Visiting the mechanic can be inconvenient and expensive. Most of what you windup up paying goes toward labor, not necessarily the parts themselves. You may be shocked how easy it is to do some of the things you are willing to pay a mechanic for. Check out these auto repair and maintenance tasks that you can handle and should do yourself.
1. Air Filters
Basically, there are two filters in your car.One that is under the hood and one that is in the cabin (that is behind the glove box). If you feel one or both of them needs to be replaced, try doing it yourself. It may look like a daunting and complex undertaking, but it is actually one of those auto repairs you can do yourself with minimal tools and effort.
Your best bet is to read the car’s manual and watch some instructional videos before this operation. They will show exactly where to locate each air filter and how to effectively remove and change them.
2. Tire Pressure
The pressure in your tires can go down for a variety of reasons, such as the weather getting colder or warmer. But because, you don’t always know the cause for sure, you go to the dealership to get your tires adjusted as soon as your tire pressure sensing monitor light comes on. But, this is actually an easy and inexpensive fix in most situations.
Pressure gauges can be purchased at automotive stores for less than you probably spend on your morning latte. Plus, most cars have the recommended tire pressure listed on the inside frame of the driver’s side door for reference. In some instances, you might have to find it in the manual. Both of these will help you know whether you need to inflate or deflate your tires to alleviate the problem.
Air machines can be located at most gas stations for a dollar or less, and they often have gauges built into them for convenience and accuracy.
However, if your tire is completely flat, you are going to have to replace it or get it fixed by a professional.
3. Spark Plugs
These may strike you like something that would be dangerous to change. However, it is similar to screwing in a light bulb, making or changing your spark plugs another auto repair you can easily do yourself. Like most things, the complexity will depend on the make and model of your vehicle. And, like light bulbs, those fancy ones that cost a little more will last longer and save you bucks. Once you get that all squared away, you will make use of a wrench to loosen the old plugs until you can twist them out and then again to tighten the new ones securely in position.
4. Windshield Wipers
If you have observed any streaks on your windshield, feel the rain isn’t being wiped away as it should be, or see the rubber separating from the arms, it is time to replace the wiper blades. For most vehicles, they pretty much just clip on and off. However, you can always pull up instructional videos for your specific video online if required.
The battery is usually the most easily accessible component under the hood. It is also one of the easiest parts to replace.
A common issue with batteries is also corrosion. This happens over time if the battery is not properly maintained. You can buy sprays to help keep this from happening. However, if you see what looks like old toothpaste that has been missing its cap for a while, you will have to treat the battery corrosion. This can easily be remedied by using one of those sprays and a toothbrush to scrub away the corrosive material.
It is vital to avoid corrosion because it affects the life of your battery and can also, essentially, fuse it to the terminals. If that is seen, the terminals will need to be sawn apart from the battery and changed. These are all more inconvenient and expensive than just keeping up with it to begin with.
Warning: Obviously, the biggest issue here is being shocked, so it is vital to follow instructions carefully. The other concern is the acid from the battery, which can damage fabrics, so be mindful and avoid touching it or laying it on anything you do not want to spoil.