The Ultimate Guide To 19 DIY Car Maintenance Tips

00 The Ultimate Guide To 19 DIY Car Maintenance Tips

Your car can be your best friend, especially if you take care of it constantly. And the good part is that you don’t need to go to a service to do that. You can provide the right maintenance for your car by applying these simple 19 DIY tips at home. Everything from replacing the air filter, wiper blades or spark plugs to change a car fuse can be done in your garage or parking lot. All you need is a little information and the desire to do it. So, let’s see the best DIY tips that will help you maintain your car like new for a longer time!

1. Replacing the Air Filter

Replacing the Air Filter

Replacing the Air Filter

  • Required Tools: None
  • Time to Complete: 10 minutes
  • Estimated Cost: $10

How to Do:

The good news is that you need no special tools to replace your car’s air filter. It is an easy procedure that shouldn’t take more than ten minutes to complete. The air filter of your car should be changed at least once a year.

01

Locate your filter: before you start the procedure of changing the air filter, you will need to find it. The air filter is placed under the hood of your car. You will notice it in a metal box that you can open by using the clips on it.


Some cars, however, do have a different system. If that is the case, check the manual of your car before changing the filter.

02

Pay attention to the setting: when you open the filter, watch the important details of the setting of your air filter. It will help you put your new filter in the same position. It will also give you a valuable example of what you will do next.

03

Make the switch: this requires you to take the old filter out of the box and place the new one in. If you paid attention to step two, placing the new filter will be fairly easy.

04

Close the box: Don’t forget to close the box or the filter system back to how it was before you opened it. It is important for safety measures!

2. Replacing Wiper Blades

Replacing Wiper Blades

Replacing Wiper Blades

  • Required Tools: None
  • Time to Complete: 10 minutes
  • Estimated Cost: $10 - $20

How to Do:

If replacing the air filter was easy, replacing your wiper blades might be even easier. All you need is some patience and 15 minutes of your time. The cost will vary between 10 USD and 20 USD depending on the type of wiper blades that you choose. However, you will not need any extra tools for this procedure.

01

Check your manual and remove old blades: before starting to change the wiper blades, checking your manual can help. Usually, you will have to move the blades in a perpendicular position as much as possible. It will be similar to when you wash your windshield position. After that remove the old blades.

02

Look closely at your blades set up: The old wiper blades will give you a clue about how to place the new ones. Look at the details and apply the same setting. Some wipes come with a tab that you can push and easily remove them. Look for that to ease your job.

03

Place the new blades: after you replaced the old wiper blades, you can place the new ones. Pay attention to respect the original setting and not damage the wiper arm.

04

Final check: Give it a try to see if the new wiper blades were placed properly and they are functioning right. Make sure they don’t scratch your windshield.

3. Replacing Spark Plugs

Replacing Spark Plugs

Replacing Spark Plugs

  • Required Tools: Ratchet or socket wrench, a 12 “socket extension and a spark plug socket.
  • Time to Complete: 20 – 30 minutes
  • Estimated Cost: $10 - $15

How to Do:

To replace your spark plugs is not difficult at all. It will take you less than half an hour, and you will invest around 10-15 USD. The tools you need are ratchet or socket wrench, a 12 “socket extension and a spark plug socket.

01

Locate your spark plug

02

Remove the wires one by one in the order that they are installed

03

Remove the first spark plug by using the extension and the spark plug socket

04

Place in the new spark plug and don’t screw it in too much

05

Install the wires back, and you are all done

4. Changing Oil and Oil Filter

Changing Oil and Oil Filter

Changing Oil and Oil Filter

  • Required Tools: Ratchet, oil pan, oil filter wrench, funnel
  • Time to Complete: 30 – 45 minutes
  • Estimated Cost: $20

How to Do:

While this is a more complex operation, it will still not take more than 45 minutes to complete. You will need a ratchet, an oil filter wrench a funnel and some oil pan. The expenses of this procedure shouldn’t be more than 20 USD.

