Your vehicle is important. You use it to get around, go to the doctors, pick up groceries and loved ones. Your vehicle is one of your most important assets, so taking care of it is equally important. Learning how to perform simple maintenance on your vehicle will help to not only keep your vehicle running properly and more efficiently but will also save you time and money in the long run. Here are 8 simple car maintenance jobs you can do yourself.
1. Changing Your Oil
Regular oil changes are a must in order to keep your vehicle running smooth and efficient. Not changing your oil can lead to costly repairs. Clean oil helps your engine run smoothly and without it, your engine can overheat. Trust me, I nearly ran off the highway because I forgot to get my oil changed. Little did I know, changing my oil is something I can even do myself with a little patience and some much-needed help from Youtube.
Check your dipstick often. Every 5000 km is good. The dipstick has a level to tell you when the oil is low and make sure you check your owners manual for the right type of oil for your vehicle.
2. Tires Make Your Car Go Round
Most newer vehicles from the car dealership come with automatic tire pressure sensors built into to tell you when your tires need air. Other vehicles require you to check manually which can be done weekly or even bi-weekly depending on how much you drive. Not checking the pressure of your tires can be deadly and cause an avoidable accident waiting to happen. You can pick up a tire pressure gauge at Canadian Tire for cheap. Your tires will tell you how much air they require.
3. Dents and Body Damage
Dents and body damage make your vehicle look awful but can also lead to more serious issues. Scratches on your paint can lead to rust over time and if left costly repairs. However, if you deal with the issues as soon as possible, fixing dings and scratches can keep your vehicle looking as new as the day you drove it off the lot.
A helpful tip: Get your car looked at before even thinking of paying your collision fee. Often small scratches and dents can be fixed for cheaper than the money you will have to dish out to get your insurance company to cover the cost of your repairs.
Your windshield wipers help you see while driving so it’s important you replace them once they begin to wear. Not replacing your wipers can cause streaks, along with scratches to your windshield. Your manual will have the size and type of wipers your vehicle requires. Replacing the blades is super easy and can be done in less than five minutes.
5. Drive Belt
Your engine gives your car power but it also generates power to all the other mechanical parts of your vehicle. This includes your air conditioning, power steering, air pump, alternator, water pump and this power comes from your drive belt which transfers your engine power from your cam or crankshaft to those important parts.
Visually checking your belts is important. Look for any wear or small cracks. Your manual will tell you how often you need to change your belts. However, don’t rely solely on this number, getting regular maintenance checkups which include looking at your belts is important.
#6. Check Your Battery
Your battery is basically maintenance free. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to check it from time to time. Dust, debris and other particulars build up on your battery connectors (terminals) so it’s important you take the time to check and clean your terminals and to look for any signs of corrosion or buildup to help get the most out of your battery. Having a good set of jumper cables on hand isn’t such a bad idea either in case your battery needs a boost when you least expect it.
#7. Detailing & Inside Knobs & Buttons
You want your car to look good on the outside but what about the inside? Detailing and washing your car at least once every couple of months is something that can help maintain the value of your vehicle. Try to keep from going through automatic car washes and instead use a wanding wash station.
Only use the best polish and sprays on the inside of your vehicle and keep some handy wipes in the glove box to wipe down all your knobs, dash and buttons which builds up faster than you think. Think of the inside of your car as you would the inside of your home and keep it clean!
#8. Headlights, Daytime Running Lights, and Other Lamps and Fixtures
It’s one of the most forgotten parts of a vehicle that gets overlooked so easily and yet is one of the easiest to maintain. Checking your headlights, fog lights, turn signal lamps and other bulb fixtures both inside and outside your vehicle is something you should check at least once a month.
Headlights are super easy to replace and you can often pick up the parts you need from a local vehicle maintenance shop or can at least order them in. Make sure you are using the correct bulbs with the correct wattage and refer to your owners manual for guidance for proper instruction on how to change things out when the time comes.
Other Car Maintenance Jobs You Can Do Yourself
There are other things you can look for having to do with vehicle maintenance you can check on that don’t require a ton of time and will help keep your car running like a pro.
- spark plugs
- brake pads
- gas mileage
- cabin air filter
- engine filter
So there you have it. Simple, easy jobs you can perform on your vehicle to keep your car looking good on the outside as well as the inside while helping it run efficiently. Share these jobs with your friends. It’s never too late to understand you can save yourself a ton of money just learning how to do things yourself!