If you think that visiting your dealership or local automotive repair place seems to be more expensive than it should be, you are right. Many common maintenance jobs are easy enough that any car owner can do them while saving $20, $50, or $100 at the same time. Some items don’t even require any extra tools. Let’s check out some of the simplest tasks you can do yourself and save your extra dollars for your family.

  • Windshield Wiper Replacement: No tools required. Make sure to check that the new wipers fit your specific make and model using the handy parts manual located on the shelf at the auto parts store or online outlet. The old ones snap off and the new ones simply snap in place.
  • Change Your Air Filters: This pops up every 30k miles or so on your maintenance schedule. A new cabin or engine air filter costs about $10 to $20. Use a screwdriver to remove the filter cover, take out the old filter, pop the new one in, and secure the lid. It should take you less than 10 minutes. Check your owner’s manual for the location.
  • Inspect and Clean Your Battery: Corrosion builds up around the terminals of your battery which can limit its ability to send power to your starter motor. Use a couple of tablespoons of baking soda and water to make a paste and apply to the terminals with an old toothbrush. Use a wire brush to scrub away the corrosion and remaining paste.
  • Oil and Filter Change: How much are you paying for the quickie lube place around the corner? A jug of oil and a new filter will cost you less than $30. To change your own oil you need an oil pan, an oil filter wrench, possibly a screwdriver, a funnel, and some rags. The job should take less than 30 minutes, but you will get a little dirty.
    • Unscrew the drain plug
    • Catch all the old oil in the pan
    • Remove the old filter
    • Install the new filter
    • Reinstall the drain plug
    • Fill ‘er up with the new oil
  • Change the Brake Pads: Are your brakes grinding? Replacing the brake pads is a necessary automotive repair that should be done every 40k to 75k miles and will cost a few hundred dollars at the shop. Do it yourself and you can get it done in a couple of hours and spend less than $100. You will need a set of jack stands, a lug wrench, an adjustable wrench, probably a hammer, and a c-clamp. After removing the wheel, you will loosen the brake calipers. Take out the old pads and replace them, using the clips to hold them in place. A hammer can help you loosen or install the pads. The c-clamp will help to position the piston so the calipers can slide back into place. Tighten it down and put the wheels back on. Do a little research beforehand to pick up tips to help your DIY job run as smoothly as possible.

For more information on quality replacement parts and do-it-yourself automotive repair jobs, check out AutoPartsU today.