Of all the things you own, aside from your home, your car may be the most expensive to maintain. Over the life of a vehicle, car owners spend thousands of dollars on repairs, including new tires, mechanic checks, and regular maintenance.
DIY Car Maintenance Jobs
That doesn’t even include regular car payments and insurance. With all the expenses, many people don’t realize how much they could save if they could just do the work themselves. The good news is you can. Here are five maintenance tasks nearly any able-bodied person can perform themselves.
1. Changing Tires
Everyone should know how to change the tires on their car. After all, if you come across a flat tire in the middle of nowhere, what are you going to do? The reality is, a lot of people don’t actually know how to change their tires, yet this is one of the most simple car maintenance tasks you can perform.
Always keep your car’s manual in the glove box of your vehicle. It will direct you to where your spare tire, jack, and tools are kept in case you need to replace a tire. It’s important to remember to always replace the tire you have taken.
You don’t have to wait for a flat to change your tires, either. For your safety and the safety of all your passengers, always change your tires when the tread no longer covers Lincoln’s face on a penny inserted into the tread face down. Buying tires is costly, but fortunately, affordable tire financing options are available.
2. Oil Change
Changing out the oil in a vehicle is not a task many people know they can actually perform themselves. The first step is knowing the type of oil your car uses, which can be found in your car’s manual. Visit your local auto parts store to purchase oil, an oil filter, and a couple of tools such as an oil-filter wrench, a wrench that will fit your oil drain plug, and ramps or jack stands to lift your car high enough for you to work under it. Don’t worry. After a few changes, this new equipment easily pays for itself.
If your car has an undertray, it will need to be removed. Once that is out of the way, you can unplug and drain your oil into a receptacle for recycling later. Once it’s emptied, your last step is to plug it and fill it back up. There are plenty of videos available online to see you through each step.
3. Changing Spark Plugs
Spark plug maintenance is as crucial to your car’s performance as oil changes. Spark plugs aren’t designed to last forever, but the life of the plugs in your car is going to depend on the manufacturer so be sure to once again consult your manual. Replacing the plugs themselves is a simple task, and once you have a few necessary hand tools and anti-seize grease, you need to be sure you practice safety by first disconnecting the negative post on your vehicle’s battery.
DIY Car maintenance is mandatory, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. All you really need is time and a few tools, and you’ll save a few extra bucks to add to your entertainment or holiday budget.