Vehicle ownership requires a certain amount of time and financial commitments. The great thing about vehicle maintenance is if you are willing to dedicate some time, you can save a whole lot of money doing it yourself. However, not everyone is a backyard mechanic. For the beginner just starting out, here is a list of vehicle maintenance items that are simple enough for everyone to accomplish. Just be sure to follow along in your own maintenance and repair manual, and you will save a lot of cash while getting the job done.
Batteries are important components most drivers don’t think about, until their vehicle won’t start. Performing a battery check is simple and takes less than a minute, and can give you clues to the battery’s health before it suddenly quits. Maintenance is simple, and costs you some distilled water. Charging is incredibly easy, and can add several years to a battery’s life.
Oil changes are what most people think of when they hear DIY maintenance. This service is absolutely critical to an engine, and forgoing oil changes will be extremely costly in the long run. Sales can reduce prices down to about $20 for the needed items, and your manual will walk you through all the very easy tasks. If you can work a wrench to unfasten a bolt, you can handle this.
Brakes should never be overlooked; they are the only thing stopping your vehicle! If you are hearing a screech every time you step on the brake pedal, it’s time to replace those pads. This involves getting a bit dirty, and having access to a jack and some basic tools, but your manual will walk you through every step. At a dealer, this could cost well over $100. By doing it yourself in about an hour, you are paying for just the cost of brake pads.
Spark plugs are cheap, maxing out at about $5 each, but they are a very important part of the engine’s ignition process. This is one of the more involved processes on this list, but still just needs about an hour and basic tools. To do it the absolute correct way you will want a torque wrench, but those are rather affordable, and have tons of uses besides changing spark plugs, and if nothing else, see if you can borrow a neighbors.
Probably the single easiest maintenance part to replace, windshield wipers are also necessary for a safe drive. Old, cracked wipers are inefficient at clearing rain from your windshield, leaving you with reduced visibility. Replace your wipers in the spring and again during autumn, or more often if you live in high demand environment. No tools needed here, just a few minutes of your time.
When you see a check engine light on your instrument cluster, it can sometimes be traced to an old sensor wearing out and giving inaccurate readings. When you have had the code diagnosed by a code reader, it lets you know what sensor has failed. Then it’s just a matter of replacing that sensor with a new one, usually a one minute job. Crankshaft position, air intake temperature, and oxygen sensors, and many more, are all just a wrench and a clip away from being replaced.
Remember to tackle only those projects you are comfortable with. Read through all the steps in the manual to see if it is something you can handle. However, it’s usually worth taking a shot, and you might be surprised at what you are able to accomplish.Tags: DIY car repair