Car Maintenance You Can Do Yourself
With just a little bit of effort, you can save money by fixing your car yourself. It may seem like a hassle, but most of these things are super easy to do and cost a fraction of the price you’d pay if you went to Jiffy Lube or your mechanic.
It may seem weird, but your car needs as much air as it needs oil or fuel. Filters keep the engine free of dust and debris that can fly into your car without you knowing. The air filter is easy and inexpensive to fix, probably around $20-$50, according to Angie’s List. Changing your filter could get you better gas mileage and could save you major repairs down the line. Experts suggest that you change out your air filter every 15,000 – 30,000 miles, but it depends on your vehicle. You can read your manual for an accurate answer.
Changing your own oil could take around an hour of your time and save you quite a bit of money. Depending on which oil you use, you can spend as little as $30 to $50—synthetics will naturally be more expensive. Still, this compares to the $60 to $100 that you’d spend taking your car to a dealership or repair shop. It can take a bit of work, and you will get dirty, but saving money is never a bad thing. Just make sure you allow the oil to cool completely before beginning.
A headlight that that isn’t working properly could be dangerous while you’re driving and can also result in a fine. Thankfully, you don’t need to go to the shop to have it fixed. Depending on which vehicle you own, you may be able to change your headlights without much effort. Most cars allow you to lift the hood and switch the bulb by locating the back of the headlight. However, some cars make it a little more complicated. The price to replace the bulb depends on the vehicle, but the parts can be as low as $7.
Changing out your spark plugs could take as little as a half an hour depending on how many plugs you have. These little pieces of metal and porcelain are integral parts of your motor and provide the spark that ignites the air and fuel mixture within the cylinders. You may need to replace these if you’re having trouble starting your car or if your vehicle has a high fuel consumption. It may be surprising to know that the parts can be as little as $9, but you’re paying hundreds just to pay a mechanic to do something it would take you minutes to do.
Your radiator and cooling system need to be cleaned on a regular basis to work efficiently. Normal wear and tear occur when you drive, but you can clean your radiator with a radiator flush. It takes around 30 minutes to an hour to complete and can save you a lot of money in the long run since it only costs around $10-$50. Plus, who wants to wait at a repair shop this long? Just make sure you allow your vehicle to cool completely before you begin a radiator flush.