5 Car Maintenance Jobs you can do yourself
Every time a part of your car is due for maintenance, the first thing that comes to mind is to head straight to the next mechanic's workshop. However, you'll end up parting with some cash to have the faulty or old part fixed or replaced.
The money you spend on car maintenance can quickly add up to a significant monthly or quarterly total. You can actually save a huge fraction of that money by handling some of your car maintenance tasks on your own - yes, that's possible even if you don't have mechanical skillset or knowledge of your car's components. Here are 5 simple car maintenance tasks you can handle without easily without hiring a mechanic:
Changing a Tire
Cars usually come with a spare tyre, so you can quickly replace any tyre that suddenly gets deflated or damaged. Changing a tyre is very easy, provided you have a bit of energy:
- First, ensure that your car is on a level surface and your handbrake is pulled on
- Place chocks behind two of your wheels to prevent your car from moving while you're working on the tyre
- Start by loosening the bolts and nuts, then raise the car with a jack so you can easily pull out the tyre
- Replace the tyre with the spare one
- Lower the car, and tighten the bolts and nuts
- Congrats! You just did it yourself!
Changing your Car Battery
Replacing your weak battery with a new one is one of the easiest things to do. However, you must be very careful. While your car battery will not electrocute you or burst up in flames, it contains a highly corrosive acid solution that can burn your skin.
Before removing your battery, note your radio frequencies because they will be wiped out once you remove your battery. Also, ensure that every electrical component of your car is turned off.
To remove the old battery, start by removing the negative connector, followed by the positive one. Carefully lift out the battery and drop the new one in its place (be sure to replace with the right battery). Then reconnect the connectors, starting with the positive one this time, and then the negative one. Finally, tighten back everything you have loosened and test the new battery by beeping the horn, turning on the lights, and putting on the radio.
Changing the Oil
You need to replace your car engine oil after each time interval or mileage specified by the manufacturer. This task is a bit technical, but it's not impossible. You'll need a spanner, a pair of axle stands, a jack, some new oil, and a new oil filter.
Start by jacking up the car and resting it in the axle stands. Remove the oil cap on the engine and unscrew the sump plug to allow the old oil to flow out. You can then change your oil filter and refill the engine with the new oil. Good job, you've done it!
Replacing a Bulb
Just as you always carry a spare tyre with you, you should always carry spare bulbs because you never know when any of your bulbs can fizzle out. If that happens when you're driving at night, you'll have to change it immediately. Otherwise, you'll seriously risk to be harassed by the police or traffic law enforcement agents.
To replace a dead bulb, just open up your bonnet and find the access panel (usually behind the light cluster), pull out the bulb and fix the new one. You can then get back into your car and drive safely.
Changing a Fuse
If your car radio suddenly stops working or your headlights go out while you're driving, chances are you've blown a fuse and that you'll need to replace it.
Start by locating your fuse box right under your dashboard (usually on the driver's side). Pull out the box and check the tiny wire bridge in each fuse. If you find any fuse in which the wire bridge is broken, that's the culprit. Just pull it out and carefully replace with a new fuse of equal rating. Afterwards, your car will absolutely work fine again.
By performing these maintenance tasks yourself, you'll not only save a lot of money over the long term, but you'll also become more familiar with your car's components and increase your mechanical skill-set significantly. Last tip: save this article on your phone so that you'll be able to have a look at it if any of the mentioned issued occur! Have a safe ride!