Car Maintenance 101, Do It Yourself

Paying for maintenance and
repairs on your car can get expensive, although it is necessary to ensure that
your car continues to run smoothly and safely over an extended period. If you
recently purchased your car, your warranty may be contingent upon having the
maintenance done at the dealership or a
licensed mechanic shop
. If this is so,
then it may be worth it to pay for the maintenance. Otherwise, the best
things that you can do is to know how to work on your car. Not only will doing
maintenance yourself help you understand more about how the car runs, but it
can also save you money. Even if you have absolutely no automotive experience,
there are some maintenance tasks that you can do yourself.

Air Filter

When the air filter becomes
dirty and clogged, the engine can begin to choke and sputter. Changing the
filter regularly may keep your car running well, and it only takes a few
minutes. Air filters can look different from car to car. It is helpful to look
under the hood and find the air filter, so you know what it looks like. The
easiest way to make sure that you choose the right one at the auto parts store
is to find the make, model, and year of your car in the manual that they have.
If they get it out, and it looks right, then you know you have a match!

Air filters usually aren’t
very expensive, so it isn’t usually a big deal to replace the old one with a
new one, although you may simply try to clean your filter out if you are
interested in putting off your purchase for a while longer.

Oil Change

When it is time to change
the oil and oil filter in your car, the first thing you should do is sure that
you buy the right type of oil. Your owner’s manual should say what type of oil
is right, although you can ask the person at the auto parts store to look it up
if you need to. Also, make sure that you have a container for the old oil to
drain into.

Avoid changing the oil when
the car engine is hot. Heat causes the oil to expand and pressurize, so you are
much more likely to get burned if you don’t wait for the oil to cool. Locate
the oil pan underneath the car engine and place the container underneath.
Unscrew the plug and allow all of the oil to drain. An oil filter wrench can
help you easily remove the filter and the rubber gasket. Replace it with a new
gasket and a new filter. Then, replace the plug in the oil pan and use a funnel
to pour the oil into the engine. Use the dipstick to check the oil level and ensure
that you have used the appropriate amount.

These are just a few of the
types of car maintenance 101 that you can do to save money and ensure that your
car is safe and ready to drive. If you have never replaced a filter or done an
oil change, you may be surprised at how simple it is.