12 DIY Car Maintenance Practices

January 24, 2022

Not all car repairs require you to visit the repair shop. Some of them are easy to do in the comfort of your home.

While taking your driving lessons, capture some of the essential car maintenance practices in theory and be ready to execute them.

If you have the essential hand tools, maintenance is more manageable.

Keep reading to grasp some of these maintenance practices.

1. Rotate the Tires

It’s advisable to rotate the car tires at least twice a year to enhance their durability and competence.

With the wretch that comes with your car, stands, and jack, you can do this in the comfort of your home.

Note that the wheels’ alignment determines the rotation of the tires, whereas some car tires can only rotate in one direction.

There are cars with staggered alignment that don’t allow rotation: you will have to change the wheels earlier than the rotating ones.

2. Change Oil

Your car engine components need to be lubricated for efficiency, and the oils play that role.

With a long mileage, the engine oil breaks down, wears out, and becomes less effective in its lubrication purpose.

Typically, most people change the car oil after covering 5,000 to 7,000 miles in most vehicles, where you shouldn’t forget changing the filter too.

If you plan to do the change for the first time, you will find the process messy, but it’s worth doing it.

When you get used to the process it will be easy, and it means you will save some money.

Remember to collect the old oil and drop it at the collection center to clean the environment.

3. Replace Non-Headlight Bulbs

The light on the side marker, fog light bulbs are among the lights you can replace at home. You only need to open the retaining screws and remove the lens.

Don’t let your oily hands touch the thin glass to avoid cases of premature failure of the bulb by using a pair of gloves when fitting it.

Gently push the bulb into the socket until you hear the click sound. Install the lens back to its position, and the process is done.

4. Replace the Wiper Blades

Wiper blades are critical, especially with weather conditions. Check whether your blades are worn out by pressing the washer buttons.

If they are not functioning well, go to the nearest store and purchase the blades, and high-quality ones will serve you more in this case.

On the package, their instructions are easy to understand and follow.

While fixing the blade, hold the wiper arm tightly; if it slips from your hand, it may damage the windshield.

5. Gas Lifts

Why use the extra cash when you can fix your gas lift cylinders yourself? Purchase the new lifts from the auto spare store.

Get someone to help you lift or hold the hood as you disconnect the old lifts fixing the new ones.

You can connect the lift using the ball and socket style held together by a spring clip.

To disengage the clip, place a small flat blade screwdriver between the clip and the cylinder and pull the cylinder from the ball stud.

6. Replace Your Broken Antenna

If you like to listen to fantastic music while driving, a broken antenna will probably give you a sleepless night, right?

First, purchase another mast from the auto spare store.

Remove the broken part of the mast by unscrewing it and fixing the new fender mount antenna.

However, replacing the pillar mount antenna is quite engaging; you need to be keen.

Start with disconnecting the cable from the radio, remove the antenna mount from the pillar, attach the new cable, and connect the cable to your radio.

7. Fix Dents

Maybe you slightly scratched the wall and noticed minor dents on your car. You need sandpaper, an auto body filler, plastic applicators, and a cream paste.

Use the coarse sandpaper to dent out the scratched paint, feather the edges. Mix the body filler and apply a thin layer on the part.

Don’t forget to feather the outer layer to level the paint with the rest of the parts. Apply the cream filler and heal and do the final sand.

8. Lubricate Window Tracks

Some water may get into the window tracks, especially during the winter season in the form of ice. The water prevents the windows from opening correctly.

In the process, the window regulator cables can be easily damaged, and to avoid it; you need to lubricate the windows.

Use the silicone spray or dry Teflon spray lubricant, applying it from the front to the back of the window track.

Have a paper towel to remove any lubricant that reaches the glass.

9. Replace the Belts

Almost all recent cars have serpentine belts. The belt operates engine accessories and can last up to 60,000 miles.

You don’t have to wait until the belt breaks; check if there are wearing signs such as cracking rubber and plan to replace it.

The best part is, for most belts, you only need a wrench and a socket to help relieve the tensioner for the old belt to be removed and the new one to be installed.

10. Flush Gear Oils

Are you having some whining sounds in your car while at high speeds? There are high chances that your transmission fluids are getting worn out and need some replacement.

It’s easy to forget about the fluid since it’s out of sight.

Another sign that your fluid needs replacement is trouble while changing the gears.

Get some fluid pump to access the fill plugs and change the fluid with a lot of care.

11. Replace the Spark Plugs

With a high mileage car, changing the spark plugs is very important. They help your ignition system run well.

The plugs are easy to change and locally available at your nearest auto spare store at affordable prices.

12. Vacuum the Car

There is a lot of trash that doesn’t get off the car with just cleaning; you need to vacuum the car to get to every corner.

Slide your car seat for easier cleaning. It’s no surprise to find some lost items while vacuuming. 

Remove all the mats, vacuum them for a dust and dirt-free car. Meanwhile, a trash can help minimize trash spreading all over the car.

Final Word

Now you are familiar with some car maintenance practices that you can do yourself or with some assistance without visiting the repair shop. If you realize there are more complicated problems with your car, don’t hesitate to visit the repair shop as soon as possible.

At Pierre Paul driving school, we offer basic mechanic practices for a smoother driving experience.