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DIY Car Maintenance Made Easy

In these times of financial uncertainty, naturally everyone is looking for effective ways to save money wherever possible. Of course for car owners this might mean limiting the amount of trips you make to your local mechanic. This is not bad thing though. For although time and care must be taken when performing home repairs and maintenance, the savings you make on your annual outgoings can be substantial.

Do Your Research

It goes without saying, but before commencing any major or even minor repairs on your automobile, be sure that you consult your owner's manual to ensure that you are going about maintenance procedures safely and correctly. If your owner's manual does not hold the answer, try looking online. Make sure though that the information you acquire comes from a reputable site.

Replacing Spark Plugs

After around 30,000 miles, the metal on spark plugs erodes, which affects their ability to ignite the fuel-air mixture that runs your car. However, changing spark plugs is relatively simple and should only take around 30 minutes. Firstly, make sure that the car's engine is turned off. Now locate the spark plug and remove the ignition wire for that plug only. Next, remove the old plug with a socket wrench, install the new plug and tighten using the wrench. Repeat these steps for each plug, ensuring that you do not over-tighten them.

Battery Maintenance

Cleaning the posts on your car battery will help to keep your car running smoothly and efficiently. Firstly, remove your battery terminals, ensuring that you always remove the negative cable first. Next clean the posts, using baking soda and water. Coca-Cola also works. Now rinse off the posts with a little water, dry them, and replace the battery terminals.

Changing Windshield Wipers

This process is simple but important to know, as windshield wipers often need replacing on an annual or bi-annual basis. Consult your owner's manual or look online to determine which replacement blades you require. Blades can easily be acquired from all auto shops or online. To change the wiper blades, lift the wipers and slide out the old blades. Be sure to check how the blades are attached, as this varies from car to car. Next, attach the new blades, ensuring that you do not bend the wiper arms. Make sure that the new wiper blades are secure.

These are just a couple of basic repairs you can perform on your vehicle without necessarily consulting your mechanic. For more complicated work to the engine or gearbox, you may need to seek professional assistance. However such repairs are not impossible to do at home and readily available tools such as engine stands can provide easy access to the engine or gearbox.

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