Almost everyone is driving a car these days, but how do you keep up with the essential maintenance without breaking the bank. Here are the top 5 Must Do Maintenance that most of the time you can complete yourself.
Maintaining a healthy vehicle is much like maintaining your spiritual life.
A little bit of work and maintenance goes a long way, but this little amount of effort could save you A LOT! When we daily check in on our vehicle we can be ready any time.
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
– Psalm 46:1 (ESV)
If you complete these top 5 maintenance on your own you could easily save yourself enough for at least an additional couple tanks of gas.
Don’t forget when you fill up with those tanks of gas that you are regularly checking your fluid levels as well.
1. AIR FILTERS
Each vehicle has slightly different Maintenance Schedules for when to change your air filters. These should both be checked regularly and should be considered to change every 3 months to 12 months depending on how dusty your driving conditions are, for best recommendations check your owners maintenance/manual HERE (If you’re not sure, plan for the Severe schedule or ‘dusty conditions’):
Cabin and Engine Air filters at dealers tend to run 3 times the cost of purchasing and installing them yourselves. Granted many will argue dealer filters are better, but as long as they are being replaced regularly. Replacing them regularly could even be saving you a tiny bit of gas money. The only filters I suggest garages replacing are for vehicles like the HHR that are a little more of a pain to replace. (unless you are car savvy enough)
Typically you can find the location for the cabin filter in the box with the new one as well as instructions to replace them in most. If not just ask nicely the next time you go in for an oil change where they are located, most places are nice enough to let you know.
2. WIPER BLADES
Have you noticed your wipers streaking? Before you jump to the conclusion they need to be replaced, take a look at them and answer these questions:
or just dirty?
Many times even newer wipers will streak when dirty and the best solution here is to gently take a damp rag and wipe the blade to clean the dirt off, this is an easy way to extend the life of those blades and SAVE MONEY. Are you getting the idea? Save your hard earned cash by knowing the basics!
However if they are worn out or damaged, wipers are one of the easiest maintenance items on a car. Instead of paying high prices for wiper blade installation, just find a good pair and change them yourself by checking out this VIDEO.
3. LIGHT BULBS
Light bulbs in vehicles most times aren’t much harder than changing a bulb in your house.
If you can change your house light, you can probably change an auto light.
Here is a good VIDEO to help you with changing a burnt out bulb? Since each vehicle is unique, some vehicles like the GMC trucks and Chevrolet Equinox may need to be replaced at a shop. When in doubt, again ask someone at your dealership or an auto friend you know where the bulb is. Changing your light yourself could easily save you $10 to $50 depending on what is charged at the shop. Most bulbs are under $10. In example a headlight bulb for our 2005 Hydundai Elantra costs approximately $6 to purchase, but to have replaced at a local shop could cost $60, nearly 10 times the cost of the bulb. That is a huge SAVINGS!
4. TIRE CHECK
Checking your tires regularly could easily save you a bad day. If you haven’t had a problem with your tires yet I can almost guarantee you that you will if you don’t plan to check your tires.
2 Tire Tools cheap to own are:
THINGS TO LOOK FOR WITH TIRES:
- Unveven wear (could be signs of misbalance or misalignment)
- Tread Depth under 4/32nds (especially if you are in a snowy region & it is close to winter)
- Low Tire Pressure (It fluctuates a little with temperature & driving, best to check cold)
- Bulges on the side of the tire (If you see a bulge like this REPLACE THE TIRE IMMEDIATELY)
If you are having problems starting your car, your battery could be weak. Most people do not carry the right testers to fully test a battery, but here are a couple things you can check.
All it takes is a multimeter and some time you can easily check a couple areas on your battery.
THINGS TO CHECK WITH YOUR BATTERY:
- Is there corrosion on your battery? Cables or otherwise this is a huge problem easily solved.
- Check your battery voltage off. (Typically about 12.5 Volts)
- Check your battery voltage while running. (Typically between 13.7 volts to 14.7 volts)
What DIY Auto Maintenance do you complete at home?