The average driver puts more than 13,000 miles on his or her car per year. The miles add up pretty fast with all the trips to work, the store, and running errands.
If you drive anywhere near that number of miles, your vehicle is a pretty important aspect of your life. Yet, the more you drive, the more maintenance your car will need.
If you want your car to remain reliable, you need to keep track of certain things.
However, not all maintenance requires a trip to the mechanic. Even if you aren’t a motorhead, there are many DIY car repairs anyone can do.
Read on to discover 10 extremely easy ways to maintain and repair your car.
1. Spark Plugs
The spark plugs are a part of car maintenance that is often forgotten, but they are responsible for igniting the fuel that makes the car run.
Traditionally, spark plugs will last several thousand miles. Though, even if you haven’t put those kinds of miles on the car, a spark plug cleaning may be in order. Try a wire brush or spray compound to clean them up.
It is little repairs like this that keep the cars starting up every day.
2. Tire Pressure
Tire pressure plays a role in safety and fuel economy for your car. This is one of the easiest DIY projects, but it makes a huge difference.
Open the driver’s side door and look in the jamb. Every vehicle will have a manufacturing sticker that shows the approved air pressure for your car.
Using a change-operated air pump or a compressor, keep your tires filled to these recommended numbers.
Not only will you feel the difference, but your tires will also last longer.
3. Air Filters
The car filter keeps dirty air out of the car. There are two filters that need to be replaced periodically.
The engine filter is under the hood. This device keeps the engine’s breathable air pure. Pop it out of its cradle and give it the eyeball test. If it is filthy, you can get a new one at any auto parts store.
The same routine applies to the cabin filter. This filter is almost always behind the glovebox.
Depending on the quality, both filters should cost less than $20 each.
4. Oil Change
This may sound daunting, but changing your own oil is actually very easy. If you have a raised car, welded bumper, or a lift, you won’t even need a car jack.
You only need 4 things to complete this job: new oil, a filter, a socket wrench, and a funnel. With these tools, you can always replace your oil on your own.
Using the wrench, drain the existing oil from the pan below the car. Swap the old filter with the new one. Funnel the new oil into the oil filler cap.
Considering most vehicles need new oil every 3000 miles, this DIY repair will save you a lot of time and money over your car’s lifetime.
5. Wiper Blades
Some cheap DIY car repairs will save you a lot of money in the long run. One such repair is new wiper blades.
You will know if you need new blades based on their performance. If they don’t wipe water or the rubber is falling apart, it’s time for new ones.
If you don’t take care of this problem, the old blades will scratch your windshield. Spending around $30 on new wipers every year is much cheaper than an expensive windshield replacement.
6. Battery Upkeep
Nothing is worse than turning the key and discovering your battery is dead. To avoid this, there are certain things you can do to get the most out of your battery.
There are three main elements to watch for with battery upkeep. Limit the corrosion, keep the terminals snug, and fill the water levels.
Car batteries last around 3-5 years. These small repairs will extend the lifespan.
7. Bulb Replacement
If you have a burnt-out light, you run the risk of being pulled over or ticketed.
Fortunately, bulb replacement is piece of cake. Turn the car on and check the headlights, high beams, and brake lights. If they aren’t shining, all you need is a new bulb.
Your auto parts store can check bulb size by your make and model. Once you get the right bulb, plug it into its respective spot.
Drive safely by repairing burnt-out lights.
8. Touch Up Paint
DIY car painting repairs might not have been something you considered in the past. However, it is a feasible project. Your local autobody paint shop can match your paint color using your VIN number.
Most paints come in spray or liquid form. With an exact color match, you can repair unsightly scratches and dings.
9. Brake Pads
Brake pads are designed to warn you if they need replacement. Once they wear to a certain point, a metal shim will start to squeak on the rotors. If you are hearing this, it’s time for new pads.
With a car jack and a set of socket wrenches, you can easily remove your wheels and access the brake pads.
DIY pad replacement will save you hundreds of dollars compared to the mechanic shop.
10. Flat Tire
You are going to have a flat tire at some point in your life. Yet, this is not a reason to panic. If you are prepared, it is a very easy DIY car repair.
Outfit your car with a patch kit, pliers, and a knife. The next time you pick up a nail or screw, you will have everything you need to get back on the road.
Patching a flat should take less than 20 minutes.
Keep Up With These DIY Car Repairs
The better care you take of your vehicle, the longer and more reliable your car will run. These easy DIY car repairs go a long way in keeping your car out of the mechanic shop.
As the miles add up, maintain these aspects of your car as needed.
If you found this article useful, stick around. There is a wealth of automobile information available here on the blog.