6 DIY Car Maintenance Jobs

6 DIY Car Maintenance Jobs

Did you know that you can save money by taking on some of the most common auto repairs yourself? Some of these tasks can be done quickly and easily, without spending lots of money. Doing these repairs yourself can help you save a significant amount of time and money. Did you know you can find parts for your DIY repairs at junk yards in Utah?

Air Filters

This requires little to no tools and takes 10 minutes of your time. You should get a new air filter every year or every 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. You can have your car spend a day at the mechanic, or you can save money and replace it yourself.

Locate your filter underneath your car hood. You’ll notice a black rectangular box that has metal clips. Consult your owner manual if you don’t see it. Open up the box and notice how the air filter is fit inside of it. Remove the old air filter and replace the new one. Close the box using the metal clips you removed.

Windshield Wipers

This doesn’t require a trip to the mechanic. This only takes 10 to 15 minutes and only costs you $20.00. The best thing about this tip is that you don’t need any tools. Most local auto parts stores offer free installation if you buy their most expensive set of wipers.

You should replace your windshield wipers every six months to a year. You might be able to go longer if you don’t use them as much, but that can be risky. Windshield wiper installation varies from to car to car, so you should consult your owner’s manual. The process is somewhat similar to replacing your air filters.

First, lift up the blades to remove them. Some models have a tab that you push to remove the old blade. Notice how your old wipers connected to the metal arms. Carefully attach your new blades without scratching the windshield. Align them and make sure they’re secure and working properly.

Spark Plugs

For this job, you’ll need a spark plug socket, 12-inch socket extension, and a ratchet or socket wrench. The entire process takes about a half-hour and costs $15.00. Most spark plugs should be replaced every 30,000 miles, but it’s best to consult your owner’s manual beforehand. While this seems intimidating, it’s a relatively easy process.

Spark plugs are easy to spot with their rubber wires. You might notice that there are a four, six, or eight plugs, depending how many cylinders your car runs on. Only remove the wire on the first spark plug. Don’t start removing all the wires since they’re plugged in a certain order.

Remove the first spark plug using your spark plug socket and extension. Screw in the new spark plug by hand and then tighten it with your wrench. While you should screw it snugly, don’t over-tighten it. Repeat this process for the remaining spark plugs.

Oil Filter

You’ll need a funnel, an oil filter wrench, an oil pan, and a ratchet. This process takes up to 45 minutes and costs $20.00. You should change your oil every 3,000 miles, but some of the newer vehicles require changing it every 5,000 miles. You can save yourself a trip to the auto shop by changing it yourself.

Never change the oil when your engine is running or hot. Park it to the side of the road, allow it to cool down, and get started on your job. You have to jack your vehicle yourself, so make sure you’re comfortable before you proceed. Consult your owner’s manual for more information on how to safely change your oil and oil filter.

While it’s one of the dirtiest jobs on this list, it’s also the most affordable. While you can find many gas stations nearby, you’ll spend a lot of money if you go four times a year. The time and costs are likely to add up.

Battery Maintenance

A battery is an important component for keeping your car running smoothly and efficiently. You’ll need corrosion-removal fluid, a couple of rags, a wire brush, and wrenches for this task. This job only takes 20 minutes of your time and costs $5.00.

First, you should remove the battery terminals. You should remove the negative cable first and then clean the posts. While some auto parts stores require the use of professional products, there’s nothing better than baking soda and water. Clean these areas with your wire brush.

Rinse off the solution with water. Dry the posts thoroughly with your collection of rags. After they’re clean and dry, you can replace your battery terminals. This is a great way to avoid a dead battery in the middle of the highway or in the middle of nowhere. Even if you owned your battery for a few years, a little cleaning won’t hurt.

Radiator Flush

This job requires coolant, a funnel, a Phillips-head screwdriver, radiator flush solution, rags, and used coolant receptacle. It takes 30 minutes to complete and costs $25.00. It’s up to you to keep your vehicle’s radiator and cooling system clean and working efficiently.

A radiator flush is a quick and cheap way to keep your system working. Read your owner’s manual to find out how often you should flush your radiator. Using coolant is an advanced step since the temperature can be a sensitive issue when you work on your vehicle. Make sure the engine is cool before you start working on your radiator.

Brake Pads

Brake pads should be replaced every 20,000 miles, but always read your owner’s manual to be sure. Those who do a lot of “stop-and-go” driving may have to replace them more often. This job requires an open-end or adjustable wrench, C-clamp, lug wrench, and hammer.

While brake pads can be a DIY project, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. Be extremely cautious and attentive to the entire process. If you feel uncomfortable with this job, ask a professional to do the work for you. This is more of an advanced DIY project. If you’re still learning how to change your oil or oil filters, then you’ll need time before handling this project.

You can save money on auto repairs by doing some of these jobs yourself. This can help you save thousands of dollars from seeing the mechanic four times a year. One of the biggest questions to any DIY project is to know when you shouldn’t take on a project. Don’t take on a DIY project that’s too big for you to handle.

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