Car Maintenance Jobs you Can Do Yourself
Car repairs can drain your pocketbook fast, but you can do a wide range of repairs yourself, regardless of your technical skill. We’re not just talking oil changes; provided you can hold a wrench, you can fix everything ranging from fuel filters to alternators. We’ll detail the tools necessary for your DIY toolkit, where to turn to for help when you’re making the repairs, and how to tackle some of the most common car problems yourself.
The biggest hurdle in convincing someone they can handle car repair is the fear factor, but here’s the thing: It’s actually pretty hard to permanently screw up a car. You might break something temporarily, or a fix might not work in the long run, but you probably won’t set yourself or your car on fire just because you banged too hard on a valve. Cars are resilient machines and regardless of the year or make, there are plenty of repairs even the clumsiest and technically challenged can handle provided they have the confidence to push through.
Change Your Coolant
Coolant doesn’t last forever. You have to change it every 40,000 kilometres (green coolant) or 160,000 kilometres (extended-life coolant). If you keep driving on worn coolant, expect to replace the radiator, heater core and water pump.
Change Your Fluids Regularly
Transfer case fluid and differential oil changes are cheap and easy. Replacing these components will cost you about $1,500 each—a high price to pay for neglect.
Air filter replacement.
Clogged air filters lower car performances on many levels. Change your car’s air filter to increase power and gas mileage. An air filter replacement is one of the easiest DIY car repairs to do for worn out filters.
Oil change is relatively easy to do yourself with certain precautions. Avoid changing oil after driving your car recently since it can be very hot. You should wait at least a couple of hours after driving your car to change the oil. Tools for a DIY oil change are ratchet, oil filter, wrench, funnel, new oil, oil container, and oil filter.
This simple DIY procedure can make automobiles have better fuel consumption ratings and drive smoother. Spark plugs for most cars are cheap. Check the plug wires while replacing spark plugs too.
Replace the worn out strips of rubber found on old wipers with new ones. Change windshield wipers for optimal driving conditions during rain. Basic tools are needed like a screwdriver and new wipers to change them.
Check the front of your car for burnt headlight bulbs in need of replacement. DIY headlight bulb change is possible for cars without sealed beam headlights. Be sure to get the right bulb for your car and save money by changing it yourself.
Dangling exhaust pipes.
If you hear extra car noises from the back of your car, it could be damaged pipe holders or structure. Most cars use rubber loops to hold exhaust pipes that can be damaged over time. Look under your vehicle for any broken hangers in the exhaust pipe and change accordingly.
Always keep brake pads in optimal conditions to avoid car accidents and injury. Brake pads are a key component of the brake system that should be properly maintained. Usual tools to change brake pads are a c-clamp, lug wrench, Allen wrenches, hammer, and jack, amongst other.
Fuel filters have an average price of $15 depending on the car, but can save hundreds of dollars from engine damage if changed regularly. Fuel filters are important to keep fuel injection and carburetor systems clean and working properly. Please, do note that it is imperative to release the fuel system pressure before replacing the fuel filter to avoid damage or injury.
Car radiator flush.
Automobiles’ cooling systems and radiators should be cleaned to keep engines cool. Radiators can build deposits what can clog the cooling system. Perform regular radiator flushes to keep the cooling system in optimal condition. Before removing the radiator cap, to flush the radiator, check that the engine is cool.
Why risk your noggin when you can replace gas lift cylinders yourself? Just buy new lifts at any auto parts store. Then have a helper hold the hood or liftgate while you disconnect and replace the worn lifts. Many styles simply unbolt using a metric socket set. Others connect with a ball and socket style connection held in place with a spring clip. To disengage the spring clip, simply shove a small flat blade screwdriver between the clip and the cylinder. Then pull the cylinder off the ball stud.
Replace Non-Headlight Bulbs
To access burned out license plate, side marker and fog light bulbs, just remove the retaining screws and pry off the lens. Pull the bulb straight out of the socket. Handle the new bulb with gloved hands or hold it with a paper towel to prevent skin oils from depositing on the thin glass — that can cause premature bulb failure. Then push the bulb into the socket until it clicks. Reinstall the lens and you’re done.
Lubricate Window Tracks
Freezing water can seep into the window tracks and create drag when you try to open the window. That drag can damage the window regulator cables, costing you almost $300. You can avoid the problem entirely by lubricating the window tracks with spray silicone or dry teflon spray lubricant. Lower the window and shoot the spray right into the front and back window track. Apply enough lube so it drips all the way down the track. Then operate the window through several open and close cycles to spread the lube along the entire track. Use glass cleaner and a paper towel to remove any spray that lands on the glass.
Most creepers are hard, flat, unpadded boards with tiny wheels that get stuck in cracks in your garage floor. Not this one! Here’s a creeper that’s not only comfortable but also convertible. Pull the release pin and lift up on one end and you’ve got a roll-around seat that’s the perfect height for working around wheels. The padding is extra thick and the wheels are extra-large 3-in. soft polyurethane, so the creeper rolls smoothly, even over debris and cracks. It’s a bit higher off the ground than other creepers, so you’ll have to raise the vehicle an extra few inches. But it’s worth it for the comfort. The heavy-duty frame is rated for up to 450 lbs. for heavy-duty mechanics.