Easy Car Maintenance DIY Tasks That Can Save You Money
Every car owner knows that spending money does not stop after purchasing the car. In fact, it’s only just the beginning of a long list of things you need to spend money on to keep your car up and running. From gasoline, to car maintenance, and repairs - all these can add up and cause some serious budget damage.
With inflation on the rise post-pandemic, keeping your car in tip-top shape might be quite a challenge. The regular maintenance quote or bill from your car dealer or your trusted auto shop might even send some shivers down your spine as you look at all those items and services you need to pay for. But before you fork out those big dollars, consider saving money by actually doing some of those maintenance tasks yourself.
While some maintenance tasks require technical skills and expertise, some tasks are easy enough for you to do at home with a few tools, your car’s manual, YouTube tutorials, and a little bit of patience from your end. Ultimately, going the DIY route would save you money, but it’s also an empowering experience and will help you learn more about your car. Below are some of the easiest car maintenance tasks you can DIY:
Changing Your Wiper Blades
Wiper blades are vital as they ensure visibility in inclement weather conditions as you drive your car. Driving with faulty blades can greatly affect visibility which is extremely dangerous. Moreover, they can even damage your vehicle’s windshield, which would ultimately cost you more. Fortunately, changing them is actually quite easy and relatively quick. You can change your wiper blades in as fast as 15 minutes by yourself.
According to Fixdapp, having it replaced by your local service provider can cost anywhere from $75-$82 including parts and labor, while doing it yourself will only cost you $20-$50.
Changing the Cabin Air Filter
Probably one of the easiest and quickest parts to replace is your car’s cabin air filter. For car newbies, this task will definitely boost their confidence and can very well be their first jab at their DIY car maintenance journey as it does not require any special tools or even any mechanical expertise. Most cars’ cabin air filters are located behind the glove box and can easily be removed and replaced. There are tons of DIY tutorials on the internet just like this one that can help you do this rather simple task.
According to Fixdapp, you are expected to pay from $80-160 if you have your service provider change it for you, but if you DIY, you only need to buy the filter for $10-$60, depending on the brand and quality you choose.
But of course, finding the right cabin air filter is crucial as not all cabin air filters offer the same benefits and quality your car deserves. Choosing the wrong one can definitely cost you more money and time, so finding a reliable and high-quality brand like FreshenOpt can ensure the success of your DIY endeavor.
Changing the Engine Air Filter
Not replacing your dirty engine air filter can eventually cost you more as it can affect power, fuel efficiency and most importantly, your health. Luckily, just like the cabin air filter, your engine air filter is relatively easy to change. You can easily find your engine air filter under the hood and replace it within 30 minutes to an hour.
Of course, you can go to your trusted mechanic to quickly change your engine filter for you, but that can cost you $40-$80 (part and labor) compared to doing it yourself for $20-$40, according to Fixdapp. If you are going the DIY route, make sure to buy the correct and high-quality filter for your car as there are plenty of cheap ones with questionable quality on the market. You can get reliable and premium engine air filters from FreshenOpt at reasonable prices with free or minimal shipping costs.
Changing your oil is basically one of the most important, if not the most important maintenance tasks for your car. As essential as it is, it’s actually pretty straightforward, albeit pretty messy at times. All you need is new oil and filter and some clothes you’re okay to get dirty in and you’re good to go. Generally, oil should be replaced anywhere between 3,000 to 7,500 miles, but the best guide would still be your reliable owner’s manual for more detailed and accurate information.
According to Cansumer, the average cost for changing oil with your local service consumer in Canada would be $49 to $130 (Average of $80). If you do it yourself, you can save so much more as it would only typically cost you $35 to $60 for both the new oil and filter.
Replacing the Spark Plugs
A new set of spark plugs is vital in making sure your car’s ignition system runs smoothly and optimally. If your car has a higher mileage, you may need to change your plugs more often which can cost a chunk of money if you add in the labor cost. The good news is that the process of changing your spark plugs is a rather simple process and can take you about an hour to do, but of course, it depends on the model and complexity of your car.
The cost of changing your spark plugs with a mechanic would typically cost you around $191-$250 (parts + labor) while DIY costs would only range anywhere from $66-$91 according to Fixdapp.
As with any other project or task, preparation is key. Doing something yourself may seem daunting at first, but if you have prepared the right tools and products, and hopefully have done your due diligence beforehand, you’ll surely be able to do these tasks without any problems.
If you do encounter difficulties, don’t be too hard on yourself. DIY skills are something you hone in time and through experience so ask a friend or even use tools from the Internet for help. Once you’re comfortable with it, you can take on more DIY projects, and hopefully pocket more of that hard-earned cash for yourself and your family.