Owning and maintaining a car can be one of the most expensive propositions that you will encounter in your entire life. Not only are you paying monthly payments and interest, but insurance (auto insurance), registration, and fuel are higher than they’ve ever been, since the beginning of time. These expenses are just part of the cost of owning a car, and are difficult to eliminate without taking on a lot of risk that could cost you in the long run. One great way to save money on your car is to do some of your own car repairs, especially those that don’t involve lots of tools and expertise. Let’s take a look at a couple of easy car repairs that almost anyone can do.
One of the first things that you want to do is write down the year, make, model, and engine size of your car and head on down to the auto parts store to find an auto repair manual that is fairly specific for your kind of car. These typically come in a paperback style and will run you less than $15, but they’re well worth every penny. Now you’ve got your manual, it would be a good idea to open it up and find the section on routine maintenance, then lift the hood of your car and locate all the different parts as they are mentioned in the manual. A couple of important things to find would be your air cleaner, oil filter, battery, windshield washer fluid, radiator, and oil dipstick. Take the time to read in the manual how to check each of these items to maintain their fluid levels and cleanliness, but also to acquaint yourself with their locations as well.
Changing your own oil, in most cars, is a fairly easy task to do and doesn’t require a lot of tools. Depending on the car that you have, and you should check your manual to see what it recommends, all you really need to do is safely lift your car off the ground with your jack and use jack stands to make sure it is secure and won’t fall. Then it is
very easy to just open the drain plug and allow the used oil to drain into a pan, while you are waiting you can loosen your oil filter with a filter wrench and put a new one on, according to the instructions, in just a minute or so. After that you merely need to replace the drain plug and refill your oil back up to the manufacturer’s recommendations. The last step before you start your engine is to double check the oil filter, drain plug and oil fill level to make sure everything is as it should be.
Replacing your own air filter is probably one of the easiest things to do on most cars. It is normally fairly accessible and can be reached and replaced without the use of tools. Once you pull it out and look at it, it should be fairly obvious as to whether it needs to be replaced depending on how dirty it looks.
Doing your own light maintenance work on your car can not only be rewarding to your self-esteem, but save you money on your car costs. Just knowing what each of the different components of your engine compartment are, put you ahead of nearly 90% of car owners today.