It certainly goes by without saying that a car is like a second home to its owner. But, where driving our vehicles can be one of the most comfortable feelings on earth, it can also be the most painful experience if your car breaks down on the side of the road. With regular and proper maintenance of your car, you can help to avoid these situations.
To maintain your car so that it can give a top performance on the road is not as hard as you think. With these top 4 tips and tricks, you can maintain your car like a pro. Of course, you will need to have a professional overhaul in around 6 months or a year, but for other times you have these handy tips and tricks that will ensure that your car is in perfect shape and will also, save your money.
For your convenience, the tools you need, the skill level of maintenance task required (1-10), the average maintenance time needed and the cost is given at the start of each point.
- Tools Needed – None
- Skill Level – 3
- Time – 10 minutes
- Cost – $10-$15
You need to get your car’s air filter replaced every 10,000 miles or 12 months. Now, either you can call a mechanic and get it replaced which will cost you $10 for the air filter plus $30 as repair cost or you can do it by yourself in about 10 minutes for $10. Here is how to do it.
- Find your filter box under the hood of your car. Check your car’s manual to find the same.
- Open the casing and take the air filter out of the box. But check for its position first then take it out.
- Put a new filter inside the box in the same position.
- Close the casing and put the box in the same place it was.
- Tools Needed – Socket Wrench
- Skill Level – 2
- Time – 20 minutes
- Cost – $15
Spark plugs replacement varies with cars. To know after how many miles your car needs a spark plug replacement, read the owner’s manual. Make sure that you have the genuine plugs with the same brand and model that came with your car.
- Find your spark plugs, they are attached and covered by thick cables or check the car’s manual to find the same. Your car will have either four, six or eight plugs, i.e. the same no of cylinders in the engine.
- Remove the first spark plug unscrewing it with a socket wrench.
- Place the new plug and screw it with hands than by the wrench.
- Replace the thick cables and cover them.
- Repeat the processes to remove and install new plugs one by one.
- Tools Needed – Wrench, Wire brush, Corrosion removing fluid (solution of baking soda and water)
- Skill Level – 4
- Time – 20 minutes
- Cost – $0 – $5
Battery maintenance is needed only because of the residue that keeps showing up on its terminals from time to time. It can keep your car from starting. Just a glance at your battery and you will know when the time for maintenance is.
- Remove the terminals of the battery with the help of a wrench one by one. And try not to make a connection or touch both terminals at the same time.
- Use the corrosion removing fluid and wire brush to clean the battery posts.
- Clean the left off the fluid with a damped cloth and let it dry.
- Further, dry it with a piece of cloth.
- Replace the terminals.
- Tools Needed– Screwdriver (may or may not need)
- Skill Level – 1
- Time – 15 minutes
- Cost – $ 10
You need to replace your windshield wipers in nearly about 6 months or a year. The process is very simple but varies with different models of cars.
- Lift the wiper arm off your windshield. They will become stationary after a certain point.
- Unscrew the blades by using a screwdriver. Or, in some models you may find a tab under the wiper. Press that tab to release old wiper blades. The packaging of the blades too will have illustrated steps of replacing wiper blades of different models.
- Attach the new wiper blades. Make sure that they are tightly fitted.
- Put the wiper arm back on the windshield.
These simple tips and tricks will save you some extra bucks that would otherwise, have added up to make a large amount for your car maintenance at the end of the year. The above-mentioned tips require very little or no expertise at all to implement them and will not put your life in jeopardy if you somehow did them wrongly.