Taking care of your vehicle is an important responsibility every car owner should know. Keeping our cars in shape is important so that it will run well and is safe to drive on. Not only it makes our vehicles run well, but it will also expand the lifespan of such. Think of car issues like dominoes. If one little problem is ignored, then it can lead to a much bigger problem soon thereafter.
There are two things that we should keep in mind when taking a car: maintenance, and repair. However, there’s a fine line between the two. The former means replacing existing components that are near the end of its life, while the latter means adjusting some parts to keep your car running.
Both maintenance and repair can cost you money. Should you be hiring an expert mechanic or take it to a local automotive repair shop, the last thing you’ll do is probably grabbing your wallet and let out some cash. But it doesn’t have to be this hard. In fact, there are a few things that you can do on your own when it comes to taking care of your car.
Of course, we are not talking about complicated things such as rebuilding an engine or such. There are a few basic repairs that you can learn without the presence of a mechanic. It may be time-consuming, but the results, in the end, are totally worth it. So what are we waiting for? Here are five automotive repairs that you can do on your own.
- Oil Change
- Probably one of the easiest “do it yourself” repair that can be done in your garage is an oil change. Most vehicles require an oil change every 3-5000 miles. And heading to an oil change spot can really waste not just your cash, but also your time. This is because there may be others that are having an oil change too, and you have to wait in line before it’s your turn.
- But nonetheless, changing your oil at home is as easy as pie. Not only it saves you cash, but also saves you from headache while being in queue on the line. It may take a little time how to figure it out at first, but once you get the hang of it, it is actually a quick and easy procedure that you can do in minutes.
- First, you have to buy a new oil filter. Keep in mind that you have to buy one that suits your vehicle. Next, you need to have a car jack and two jack stands. Turn your car on and do a few minutes of driving. This is important so that the oil will warm up for you to drain. Once done, park your car on a perfectly flat ground while the parking brake is being engaged.
- Second, lift the front of your car by using the jack and jack stands. Make sure it is properly secured so that you won’t run into trouble later on.
- Third, find the oil drain plug that is located near the engine. Once located, place your oil pan underneath the plug and unscrew it. Once the oil flow has slowed down, remove the oil filter by unscrewing it. Create a strong seal by dipping your finger into the new oil and rubbing it on top of the new oil filter. Once done, replace the gasket on the oil plug and screw it tightly back in to place.
- Lastly, lower the vehicle back to the ground and refuel the oil supply with the oil supply that’s designated for your car. Make sure that the oil levels are accurate by using a dipstick. Now you’re ready to go! You just did your oil change at your home.
- Air Filter Replacement
- Air filter change is probably more expensive than an oil change. Some mechanics tend to trick car owners that you need to replace a specific component even if it’s still working well.
- However, this won’t be the case if you know how to replace an air filter on your own. The best part about it is air filter replacement is very easy compared to oil changed as mentioned above.
- First, you need to buy a new air filter. You can get one from your local auto parts shop or just shop online whatever suits you. Make sure to choose one that’s compatible with your car.
- Second, open the hood of your car and locate the air filter box. It’s actually a large black box that has a hose coming out of it. It’s also placed right on top of the engine. Still unsure? Read the user manual of your car to make sure you located the correct piece of component.
- Third, now that you’ve located
it, remove the old air filter by opening the air filter box. Take out the old
filter and put in the new one. Close and latch the box into place and you’re
- Changing Wiper Blades
- One of the most overlooked parts of car repairs is probably the windshield wipers. It may seem unimportant to replace one, but they tend to wear out over time. Once they do, they will be unable to wipe the water out of your windshield, which makes it difficult to see especially when driving during heavy rain. However, changing your windshield wiper blades is just as easy like changing your air filter.
- First, you have to buy a new pair of wiper blades. Pick one that is as the right size of your car. You can find them almost anywhere both offline and online.
- Second, lift your windshield wipers up until it points straight outwards. Find the blade and rotate it until it’s separated from the wiper arm. Once done, locate the release tab for the blade that’s located at the bottom of the arm. Squeeze the tab until the blade is separated from the arm.
- Third, now that the old blade
is out, replace it with the new one. Slide in the new blade until it clicks.
The click is a sign that the blade is already placed tightly and secured.
Repeat the process to the other wiper arm and then you’re good to go.
- Rotating Tires
- Rotating your tires is another important aspect when it comes to car maintenance. In fact, it will increase the life span of your tires just by rotating them. It can also prevent suspension damage and reduces the cost of getting a wheel alignment.
- Tire shops will rotate your tires for free if you bought your tires from them. However, you can save time and hassle by just rotating them on your own at the peace of your home.
- First, make sure that your car is parked on a flat ground while the emergency brake is engaged. Put blocks or wedges around the tires to make it stay put while on the ground.
- Second, check if your tires need to follow a specific pattern of rotation. Most vehicles have non-directional tires, meaning you can only rotate them on a single pattern. For example, you want to rotate the left front tire then you can only rotate it with the left rear tire too. The same goes for the right tire.
- Third, now that your car is secured into place, use a lug nut wrench to loosen the lug nuts of your tires. Use the star pattern rather than going in a circle. Do this while the car is on the ground for safety purposes.
- Fourth, use a jack stand to lift the car to the first tire you will be working on. Finish removing the lug nuts and take them off the tire. Repeat this process with the other tires.
- Lastly, now that you’re done
with all the tires, remove your car from the jack and jack stands. Now that
your car is settled back on the ground, tighten all the lug nuts by using the
lug nut wrench again. Don’t forget to use the star pattern instead of the
circle one. And then you’re done!
- Replacing Brake Pads
- Brakes are the most important part of your vehicle, and properly maintaining them is vital for a safer car riding experience. A dysfunctional brake is a recipe for disaster so if ever you have one, it’s time to replace them with newer ones. Replacing them on your own will save you wads of cash since brake replacement tend to be expensive, how much more when added with labor costs.
- First, buy new brake pads that fit right to your vehicle. Then secure your vehicle by parking it on the ground while the emergency brake is engaged. Place blocks around the wheels to keep it into place.
- Second, loosen the lug nuts by using a lug wrench. Don’t forget to use the star pattern just like what you did with the previous tip. Use the jack stand to lift the wheel off the ground and finish unscrewing the lug nuts and remove the tire.
- Third, find the brake caliper, an item that is connected with the brake motor. Unscrew the brake caliper using a socket wrench. Keep in mind that the calipers can only be removed from the rotor, what you just did is just loosening them for easy removal later on. After removing the caliper, you can now remove the brake pads on the front and back of the rotor. Some of these pads will easily slide out, while others need to be worked a little bit until they pop out.
- Fourth, place the new brake pads on. Replacing the new ones requires a bit of finagling. For easy placement, put a little bit of grease outside the brake pads, just make sure that the grease won’t get any on the rotors. Grease isn’t actually necessary, but it is important so that your brakes won’t make unusual noises thereafter.
- Fifth, adjust your brake caliper. Take note that the caliper won’t fit over your new brake pads, so a little push to the piston back into the caliper is needed. You may want to use a brake tool to do this so that it will make space for the size of the new pads. You can alternatively use a metal clamp as well if you had one for easier convenience.
- Finally, once the caliper is adjusted, you can now place it back over the pads by screwing it back into place. Put the tires back on and screw the lug nuts back by using the lug nut wrench. Repeat the process with the other tires and then you’re done!