Do-it-yourself car care

Have you been relying on your mechanic to take care of even the smallest repair and maintenance procedures on your car? You may feel like you’re helpless under the hood of your car, but there are some things you can learn to do on your own. Here are some do-it-yourself car care projects that could help you save money and keep your car in good working order.

Since every car make and model is different, it’s important that you consult your owner’s manual to learn how to properly perform these do-it-yourself procedures. You may also want to ask a mechanic or friend who’s familiar with cars to show you the ropes. Remember that not following directions or not fully understanding steps can cost you more in the long run, so if you’re uncomfortable with anything you read, be sure to consult a certified mechanic.

Oil changes
The oil in your car keeps its moving parts running smoothly and helps prevent rust and corrosion. Most manufacturers and mechanics recommend having your oil changed about every three thousand miles or so. Be sure you know what grade oil is the best for your vehicle, driving habits and weather conditions so that can make the most of your oil changes.

Battery changes
You car’s battery is where all of the energy that your car needs to run its systems is stored. Some car batteries have charge indicators and others require some water to run properly, so be sure you know what kind of battery you have.

Air filters
The air filter on your car is a device that keeps contaminants from the air from getting into your engine. When your air filter is clogged or old, you may notice that your car has to work harder to keep its systems properly functioning and that can mean your visits to the gas pump can be more costly. Learn where your air filters are located and how to change them so you don’t have to rely on a mechanic to take care of this simple procedure.

Wiper blades
Your windshield wipers usually get a thorough once-over when you get your car inspected or your oil changed. Your mechanic will usually recommend that you get new wiper blades if yours are too worn to properly clear your windshield during nasty weather. If you notice that your wiper blades aren’t up to par and you are having difficulty seeing when it is raining, you can probably go to your local automotive accessory store and pick up a new set that will fit your car. Follow the fitting instructions on the package, as well as your owner’s manual so that you don’t have to make a special trip the mechanic to get your problem wiper blades taken care of.

You may also want to refer to your car’s owner’s manual and ask your mechanic about bulbs and other lights, as well as spark plugs, fuel filters and radiator hoses. Learning a few do-it-yourself car maintenance tricks can give you some confidence under the hood of your car and save you a bundle of money at the mechanic.


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