Motion & Emotion

Car Maintenance Tasks You Can Do Yourself

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Changing the oil isn’t something that only skilled professionals should attempt. Save time and money by completing car maintenance tasks you can do yourself!

You don’t have to know everything about cars to maintain them. You can learn maintenance tips from others. Plus, there are excellent how-to guides out there that give step-by-step instructions on doing pretty much anything involving cars. Also, a few car parts are safe to buy used, which can help save money on your repairs. If you choose to apply your knowledge, there are many car maintenance tasks you can do yourself!

Change the Oil

This is a quick and straightforward task that you can do at home with basic tools. Over time, your engine’s oil will build up with contaminants, leading to damage and decreased performance. You’ll want to check your owner’s manual for specifics on what type of oil your car needs.

Most major auto parts stores carry common types of motor oil in stock, and they also have rental tools available if you don’t have any of your own.

Check Your Tire Pressure

Check the pressure using a reliable tire gauge to ensure that your tires have the correct amount of air. A tire pressure gauge will be more accurate than the tire pressure gauge in your car. You can buy a good one for only a few dollars at any auto parts store.

Check all four tires and fill them with air from a gas station air pump or a portable air compressor. If you have a newer model vehicle with a tire pressure monitoring system, it will alert you of any anomalies. If you see that your tire is repeatedly losing air, the next step is to inspect the tire for sources of leaks, such as nails.

Inspect the Tire Tread

Every 3,000 miles or so, you should check the tread depth. Tire tread is important because it grips the road and keeps your car from losing traction in wet conditions.

Check your tire tread using a penny. Place it into the tread with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace the tire.

Replace Your Wiper Blades

Changing your wipers is one of the easiest car maintenance tasks you can tackle on your own. Just be sure to measure the length of your old blades and purchase new ones in the same size. The type of blades you buy depends on where you live and what conditions you drive in most often.

If you don’t know how old they are or how long they’ve been on your car, you should check their effectiveness. It’s a good rule of thumb to replace them every six months or so to ensure that they’re ready for the winter season.

Keep an Emergency Kit in Your Trunk

In addition to the previously mentioned maintenance tasks, you should also always keep an emergency kit in your trunk. This is a good idea regardless of whether you plan to get under the hood.

Here Are Some Things You’ll Definitely Want to Include:
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Jumper cables
  • Emergency flares and reflectors
  • Spare tire and jack
  • Blanket(s) or sleeping bag(s) for cold weather
  • Fire extinguisher

There are lots of other car maintenance tasks you can do yourself. Taking care of minor things at home can save you time and money. It can also help you feel more confident going on long road trips and knowing that a flat tire won’t stop the fun.

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