We all know how quickly and seamlessly the costs of car maintenance can build up.
And while car maintenance is one of those things that the more you try to cut corners with and save on, the more it can end up costing you, that doesn’t go to say there aren’t some automotive repairs you can’t carry out at home, as long as you’re willing to put the time and effort in to do them properly.
In that spirit, here are 5 such DIY repairs that can save you a decent amount of money in the long run. For other insightful information and tips on all things cars, visit https://manuals.co/.
Replacing Your Air Filters
Replacing your air filters is one of the most basic repairs you can carry out.
Generally speaking, all you have to do is open your vehicle’s hood, take care of a couple of screws, locate the air filter and replace it. And if the last part is easier said than done for you, watching a YouTube video will give you its exact coordinates.
Considering that going to a professional will cost you around $50 for the filter, which otherwise goes for $15-$20 from a shop, and $100 for the labor, you can save over $100 I half an hour or less.
Changing Brake Pads
When most people hear that, their initial reaction is shocking, which is understandable, however, the actual act of changing your brake pads is surprisingly straightforward.
You know that it’s time to change your brake pads when pressing the brake pedal is accompanied by a squeal.
First and foremost, you need to jack up your vehicle properly – always with jack stands – to ensure your safety during the procedure. From there, all you need to do remove the tires, the caliper and/or mounting bracket, and finally the rotor.
It might take a solid couple of hours, but it will be well worth it, considering that repair shops charge well above $200 per axle and often try to squeeze more money out of you with other related services that you might not actually need, like rotor resurfacing, for example.
Changing the Battery
Another contender for the easiest automotive home repair, it’s crazy that so many handy people don’t take this matter in their own hands.
The tricky part here is the order in which the cables need to be replaced. Basically, the black, or negative cable should be removed first and replaced last. Think of it as the procedure coming full circle.
Batteries tend to last between 4 and 6 years, but don’t push it or wait for harbingers of its death, otherwise, you risk being abandoned by your vehicle in the middle of nowhere, or worse.
Batteries cost around $80, while a repair shop will charge $200 or more to change it for you, so this DIY repair will be time well spent.
Replacing Headlights and Taillights
As you might know from movies, chipped or worn out headlight and taillights are a gravitational force for traffic tickets, which is understandable considering how easily overlooked they are. To save yourself some money and hassle, you should make a habit of checking them regularly, like at least once a month, and to save even more money, replace them yourself.
There are two things you need to keep in mind in order to ensure your success in this “operation.”
First is to take the old bulb to the shop, so you can find an exact match. The other thing to remember is to use gloves when carrying out the replacement in order to prevent the grease from your hands from causing the bulb to burn out prematurely.
Think of the tune-up of a car as doing exercise and eating healthy for a human. It’s the regular, relatively little maintenance procedures that can go long way in the long run.
Those include replacing your fuel filter, so your engine isn’t soiled by particles or dust that slip through your aging filter – just don’t light any fires while doing so!; replacing your spark plugs to avoid those signature movie-esque moments of frustration while trying to start your car; and changing your oil every 3,000 to 7,000 miles to keep your engine running smoothly.
You don’t have to possess exceptional mechanical prowess to carry those repairs at home and save yourself some money. However, what you do need is the attention and attitude of a professional, or otherwise, you might end up losing more than money.