DIY Auto Repair: 5 Common Issues You Can Fix At Home

DIY Auto Repair

Driving a car is expensive these days, with gas prices at an all-time high.

Running to a professional mechanic with small problems can be tough on your wallet, but there are plenty of easy jobs that most people can fix by themselves!

Here are a five diy auto repair problems that are commonly encountered and do not require any mechanical experience:

1. Flat tire

Flat tires may be caused by several things. Running over sharp objects is one problem. Many tires lose air during the day. Temperature fluctuations cause the air pressure inside tires to drop. Decreased tire pressure is a drain on fuel efficiency and makes cars more prone to flat tires.

There is an easy solution to this problem, and ensuring that tires have ample pressure is essential. Tire gauges are usually found at most gas stations with the air pumps. Checking pressure on a weekly basis is a great way to isolate small problems before they get out of hand. Tire manufacturers usually put recommended tire pressure on the sides of their products.

2. Dead battery

The normal car battery is designed to last for at least five years, but there are a number of things that can cause a battery to die prematurely. Cold climates are especially hard on batteries. Running radios, lights and windows without the car’s engine on can also drain batteries.

In addition, battery acid accumulates around the terminals. Removing this build-up is easy and can be done with a can of soda. The acid in the soda neutralizes the corrosion and rejuvenates the terminals. Sometimes, loose terminals are responsible for dead batteries, and these can be tightened with an adjustable wrench.

3. Oil change

When it comes to DIY auto repair, an oil change is an essential component of preventive maintenance. Most mechanics handle this service for their clients, but it is just as easy for drivers to change their own oil. One bolt needs to be removed from the drain pan, and the old oil filter should be removed as well.

Often, smaller cars are driven up on small ramps to facilitate this job. Car part shops usually have oil filters in stock, and counter attendants can help customers find the right model for a car. Oil filters vary with particular vehicles, and it is imperative to install the right size.

Oil changes should be done in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations, and drivers can save a lot of money when this DIY auto repair job is completed at home.

4. Replacing bulbs

Taking a car or truck to a mechanic’s shop for a burnt-out light bulb is another expensive job. Mechanics usually charge a premium for their time, and most drivers can easily change light bulbs. Usually, a few screws anchor the lens into place, and the bulb simply screws out.

Bulbs are sold in standard sizes, and most auto parts stores have computers to look up the proper product for a particular car. Headlights, taillights and running lights are all easy to replace at home.

5. Clogged air filter

Driving in dusty conditions can lead to premature air filter failure. This makes it harder for the engine to get fresh air and will actually lower fuel efficiency. The air filter is usually found in the engine compartment, and it is conveniently located on the top of the engine block.

A small plastic housing protects the air filter from the outside, and a screw or pin usually keeps the entire assembly in place. Removing the pin provides access to the filter, and enables owners to inspect it and replace if necessary.

You can often find the replacement parts you need for much cheaper on Amazon than at your local auto repair retailer, so be sure to check there first for whatever you may need. DIY auto repair is invaluable when it comes to keeping your vehicle running smoothly. A few minutes a month can end up saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars throughout the year!

This was a guest post by Mike Phillips. Mike has 15 years of experience in the automotive industry and now works for MotorTradeInsurance.org, a specialist comparison site for motor trade insurance.

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