That feeling of getting your driver's license and your first car is exciting. However, it slowly fades as you realize how much money maintenance costs. Oil changes, tire changes, new batteries… it all adds up over time. Contrary to what many believe, it isn't that hard to learn to do some of these things yourself. It will save you money and time to learn how to do basic car maintenance.
Wipers are easy to buy and are cheap. Once you figure out what size you need, it is easy to swap them out. This should be done once a year or when they start getting squeaky.
Replace Air Filters
Just like windshield wipers, air filters are cheap to buy and easy to change. This should be done every 6-12 months depending on how often you drive your car.
Change Burnt Out Lights
When a headlight or taillight burns out, it's an easy swap. Just remove the dead light and bring it with you to the auto parts store. The employees can help you locate the proper bulb.
Monitor Tire Pressure
Your tires are one of the most important parts of your car to maintain. Low tire pressure can reduce gas mileage and over inflated tires can blow out unexpectedly. Checking the pressure on your tires is easy. All you need is a pressure gauge and compressed air to top it up if it's low.
Top Up Fluids
Checking oil and other fluid levels is an easy task to do yourself. You are checking how much is left and the consistency. If the oil is dark and gritty, it should be changed. Otherwise, it can be topped up. Using a funnel and the appropriate type for your car, you can easily fill it. Also keep an eye on coolant and washer fluid. No one wants to be stuck on a highway with a muddy windshield or an overheated vehicle.
Detailing your car yourself is inexpensive. All you need is a vacuum, some microfiber rags and cleaning supplies.
When a fuse blows in your car, it can cause other mechanical issues. Locate the fuse box, remove the burnt-out fuse and replace it.
If your headlights are dirty, it can affect your visibility. Headlight restoration kits are affordable and easy to do yourself.
Replacing a battery isn't costly. When purchasing a new battery, know how many cold cranking amps (CCA) and reserve capacity (RC) are needed. Be sure to get the proper size.
When it comes to car maintenance, it can be anxiety inducing, but it doesn't have to be. Learning about your vehicle will help you in the long run. For issues you cannot fix yourself, find a reliable mechanic who listens to your concerns. Make sure you are winterizing your car and changing your tires with the season. Regular maintenance will extend the life of your vehicle and keep you safer on the road.