DIY Car Care to Save on Costs
Have you tried DIY car care? The cost of maintaining your car can really eat a hole in your budget. Big repairs, and even small ones, can quickly break your bank if you aren’t expecting them. DIY car care is a great way to save on these costs so that you can put your money where it’s really needed.
Maintaining your car regularly is the best way to get the most life out of it. It will run better and last longer if it is kept in top condition. Paying for car care, however, especially on the regular, is an expense that most people don’t budget for. So, when it comes to maintenance, many people neglect their car care to save on costs.
Instead of ignoring your car’s maintenance, consider all of the DIY car care that you can do to keep it in good condition and also save on money.
Why DIY Car Care?
Car maintenance might sound scary, and usually people think that you need a professional mechanic to do any type of repair to a car. But the truth is, most of the things your car needs for basic maintenance are really simple fixes that anyone can do.
Getting a mechanic to do simple car care will cost you mostly in labor. Parts are generally around the same price, whether you purchase them yourself or a shop gets them for you. But labor costs vary from shop to shop and can average anywhere from $47-$215 per hour!
With DIY car care, you only pay for the parts you need and if necessary, any tools you don’t have. But basic car care typically requires few tools and usually what you do need, most people already have on hand.
How to Prepare for DIY Car Care
If you’re going to start DIY car care, there are a few things you should do to prepare. Firstly, you should read your car’s owner’s manual. This has info in it specific to your car, including how it works and how to perform basic maintenance tasks. You’ll also learn where everything is – within the interior and under the hood.
Start paying close attention to your car. By doing so, you’ll begin to notice when something seems off. Routinely check tires, lights, paint, fluids, hoses, and belts, and always note how things operate while driving. This proactive step will help you determine when maintenance is required so that you aren’t left needing major repair work for neglected care.
We would never recommend just guessing on DIY car care, so before you do any kind of maintenance, do some homework. There are countless videos on YouTube and elsewhere online for step-by-step instructions. You can also buy books on basic car maintenance. If you know anyone who has already been performing DIY car care, consider asking them for a few tutorials. You might even want to have a friend or family member help you with some of the work. And of course, never take on any DIY car care task that you are uncomfortable with. You should take every precaution to perform the work safely. This means wearing appropriate gear (goggles, gloves, work boots, etc.), having the right equipment if needed, and knowing what you’re getting into before you start.
DIY Car Care to Try
Now that you know more about why and how to try DIY car care, it’s time for some tasks to get you started! If you see some that you know your car needs, try starting with a search through your owner’s manual and online to find tutorials on how to perform the work.
The following items are things that may need replacing when they are damaged, no longer work properly, or are past their scheduled maintenance timeframe:
- Windshield wiper blades
- Engine air filter
- Cabin air filter
- Fuel filter
- Light bulbs (headlights, taillights, license plate lights, fog lights)
- Spark plugs
- Brake pads and/or disks
- Serpentine belt
- Radiator hoses
Below, are things that may need to be repaired:
- Small dents and dings
- Chipped or scratched paint
- Tears in leather or vinyl
- Patchable tire damage
Other car care tasks need to be done to maintain your car’s optimal performance, such as the following:
- Change oil and oil filter
- Top off and/or replace fluid levels (power steering fluid, windshield wiper fluid, brake fluid, etc.)
- Lubricate window tracks
- Flush radiator
- Check tire pressure and tread
- Deep cleaning interior
- Wash exterior
With some regular maintenance and DIY car care, you should be able to keep your car from frequently needing trips to the repair shop. Just remember to be safe and smart while handling any of the work yourself, and don’t be afraid to resort to the pros when you need them. With a little research, determination, and some elbow grease, you should be well on your way to saving on car costs with these DIY car care tips!
Keep your car safe on the road as well. Car insurance is a necessity for every driver and at Amigo Insurance, we work hard to find you the best coverage at competitive rates! Get a free quote here or contact us at 773-847-9000, where our agents are ready to help.