Auto repair can drain your pocket fast. However, most of these expenses can be flashed by handling a wide range of the repairs yourself. You do not have to be an auto expert to handle some of these minor maintenance tasks on your car. If you’re up to the challenge try these do it yourself car maintenance operations.
Always wear safety glasses when working on your vehicle. Wear other personal protective equipment when necessary, for example latex gloves or closed toe shoes.
1. AIR FILTERS
Your car requires a changed air filter for every 12,000 miles traveled or after a 12 months duration, whichever comes first. It only takes you about 10 minutes at most to change the air filter and it requires no special tools.
Procedure for replacing your car’s air filter:
- First, make sure the engine is off and cold. Then locate your filter under the hood. The filter is a black rectangular box with metal clips on its sides. The owner’s manual should guide you to its location.
- Open up the casing, taking note on how the filter fits inside and the side it is facing.
- Remove the old filter and vacuum out the air filter box to remove debris.
- Replace it with the new one, ensuring that the new one fits exactly like the old one.
- Close up the metal clips.
Note: one is advised to blow compressed air through the new air filter before installation to clear off any present debris: it prolongs its life.
2. SPARK PLUGS
Tools needed to perform this task are: a ratchet, 12″ socket extension and a spark plug socket. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete the repair.
Most spark plugs require a replacement for every 30,000 miles. It is wise to check the owner’s manual first before doing the replacement. Remember, patients and extra attention is necessary in order to maintain the specific placement for the plugs after replacing them.
Procedure for replacing your spark plugs:
- Spark plugs are attached to thick rubber wires and they should be fairly easy to locate. Their number will range between four and eight depending on the number of cylinders your car has.
- Remove the wires for the first spark plug using your spark plug socket and extension.
- Using your hand, crew in the new spark plug and then tighten it using the wrench. Be careful to not over-tighten it.
- Now attach back the spark plug wire.
- Repeat for the rest of the spark plugs.
Note: work on one spark plug at a time to ensure you maintain their order.
3. WINDSHIELD WIPERS
You will need new wiper blades for your car about every six months. The set up varies slightly from car to car but basically the procedure is the same.
Procedure for replacing your wiper blades:
- Lift the blades up as though you are cleaning the windshield manually and take off the old blades, paying attention to how the blades are attached to the metal arms.
- Most models will have a tab on the underside of the wiper; push the tab to remove the old blade.
- Attach the new blade with extra caution to avoid bending the wiper arms or scratching the windshield.
Note: it is good to double check with the setup guidelines provided with the packaging to ensure that you have installed the blades correctly.
Remember, safety first! Always be extra vigilant whenever performing any car repairs to avoid an accident.
These repairs may sounds simple, but if you don’t feel comfortable handling any of these tasks on your own, please go to a professional auto repair shop for help.