13.07.2022: If you are a frugal vehicle owner, you may sometimes be tempted to forgo basic maintenance tasks hoping to save a few dollars. However, if you are smart about your money you would know that putting off important maintenance tasks for a long time can affec


 
If you are a frugal vehicle owner, you may sometimes be tempted to forgo basic maintenance tasks hoping to save a few dollars. However, if you are smart about your money you would know that putting off important maintenance tasks for a long time can affect your vehicle’s life, and cost you heavy repairs in the future.

That being said, vehicle maintenance can be expensive and while you wouldn’t want to give an arm and a leg in maintenance costs, you also have to be smart enough to avoid costly repairs.

The best plausible solution to this issue is engaging in easy-to-do maintenance and repair tasks yourself to avoid getting ripped off at your local mechanic shop. Whether you seek help from a friend, use online resources or refer to the auto Shop manuals that come with your car,  given below are seven easy vehicle maintenance and repair tasks that you can do yourself:

1.    You can perform oil changes

Oil changes are probably the most frequent and the easiest maintenance tasks that your vehicle incurs. An oil change can cost you up to US$ 50, and your car’s oil is likely to require changing every 5000 miles or so.

To change your car’s oil, you need to make sure that the car isn’t too hot, make sure it’s at a halt, and simply use a racket and wrench to pry open the filter. You then have to drain out the old oil and simply use a funnel to put in the new one.


2.    You can replace the engine coolant

A standard engine coolant change is likely to cost you anywhere between US$ 100 – US$200, and if the engine light on your dashboard goes off you know it’s time for one. You can also find your vehicle’s onboard diagnostics port and use a reader to confirm this issue.

A coolant change would be required every 40,000 miles on average, and it takes less than an hour for you to do so. Simply drain out the old fluid as this becomes acidic after 40,000 miles, and pour in the new one using an air-powered refilling tool to ensure there are no air pockets.

3.    You can replace the brake pads

Depending on your car make and model, replacing brake pads is going to cost you anywhere between US$ 400 – US$ 600. Replacing brake pads is an essential maintenance task because if your brake pads get too worn they can damage other parts of your vehicle and lead you to incur expensive repairs.

You can avoid the above costs by replacing the brake pads yourself by first removing the tires using a wrench and a jack. This will be followed by removing the old brake pads and successfully fastening the new ones in place while ensuring they are lubricated.

4.    You can perform tire maintenance yourself

Your car’s safety and efficiency depend on its tire health and hence tire maintenance should be a crucial part of your car maintenance routine. Regular tire maintenance can cost you about US$ 50, which you can save by doing the work yourself.

You would have to check tire pressure with a pressure gauge, and simply fill it up with air at a local gas station that would be happy to do it for free. Any punctures that your tires have can be fixed using an at-home kit that will cost you US$ 20 at maximum.

You would also have to look into tire rotation every 5000 miles which needs some simple jack and wrench movement.


5.    You can replace the battery

Replacing a car battery can cost you anywhere between US$ 100 – US$ 225, and you can avoid this cost by learning how to replace the battery of your vehicle yourself. To do so, you would need to remove the existing cables from the old battery, put the new battery in place, and clip the cables back into place.

This is likely to take you 15 minutes at max, and you’d be saving a couple of hundred dollars. Take note that replacing your battery is important because if you put off doing so for longer than you should your car could be left stranded in the middle of nowhere.

6.    You can change the air filters

Air filters are crucial as they help keep dirty air from entering your vehicle and there are two in particular. The engine air filter helps stop dirty air from entering the engine and hampering its performance while the cabin air filter helps keep the HVAC system of your car clean.

The former filter getting dirty can affect the engine’s efficiency, and the latter can affect the quality of air entering your vehicle and the system’s cooling or heating. Filter changes are as simple as pulling out the old filter and putting in a new one.

7.    You can change the spark plugs

Spark plugs need to be cleaned frequently and can run for a whopping 90,000 to 100,000 miles. When you do have to change them, they can cost you up to US$ 50. However, this cost can be avoided by doing the work yourself and you would only need a special spark plug wrench to do so. You would have to remove the spark plug wire, remove the coil on the plug, unscrew the old spark plug, put in the new one, and replace the coil on the plug.


Conclusion

Everyone should be familiar with basic maintenance and repair jobs as not only does this save people quite some money, but it also instills in them a sense of independence. There is a sense of freedom in being able to take care of your beloved vehicle yourself, and it would also be covered in times when you don’t have access to a mechanic or repair shop.

 

 

photo by Pexels

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