If you’re like most car owners, you probably dread going to the mechanic. And if you’ve ever walked into a repair shop looking for an oil change, and walked out with hundreds of dollars worth of repairs, you’re not alone. There is a general perception that mechanics want to squeeze you out of every last penny they can get their hands on. Often, the repairs they suggest are necessary for your car’s health and long-term survival.
That doesn’t mean that you have to pay a professional to take care of it. Just as you can take a defensive driving course to save on ticket payments, you can save money by doing your own car repairs. It’s often the cost of labor, rather than the cost of parts that incurs such a large price tag when you visit the store. You can actually save a lot of money just by doing some of the easier fixes yourself. Here are three that are relatively simple.
Replace Your Windshield Wipers
This is actually one of the easiest car maintenance tasks out there. Even though it’s easy, you have to know the right steps. The most important thing is to find the right type of wiper for your car. You can find it in your car’s owner’s manual, or alternatively, you can do an online search for the make and model of your car. There will usually be lots of results that will tell you about the right size for your windshield wipers.
When actually buying wipers, you will find that they vary in price. Be careful choosing the cheapest automatically as they may not be as effective. They probably won’t last long either.
You may find that the wipers have instructions on them, including graphics, but if not, here’s a quick guide.
- To remove the old wiper, find the latch that is at the bottom of the blade. Push in, and pull the entire blade down. It should come off easily if you replace the blades regularly.
- You will then see a hook underneath that is shaped like an umbrella handle.
- Take the new bar and do the same, but in reverse, pushing it up until you hear a click.
Fixing Light Bulbs
Changing the light bulbs in your car is necessary and also very easy. All you have to do is look up relevant information for your car and possibly information about your car’s light bulb mounts. You can reach most bulbs by opening the hood or trunk and accessing them from behind.
Replace Your Battery
Replacing a dead car battery is quite expensive, so you can really do it without any additional labor costs. Luckily, it’s something else you can do yourself if you know how. A lot of maintaining battery health is in maintaining it. Make sure you clean the connector occasionally using a combination of baking soda and water. Try not to lower it by using it when the car engine is not running. But sometimes, your battery just dies.