A car is no cheap thing. Except for the car itself, you also need to pay for fuel, insurance, and occasional repair work. This guide focuses on the last part. To save yourself some money, you can do regular maintenance on the car by yourself. This will not prevent all potential car malfunctions but will greatly reduce their number. Not taking care of your car at all will definitely force you to visit the mechanics more frequently.
Learn basic skills
There are some basic skills regarding car maintenance that every driver should know how to do. Unfortunately, not many driving schools teach them. Go through this short checklist to see if there is anything you need to learn.
- checking tire pressure (including the spare!)
- changing a flat
- checking fluids level (oil, anti-freeze, transmission fluid, windshield wiper fluid, brake fluid)
Clean your car regularly
This is something you do both for safety and aesthetics. A dirty windshield, for example, can greatly limit your view and cause unfortunate accidents that could have been avoided. Dirt on the headlights will also hinder their illuminating ability.
Rinse the body of the care with a hose set to high-pressure to get rid of any loose grime and dirt. Lather a sponge with soap and clean your car from top to bottom. Wipe it dry with a soft cloth. Then go on to the tires. Clean them with a tire cleaning detergent, you can even use a brush to scrub away all the dirt from the crevices. Clean the windows using regular household glass cleaner. In the end, don’t forget to clean the interiors. A hand vacuum is a great help here.
Change car components regularly
The guidelines for doing these actions can be very specific depending on the car model you own so it is best to check your car owner’s manual and plan accordingly in advance. This includes changing the oil, having brake pads replaced, changing air filters, changing spark plugs, and more. There are some general rules regarding doing this, like changing your oil after running for 3000 miles, but some models can run twice as that with no problem. If you aren’t sure when to do something, check the maintenance schedule in the manual. Always write down at what date and at what mileage you did each of these so that you know when your next replacement is coming up.
Study basic repairs
This is for those who want to go the extra mile and learn something about their car’s insides while they’re doing it. To do that, you will need to purchase some tools beforehand. Read here about the best mechanics tool set. A mechanics tool set contains everything you need to do basic car repairs. On the Internet, there are plenty of guides on how to replace your own brake pads, change the oil, do tire rotations, replace headlights, and plenty more.