Car Maintenance

How to Perform At-Home Car Maintenance

Sometimes the chore of having your car serviced can feel like it just isn’t worth the trouble. Pulling into the nearest mechanic’s garage only to shell out tons of cash for an oil change or an air filter seems like extra money down the drain or a waste of time. However, there are quite a few things you can do for your vehicle that don’t require professional help. At-home car maintenance is a lot easier than you would expect it to be, but often buying the parts you need or performing the maintenance yourself is cheaper and less time-consuming than seeking out a pro.


Air Filter: To change an air filter, all you need is the new one with which you’ll be replacing the old, used filter. Just pop open the hood of your car and find the air filter case. Open the case, make a mental note of how the filter sits inside the case, and then simply remove the old air filter and place the new one inside.


Oil and Oil Filter: Draining the oil out of your vehicle will require you to have a jack on hand. Jack your car up, locate the oil pan, and unscrew the drain plug, ensuring that you drain the oil into a recycling container that can be given to a local full-service gas station. After the oil has been drained, replace the drain plug. After that, use an oil filter wrench to remove the old oil filter and put the new one in place. Then, simply open the hood of your car, remove the oil cap, and fill the car with new oil. You can use the dipstick to make sure you’ve added enough oil before putting the cap back on.


Windshield Wipers: Removing old windshield wipers is easy; all you have to do is pull the wiper away from the windshield and press the small tab on the underside that allows you to slip it off the wiper arm. Once that’s done, simply pull the new wiper over top the wiper arm until it clicks into place and lower it back onto the windshield.


Battery Connection: In this situation, you will be checking to see how well your battery is being maintained. Beginning with the negative cables, remove all battery cables from your battery. Using a wire brush and corrosion removal fluid, clean the posts, then use the wire brush to clean the battery terminals as well. You can clean off the cleaning fluid using water and a dry rag. When reconnecting the battery cables, start with the positive cables first.


Headlights: Changing your headlights is actually fairly easy and quick, taking only about ten minutes. First, pop the hood of your vehicle and look for the bulb holder. Once you’ve found it, remove the wire harnessing. This may either be metal, plastic, or a screw cap. Screw caps are easy and self-explanatory; just screw them off. With a metal clip, pull up and away, and plastic caps usually have a lever at the top of the plug. Once that’s off, pull the old bulb out of the holder and replace it with the new one. Then, just put the wiring back on.

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