If you’re willing to get your hands a little dirty every now and then, you can save quite a bit of money just by doing some basic car maintenance yourself.
There’s no sense in paying a service technician or mechanic to do simple jobs when you can take care of them with your own two hands in less than twenty minutes.
Here are some of my favorite car maintenance hacks that save me money all year round
Changing wiper blades
Changing wiper blades is quick and inexpensive.
All you have to do is go down to your local auto parts store and consult the wiper blade size manual that is typically located right near the display. When you find your make and model, select a product that matches the size listed in the manual.
If you have any confusion, ask an employee to help.
- To change the wiper blades:
- Pull up your wipers so they are perpendicular to the windshield. Most wipers have a small clip or hook.
- Disengage your old wiper blades and attach the new ones.
- Make sure they are secure and gently return the wipers to their original position.
Pretty easy-peasy isn’t it?
Changing motor oil
Changing motor oil can be done quickly and with little hassle.
Before you start, be sure to have the proper supplies. This includes
- 4-6 quarts of oil (the type required will be specified in your owner’s manual)
- An oil draining pan
- A set of drive-on auto ramps (Here is my recommended drive-on ramps)
- And an oil filter.
Choosing the correct oil filter is very similar to the wiper blade selection process.
- Position the ramps at the base of your front tires and drive your car up them.
- When you work up the courage to get under the front of the car, you’ll find a large round pan with a small bolt in the center.
- Place your oil draining pan under this bolt and unscrew it. You may need a socket wrench. Allow the oil to drain.
- Put the small bolt back into the bottom of your car’s oil pan when it is done draining.
- You should see an oil filter that closely resembles the one you just purchased. Unscrew the old filter and replace it with the new one. Some filters can be unscrewed by hand, where others may require a special wrench.
- Pop the hood and fill your car with the new oil until it reaches the manufacturer’s specified amount.
The EPA considers used motor oil a hazardous household waste. It is important that you dispose of it properly. In most states oil change shops and mechanics will recycle used motor oil for free.
Additional car maintenance tips
Be sure to routinely check the amount of the various fluids in your car. This can include windshield washing solvent, transmission fluid, and brake fluid. Locations of these particular fluids vary per automobile, but should be clearly identified and easy to find. In most cases, unscrew the cap and check the current level. If necessary, add more fluid until it reaches the manufacturer’s specified amount.
Please keep in mind that these are only rough guides to simple maintenance. For more exact instructions, you should always refer to your car’s manufacturer or a certified mechanic.