Do you always want to take your car to the mechanic when things don’t go to plan? While getting expert help and advice can be essential, especially for the big jobs, it can be costly if you take it to the garage for every fault.
For the smaller problems, knowing what to look out for and how to solve the issue can save you money and even extend your car’s life. To help you, here are some basic DIY car maintenance tips that you can try.
Replace Your Wipers
You don’t need a professional to fit your windscreen wipers. If you’ve noticed the ones you have are making a noise when in operation or the rubber is coming away, do some research and shop around for the wipers that suit your car and budget.
When you’re ready to replace them, check your owner’s manual to make sure you know how to remove the wipers. Usually, you’ll need to lift the current blades away from the windscreen and unclip them. As you do this, pay close attention to how the old blades slot into the clips so that you know how to fit the new ones, then attach the replacements.
Take care to avoid scratching your windscreen or bending the wiper arms. You might have to move the wipers into place so that the wipers align correctly.
Check the battery
There’s nothing worse than getting into your car and it not starting. While in some cases you’ll need a new battery, a straightforward clean can help to preserve your current one for a little longer.
To remove the corrosive buildup on your battery, make sure you’ve turned your engine off and pop the bonnet. You’ll need to remove the battery terminals, starting with the negative one.
Next, you can either use cleaning fluid from your local auto shop or you could try baking soda. If you’d like to try baking soda, mix three tablespoons with a tablespoon of lukewarm water and using an old toothbrush, scrub the battery terminals clean. Wipe the terminals with a wet towel then wipe with a dry one before leaving them to dry completely. When they’re fully dried, add a layer of petroleum jelly to act as a barrier and reduce buildup. Reattach the terminals.
Assess the tyres
If you have a flat tyre, you’ll need to replace it. Loosen (don’t remove or unscrew them fully) the wheel nuts before jacking up your car. Once it’s jacked up, you can fully loosen the wheel nuts with a spanner. Often it is simply impossible to remove the wheel nuts with a traditional wheel brace especially if you are not built like the hulk! To remove these easily, invest in an impact driver. It’s well worth getting a specialist tool and keeping it in your car so you can be confident you can change a wheel should you need to.
You can then pull the wheel off and decide whether you want to re-inflate the tyre with an air compressor or swap it for your spare. When you’re ready, position the re-inflated or spare tyre on the wheel hub, thread the nuts back into place and tighten them by hand. Lower the car and remove the jack before further tightening the nuts into place.
If you drive in ice or snow than you should replace your tyres with specialist Winter versions. Follow the steps above and do it yourself!