5 DIY Car Maintenance Tasks
As the price of gas continues to climb in Scottsdale Arizona many consumers are looking for ways to scale back on automotive expenses. One possible area to save on is the routine auto maintenance tasks. Performing some of the auto maintenance tasks yourself can help save you money and instead of putting these tasks off when money is tight you do them yourself, thereby protecting and extending the life of your car. The following are some common auto maintenance procedures in Scottsdale Arizona.
1. Changing the Oil and Oil Filter
- Safety first; let your oil cool for at least an hour to prevent injury.
- You may want to spread plastic sheeting or an old blanket under the car for easy clean-up. Park your car on level ground so that you can safely jack it up. After jacking up the car, set jack stands in place, then lower the car onto the jack stands.
- Locate the oil pan under your car and unscrew the drain plug allowing the old oil to drain into a container, and then replace the drain plug. Forgetting to replace the drain plug would be a serious mistake.
- Next, use an oil filter wrench to remove your oil filter, making certain that the rubber gasket on the old filter comes off with the filter.
- Use new oil to coat the gasket on the new oil filter, and then fill the new oil filter about ¾ full with new oil.
- Screw the new filter into place. Now you are finished under the car.
- Open the hood, remove the oil cap, and fill your engine with new oil using a filter. Check with the dipstick to be certain you’ve added the correct amount.
- Replace the oil cap and you are finished!
2. Replacing Windshield Wipers
Changing your windshield wipers is a simple task to do yourself.
- First pull the wiper away from the windshield and press the tab underneath the windshield wiper to slide the wiper off the wiper arm.
- Fit the new wiper onto the arm, making certain that the open end of the hook on the arm is facing the plastic clip on the wiper. Pull it tightly so that it clicks into place.
- Now lower the wiper arm back onto the windshield and continue on to the other side and repeat the procedure. Voila! Money saved.
3. Changing the Air Filter
Changing the air filter on your car is another simple job.
- Open your hood and locate the air filter, which is generally housed in a black plastic filter case with metal clips on the sides.
- Remove the clips (don’t drop them) open the case and make note of how the old filter sits inside of it.
- Remove the old filter.
- Install the new filter, replace the case, and secure with the clips.
4. Cleaning Battery Connections
Avoid an expensive tow charge by maintaining your battery connections.
- Loosen the nuts and remove the cables from your battery, beginning with the negative first.
- Clean the posts and the battery terminals with a wire brush and a paste made of baking soda and water. Rinse with clear water, and then dry.
- Replace the battery terminals beginning with the positive first.
5. Replacing Fuses
If an electrical component in your car, such as your turn signals or stereo stops working, it’s often the result of a blown fuse.
- Locate the fuse box underneath your dashboard on the driver’s side.
- Remove the box and look for a fuse that looks melted. Most fuse boxes contain a diagram, to help you find which fuse goes to what. Replace the bad fuse with a fuse of the same color.
- In the event you don’t see a blown fuse in the fuse box under the dashboard, there is a second fuse box under your hood. Follow the same procedure, replacing the melted fuse with one of the same color.
Today’s cars have become more technologically advanced, leaving owners feeling intimidated by basic auto maintenance. Though many jobs do require a professional Scottsdale mechanic, there are still some things you can learn to do to keep your car in good running order and prolong its life, while saving money in the process.
Written By Fred McCurdy
Scottsdale Muffler & Automotive
1710 E Curry Rd
Tempe, Arizona 85281
Monday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.