01

Find the oil pan by getting under your car

02

Take off the drain plug and get the oil into the oil pan

03

Replace the drain plug after there is no more oil to drain

04

Use your wrench to remove the old oil filter from the engine

05

Use motor oil to lubricate the rubber gasket that is in the oil filter

06

Add fresh oil to the oil filter but not more than two thirds

07

Place in the new oil filter securely

08

Use your funnel to fill the engine with new oil

09

Take off the old oil filter

5. Battery Maintenance

Battery Maintenance

Battery Maintenance

  • Required Tools: Wrenches, wire brush, rags, corrosion-removal fluid
  • Time to Complete: 20 minutes
  • Estimated Cost: $5

How to Do:

For battery maintenance, you should spend around 5 USD, and it will take you not more than 20 minutes. You will need wrenches, corrosion-removal fluid, wire brush, and rags. Make sure check that your car runs properly when you are done working on it.

01

Take off your battery terminals and use a screwdriver if the cables are stuck

02

Clean the battery and the posts by using the wire brush and rinse it with water

03

Use the rags to keep your posts dry before going any further

04

Add the terminals back to your battery

05

Run the engine and see if everything works as expected

6. Flushing the Radiator

 Flushing the Radiator

Flushing the Radiator

  • Required Tools: Phillips-head screwdriver or wrench, radiator flush solution, rags, funnel, coolant, used coolant receptacle
  • Time to Complete: 30 minutes
  • Estimated Cost: $25

How to Do:

To flush your radiator, you will need half an hour of your time and around 25 USD. The tools to use for this procedure are a wrench, rags, radiator flush solution, coolant, and funnel.

01

Find the radiator’s drain plug and put the used coolant receptacle in place before you unscrew the drain plug. Let the old coolant drain entirely.

02

Take off the drain plug and radiator cap

03

Add the flush cleaning by using the funnel and fill the radiator with water

04

Put back the radiator cap

05

Let your car run for at least 30 minutes and turn on your heater

06

Turn the car off and drain the radiator before filling it with fresh coolant

07

Check to see that everything is in place and all the pieces that you took out are safely placed back in your car

7. Replacing Brake Pads

Replacing Brake Pads

Replacing Brake Pads

  • Required Tools: Lug wrench, open-end or adjustable wrench, C-clamp, hammer
  • Time to Complete: 30 minutes to an hour
  • Estimated Cost: $40 and up ( based on your car)

How to Do:

For this procedure, you will need lug wrench, C-clamp, open-end or adjustable wrench and a hammer. It should take around half an hour or one hour, and you can spend up to 40 USD.

01

Place your car on jack stands

02

Brake the lugs of your tire and remove the wheels one by one

03

Take off the brake pads

04

Place the new pads and set them up by using the old clips

05

Use your C-clamp to compress the brake piston

06

Place the caliper on the new pads

07

Set up the caliper and place your wheels back

08

Try your brakes to make sure they are safe before driving your car

8. Replacing the Fuel Filter

Replacing the Fuel Filter

Replacing the Fuel Filter

  • Required Tools: New fuel filter, open end wrenches, new fuel line washers, rags, eye protection
  • Time to Complete: 30 – 45 minutes
  • Estimated Cost: $20

How to Do:

To replace the fuel filter, you will need around 20 USD, a new filter, fuel line washers, wrenches, rags and eye protection. It shouldn’t take more than half an hour but if you have problems doing it take your time. Better to be safe than sorry!

01

Release fuel set up pressure and disconnect the fuel lines from the filter using wrenches

02

Use a rag to protect yourself from any potential pressure

03

Set the bold aside and repeat the process for the other side of the filter

04

Take off the old filter and change the washers

05

Install the new oil filter by doing the reverse process of removing the old one

9. Inflating Tires/Checking Tire Pressure

Inflating Tires Checking Tire Pressure

Inflating Tires Checking Tire Pressure

  • Required Tools: A tire pressure gauge and an air pump
  • Time to Complete: More than 10 minutes
  • Estimated Cost: $10

How to Do:

For this procedure, you will need a tire pressure gauge and an air pump. It shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes, and the costs are around 10 USD.

01

Know the recommended tire pressure that your car needs by checking the manual

02

Perform on checking each tire pressure by using the pressure gauge and press it into the valve stem

03

Fill your tires up to the desired pressure level by using an air pump. Remove the valves caps and fill each tire at a time.

