DIY Auto Repair: Common Maintenance Tasks You Can Do at Home

DIY Auto Repair: Common Maintenance Tasks You Can Do at Home

Maintaining your vehicle can save both time and money over the long haul, however certain repairs should be left up to professionals.

As you begin DIY car repair, be sure to invest in the necessary tools. A basic tool set should include wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers and hammers for use.

1. Change Your Oil

If you want your car to keep running smoothly, changing its oil on a regular basis is key. While this DIY auto repair task is straightforward, obtaining all the required tools – socket wrench set, oil drain pan and new oil filter; as well as recommended type and amount of engine oil are essential. In addition, funnel and plastic sheeting may come in handy to avoid potential spills of engine oil during this process.

Doing the task at home will save both money and time (an oil change typically takes 15-45 minutes at quick lube shops). Plus, it’ll help expand your knowledge about your vehicle while giving you greater insight into its functioning.

2. Change Your Filters

Filter replacement is another straightforward task that can save money in repair bills later. Maintaining this practice during winter weather when your heater and defroster will likely need more frequent use is especially crucial.

Your engine’s air filter plays an essential role in protecting it against impurities entering its combustion system and potentially damaging it. Typically located on the front of your vehicle’s engine bay in a box-like housing secured with latches you can quickly undo with your hands, it serves to keep pollutants at bay and keeps combustion system working at optimal performance.

Locate the air filter box, unlock any latches or screws holding back its cover, pull out and replace with new filter in its same orientation – double checking that light still passes through after.

3. Change Your Brakes

Maintaining healthy brakes is critical to safe driving. If yours are squeaking, it is vital that they are replaced before they completely wear out and leave you stranded or even worse stranded somewhere.

To complete this task, a basic tool kit, safety goggles and, above all else, a jack will be essential. Chock the wheels so your car cannot move when jacking it up; apply handbrake before lifting onto jack stand; remove wheel/lug nuts before proceeding further.

Next, locate and remove the two bolts holding the caliper carrier in place using a ratchet and socket set. Bleed your brake fluid first if required by following your owner’s manual’s procedure for doing so.

4. Change Your Tires

Tire changing is one of the easiest DIY car maintenance tasks you can perform at home, making for a quick repair with little fuss and inconvenience. While professional services generally require appointments, changing tires yourself offers greater freedom when and where it suits your schedule.

Before beginning this process, make sure your spare tire is in your trunk and all tools are readily accessible. Use concrete blocks or other heavy objects as barriers between the flat tire and heavy objects placed around it; use your owner’s manual as a guideline to locate designated jack points; loosen lug nuts before jacking up.

Take care to not fully disassemble them as this could result in your tire becoming loose and possible causing an accident while driving. Use a tire iron or lug wrench to loosen them until they can turn freely with your fingers.

5. Change Your Battery

After installing a new battery, it is wise to tighten its retaining nuts using a torque wrench until they meet specifications – usually seventy foot-pounds.

Be mindful to wear protective gloves and eyewear when handling car batteries as their acid can be hazardous to health. Furthermore, recycling old batteries at auto parts stores may even offer free installation as well as recycling the old one without additional charge.

Doing DIY maintenance on your vehicle allows you to work at your own pace and save time on professional services. In addition, DIY maintenance helps develop an understanding of how the engine operates so that when professional assistance is required you’re more capable of communicating more effectively with mechanics.

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