Auto Maintenance You Can Do
When was the last time you took your car in to get the oil changed and left with a bill for $80 that should have been closer to $25? Here are some easy to do auto maintenance items that anyone can do to save hundreds of dollars in auto repair costs.
Scheduled Auto Maintenance
Change Oil Every 5000 Miles – Savings of $50+ per year – Most automobile manufacturers are now recommending that you change oil at 5000-7500 miles for newer vehicles and not 3000 as in the past. The reason? Newer motor oils are higher quality and contain additives that aid in removing deposits and extend oil life. This is an auto maintenance item that is best left to the pros unless you enjoy getting your hands dirty.
Change Air Filter – Savings of $20-$30 per year – Changing an air filter is one of the easiest auto maintenance items you can do to save money. You typically do not need tools and this can be accomplished in about 5 minutes.
Change Cabin Air Filter – Savings of $15-$20 per year – This is an often overlooked item that can make a big difference in the air quality in your vehicle. This should be changed yearly and can easily be done by anyone. Cabin air filters are typically located under the dashboard behind the glove box however, check your owners manual for the location in your specific vehicle.
Change PCV Valve – Savings of $50-$60 per year – This is an item that oil change shops make a lot of money on because most consumers do not understand what a PCV is. A PCV valve removes vapors from the crankcase and should be replaced every 50,000 miles. It is a simple auto maintenance item that requires no tools. Remove the valve from the valve cover, disconnect the hose and install the new PCV valve
Unscheduled Auto Maintenance
Replace Light Bulbs – Savings of $10-$15 per year – Most people think replacing light bulbs is a difficult task. With the exception of headlights, this could not be further from the truth. All that is needed for this task is a phillips screwdriver to remove the lens cover so that you can access the bulb. Take the bulb into your local auto supply shop and they will find the replacement bulb for you.
Replace Your Own Wiper Blades – Savings of $40-$50 per year – This is another automotive maintenance item that is really so easy that there is no reason to pay someone else to do this for you. If you are going to do this you might as well invest in good quality wiper blades or you will be replacing them again.
Replace Turn Signal Relay – Savings of $10-$15 per year – Your local auto parts store can help you diagnose if this part needs replaced. The relay is located in the fuse box and is easily found by looking at the diagram on the lid of the fuse box. Simply pull out the bad relay and plug in the new relay. For those of you that are a little adventurous check out this video on Turn Signal Relay Repair.
Clean Battery – Savings of $10-$15 per year – Another easy maintenance item that oil change shops are happy to charge you for. For this one you will need to buy a combination tool to clean the battery terminals. Mix some water and baking soda in a cup and use a toothbrush to scrub the battery terminals and posts.
Replace Fuses – Savings of $10-$20 per year – The only challenge about changing a fuse is figuring out which fuse needs replaced. I have replaced numerous fuses and it really is a very simple task. Simply check the fuse box diagram located in the owners manual for the location of each fuse.
With a little effort anyone can lower their auto maintenance costs by tackling these items yourself.
Click to read more about other DIY projects you can do around your home to save even more money!
What auto maintenance tips would you like to share?