Whether you want to live a frugal life or want to understand the inner workings of your car, car servicing yourself is a great idea. You cannot only save money on car repair by servicing it yourself but also learn highly valuable skills during the process.
– Air Filter
Generally, you need to replace air filter every 12 months or 12,000 miles. If you have an air filter available with you, it will hardly take ten minutes to replace it.
You can find the air filter under the hood of your car. You will find a black-colored rectangular box with metal clips. If you cannot find it, check the owner’s manual. Before taking out the air filter, see how is it placed. Remove the air filter and replace it with the new one. Close the metal clips after replacing it.
If you want your air filter to last longer, clear out the debris using the compressed air.
– Spark Plugs
You will need a ratchet to replace the spark plugs. You need to replace spark plugs after every 30,000 miles, depending on your car. You can check the owner’s manual to find out when do you need to replace them. Replacing spark plugs is a simple process.
Locate the spark plugs. You will find them attached to the rubbery wires. Depending on the number of cylinders, you’ll find four, six or eight spark plugs in your car.
First of all, remove the wire from the first spark plug. Do not remove wires from all the spark plugs at once. Follow the order in which they are installed. After removing the wire, remove the first spark plug using the ratchet.
Install the new spark plug by screwing it with your hand. Tighten it with a wrench but make sure that you don’t overtighten it. Attach the wire to the replaced spark plug.
Repeat the process to replace the rest of the spark plugs.
– Windshield Wipers
It’s very easy to replace the windshield wipes and you don’t need any special tool to do so. You’ll need the new wiper blades probably after every six or twelve months depending on the condition of your blades. The process can vary depending on your car but you can follow the same basic process.
First of all, you need to lift the blades just like you do while washing the windshield. Watch closely how old blades are connected to the metal arms and remove the old blades. Push the tab on the underside of the wiper to remove the blade.
– Oil Filter and Oil
You need to replace oil every 3,000 or 5,000 miles depending on the product you’re using. Changing the oil and oil filter yourself will allow you to save time and money.
Make sure that your engine is cool before you even attempt to replace the oil. If you want to loosen the oil for an effective drain, you can drive around to heat the car. However, you must allow the vehicle to cool down before you replace the oil.
Get under the car and locate the oil pan of your vehicle. Drain the oil into an oil pan after unscrewing the drain plug. Replace the drain plug after the oil is drained.
Remove the old oil filter with an oil filter wrench. Use some new motor oil to lubricate the gasket on the new oil filter. Pour new oil filter into the new oil filter and fill it to the two-thirds level. Screw the new filter in it and hand-tighten it. Use a funnel and add new oil to the engine. Double- check your oil level using a dip-stick.
Discard away the old filter and recycle the old oil at a gas station. Get ready to become dirty during the process of oil replacement but remember that you’re adding years to your engine’s life by replacing the oil and the oil filter on time.
To work efficiently, the car radiator and the cooling system of your vehicle needs to be clean. You will need the tools like a wrench, radiator flush solution, funnel, coolant and used coolant receptacle.
The car radiator builds up deposits that can cause issues with the cooling system of your vehicle. You need a radiator flush to keep the system in the best shape possible. Check the owner’s manual to find out how frequently you need to flush the radiator.
Make sure that your vehicle is cooled down before you attempt to flush the radiator. Check the owner’s manual and find the drain plug of the radiator. Place the used coolant receptacle, unscrew the plug and let the coolant drain out.
Use a funnel and add a radiator flush cleaning solution to fill the radiator with water. Replace the cap and start the engine. Let it run and turn on your heater to the hottest position. After 10 minutes, turn off the engine of your car and allow it to cool down completely. Drain out the contents of the radiator and refill it with fresh coolant.
Make sure that you dispose of the old coolant safely as its sweet taste can attract pets but it is fatal. Bring it to the gas station on your next visit.
– Fuel Filter
You will need an eye protection gear, fuel line washers, and open-end wrenches. Replacing fuel-filter on time can save your engine from costly damages. However, if you don’t do it correctly, it can cause a lot of damage to your vehicle. You can follow the process described below but let a professional do the job if you are not too sure about it.
First of all, relieve the fuel system pressure. Locate the fuel pump fuse and find the relay. Start your car and pull the relay out. When you pull the right one, your engine dies.
Disconnect the fuel lines and locate the open-end wrenches that are correct-size for the filter fittings. After you put the wrenches in place, protect yourself by putting a rag over the fitting.
Hold a wrench that fits the filter and turn the second wrench counter-clockwise and let the bolt come out. Slide the fuel line and set the bolt away. Repeat the procedure for the other side of the filter.
Remove the old oil filter by removing the clamp with a flathead screwdriver. The old oil filter can still have some gas, so be careful with it. Change the washer located n the bolts.
Install the new fuel filter by following the above process backward. Before you try to start the car, relay or return the fuse.
First of all, remove the terminals from your battery. Make sure that you remove the negative cable first. Clean the posts using a professional product or a coca cola. Rinse them with some clean water. Use rags to dry the posts and replace the terminals.
– Brake Pads
Generally, you will need to replace the brake pads every 20,000 miles. Check the owner’s manual to find out. Jack up your car and break the lugs on the tires. Remove the wheels and remove the brake caliper.
Set the brake caliper at 12 ‘o clock position. You will find a bolt on the back of the caliper. Remove the bolts, hold the caliper and pull it upwards. Now, it should be easy to slide out the old brake pads.
Install the new brake pads and secure them using the retaining clips. Compress the brake piston and get out the C-clamp. Tighten the clamp until you move the piston far enough. Re-install the caliper and put your wheel back in place.
– You can save a lot of money by going the DIY route.
– Take the best care of your vehicle as you can always figure out what’s wrong with your vehicle.
– The skills that you learn can prove extremely useful if your car breaks down suddenly where it’s difficult to find a service center.
– Servicing your car yourself can invalidate your car’s warranty.
– DIY services can also invalidate your car’s insurance. You must know the terms and conditions if you want to avoid any surprises.
– It’s extremely difficult to do major repairs yourself and they need to be done only by a professional.
It’s easy to service your car yourself and it can save you money as well as time. However, if you’re not sure about the process, you must hire a professional to do the job.