Oil changes can cost you up to $100, depending on your car. Changing spark plugs can cost $40 to $60. The cost of any car maintenance is certainly not cheap. However, there are a number of DIY car maintenance money savers you can employ to save some serious cash every year.
People think auto stuff is hard, but the general car maintenance needs of your car are actually pretty easy to do, like changing an air filter for example. You can even get auto parts and other items to do car maintenance cheaper in most cases too. Basic maintenance is necessary to keep your car running.
Let’s throw on a pair of old summer jeans on and some gloves to do the following three DIY car maintenance money savers.
1. Changing Your Car’s Oil
To get the DIY car repairs off to a strong start, let’s begin with the most common maintenance car need — the oil change. This every 3,000 mile maintenance need is also most commonly outsourced to the neighborhood Jiffy Lube. Not anymore!
To DIY an oil change, you need an oil pan (something to catch the old oil, funnel, ratchet for the oil plug, and oil filter wrench, because you’ll need to change the filter as well. Doing your own oil change takes around an hour your first time, and will cut costs by $80 to $40, since a DIY oil change will run you around $20.
- Jack up our car, or drive it onto wheel ramps that lift the front of the car.
- Slide under your car and unscrew the oil plug and drain the oil into an oil pan.
- Once drained completely, screw the oil plug back on securely.
- Replace your old oil filter with a new one (as recommended for your car).
- Fill up your car with new oil (however much is recommended).
- Check the oil level and ensure it is at the full mark after letting the oil settle a bit.
- Responsibly recycle your old oil at a local service station.
That’s all there is to it. It is important to check what specifics you need to keep in mind for your specific car. “Most people assume that a standard filter, oil or lube service is enough to keep their vehicles in good condition,” according to Kansas City Auto Body Shop. “The truth is, you need to follow your vehicle manufacturer’s maintenance schedule. Adhering the scheduled maintenance helps to prevent costly and long-term problems while keeping your vehicle in great shape.”
You can check out your car’s specific maintenance needs online or at your dealership. Change your oil and oil filter to save some serious cash.
2. Change Your Car’s Air Filter
Changing your car’s air filter is one of the easiest things to do and only costs about $10, depending on how custom you want to get with your air filter brand. The great thing about changing an air filter is that there is usually no tools required, or at the least a screwdriver.
Total time to swap out your air filter — ten minutes. Here’s how to get it done:
- Pop the hood on your car and look for a rectangular shaped box, this is where your filter probably is. You can also check your car’s maintenance guide.
- Unlatch the box cover and take a quick picture of how the filter is housed in the box.
- Next, pull out the old filter and replace it with the new one, using the pic you snapped to ensure it is placed the right way.
- Cover the box and latch it securely.
That is all there is to changing an air filter! You can get an air filter for your car at an auto parts store or your car’s dealership.
3. Check And Clean Your Vehicle’s Battery
Is starting your car kind of slow? Does it seem like something is just not clicking? There are two potential issues, either spark plugs or battery. Most likely it will be battery, unless you have a very old car with a lot of mileage.
Doing DIY battery maintenance is actually pretty easy, and could save you some serious cash, since you won’t need to replace your battery or have a mechanic troubleshoot power issues.
Here’s how to check and clean your car’s battery:
- First, with the car OFF, remove the battery terminal cables, removing the negative terminal cable first.
- Next, poor a little Coca-Cola on the battery terminals and clean them, removing all corrosion.
- Wipe down with water to clean everything up and dry the battery with an old garage rag.
- Lastly, replace the battery terminals, ensuring they are on nice and tight.
That is how you check and clean your car’s battery in 10 minutes or less. Be sure to wipe down everything well and connect the battery terminals properly and tightly. Start the car to ensure everything works right too.
Wrapping Up . . .
The above DIY car maintenance money savers are easy to do and can save you some money throughout the year. It is also fun, giving you confidence to take on more car issues when they arise. However, know your limits and be sure to call a certified mechanic when needed. If your car needs repairs that you can’t afford or are not worth fixing, consider selling your car online.