Buying a car sure costs a lot of money. But the expenses don’t end after you’ve signed all the papers, submitted your cheques, and have driven your new vehicle home. In fact, that’s just the beginning. If buying a car is a huge investment, more so is maintaining it. You have to pay for parking fees, gas, not to mention oil change and other routine services.
Some people choose not to maintain their vehicles to save up a few bucks. But this will run the risk of damage to the car. Lagging behind maintenance efforts will decrease the life of your car. You’ll need to bring it to the shop more often for professional repairs and replacements, costing you more money in the end.
Instead of disregarding maintenance efforts, why don’t you do them yourself? You don’t have to be a car expert to know how to maintain your vehicle. Here are some easy jobs you can DIY.
Change your windshields
Windshields may seem like car parts that can last as long as the vehicle does. But in reality, they need to be replaced every six months to one year of use. There are instances, though, when a windshield repair will be a better option than a replacement. If you’re not sure, ask your mechanic or refer to your user manual.
If you do decide to replace your windshields, here are the basic steps:
- Lift the blades and look for the tab that secures them in place.
- Press on the tab to unlock the windshields and detach them. Some cars would have different blade setups, so you might have to check your user manual on how to take the blades out.
- Attach the new blades in the same manner, making sure you don’t bend the wiper arms on the mirror to avoid scratching it.
Replace your air filters
Most car owners would go to a shop just to have their air filters replaced. But this is something you can do yourself. All you have to do is open the hood of your car and find the filter. Usually, it’s in a black, rectangular box secured with metal clips. Open the box and study how the filter is positioned inside. This will help you put the new one in its proper place later on. Remove the old filter and place the new one, then close the box and secure the metal clips. Do this every 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Replace your brake pads
Maintaining your car’s braking system is crucial to ensuring your safety inside the vehicle. Because of the friction, brake pads are prone to rapid wear and tear. So make sure you’re replacing them every 20,000 miles. But if you use the brakes more often, such as when you usually do stop-and-go driving, you’ll have to replace them more frequently.
Use a jack to lift your car and remove the wheel. Once you see the brake pads, remove the bolts and the caliper securing them. The old pads should slide right out after doing so. Put the new pads in the same place where the old ones sat. Reinstall everything you removed beforehand. Understandably, this might be a bit difficult considering all the mechanics involved. If you’re not so confident doing it on your own, it’s best to visit a shop.
These three main car maintenance efforts are the basics that you can do on your own. Just make sure to check your user manual to ensure that you’re doing the right things to your specific make and model.