1-800-Charity Cars, a national non-profit car donation/distribution program providing free cars to families in need since 1996, understands the importance of taking care of vehicles and saving money. Today we bring you the following list of 10 Easy Car Repairs / Maintenance You Can Do Yourself To Save Money:
Tire Pressure and Inflation
You should have your tire pressure checked and inflated to vehicle specifications once a month. You can easily do this yourself by visiting a local gas station that has an air machine with a gauge attached. Look on the sidewall of the tire for its pressure specifications. Once you know this information, remove the valve stem cap. Place the air gauge on and it will show you the tire pressure in your tire at that time. If it is not within the tire pressure range specified for your vehicle, fill the tire with the proper amount of air. Repeat with the other three tires.
Change the Oil and Oil Filter
It used to be widely known that oil should be changed every 3000 miles. This figure is not always the case anymore. With advancements in motor oil quality, some vehicles can actually wait until 5000 or even 7500 miles for an oil change. Be sure to refer to the vehicle owner’s manual for the exact mileage you should change your oil. When you are ready to do an oil change, just perform a Google Search to quickly find specific instructions on how to change the oil and oil filter for your particular vehicle.
Bulb and Fuse Replacement
One very simple thing you can do yourself is to replace any bulbs or fuses. Simply remove the bulb or fuse that is in need of replacement, visit your local auto parts store and purchase a new one. Once you have the new one, place it where you removed the malfunctioning one.
Change the Air Filter
Changing your air filter is a simple 5-minute process that you can do yourself. Just read your owner’s manual to locate your air filter and determine what type you need to purchase. Make a quick trip to purchase your air filter and then replace the old one.
Changing Windshield Wiper Blades
Wiper blades are another easy do-it-yourself replacement. Just tell your local auto parts store the make and model to purchase the new set. Be sure to check if they will do the replacing first, as many stores will put them on for free if you purchase them from their establishment. If not, then you can replace them yourself within minutes and instructions are on the packaging.
You can replace your headlights in about 20 minutes and for just the cost of the new headlights. Just refer to your owner’s manual and you will typically find a diagram of the bulb holder and clip. You will then be able to change them out on your own and avoid any labor costs from a repair shop.
Topping Off/Replenishing Fluids
Be sure to regularly check all the fluids in your vehicle (oil, brake, transmission, power steering, coolant, washer fluid) If they have a dipstick just pull them out, wipe them off, reinsert them and then pull them out to check the current level and replace what is needed to reach the full level. If they have a cap, open it up and follow either the outside guide on the tank.
No need to break the bank for paint and surface scratches that you can touch up yourself for a fraction of the cost. Just get your factory code for your paint on your vehicle, which you can find either on a plaque under your hood or inside your driver side door sill. If you cannot find it, just tell the service techs at your local auto supply store the make and model of the vehicle and they can locate it for you. You can also purchase the paint from them.
Changing Your Spark Plugs
With Google at your fingertips, an owner’s manual, and a little initiative, you can easily find out what spark plugs to purchase and how to replace them on your own. This will save you time and money at a repair shop.
Clean and/or Replace Your Vehicle Battery
To clean the battery, just make a mixture of baking soda and water. Then use this solution and an old toothbrush to clean up your battery terminals and posts. If the battery needs to be replaced, you can replace it with a new one in just a couple minutes all by yourself. Check the store where you buy it, as most will install the new battery for free for you.
It doesn’t take much time to perform many repairs/maintenance on your vehicle. If you can do it yourself, why pay someone else for labor? You can also save money by learning how to prolong the life of your vehicle. Every time you take your car to a service center or repair shop, the majority of what you are paying for is labor. Labor costs typically make up 60% to 90% of the costs. The parts and/or supplies are a tiny fraction of the costs you are incurring. Cut out the middleman and do the work yourself to save all the money you can.