Years ago, when cars were still made out of heavy metal, most of the engine components were accessible to those who didn’t have access to specialized tools. But with the advancement of technology in the automotive world, nowadays, you might need to be an electrical engineer to perform vehicle maintenance.
While many certified mechanics will agree that they miss the days of old when a car was easier to work on, today there are still a few areas where a layperson can work on a car and perform essential maintenance. And learning to perform these maintenance routines can save you hundreds of dollars a year. It makes no difference whether you are a dad going to your office or a mom driving your car back from your kids’ school, knowing these vehicle maintenance essentials will help you a lot.
Truth be told, vehicles are complex machines, even more so now than in years prior. But learning the following maintenance tasks will not only prove to be beneficial but will also save you money as well.
Oil and Filter Change Ensures DIY Vehicle Maintenance
Just about anyone can change their own oil in the family car. Yet year after year, motorists all across the country spend thousands of dollars on costly oil change services out of convenience.
The first thing you’ll need to do is to find a proper way to dispose of the oil. And chances are any automotive store or mechanic shop can direct you to the proper disposal protocols within your community.
After locating your oil drain plug, you’ll need to place your empty container under the spout. Once the oil drains out, you’ll then need to locate your filter and replace it. And consulting your owner’s manual is perhaps the best strategy to find the plug and the filter if you cannot easily see it.
Once the filter is replaced and you’ve replaced the drain plug, you can now add oil to the specifications of your engine. Just don’t forget to replace the oil cap before you start the vehicle!
Brake Pads Replacement: An Important Part of DIY Vehicle Maintenance
Just as with oil changes, having your brake pads replaced is a task that just about anyone can perform with a few simple tools.
Brake pads are essential to keeping your rotors in good condition and for allowing you to stop your vehicle. Because if the pads become too worn, you’ll not only have issues with braking the vehicle, you could also significantly damage your rotors.
When a brake pad becomes worn, the metal indicator will alert you. And this often comes in the form of an unsettling screeching sound every time you apply the brake.
But thankfully, changing the pads is simple. Simply remove your tire after securely jacking up the vehicle, loosen the brake caliper, and work the pad apart from the caliper with a screwdriver or other lever-style tool.
Once removed, simply install the new pad and replace the caliper and the tire. It’s also good to note that you should consult your manual if you’re unsure of how to find the caliper and the pad.
Vehicle Maintenance Also Includes Headlight Replacement
Believe it or not, you don’t need to pay hundreds of dollars to change out a burnt headlight. In fact, the process is so simple that you’ll be wondering why you ever took your car to a mechanic for this service in the past.
In the modern age, most vehicles have LED or halogen headlights. And these bulbs are extremely sensitive. They’re actually so sensitive that if you get a fingerprint on them, this could cause the bulb to immediately burn out.
But once again, changing them is easy once you locate the headlight housing. These are usually plastic or metal and contain a screw-cap that contains the bulb socket. Once you’ve removed your old bulb, wrap the new one in paper or a clean cloth and insert it into its socket, taking care not to touch the bulb with your hands.
Replacement of Wiper Blades
The day-to-day condition of your wiper blades will tell you when to replace them. You only need to press the washer button and see whether or not your wiper blades wipe clean. They have become toast if they streak. Now you have got to change them.
Hold the wiper arm with a firm grip and remove the worn-out blades by simply pulling them out from their lock-grips on the wiper arm. Replace the new wiper blades by pushing their lock grips into those of the wiper arm accurately. You can do so very easily by following the installation instructions on the package of wiper blades you bought from an auto parts store. Good brands often print other car care tips along with the relevant ones. Better if you read them as well.
Remember to have a firm grip on the wiper arm after you have removed the used blade. It has enough force to crack your windshield if you happen to let it loose and hit the windshield.
Checking and Replacing Air Filter
Among the basic car maintenance tips, checking and replacing your air filter is really very easy. So, you must do it yourself. Better replace your filter based on its actual condition. You should not prefer the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals in this regard. There should be no complications while testing or checking your air filter. You only have to pull it out and give it a look-see. If you find it failing the back-light test, you must replace it. Be vigilant to vacuum out the crud in the air cleaner box before placing the new filter in it.
Learning basic vehicle maintenance can make your life much easier and give you greater confidence when problems arise. Additionally, you’ll also save a ton of money on vehicle maintenance that you can use for other priorities.
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