When it comes to doing car repairs, we often find ourselves thinking about the dads in our lives who helped guide our way. Their spirit has become our motto: With some hard work and a little know-how, you’ll be able to cut costs on car maintenance.
Here are some of our favorite Dad tips, tricks, and life hacks when it comes to car maintenance. (However, you should always read your car’s manual as well.)
Change the Air Filters
If you notice your car getting fewer miles to the gallon, consider replacing the air filters. Clogged air filters are no good for any vehicle and require replacing roughly every 30,000 miles. Luckily for you, replacing the air filters can be a simple (and cost-effective) task that could have you saving at the pump. Just refer to your owner’s manual for the location and type of filter that fits your car, pop the hood, locate the filter, unsnap the clips holding the covering in place, take out the old filter (noting the direction it faces), install the new one, and put the covering back on.
Clean the Car Battery
Uh oh – the dreaded clicking and flashing lights when you turn the key in the ignition. You’ve got a dead battery. And if you’re facing an older battery, you might be looking at some serious corrosion when you go to jump it. Never fear! Just pour a little Coca-Cola on the built-up corrosion and let it sit for 5 minutes. It will help break down the built up acid and allow you to reach the terminal ends. And you may save a little for yourself as an after-maintenance treat; Coke float anyone?
Swap Out Your Wiper Blades
If your windshield wipers aren’t clearing your windshield completely, it’s time to change your wiper blades out for fresh ones. Fortunately, swapping out your old windshield wiper blades is a snap! First, visit an auto parts store and buy a new pair. How do you know what size wiper blades to get? Consult your owner’s manual, measure the blade, and/or ask the auto parts store folks for a quick consultation. Next, follow the removal and replacement instructions in your owner’s manual. Or, if you purchase the wiper blades at a place like Pep Boys or Auto Zone, they will usually install your new blades for free. Voila! Frugal and fast.
Monitor Your Oil Levels
While many are hesitant to launch into a full-on oil change on their own, you should at least know how to check your oil levels. Remove the dipstick from your oil tank and wipe it clean. Drop it back into the oil tank and pull it out slowly. There will be 2 markings on the stick that indicate high and low levels of oil. Your owner’s manual will tell you what the markings mean and at what level you should get your oil replaced. Additionally, your owner’s manual should specify after how many months or miles driven you should get your oil replaced.
But if worse comes to worst and you have to take your car to the shop…
Put Your Mechanic to the Test
We love our mechanics but it’s important to find the right team to work on your car. When faced with the challenge of finding a new shop, ask the mechanic to check on car parts, like the windshield wipers or oil levels, that you know are already in good shape. Base your trust in them around their answer.
*Material in these articles is for general information or entertainment purposes only. Direct General does not endorse and is not affiliated with any of the companies or apps listed in this article. Direct General is not responsible or liable for the availability of links to websites or resources, or for any content, advertising, products, services or other materials on or available through these websites or resources. Any references to third party rates or products are subject to change without notice. Trademarks are property of their respective owners.