Many people are intimidated when it comes to doing any maintenance on their vehicle. Also, some car owners are unaware that their driver’s manual has a section dedicated to do-it-yourself maintenance. These tasks are geared towards owners with no mechanical experience. Whether you want to save time, money or improve your skills, performing minor maintenance on your vehicle can be a rewarding experience. Below, I will discuss a few jobs you should and shouldn’t do on your car. If you have a garage, I will also recommend ways to keep it organized.
Do: Oil and Oil Filter
Image Credit: The Family Handyman
Changing your oil and filter is one of the easiest, yet most important tasks you can do on your vehicle. Typically, it takes less than 40 minutes to complete. You will need some basic tools like a ratchet, sockets, oil catch pan and an oil change wrench. Most oil filters can be removed by hand, so the wrench may not be required. Also, depending on your vehicle height, it may need to be jacked slightly.
Do: Wiper Blades
Image Credit: Allstate Insurance
Wiper blades are probably one of the most straightforward jobs you can do on your vehicle. Most wipers simply slide or snap in place without any tools. They are inexpensive at your local parts store and come with detailed instructions.
Do: Engine Air Filter
The engine air filter is another critical item that is simple to replace. In most cases, the filter can be changed in under 15 minutes. Most vehicles don’t require tools to do this job.
Don’t: Timing Chain or Belt
Image Credit: Angie’s List
The timing chain or belt requires expert skills and in most cases should be left to professionals. Also, this job involves a variety of tools and possibly more than one person.
Don’t: Shocks and Struts
Shocks and struts are a crucial part of a vehicle’s suspension and are not considered a novice task. They require raising the car and using special tools in most cases to replace them. It’s recommended that you get your shocks and struts checked by a professional every 40,000 to 50,000 miles. Most of the time they don’t need to be replaced that often, but checking every so often is better than having them stop working or cause a more serious problem down the road.
Don’t Air Compressor
Image Credits: Buy Auto Parts
The compressor is the heart of the car’s air conditioning system. Special tools and equipment are required to remove and reinstall the refrigerant during replacement. Expert knowledge is needed to get your system back to factory specifications.
Helpful Tips: Garage Organization
Image Credit: Dragonfire Tool Cabinet
One of the best ways to keep your garage neat is to purchase cabinets to keep your tools organized. Cabinets allow you to have a designated space for all your tools. Also, take advantage of your walls and hang tools, bikes or other large items using hooks or pegboards. Invest in stacking bins to maximize space vertically. Use the most of your ceiling by installing track storage racks or hooks for bicycles and other larger items.
If you’re looking for ways to keep your car in top condition without breaking the bank, make sure you check out some of our other blog posts! Here are a couple to get you started:
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