Do it yourself car maintenance need not be a dismaying or intimidating task. For the person who can perform basic car maintenance, the savings can be enormous. I am sure most mechanics are very honest people, but we have all heard stories of a mechanic charging an arm and a leg for simple tasks, such as an oil change. What if you could do this yourself ? With 3, 4 or more oil changes per year that is a hundred dollars in savings. Not to mention all the other little tasks that you can easily do yourself rather than relying on a mechanic.
Basic car maintenance includes things like oil changes, spark plug checks and changes, fluid top offs, tyre pressure checks and coolant flushes. All these tasks can be performed by you at home with a minimum number of simple tools.
For example, all you will need to complete an oil and oil filter change on your car is:
- – A socket/wrench to undo the drain plug
- – Oil filter clamp (these are ridiculously cheap)
- – New Oil
- – New filter
- – Container for used oil
- – Funnel to pour in new oil
That is, it ! And this task literally takes a few minutes of your time. The oil can take some time to drain, but you need not sit and watch. Just place a container under the drain plug, remove the drain plug and come back once the oil has drained.
Other simple tasks, as mentioned above, include spark plug checks and coolant changes. To check spark plugs you simply unscrew the rocker cover (the main cover on your engine) and purchase a spark plug socket (this is a long socket to reach into the spark plug chamber). Unscrew the spark plug and pull it out. If it looks burnt out or white, then it is time for a change. Keep in mind that spark plugs can also indicate other troubles in your car so if your spark plugs look sick or are covered in oil, show a mechanic and he can advise on what may be wrong with your car.
Coolant changes, one of the most important aspects of car maintenance, should be performed around once per year. This stops your car from overheating. You simply undo the hose where it connects to the radiator and let all the coolant drain out. Then do up that hose and fill up with coolant again. Easy!
Of course, it would be of benefit if you had some interest in car maintenance before embarking on a do-it-yourself decision. But anyone can do it so do not be afraid to get a little dirty under your car! After all, your wallet will thank you for it.
I hope you now realize the ease and simplicity of do-it-yourself car maintenance.