5 Easy Car Repairs You Shouldn't Pay For
Keeping your car in a pristine condition takes a ton of time, effort, and money. Unless you’re driving a brand-new machine with less than 1,000 miles on the meter, you’ve probably noticed that maintenance is about a lot more than keeping the gas tank filled and the occasional oil change.
There are so many surprising issues that can pop up out of nowhere. Before you know it, all those trips to the local mechanic add up to a hefty bill. All of a sudden, you start second-guessing your decision to buy the damned thing in the first place.
But what if you could cut back on your maintenance costs significantly? Despite how daunting the under hood of your car may seem, there are some repairs that you can do without so much as breaking a sweat.
If you can hold a wrench and follow some online tutorials, you’ll be surprised by how much you can actually do. Here are some interesting ideas.
1. Swapping a Flat Tire
This is an absolute no-brainer. Everyone, and we mean everyone, should know how to change a flat tire. It takes absolutely zero skills to do this, but it could save you a ton of headaches down the line.
Don’t be the person who gets stranded by the roadside at night in the middle of nowhere, frantically calling the auto club for help with a flat tire. Spend half an hour today to get comfortable with swapping tires, and your future self will thank you for the rest of your life!
2. Changing Oil
The internet is filled with stories of people who paid outrageous prices for a simple oil change. We’re talking about figures as high as $100 or more. It’s hard not to cringe when you hear such stories.
Here’s the thing. Changing oil is a regular maintenance task and certainly worth the small amount of time you’ll need to invest to get comfortable with it.
All you need is a jack, jack stands, oil filter wrench, drain pan, and of course, some high-quality oil from your local auto specialist. All of that equipment will last you a lifetime, so don’t worry too much about the cost.
The rest is as easy as doing a quick search on YouTube and following the most appealing tutorial. In fact, you should be able to find a video outlining how to do the oil change on your exact car make and model.
3. Changing Spark Plugs and Battery
If your car won’t start, the most likely culprit are faulty sparks plugs. Other than a dead battery, of course. For this, we highly recommend keeping some spare spark plugs and a battery in your garage to avoid all the headaches later.
Imagine missing a crucial interview just because your car won’t start. While the other party may give you a second chance, it’s better not to take any chances by keeping some spares and learning how to change these items by yourself.
4. Installing New Air Filters
We’re talking about both the cabin and the engine type. You’ll be surprised by how easy it is to replace air filters. Let’s just put it this way: you don’t even need any special tools to get the job done.
While you only need to replace these filters every 30,000 miles or so, it’s still good to do these by yourself instead of going to a mechanic. Not only because you’ll save some money, but you’ll also save a ton of time.
5. Changing Brake Pads
Okay. We know what you’re thinking. You probably don’t want to touch what’s arguably the most important safety feature in your car. Even a minor hiccup in the brakes can turn a joyride into a literal death ride.
But the truth is, changing the brake pads is one of the easiest and most rewarding repairs you can do by yourself. Unlike other brake components like drum brake shoes, pads are incredibly easy to replace.
You could easily do this within an hour for all four wheels on your ride. At an average cost of just $30 per pad, you’re looking at $120 for brand new pads on all four axles if you’re willing to DIY.
Now compare that to the $250 average a local mechanic will likely charge you—per axle!
Your brand new brake pads will last you for at least 30,000 miles. So learning to change them is one of the best DIY investments you’ll ever make.
Whichever repair you choose to do, don’t forget that YouTube is your friend. Unless you’re driving a super exotic ride, you’ll probably find tutorials covering your car’s exact make and model.