4 Easy DIY Automotive Fixes that can Help You Save Money
Automobiles have now become a necessity for people from all walks of life but if there’s anything that frustrates people about owning a car, it’s its repair and maintenance. Maintaining and repairing a car is only expensive but also very time consuming. Anyone who has fixed their car themselves or spent a lot of money on mechanics can tell you the importance of doing easy car fixes on your own to save money.
Vehicles are a big investment so it is important to maintain them to save any unmanageable expenses in the long run. Whether its the high costs of the repairs, the prolonged wait for the work or a mechanic trying to upsell you on unnecessary work, car maintenance and fixes can be a lot of trouble.
Despite all the hassle, nothing should come in your way to maintain your car in a top-notch condition. Here are some easy DIY automotive fixes that can help you save a lot of money:
1. Changing the Oil
Many automotive experts and mechanics are of the view that you should change the oil after every 3000 miles. But, changing oil so frequently might not be as necessary as now we have a higher quality of oil available. In fact, several new cars only need oil changes after 5000-10,000 miles. The requirement might vary from vehicle to vehicle. It is best to look into your car manual or check the manufacturer’s recommendations to decide when your vehicle needs oil change.
That said, whenever you decide to change the oil of your car on your own, you need to be mindful of a few things—the first being your safety and second being some DIY tips to make this messy task a lot easier. Make sure to use jack stands to raise the car before you get under it. Also, ensure that the engine is not hot when you are changing the oil.
Once you get under the car, remove the drain plug to drain all the old oil in the oil pan. Replace the drain plug, then go back to the engine and remove the old oil filter. Install a new oil filter after lubricating its gasket with new oil and fill the filter to about two-thirds of the capacity. Check with a dipstick to be sure that the level is correct. Screw in the oil filter back with your hand and fill the engine with new oil.
2. Maintaining the Battery
If the battery of your car is new, it is likely to last about 4-6 years. That said, the condition of the battery depends on a number of factors including the climate of the area in which you live, how much you drive the car, and the distances you drive to. Like most other parts of a vehicle, the battery also requires regular maintenance rather than waiting until it dies to replace it. To prevent this cost of replacement and service expenses, you can take some preventive measures to ensure the durability of the battery.
Rather than paying a standard amount for battery testing every year, you might as well do the task on your own without much trouble. Remove the battery terminals and remember to always remove the negative terminal first. You can use a screwdriver to make them loose if they are too tight to come off. The next step is to clean the post with the help of a cleaning product available at local auto parts store. Now, the rinse the fluid with a little water, dry the posts, and put back the battery terminals. To avoid battery replacement too soon, check your battery every once in a while to see if it needs cleaning and maintenance.
3. Replacing Air Filter
Basic maintenance primarily entails changing the oil, fuel filter, spark plugs, and air filter of your car. Your car needs a new air filter every 12 months or 12,000 miles. Replacing an air filter is a fairly easy part of car repairs and after learning it you might not feel the need to pay a mechanic and give your car up for a whole day.
All you have to do is find the air filter under the hood of your car. This black rectangular box with metallic clips on the sides is easier to locate as soon as you open the hood. Unscrew the top of the filter housing, replace the filter and reinstall the housing. The only things you need for this quick fix are a screwdriver and a new air filter.
4. Changing Spark Plugs
Another important aspect of car maintenance is replacing the spark plugs. Usually, your car needs new spark plugs after about 30,000 miles. You can refer to the manufacturer’s guide to be sure when to replace them. It might feel like a difficult task at hand but changing spark plugs is also an easy automotive fix and you may not have to take your car to the mechanic for this.
Apart from the ease, you must replace the spark plugs in a particular order. When you open the hood of your car, you can find the spark plugs attached to thick rubbery wires. Remove the wire of one spark plug at a time because they are installed in a specific order which you should also maintain. Use the spark plug socket and extension on the ratchet to remove the spark plug. Replace it with a new one by screwing it in with hand first and then tightening with a wrench. Finally, attach the spark plug wire back into place. Replace all the spark plugs by repeating the same process.
One of the most important tips of all when it comes to DIY automotive fixes is that you should know when not to take things in your own hands. While you can save a lot of time and money by doing some simple repairs on your own, you should also be mindful not to try to fix a problem that can only be handled by a professional. Apart from that, you can safely do this easy automotive fixes all by yourself and save an expensive visit to a mechanic.