3 Tips for DIY Car Maintenance

Posted on: June 27th, 2016 by Accurate Auto Body Shop 4 Comments

DIY car maintence

Car maintenance can be a budget breaker, especially if you are trying to do the routine maintenance necessary to give your vehicle a long life. Luckily, there are a few tasks you can do yourself to save some money, regardless of your knowledge level. Our Denver car repair experts are here to tell you about 3 tips for DIY car maintenance you can do to save money and keep your car in tip-top shape.

Change Your Air Filter

Changing your air filter is as easy as changing the batteries in a remote. Go by your local auto shop and have them help you get the air filter which is right for your vehicle. Then, take a look at your owner’s manual to locate the air filter in your engine. It’s generally in a black box with small clips holding the lid on. Open up the box and make a note of which way the filter is facing. Take out the old and insert the new, making sure it sits the same way. You should change your air filter every year or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Spark Plugs

Although you will need a ratchet or socket wrench, this is also a very doable DIY maintenance task which will run you at least $50 to have done by a mechanic. Generally, you should be replacing your spark plugs every 30,000 miles. Your engine will have a spark plug for each cylinder. Attached to each spark plug is a thick rubber wire, making them easy to locate. When working, only remove the wire for the spark plug you are currently changing; the order of the wires is very important, so don’t lose track!

Use your socket wrench to remove the old spark plug and tighten in the new one. Make sure it has a nice snug fit, but do not overtighten the plug. Reattach the wire and repeat these steps for the remaining plugs.

Oil Change

Although a messy job, changing your own oil can save you a lot of money in the long run. You will need a socket wrench, a funnel, an oil filter wrench, and a pan for catching the oil.

Only change your oil when the engine is cold. To begin, jack up the front of your vehicle enough so that the engine can be worked on from underneath. Locate your engine’s oil pan and put the catch pan on the ground below it. Open up the drain plug and let all of the oil drain out. Once drained, replace the plug.

Use the oil filter wrench to remove the old oil filter in your engine. Lubricate the rubber gasket on the new filter with motor oil and fill the filter 2/3 full with motor oil. Screw it back on by hand until it fits snugly. Then, fill the engine with motor oil, using your dipstick to get it to the right level. Discard the old filter and recycle the old oil.

You should be changing your oil several times a year to maximize performance, so knowing how to do this DIY maintenance task can really make a big difference in your budget.

How to use this information

At Accurate Auto Body, we know the value of getting a job done right. If you don’t feel confident doing these tasks on your own, we are always available to help. Be sure to give Accurate Auto Body a call at 303-344-2122 or contact us for more information!

Which DIY car maintenance task helps save you the most money?

4 Responses

  1. Thanks for the tip that spark plugs shouldn’t be overtightened when we replace them. My brother is looking for a provider of spare parts since he wants to start doing DIY work on his truck this summer. I’ll share this info so he can avoid common mistakes when he starts doing small jobs on his truck soon!

  2. Max Jones says:

    Thanks for the advice to replace your car’s spark plugs every 30,000 miles. I don’t know when my car’s spark plugs were last changed, but I know that I have driven over 30,000 miles with my vehicle. I’ll look for a way to get my car serviced and the spark plugs replaced.

  3. Braden Bills says:

    I want to make sure that I take good care of my car. It makes sense that regular oil changes would be important for that. I’ll be sure to take my car to a professional regularly so that it can be cared for.

  4. Tex Hooper says:

    You make a great point about using an oil filter wrench to get to the rubber gasket. I need to get a mechanic to change my oil. I’m a thousand miles over the limit.

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