We’ve all experienced the frustration of realizing our car needs a fix. Whether the repair is big or small, it is never convenient to take the car to the shop.
Before rearranging your schedule and setting an appointment with the mechanic, consider whether or not you can take care of the repair yourself! You’d be surprised how simple some basic vehicle maintenance can be! Take a look at four of the simple car repairs you can do yourself:
Changing Your Wiper Blades
You know it’s time to replace your wiper blades when you go to turn them on in the rain or snow and they only clear half of your windshield. Not only is this annoying, but it can also be dangerous during a storm or in heavy traffic.
New wiper blades are inexpensive, easy to find, and replacing them proves to be a very simple DIY car repair. You can find wiper blades at your local department store, auto part store, and even at gas stations. Be sure to measure your wiper blades so you know what size your car requires.
Once you have your new wiper blades, pull up the current wiper blades on your car so they are vertical (this makes them much easier to remove) Pull the small tab on the side of the hinge to remove the blade. Replace with the brand new wiper blade by putting the arm blade through the hole, double-check everything lines up, pop it into place and be on your way!
Changing Your Headlight Light Bulbs
One easy way to chat with a cop is to drive in the evening with a burned-out head or tail light. If this doesn’t fit in with your evening plans, grab a new bulb and a Phillips-Head screwdriver, because this is one simple car repair which you can take care of yourself.
Start by popping the hood of your car and finding your front headlight. You will want to disconnect any wires attached to the bulb by either pushing down on a small lever attached to the wires or by unscrewing it, depending on the kind of wires and bulb. Remove the old bulb and install the new by sticking it into the base. Be sure to reattach all of the wires before closing the hood of your car!
Follow these easy step by step instructions, to learn how to change the bulbs.
Adding Air to Your Tires
Be one step ahead of a potential flat tire by keeping track of the air pressure in your tires. Making sure they’re in tip-top shape can prevent an ill-timed trip to the tire shop.
Many gas stations are equipped with a tire pressure monitor where, for a small fee, you can put more air in your tires. Check the inside of your car’s door edge for the correct air pressure (this is usually between 30 and 35). Remove the cap from your tire valve and use the provided air hose to put more air in your car’s tire. The tire pressure monitor will tell you your current tire pressure.
Know exactly when your tires need attention by investing in a vehicle health monitor.
Checking Your Oil
Checking your oil is one of the top items of basic car maintenance you can do yourself. If you only do one thing for your vehicle, let that one thing stay on top of your oil. With the proper amount of oil, you have a working vehicle. Without it, you have an empty shell and an expensive repair.
Make sure your engine is cooled all the way down and pop the hood of your car. Your oil dipstick should be clearly marked - pull it out and wipe it clean with a cloth or a napkin, then put it back to be coated with oil.
Remove it once again and examine the end of the dipstick. You will see two lines, once with the word “add” below, and another with the word “full” above. You want the oil to be in between those two lines. If it is below, you will want to fill it with oil. Keep in mind every 3 months or every 3,000 miles you will want to change your oil!
So before you stop in to visit your car guy, take a step back and consider if it’s something you can take care of yourself. Save yourself (and your wallet) to see if it is a simple car repair that you can easily handle yourself!