As reliable as some cars may be, it is almost inevitable that you will need to perform maintenance on your vehicle at one point or another. But why open your wallet and take your car to a mechanic when some of these tasks can be done at home? Maintaining your car can be surprisingly fun and can help you save a lot of money in the long run. It can be difficult to know exactly what maintenance tasks are available without calling your trusted mechanic, but we've got you covered.
Below are some of the things you can do without a professional to make sure your car runs as well as it looks.
Jobs that you can do yourself
Change the fluids in your car
From brake fluids to power steering fluid, changing all of the fluids in your car is a must. This fairly simple task is quite an important one as it can damage expensive parts if you leave them standing for too long. Although it can be extremely difficult to do a full brake flush. If you're not a trained professional, swapping out vehicle fluids (five fluids to check) is fairly easy. Use a baster to remove the dark liquid in your brake reservoir and top up with new liquid. Over time, the old and new fluids will mix and your car will thank you.
Determine the cause of the indicator lights
We have all encountered this issue at one point or another where the Check Engine indicator is still lit and you just cannot figure out the cause. This is where a fancy device known as an OBD2 scanner comes in. This useful tool is a quick way to diagnose the Check Engine indicator and find the source of the problem.
Most trained mechanics have one of these tools on their roster because they are useful and can save a lot of money in the long run. Determining the cause of your "Check Engine" lights can be painful, but a scan tool like an OBD2 is just one of the ways you can quickly find this out. We personally recommend the Launch X432 V + for its ease of use and impressive functionality. Read a review for this product here: https://obdstation.com/launch-x431-v-plus-review/.
Replacing your vehicle's wiper blades
An often overlooked but fairly simple and useful task is changing the windshield wiper blades. Many people forget about this as it doesn't inherently improve your car's performance, but it can be a quick task that is quite necessary. To test whether or not your blades are working as intended, all you have to do is press the wash button, which is usually located around your car's dashboard. If the wipers clean the windshield well and leave minimal streaks, the blades will work properly. However, if they start brushing and leaving marks, you may have a problem.
Replacing your wiper blades is pretty simple and you shouldn't run into too many problems. Just find a brand that is compatible with your vehicle and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Perhaps you should pay a little more for a well-known brand as it will last much longer.
Test your coolant
Repairing the coolant yourself can be a pretty daunting task, but there's no way to test whether it's working as intended. You need a voltmeter, but if you're a serious auto enthusiast, you most likely have one in your tool kit. Before connecting your voltmeter, you'll want to check that it is on the lowest DC setting. Once you are sure it does, the rest is a cake run. Just slide the positive probe into your engine's coolant and the negative probe onto the negative battery terminal.
Next, get into your car and crank the engine to around 1,800-2,000 RPM for an accurate reading. Then just go back to the front of your car (or wherever the engine is) and write down the voltmeter readings. If it is greater than 0.4 volts, there may be a problem. If so, it is best to check with your local auto technician as it can get tricky from here.
Replace engine air filter
This could be one of the easiest self-maintenance jobs you can do on your car, and one that will greatly extend the life of your vehicle. Replacing an engine's air filter is almost as easy as building a Lego house.
Most air filters screw on, but some can only be attached to your engine. Cut air filters are the easiest to remove because you usually only need to unclip and slide them out in the right places. With your filter screwed in, you will need a screwdriver or similar tool to loosen and remove your air filter. Then hold up your air filter and let a light through. If the light is hard to get through and the filter looks clogged or dirty, you should probably consider replacing it. Go online or visit your local repair shop and find a new filter that is compatible with your vehicle's engine. Repeat the same process that you used to remove and your engine will be ready to use. Ideally, you want to change your vehicle's air filter at least once a year to extend the life of your car.
Keeping your car in decent condition doesn't have to be a lot of work or cost you a fortune. Many tasks can be done at home and will greatly extend the life of your car without having to dive into your wallet. Make sure you maintain your car regularly and it will be sure to get you from A to B for years to come!