How a DIY Car Maintenance Can Save You on Costly Vehicle Expenses

Dec 07, 2018

Saving on car repairs is one of the wisest decision you'll make.

A monthly budget must be prepared for unexpected vehicle costs, as maintaining a vehicle can be expensive. You need to spend on fuel, change of oil, replacing brake pads, wiper blades, headlights, and taillights, changing spark plugs and the battery. All these will ensure your vehicle runs as expected. However, there are ways to minimize repair costs if you learn the basic vehicle maintenance procedures, which you can do on your own.

To save more money on vehicle repairs, you need to learn the skills that make you handle more complex vehicle jobs and has your back on this. While the best repairs are done by professionals with the right knowledge and tools to handle the jobs, below are typical repairs you can DIY to save money.

I. Do Your Own Oil Change

Changing oil may seem an easy task to DIY. If you’re that type of person, who’ll delegate the change to a mechanic’s shop, you’ll be spending more than what it could have cost if you DIY. The oil change is also one of the most important tasks to make your engine last.

You can always check from the owner’s manual the type and weight of oil your vehicle needs. You need to follow the car maker's recommendation to ensure the running condition of your vehicle. However, there has been a big change from earlier DIY tasks. Newer engine models totally rely on oil pressure just to regulate the valve timing and apply the proper tension to the timing belt or chain. If you don’t follow the manufacturer’s advice, your vehicle engine will be damaged, have poor performance and you can even experience engine warning.

So, if you’re DIY, ensure that you get a good quality oil filter and the best oil you can buy from a local provider. You can also watch videos just to give you ideas on how the change is done.

oil change

Changing your car oil is like drinking lukewarm water after waking up. This is to help the system runs smoothly.

II. Replacing Your Own Brake Pads

One of the most important components when driving a car is the braking system. A good one will keep you from smashing into other vehicles while you’re rushing to work or a grocery store. It’s a basic hydraulic system that makes the pedal to clamp the wheel.

Once the brake pad wears out on the rotor, it will create a squeaking sound. It’s a clear sign that the driver needs to change the brakes fast and soon. Unfortunately, not all pads can do that job pretty well. This is the reason why the latest cars have sensors that alert a driver to have the brake pads replaced.

If the brake pads are low, it will need the caliper’s piston to strike and clamp down on the rotor, and therefore, lower the number of brake fluids in the reservoir. If the pads are low, the brake warning is lighted on the instrument cluster and will have an obvious change in the brake fluid’s level. 

replacing brake pads

One of the worst sound you could hear is the squeaking sound from the braking system. it tells you to replace those pads to save yourself from trouble.

III. Fix a Chipped Wind Shield

Fixing a chipped windshield is a job any driver can do for his vehicle. If you have encountered a rock chip in the windshield, you can have it fixed all at once if you purchase the right replacement. You’ll just have to find a windshield repair kit from a local or online store, and you don’t have to spend so many pesos. You’ll just have to follow what’s written in the owner’s manual and you’re good to go. Do this if you notice some cracks on the windshield before you replace it while spending more.

IV. Replace Headlight or Taillight

To ensure the safety and convenience while driving your car, you need to check the whole vehicle for possible defects. You need to check if all the lights at the front and back of your car are working. Note that lights allow you to see the roads clearly. This will also alert other drivers that your car is heading in a specific direction. You also keep yourself from getting traffic tickets for lights not working. So, do a regular check on your headlights and taillights.

To ensure that you have the right bulb, ensure you take the old bulb to a store. You certainly want to know you’re getting something that works for your vehicle. When you change the lights, ensure you don’t touch the bulb glass with your bare hands. The grease from your fingers will make the bulb burn it too fast.

replacing headlight

It's about how you feel when you ride. having a couple good tail lights will give you one of the best rides too

V. Change Your Spark Plugs

You may wish to attend an automotive workshop just to learn how to change spark plugs. This is a home repair you can actually do on your own; however, these days, you hardly find one performing the service. For most modern cars, the spark plugs can extend life when a precise gap of 100,000 miles are maintained. However, to avoid future repairs, you may need to check it for every 30,000 to 40,000 miles.

If you need to replace your spark plugs, you need regular tools like a wrench. You also need to know that spark plugs are only purchased once and used for a lifetime.

changing batteries

After three years, it's normally time to install a replacement. After four or five years, most car batteries will be almost completely unreliable.

VI. Change the Battery

You’ll be amazed at how many people will approach a mechanic’s shop just to have the battery changed, although it’s the easiest repair you can do on your own. A battery will last four to six years of regular running, so the driver must know when the battery needs to be changed. Almost all batteries have a date stamped on it, so be aware of it.

Never wait till you start having problems. If you do, you’re left stranded in the middle of nowhere with a dead battery, which can really be dangerous. To know what battery you need, know the make and model of your vehicle.

To do the swapping, you need a set of wrenches. You also must be warned on how to remove and replace the cables. Always be careful when installing a new battery as it may cause a short circuit and may leave your vehicle grounded.

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Source: Hanna Miel Sanchez