things like changing your own oil or checking other fluids used to be a cinch. Nowadays you can barely fit your hand through any open crevice.
Still, while it may seem like DIY car maintenance tasks of yesteryear are long gone, you’d be surprised what all you can still accomplish on your own.
Take heed of these simple DIY car maintenance tips.
Ever take your car in for a tune-up and all of a sudden you’re walking out with five-hundred bucks worth of extra work and upsales? The unfortunate truth is there are mechanics out there that try to swindle you into purchasing add-ons that you don’t actually need. I’ve also had a lot of experience in dealing with mechanics and knowing all of their tricks. Below are a few of the most common shady tactics:
- Selling bogus services that you don't need.
- Purposely destroying parts to appear worse off.
- A repair is done without you knowing about it.
- There’s a mechanical issue but they can’t show you.
Keep a close eye out. Not all mechanics are shady, but it’s always smart to keep an eye out for the shady ones’ vehicle maintenance tips.
DIY car repair can actually be fun once you get used to it.
There’s a certain sense of pride you gain from fixing some car problems yourself. Plus, it will help in the long run and save you some big bucks. Basic car maintenance can be done at your house and is easier than you’ve been led to believe. Saving money in any way you can is always a good idea, and I’ve got your back. Below are a few of the better car servicing tips you can do to help keep your wallet fatter.
- Windshield wipers. It’s a good idea to change these out every six months, maybe sooner if you live in a wetter climate. Don’t fall for free installation from a mechanic, that only applies if you buy the most expensive pair of wiper blades. Go to your local auto parts store, spend the $10-$20, and do it yourself. All cars are different, so your owner’s manual will have proper steps to follow. Don’t worry; they’re easy to install and will take 15 minutes tops.
- Air filter changes. Typically, it’s best to change out your air filter every 12 months or 12,000 miles. It takes roughly ten minutes. You should see it as soon as you pop your hood. If not, consult your owner’s manual. It’s as simple as opening the casing, removing the air filter and replacing it with a new one that you can find at any auto parts store. The best part is it will cost you a little more than $10.
- Radiator flush. Flushes are usually one of the priciest services to have done at a mechanic’s shop. Luckily you can do it yourself for about $25. It’s really easy to do, too. Simply find the drain plug at the bottom of the radiator, unscrew the cap and make sure it drains into a safe reservoir. Once it’s completely drained, remove the radiator cap, pour in radiator flush cleaning fluid, fill the rest of the radiator with water and start the car. After 10 minutes of the car running with the heater in its hottest position, turn the car off and let the engine completely cool down. Remove the radiator plug once again to drain all the fluid, and refill it with fresh coolant.
- Battery maintenance. In my opinion, this one is the easiest. Grab a wrench, corrosion-removal fluid, wire brush, and rags. A good-running battery is essential. Crunchy, white residue build up often outside of battery ports. By simply removing the battery terminals (always remove the negative cable first). Once loose, use whatever fluid you purchased and your wire brush to remove all residue from the ports. Dry both posts after you’re finished and reconnect the cables. Instead of paying $50 or more for this service, you’ll spend around $5-$10.
DIY auto repair can help keep your car out of the shop and running on the road for a long time. Plus, it helps you save money and everyone is a fan of that. Car education just takes a little bit of research and patience. It also helps to have someone in your corner always looking out for the health of your car.
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