DIY Car Maintenance in 30 Minutes or Less
Car maintenance is like a performance art in that it requires a tedious balance between expenditures and efficiency; a challenge for both the frugal-minded and the mechanically disinclined alike. What if we told you that there are simple ways to perform your very own car maintenance without breaking the bank or devoting an absurd amount of time to your car? Regardless of your experience level, these simple maintenance tasks can be performed by almost anyone willing to put in a little work. Here are some simple car maintenance DIY tricks to help you save money in the long run.
Low tire pressure can not only affect your safety while driving, but it can also affect your wallet by causing poor fuel efficiency. For about $1, you’ll be able to buy a tire pressure gauge at your nearby auto parts store, and with this cheap investment you’ll be on your way to keeping your tires in better shape for a longer period of time. Simply remove the valve cover on your tire, connect the gauge as you let a little bit of air out and read the pressure reading. Your tires will indicate a recommended pressure range. If your pressure reading happens to land below the recommended range then you’ll know it’s time to head to your nearest gas station and add a little air. Always use the recommended tire pressure amount found on the label on the door jam. The PSI found on the side of the tire is the maximum amount of tire pressure for the tire.
Replacing an air filter is a relatively easy task that requires about 10 minutes of your time and on average $10 from your wallet. To replace an air filter, simply open up the hood of your car, locate where the air filter is housed, remove the old filter, and replace with a new one. If you cannot easily find where your air filter is located, just swiftly refer to your owner’s manual and proceed from there. You’ll need a new air filter every 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. Learning to replace it yourself will save you both time and money as you avoid a visit to the shop for such a menial maintenance task.
Changing your windshield wipers is another easy maintenance task that you can perform in your own front yard without tools and in just about 15 minutes of your time. After purchasing a new set of windshield wipers from your dealership’s parts department, it’s a simple 2-step process to make the change. First, you’ll have to lift the blades and remove the old blades by pressing the release tab on the bottom. Then, you’ll attach the new wipers, making sure they’re fastened properly, and lower the wiper arms. If you happen to get confused and cannot figure out how the blades should be attached to the wiper arms, don’t panic – the packaging instructions will indicate steps for proper installation, or stop by your dealership for assistance.
This task may seem daunting since it actually requires tools, unlike the last two, but battery maintenance is nothing to be afraid of. All you’ll need for battery maintenance is the following: rags, a wire brush, corrosion-removal fluid, and a wrench. Oh, and about 20 minutes. Much like the other two previous tasks, this one can also be completed in the comfort of your own yard – just make sure the vehicle has been turned off for this next part. Use the wrench to remove the battery terminals, starting with the negative cable first. Once you’ve removed the cables, use the corrosion-removal fluid along with the wire brush to clean off any corrosion on the terminals, and wipe off any excess gunk with the rags. After wiping your battery dry, feel free to reassemble it and you’ll be good to go. You’ll know it’s time to perform this maintenance if your battery has any visible crunchy white buildup on the terminals.
As with any project you undertake, be mindful of your own abilities and know when to seek help from a professional. Don’t risk your car’s safety and reliability for the sake of frugality, or your life.
Still feeling a little lost about car maintenance? You can stop by the service department at University Dodge where we’ll be happy to help you with your car maintenance.