5 DIY Maintenance Tips
For many people, DIY repair is a necessity in order to save money where possible and avoid a visit to the servicing centre. For others, it’s an enjoyable hobby that can yield great results.
If you’re looking to spend a little quality time on your vehicle this weekend, here are five DIY car maintenance projects you can do yourself to keep busy!
Battery Upkeep & Maintenance
Everyone’s seen the cartoons with big electric shocks and hairs standing on end. Bart Simpson anyone? There is something about electricity and the fear of being seriously hurt (cartoons aside) that keeps car owners from maintaining their batteries at home. Well, there’s nothing to worry about! As long as you disconnect the battery properly, by the negative node first, you’ll be fine.
Maintaining a strong battery connection is vital to keep your car running at maximum potential throughout daily wear and tear. A battery is one a huge factor behind your vehicle being reliable. A simple visual inspection will tell you if it’s been too long since you cleaned your battery. The external white residue that builds up over time will eventually stop your car from starting properly and, reduce the life of your battery and other important parts within your vehicle.
Whats the recommended time you should replace your windscreen wipers anyone? Every year? Every 5 years? Only when they break? Well, unknown to many- windshield wipers should be replaced about every six months.
That doesn’t mean they are though. Many drivers let them go far too long to avoid a much more dangerous or expensive replacement job further down the line. Sounds expensive, right? Well, you can do this very easily at home with only about 15 minutes to do this on your own with no tools at all. You can find the wipers you’ll need in your owner’s manual which will specify the part name and should give you an overview of how to replace them.
Your air filter is vital to your car’s performance. Your car’s air filter is the only thing that stands between dirt and other harmful particles from getting into the engine while it’s running. Replacing an air filter is about as simple as it gets on our DIY list of fixes. Simply read your manual on where to find your air filter, open it up, replace it and put it all back together. It couldn’t be simpler!
You should replace your air filter once a year or every 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. Filters are often very cheap and replacing them is another great DIY fix that requires no tools at all.
Oil and Oil Filter
A bit more of a stressful one here unfortunately. Performing your own oil changes is perhaps one of the dirtier and more involved DIY tasks. However, its another fix that staying on top of can help avoid a much dearer bill down the line.
There is no real suggestion for how often this should be done and almost exclusively should be decided on the make and model of your car and how often it is used. Most cars even have oil quality meters, but you can always double-check by eyeing the quality on the dipstick to know exactly when to take action.
You’ll need to buy some oil, (you can check which oil you require in your manual), as well as a ratchet, oil filter wrench, oil pan, and funnel tool to help insert the oil without making a mess. The whole process takes around half an hour – but may still get messy.
If this seems like something you’d rather an expert tackle, come and visit our MOT garage in Grays.
The final DIY fix on our list is replacing Spark Plugs. Replacing your own spark plugs can save you a lot of money down the line, just like many other fixes.
You’ll need a spark plug for every cylinder your car has. These will always be 4, 6, or 8. The proper information required, including the gap size for the plug, can be found in your owner’s manual.
You may need various tools, so this one may be one for an expert depending on your experience. Tools required include a ratchet, socket arm, and spark plug socket. The fix should take around half an hour once again.