DIY Car Maintenance Tips that Can Save Your Money

DIY Car Maintenance Tips

Being proactive about maintaining your vehicle is the best way to ensure that it looks and functions it’s best. Some simple DIY car maintenance will help you better understand your vehicle and save you money on labor and future mechanical issues. Basic hands-on maintenance can prevent problems by spotting them early, saving even more money and time at the mechanic.

Below are 5 things you can do yourself to keep your car running smoothly:

  1. Check your tyre pressure.

Proper inflation can extend the life of your tyres and make your car more fuel efficient. Check your owner’s manual to find the recommended PSI for your specific tyres. If you’re not sure about this, you can also contact your mechanic to confirm. Make sure your vehicle is “cool” before checking the pressure, as heat from recent driving can cause the air to expand, causing a temporary rise in pressure. If your pressure is low, compressed air stations are available at many gas stations, car washes, and even some parking garages where you can inflate the tyres as needed.

Equipment you’ll need for this task:

  • Tyre Pressure Gauge
  • Replacement valve stem caps

Approximate time: 15 minutes

  1. Change the wiper blades.

If your wiper blades are leaving streaks on the windshield or if you’re having trouble with visibility even when they’re running, then it’s probably time for new wiper blades. Wipers get dry, misshapen, and damaged by the elements. Changing your wiper blades regularly is an important safety habit, as damaged wiper blades can impair your vision when driving in rainy or snowy conditions. This is a simple process that you will not only save money by doing yourself, but can reduce your risk of an accident as well. As a rule, wiper blades should be changed every 6-12 months to keep them working their best. For this task you will need a new set of wiper blades. Check your manual for the correct size to match your windshield. Also, consider using a product like Rain-X to your windshield – a product that helps repel water from the windshield and make it easier for you to see.

Equipment you’ll need for this task:

  • Wiper blades

Approximate time: 10 minutes

  1. Check the oil levels.

Checking the oil levels and keeping the oil topped off is a simple task that can prevent serious engine malfunctions. If your engine is low on oil, you can check the level yourself. Engine oil is easy to find, and much more affordable to purchase and add yourself than to pay a visit to the mechanic to do the same. Check your manual for the grade of oil that your vehicle requires. These step-by-step directions will walk you through the process of checking the oil level and adding oil as needed.

Equipment you’ll need for this task:

  • Clean Cloths
  • Funnel
  • Gloves
  • 1Litre of engine oil

Approximate time: 10 minutes

  1. Clean the exterior.

Keeping the exterior of your car clean can prevent damaging rust and corrosive effects of other environmental damage. Regular cleaning with quality products will also prolong the life of your paint, saving you money long-term. Washing your car yourself is more affordable than professional detailing or even a car wash. You don’t need a professional to have a clean, well maintained vehicle. A protective coating of wax after washing will preserve the quality and appearance of the car’s exterior, and help prevent damage and dullness from weather exposure. Just invest in a high quality car wash detergent and wax, which will last you several months to a year depending on how often you wash your vehicle. This article has a comprehensive “how-to” on washing your car like a pro.

Equipment you’ll need for this task:

  • Clean Cloths
  • Sponge
  • Car wash detergent
  • Car wax
  • Bucket
  • Water hose (preferably with sprayer pistol)

Approximate time: 30-60 minutes

  1. Change your engine air filters.

This is an easy step that can prolong the life of your engine by keeping damaging dirt and debris out. Clean filters can also improve your vehicles fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. It is recommended that you change the air filters about once per year, of approximately every 50,000 km. This how-to guide provides directions for changing the air filters on your vehicle.

Equipment you’ll need for this task:

  • Correct Filter for your car
  • Air Compressor/Vacuum cleaner
  • Clean Cloths
  • Screw Driver and/or Spanner

Approximate time: 15-20 minutes

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