5 DIY Car Maintenance Tips To Help You Save Money
Ah cars. We all love our cars, and we’re all willing to spend our money to make sure that they’re well-maintained. But, if you’re planning to go down the route for professionals to take care and maintain your car, you better get a lot of money waiting for you. Add in the rising fuel prices and of course the service tax for sending your car into the repair shop, and you’ll really be seeing a whole lot of damage to your wallet.
Luckily, we’re here to give you some DIY car maintenance advice which is easy to do and really light on your wallet.
1. Cleaning out your engine
Now, this isn’t one of the more common things you need to do, because engines aren’t really known to attract much dirt or grime. But if you parked under a tree, there could be leaves and twigs that fell and are stuck inside your engine, and that could really cause problems. Accumulated dirt can also cause your engine to have massive amounts of wear and tear.
When we say cleaning your engine, we don’t literally mean using soap and using water to wash it. It’s always important to take safety precautions. Let your car cool down before you start with the cleaning. Make sure you cover up all electrical components like the alternator and the distributor to help prevent safety issues from happening. It’s also important to make sure your engine is air dried, preferably with a vacuum cleaner with blowing function to avoid your engine parts rusting.
Money saved: RM100 - RM300
Time spent: 45 minutes to an hour
2. Cleaning your car’s interior
The engine may be the most important part of a car, but many people don’t realize that the interior is where they spend the most time in. There are potential health hazards of not having a clean car, such as germs and bacteria from food, dust and dirt. Plus, everyone spends the most time on the road inside a car. It’s not worth breathing in all that filthy air!
One of the easiest and most efficient ways of cleaning your car’s interior is by using a portable vacuum cleaner to suck up all the dust and grime. In fact, a vacuum is what the car wash people use to keep your car spick and span as well. It’s easy to get those crumbs and loose hair in between your seats.
Money saved: RM60 - RM80 a month
Time spent: 30 minutes
3. Repairing your tail light
The result of having your car for a really long time is getting some of the parts broken or spoiled. When your tail lights are broken, not only is it dangerous for you, but you’ll also run the risk of getting pulled over by the police. But, this is a very simple fix. Simply look for the back of the light, usually found underneath your car’s carpet and unscrew a few bolts. The next thing you need to do is just to change the light to a new one. It’s all very intuitive now, just like changing a broken lightbulb!
Money saved: RM150 - RM350
Time spent: 20 minutes
4. Changing your air filter
It is advised that you get a new air filter for your car every 12 months, or 20,000km, whichever comes first. Now, most people would probably bring it in to the mechanic shop and let them do it, but that would also mean you won’t get to use your car for about a day or two. It’s simple to replace your own air filter in just about 10 minutes.
You’ll need to find the filter under the hood of your car. It should be in a black rectangular box, but it’s always good to check your car’s owner manual if you don’t see it. Open up the casing and then take a look at the air filter, making a note about how it fits and which way it faces. Remove the old air filter, and insert the new one exactly how the old one was. And that’s it!
Time spent: 10 minutes
Money saved: RM100
5. Changing your windshield wipers
When you get into your nearest mechanic or 4S showroom, sometimes you can see that they may be a sale on windshield wipers, often coming with free installation. But, because nothing in this world is free, you can only get it if you buy the most expensive set in the store. Since you do need to change your windshield wipers every 6-10 months, especially when it doesn’t clean your windshield properly, it’s definitely going to be a hassle if you have to send your car into the shop.
But changing your own windshield wipers is simple, and won’t take up too much of your time. The best thing to do is to first check your car owner manual to see how you can change it. Basically, you start off my lifting the blades up, and removing the old blades, making sure to see how the old blades connect to the metal arms. Attach the new blades carefully, without bending the wiper arms or scratching the windshield. Make sure everything is lined up correctly and voila! It’s done.
Time spent: 15 minutes
Money saved: RM100 - RM150
If you keep yourself committed, you’ll be able to DIY and save a lot from the maintenance of your car. What do you think about these DIY tips? Leave a comment below!