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Basic Car Maintenance & Repairs You Can Do Yourself

Basic Car Maintenance & Repairs You Can Do Yourself DIY for dummies

We all know how much it costs for simple things from oil change to major repairs and then all the other maintenance in between. What if I tell you that there are some repairs and maintenance that you could do it yourself and save money and time? Let's see some of them since they are very simple and can save you a considerable amount of money.

Oil Change

How to oil change your car? Follow these steps and oil change will be your routine thing to do!

Before you oil change, check your car manual to see what type of oil is suitable for your car and how much oil you need. You might need to go to the local auto shop to buy gloves, oil filter wrench with a proper size that fits your oil drain plug. Just search Google for "do it yourself auto repair shop near me". Once you have these, you are ready to follow the steps below and do the oil change.

1) Step 1

Jack up your car and find the location of the car's oil drain plug. In other words, lift your car high enough so you can go underneath and do this work.

car jack up

Jacking up the car - Getty Images

2) Step 2

Remove the oil drain plug so that any old oil is drained out. Be sure to have a pan of something to collect the dripping oil. Check for any oil leaks while you are here. It takes a few minutes (3 to 5 minutes) to drain the old oil that is still there.

Draining car oil

Draining your car oil -- Getty Images

3) Step 3

Once all that old oil is drained, be sure to replace the oil drain plug.

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4) Step 4

Close the undercover pan or the undertray and put the car back on the floor if you have jacked it up before.

5) Step 5

Open the hood of the car and remove the oil cap so you can pour the new oil into it. Use a funnel makes the pouring easy and clean. Once you fill the recommended volume of oil, let it sit there for 2 few minutes. Check the oil level by using a dipstick (usually located on the left side of the engine).

oil cap

Oil cap -- Getty Images

As the name says a dipstick is what you dip it into the oil tank and check the oil is at the proper level. Wipeout any spills and finally, close the oil cap and the hood.


Dipstick -- Getty Images

Voila! your oil change is done and you can tap on yourself on your shoulder for doing a great job.

Cleaning the headlights

Driving with dirty car highlights is dangerous especially when need a good light when the weather is foggy, rainy or there is winter snow.

Dirty Headlights -- Getty Images

One of the easiest DIY method is to use toothpaste for cleaning headlights. If your headlights are not that very dirty, you can first apply Windex to a cleaning cloth and wipe headlights. You can also use soap and water if you don't have Windex. Then, apply a small toothpaste about using your fingertip and then also apply baking soda which is even better with toothpaste.

Now, gently scrub while you apply more toothpaste if needed.

Change your air filter

This can be done while you do the oil change. While you're doing oil change, check your air filter and see if they are clean. If they are clogged or dirty, it is time to replace them with a new one which usually cheap from $15 to $25 dollars.

Read your car manual and find out where your air filter box is located. Simply open your car hood and unscrew or unclasp the metal clip to open the filter box. Now, you can remove the dirty filter and replace it with a new one. That's all - your air filter change is done in minutes!

How Often Should You Change the Air Filter? You should change it once every 12,000 miles or 12 months whichever comes first.

Keep You Air/Fuel Intake System Clean

This is as easy as buying this Do It Yourself Fuel Intake cleaning system which you can buy here. It comes with an instruction video which you can and do step by step. You also need might need to buy an adapter to connect to the can of intake cleaner.

There are some more DIY things you can do. If you are interested, read this post on How To Change Spark Plugs

Windshield Wipers

This one requires no tools. In just 10 to 20 minutes, you can easily do the windshield wiper replacement at the comfort of your garage. YOu need to replace these wipers at least once a year. Watch this short YouTube video that shows you how to replace the windshield wiper on your car - the easy way.

Clean Your Corroded Battery Terminals

Corroded battery terminals result in poor charging systems and your electronics and computer systems will be messy or dirty.

To clean the battery terminal you have to do the following.

  • Cover the corroded area with baking soda

  • Pour water on it so they start a chemical reaction

  • Use a toothbrush and scrub the area.

This reduces the corrosion and clean the area at the same time. The other way to clean this corrosion is to buy a cleaning agent from an auto shop.


DIY car maintenance will be somewhat new and timing consuming for beginners. But once start doing it by following the car repair tips mentioned here, car maintenance becomes a routine thing. You will then fix your car yourself and go on to fix even bigger repairs all by yourself. Keeping your car in good shape does require proper maintenance and does not need you to go to the auto repair shop for routine car maintenance items thing like these.

As always keep the following things handy in your car. You might need it in an emergency or during long road trips:

  • Jumper cables - when your battery runs out, you will need this to start your car

  • First-aid kit - handy when you get injured on the road

  • Flags and flares - to get attention and help when you need help in remote driving locations.

  • Canned instant tire inflator - to fill your car's tire if it gets low

  • Flashlight

  • Cell phone charger - Just in case your phone dies and you need to call someone for help)

  • Emergency contact info

  • Notebook and pen

  • Pepper spray - protect you from an attacker on the road

  • Warm blanket and gloves - keeps you warm when your car heat is not enough or if your breaks down and you stranded in the middle of the road

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