How to reduce the maintenance costs of your car. Has it ever happened to you to go to the service with your car and pay lots of money for very small services? Did you know that there are some things you can easily do by yourself and reduce the maintenance costs for your car? This way you will save money and you will feel more proud of yourself.
Changing the air filters by yourself will only cost you a couple of minutes and the price of the filters. Usually, the air filters are being considered as not important and people buy them randomly. But not everybody knows that the material from which the filters are made of has a very big influence on the car’s engine. Now, let’s see how you can change the air filter by yourself. First step is to locate the air filter. It is located under the hood. Open and secure the hood. You have to find the air filter, which usually located under in black case with metal clips on either side. The location of the air filter is specially established so that everybody can change them, without special tools and in a short period of time. Now, open the case and pay attention on how the old filter is sitting. Carefully remove the old filter and introduce the new one. Close the case and secure it with the metal clips. You can see how much dirt the old filter has and you can imagine how much helped your car by protecting her.
You should always remember:
- Choose filters from the manufacturers agreed by OEM and be careful from where you buy them. On the market there are also fakes.
- Do not change the filters if is not necessary
- Do not wash or air blow the filter
- Normally, in order to find out if you have to change your air filter you should make a vacuum port test, but most of the people are changing the air filters based on the number of km mentioned in the manual of the car manufacturer.
How to change a flat tyre
There is a moment in a driver’s life when he has to change a flat tyre. You don’t have to be a scientist to do that, but there are some small rules you should follow.
First of all you have to make sure that the car is parked in a safe place, away of the traffic and on a flat surface. But sometimes it may happen that you get a flat tyre when you are in traffic and you can’t move your car to a safe place. In this case you have to turn on the emergency lights and put on yourself the high visibility vest.
Then you have to pull the handbrake and secure the other wheels with a wood, bricks or whatever you can find near you. Take the spare tyre from the special place in the trunk. Here you should also find the auto-jack and the wheel wrench. (If you can’t find the special place dedicated to the spare tyre and the tools you may consult with the car’s manual.) Roll the new tyre to the one you have to change, put it down and then start lifting the car by using the auto-jack.
Put the auto-jack in the proper position for the tyre that must be changed, making sure that the bottom of the auto-jack is positioned on a very flat and solid ground. The proper place for the jack may vary among different vehicle models, so you should consult the owner’s manual for the right place for your car.
Lift the car to the maximum height, without lifting the tyre completely from the ground. Remove the cover of the tyre. You may use a screwdriver if necessary.
Unscrew the tyre’s bolts by using the wheel wrench in the opposite direction of the clockwise. Please put the bolts in a safe place because you will need them to secure the new tyre. Now you have to jack the car a little more so that the tyre is completely off the ground.
Take the flat tyre out by grasping it with both hands and pulling it towards you and put the new one. Now you have to secure the bolds in their places. You have to pay attention on how much strength you are using when you are screwing the bolts back with the wheel wrench.
Too much force can unbalance the car and could fall down from the auto-jack.
Bring the car back on the ground and remove the auto-jack. Now secure the bolts more, taking into consideration the level of force mentioned in the owner’s manual. Pay attention that you have taken all the tools and the flat tyre to the trunk and you are ready to continue your trip. In order to make sure that you’ve done a good job you should stop after few km and verify the bolts.
Because changing a flat tyre can be a messy thing, you should always make sure that you have in the car clean water, napkins, a towel or cloth to put it on the ground and a cleaning solution for your hands.
Also I advise you to check periodically the spare tyre to make sure that it has enough air and also to get familiar with your car. Save trip!
How to change the engine oil
The time frame to change the engine oil is provided in the car owner manual. The manufacturers are also offering recommendations for changing the oil based on the number of km travelled in different environmental conditions.
Try to change the oil at each 10.000 km if you want to be on a safe side and your engine to work fine, but first you have to check the characteristics or your car because there are some cars which don’t need a change of oil at 10.000 km. You won’t damage the engine if you will ride more or less km between two changes, but if you drove in dust and high temperatures environment you will have to stick to the schedule.
How to prepare yourself:
- Gather all the tools needed. If you plan to change the oil frequently by yourself then you should better buy a jack, a set of keys and a drip tray.
- Start the engine for 10 minutes before draining out the oil. Warm oil drains faster than the cold one.
- Park the car on a flat surface, pull the hand brake and stop the engine. If your car has a low road clearance, then you should try to raise it with a jack or to climb up in a ramp, making sure that is very well secured on position.
- Make sure you put the oil and funnel in plain sight so you won’t forget to put new oil back in the car. (This advice could appear to be silly, but this is a mistake made by many people)
Draining out the oil and installing the new filter
- Put yourself under the car, but only after it is safely secured on the position.
- Look for the place to leak out the oil. Usually you can find it on the central side to the front. Check the owner’s manual for details.
- Put the drain pan under the leaking place. Open slowly the cover using a key. Remember to rotate in counterclockwise direction.
- Remove the cover. Be careful not to hurt yourself with the hot oil.
- Leave the oil to drain.
- Check if the tray is placed well and make the necessary adjustments.
- Clean well the drain and the cap when the oil is fully drained out.
- Replace the gasket.
- Put the lid on. Always screw it in place by hand to avoid wrong screwing.
- Clamp the cap with a key, but take care not to be too tight.
- Look for the oil filter. It is usually located on the lateral sides of the engine.
- Put the tray below the filter to avoid oil leakage remained on the engine.
- Use an adjustable wrench to loosen the old filter.
- Use a cloth to wipe the screwing place. Make sure that the old gasket won’t remain attached to the engine.
- Use a little oil to grease the gasket of the new filter.
- Screw in place the new filter. Usually you can do it manually or if not, but is not necessary to screw it too hard.
Replacing the car engine oil:
- Look for the cover of the oil filter and remove it.
- Usually you will use like 4-5 parts of oil (about 4-4.5 liters), but read carefully the owner’s manual.
- Put back the lid.
- Start the engine for one minute and check the dipstick.
- Check the oil leaking place and the filter’s cover for leaks. You may clench it more if is necessary.
- Clean the excess oil by using a piece of cloth.
- Pourthe old oilin aplastic bottleafterit cools down.Get rid of the used oilTakeit to arecycling centerorto a service garagethat can recycle it. Do notthrow itinto the canal or to the garbage bin.
How to change the car windshields wipers
Usually the car’s windshields wipers are made of rubber blades and the support structure itself. Follow these steps to change the wipers of your car by your own:
- Read the owner’s manual to find places from where you can buy the proper windshields wipers. This way you will know exactly the type, manufacturer and model.
- Unpack the new wipers. The package should include 3-4 parts for each wiper, small plastic parts which help you to attach the wiper to the draw bar that puts the wiper into motion.
- Check carefully the old wipers so you will know how to mount the new ones.
- Pull the wipers until they will stand perpendicularly on the windshield.
- Remove the old wipers from the draw bars that put them into motion. They are usually secured by a screw or pin that can be easily removed.
- Remove the old wipers and put the new ones.
- Attach the rubber strip on the wiper’s support.
- Test them. If they are breaking lose you have to fix them harder.