A car garage is an essential service that has been a part of our lives since cars first hit the roads in the 19th century. If you have a problem with your vehicle, need a service, or want to pick up a spare part, you can trust your local garage to help you out.
For those who are feeling the pinch, going to a garage may be an expense you simply can’t afford right now. Fear not, as there are many car-care and car-maintenance tasks you can do all by yourself — you just need to know how.
In this post, we look at some of the basic DIY car-care and car-maintenance tasks you can do all by yourself and help you save a small fortune in the process.
3 Expert DIY Car-Care Tasks
Cleaning and Detailing
Do you spend a lot of money on car washes and car-detailing services? Keeping your car fresh and clean is no cheap affair, especially if you want a good job. But cleaning and detailing your car is pretty simple to do yourself.
First, you will need to get some professional car-detailing products. Then, follow the steps below to make your car look brand new again. You will need to make the initial investment for the products, but it is far cheaper than repeat trips to the car wash throughout the year.
Step 1: Clean the Wheels
Equipment: Wheel cleaner, alloy brush, and wheel-detail brush.
Instructions: Spray the wheels with the cleaner, allow it to sit for a few minutes, scrub the alloys with the brush, use the car-detailing brush for difficult-to-reach spots, and rinse.
Step 2: Pre-wash
Equipment: Snow foam, snow-foam lance, and pressure washer.
Instructions: Spray the car with the snow foam, allow it to sit for 10 minutes, and rinse thoroughly.
Step 3: Wash
Equipment: Car shampoo, washing mitt, buckets, and pressure washer.
Instructions: Using a wash mitt, clean each panel of the car. Rinse out the wash mitt often, using the bucket. Use a second bucket with a dirt filter to avoid scratching the paintwork. Rinse thoroughly once done.
Step 4: Remove Contaminants
Equipment: Tar and glue remover, iron-fallout remover, applicator, and pressure washer.
Instructions: Using a proper applicator, apply either product to the affected area, leave for a few minutes, and then rinse thoroughly.
Step 5: Dry
Equipment: Car-dryer device or microfiber cloths.
Instructions: If you have a car-dryer device, this is simple. If you’re using a cloth, make sure you go over the entire car until everything is dry and leave no water spots.
Step 6: Add Protection
Equipment: Car sealant, wax, and applicator.
Instructions: Using a proper applicator, apply either or both products to each panel of the car until fully covered.
Step 7: Clean Interior
Equipment: Vacuum cleaner, car-detailing brush set, window cleaner, and microfiber cloths.
Instructions: Remove mats, vacuum all areas of the car, and use detailing brushes to clean hard-to-reach areas. Finally, clean windows with window cleaner and a microfiber cloth.
Change the Air Filter
Your air filter needs to be replaced every 12 months. Before you rush off to the nearest garage, try doing it for yourself. A new air filter will cost you $10, and it will take about 10 minutes to replace.
Step 1: Find Your Filter
Instructions: The filter is located under the hood of the car in a rectangular box with metal clips on either side. Check the manual if you can’t find it.
Step 2: Remove Existing Filter
Instruction: Open the casing, check how the existing filter is fitted, and take note. Then remove the filter.
Step 3: Insert New Filter
Instructions: Place your new air filter in the same way as the previous one, and ensure the metal clips are secure and the filter is fixed in place.
Replace Spark Plugs
Spark plug replacements are another simple task you can do yourself. You’ll need 20-30 minutes of your time, and new spark plugs will cost you around $10-$15. You need to replace your spark plugs each time you clock 30,000 miles.
Step 1: Locate the Spark Plugs
Instructions: Spark plugs are usually attached to the thick, rubbery wires under the hood. Depending on your car and the number of cylinders, you may find anything from four to eight spark plugs in there.
Step 2: Remove Wire to the Spark Plug
Instructions: Remove the wire to the spark plug you are changing. Do not remove all the wires at once, and note the order the wires are connected, as you need to replace them in the exact same order.
Step 3: Remove Spark Plug and Add New One
Instructions: Using a ratchet, remove the first spark plug from its socket. Then replace it with the new spark plug. Do this by screwing the spark plug in by hand and then tighten with a wrench. Avoid over-tightening, and then re-attach the spark-plug wire.
Do It Yourself
Above are just three of the car-care and car-maintenance tasks you can do all by yourself, saving you a substantial amount of money throughout the year and throughout your ownership of the car.