CarsMaintenance

DIY Car Maintenance Tips

Are you someone who does not have much time to get your car to the garage every time for its regular maintenance? If yes, then you should learn to maintain your car on your own. Here are some of the most important tips that you can use for your DIY car maintenance schedule.

Air Filter

You should change your car’s air filter every 1 year or 12000 miles, whichever comes first. You can avoid paying a mechanic for this simple task and do it all by yourself at home. Replacing an air filter hardly needs 10 minutes.
The procedure for changing the air filter goes like this. First you have to locate the filter under the hood of your car. The appearance of the filter is that of a black rectangular box. There are metal clips on the side of this box. If you are unable to find such a box under the hood, please refer to your user’s manual or instructions. Now you should open the casing and find a filter inside it. You should carefully note the direction in which the filter faces inside the box. Once you remember the configuration of the filter inside, replace the old filter with the new one. Place the new air filter in exactly the same way the old one was kept. After the replacement, please remember to close the metal clips attached to the side of the casing.

To enhance the life-time of the air filters and to save money, you can expose the air filters to compressed air to remove dirt, dust and debris.

Windshield Wipers

The configuration and the setup of the wiper blades vary from one car model to another. Hence, it is better to follow the steps that are being suggested in your user’s instruction manual. However, it is simple and the entire process is similar to that of changing the air filter.

First, lift up the blades in a similar way when you wash your windshield by hand. Now remove the old blades. Carefully observe and make a note of how the old blades are fit inside the wipers and how are they connected. In most car models, one can find a tab on the wiper which should be pushed to remove the old blade. Now attach the new blades carefully. You should not bend the arms of the wiper. Be careful not to scratch your windshield. After replacement, check once whether they are secure and tightly attached to the metal arms of the wiper. Lift the blades, as if you were washing your windshield by hand, and remove the old blades.

However, if you can’t remember the way in which the blades should fit on the arm of the wiper, you can refer to the list of instructions that comes along with your blades.

Spark Plugs

Changing spark plugs is a simple process and must be repeated after approximately 30,000 miles. However, this estimate may vary from one car model to another and it is better to refer to your car’s user manual. However, you need to have patience and also time, while replacing spark plugs. The order of the process should be followed and is important.

The spark plugs come attached to thick rubber tubes. This makes it easier to be located by the user. The number of spark plugs varies with the number of cylinders your car has. Depending on that, you may find 4, 6 or 8 plugs. Now you should follow the instructions diligently. Remove the wire to the first plug only. Your spark plugs are installed in a definite order and it should be maintained. Please do not remove all the wires at once. Remove the first spark plug by using the spark plug socket and the extension on your ratchet. Install the new spark plug and tighten it with a wrench. Make sure not to over-tighten. Now, reattach the spark plug wire.

The aforesaid steps must be followed for each spark plug, in a definite order.

Battery Maintenance

A good battery enhances the performance of your car manifold. You can look at the posts of your battery and determine whether it requires a bit of maintenance or not. A small amount of crunchy white residue can bring down your car’s efficiency.

First, remove the battery terminals, the negative cable being the first. This should be fairly simple. However, in case of any difficulty, you can use a flathead screwdriver to remove the cables. Clean the posts with an appropriate product which you can purchase from your nearest auto parts store. You can also make a solution of baking soda and water on your own and use that. Apply this solution to the posts and clean with a wire brush. Once the residues are removed, wash the fluid with a little water. Wipe the posts with a cloth and let it dry. Replace the terminals of the battery.

You should follow this cleaning process every few months to keep your car’s battery in proper condition.

Oil And Oil Filter

You should change your oil every 3000 miles or 5000 miles, whichever you find suitable and appropriate. You can do it yourself and save some money and time.

However, you must remember certain things. You should never change the oil when the engine is hot. Let the engine cool and then replace the oil. Also, you should be comfortable while using a jack as you will have to jack up your vehicle.

The process of changing the oil and the oil filter tends to get a little dirty. You should get under your car to locate the oil pan. Once you have done that, open the drain plug and release all the old oil into your oil pan or discard. After the oil drainage is complete, replace the drain plug. Now visit your engine and remove the old oil filter. You can use an oil filter wrench for this task. Now, you should lubricate the new oil filter’s rubber gasket with some new oil. Fill the new oil filter with new motor oil. Instead of filling it to the brim, fill the oil filter about two-thirds of the way. Screw in the new filter and hand tighten it. Do not over tighten it with a wrench. Using your funnel, pour the new oil into the engine and fill it. You can use a dipstick to determine the oil level. Discard the old oil filter. You can recycle the old oil at your nearest gas stations.

Though this task is the dirtiest of the lot, it tends to be the most rewarding. You can save a lot of time and money if you master this at home, instead of visiting the quick-service stations.

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