Any car owner will tell you that car maintenance is important. After all, regular maintenance saves you gobs of money in the long run by preventing more major damage to your car. However, going to a professional for every small tweak and repair can add up just as much. The solution is to skip the shop and identify car maintenance tasks you can do yourself.
Although your car can go further than the standard 3,000 miles without getting an oil change, you should still change your oil every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. Otherwise, your car will run less efficiently, which will cause greater wear and tear on your car. Fortunately, you can replace them in the comfort of your own garage or driveway.
Other than the new oil, the only supplies you need to change your oil are a wrench, a funnel, a drain pan, a pair of gloves, and a car jack. Once the car is jacked up, unscrew the drain plug and allow the old oil to empty into your drain pan. From there, you can go under the hood to remove and replace the oil filter and fill the new oil filter with fresh oil (remember to replace the drain plug first).
Detailing Your Car
Most of us are fairly comfortable with washing the car ourselves. But when it comes time to go the extra mile into detailing territory, we tend to want to leave it to the professionals.
Start with the wash. When you wash your car body, use two buckets—a wash bucket and a rinse bucket—to avoid pouring dirty water over the car. Use a microfiber cloth and car-specific soap. Go top to bottom and don’t leave the car to air dry. When it’s dry, make sure you choose a quality car wax.
From here, it’s a matter of paying attention to the details that you don’t consider on a regular wash day, such as:
- Washing inside the headlights
- Interior and exterior glass
- Dashboard and console
- Doors and door jambs
- Interior of cup holders
- Steering wheel
Replacing Windshield Wipers
This is a car maintenance task you can do without pulling out your toolbox. Most windshield wipers have a simple mechanism that allows you to remove the rubber blade from the rest of the wiper with your bare hands. From there, it’s a simple matter of latching the new blade to the wiper. Windshield wiper blades should be replaced at least twice a year, once before summer and once before winter.