Maintaining your car helps to keep it running well and avoid costly repairs. While you should always take your vehicle to a mechanic for significant work, there are many routine car maintenance tasks you can do yourself to save money.
Doing simple maintenance tasks on your own can be quick and easy. Plus, it’s a great way to get to know your car better and learn more about how it works.
These car maintenance tasks you can do yourself should be part of your regular car care routine.
Change Your Oil
One of the leading car maintenance tasks you can do is regularly change your oil. Over time, motor oil breaks down and gets dirty, losing its ability to lubricate and protect your engine.
Depending on your car’s make and model, you should change your oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles or every three to six months—whichever comes first.
You’ll need fresh motor oil and a new oil filter to change your oil. You can buy these items at an auto parts store or your dealership. Once you have the supplies, follow these steps:
- Warm-up your engine for a few minutes to quickly help the oil flow.
- Place a drain pan under the oil drain plug at the bottom of your engine.
- Unscrew the oil drain plug and let the used oil drain into the pan.
- Screw the new oil filter onto the filter housing.
- Pour fresh motor oil into the engine, using the amount and type specified in your owner’s manual.
- Replace the oil fill cap and screw on the oil drain plug.
Replace Your Air Filter
Your car’s air filter keeps dirt and debris from entering the engine. A dirty air filter can cause your engine to run less efficiently, leading to engine damage.
You should check your air filter every 12,000 miles or 12 months. Go by whichever comes first. If it’s dirty, replace it with a new one.
You can buy an air filter at your local auto parts store, and most replacements are simple.
Sanding Your Car’s Paint
If you notice any scratches or chips in the paint, you should sand them down and repaint the area. You can do this simple car maintenance task yourself to keep your car’s paint looking new. To sand your car’s paint, you’ll need sandpaper, a sanding block, and touch-up paint.
There are lots of sanding tips and videos, but the process is simple:
- Wet the sandpaper with water to prevent scratches.
- Sand the area gently with the sandpaper until the scratch is gone.
- Apply touch-up paint to the sanded area and let it dry. Use a sanding block for bigger sizes.
These are just a few examples of car maintenance tasks you can do yourself. Learning how to do simple maintenance tasks on your own can save you time and money. Plus, it’s a great way to get to know your car better.