04

Check the air pressure again and if it is too high press on the needle inside the valve to release any extra air

05

Drive your car for a short distance to see if your tires feel comfortable for you while driving

10. Replacing Headlights

Replacing Headlights

Replacing Headlights

  • Required Tools: Replacement bulbs, gloves, and a clean cloth
  • Time to Complete: 20 minutes
  • Estimated Cost: $10

How to Do:

To replace your headlights, you will need replacement bulbs, gloves, and a clean cloth. It should take around 20 minutes, and the cost varies according to the type of bulbs you need. Some bulbs can be as cheap as 10 USD while others can easily beat 50 USD. It is important to have the right model of bulbs for your car.

01

Take off the housing of the bulb and the housing screws

02

Unlock the socket by turning it a quarter counterclockwise

03

Pull the bulb out and clean the socket by using gloves and a cloth

04

Place the new bulb into the socket

05

Set up the headlight together and fix the socket and housing in place

06

Check your lights to see if they work properly

11. Fixing Paint Scratches

Fixing Paint Scratches

Fixing Paint Scratches

  • Required Tools: Cleaning solution and cloths, dry sandpaper, paint.
  • Time to Complete: One day
  • Estimated Cost: $50

How to Do:

It is a procedure that you can easily do at home. You will need cleaning solution and cloths, dry sandpaper, paint. It will take one day, but a big pause between the steps and you will spend less than 50 USD.

01

Clean the scratched area by using a cloth and cleaning solution

02

Apply color to the scratch and let it sit for one day to make sure it dries

03

Wet-sand the area by using sandpaper until the paint looks smooth

04

Apply gloss compound to the damaged area

05

Wash the scratched area and wait to get dry before you repeat the operation if needed

06

Wipe the area with a clean cloth when you are done

12. Changing a Flat Tire

Changing a Flat Tire

Changing a Flat Tire

  • Required Tools: A spare tire, wrenches, tire-iron, and rags
  • Time to Complete: 20 -30 minutes
  • Estimated Cost: $50

How to Do:

It is one of the most common maintenance procedures you might have to do to your car. You will need a spare tire, wrenches, tire-iron, and rags. It should take less than 30 minutes, and you will not spend more than 50 USD.

It is recommended to have a spare tire on your car at all times. The need to replace one of your tires can come up suddenly and is better to be prepared for it.

01

Jack up your car so you have easy access to the tire

02

Use your tire-iron to loosen the wheel lugs by turning the lugs clockwise

03

Remove the flat tire and put the spare tire in place

04

Add the wheel lugs and tight them as strong as you need to by using the tire-iron

05

Lower the car from the jack and check for any lose lugs on your wheels

13. Jump Starting your Car

Jump Starting your Car

Jump Starting your Car

  • Required Tools: Jumper cables
  • Time to Complete: 10 -15 minutes
  • Estimated Cost: None

How to Do:

It is a great procedure to be aware of when your car’s battery is damaged. You will need jumper cables, another car owner to help you and no investment. It should take less than 15 minutes with proper help.

01

Find a friend or a stranger to pull their car in front of your car so that you can borrow some electricity from them

02

Check for leaks or safety hazards before starting the procedure

03

Connect one red clamp on your battery and the other red clamp on the good batter both on positive terminals

04

Connect one black clamp to the negative terminal of the battery that is charged and the other black clamp to a grounded metal on the car with dead battery

05

Turn on the car engine and let it run for a few minutes

06

Remove the jumper cables

07

Leave the engine on, and you are good to go!

14. Removing Car Dents

Removing Car Dents

Removing Car Dents

  • Required Tools: A suction dent, a screwdriver, hair dryer and a mallet.
  • Time to Complete: 15 - 20 minutes
  • Estimated Cost: $15

How to Do:

You will have two methods that you can use when you need to remove car dents: pulling and pushing. You will need a suction dent that costs around 15 USD, a screwdriver, hair dryer and a mallet.

01

The pulling method: Use your suction dent and wet its cup before you pull the dent as strong as you can. You might need to repeat this before you see results.

02

The pushing method:

  • Heat the exterior of the dent by using a hairdryer
  • Try pushing the dent out from the inside by using a mallet
  • Repeat the process until the dent is pushed all the way
  • Cool the area using wet rags

15. Removing Bumper Stickers

Removing Bumper Stickers

Removing Bumper Stickers

  • Required Tools: A lubricant and a cloth
  • Time to Complete: 10 – 15 minutes
  • Estimated Cost: $5

How to Do:

It is something that you can do easily and fast to make your car look like new again. You will need a lubricant and cloth, and it shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes. The costs for this are around 5 USD.

01

Peel the sticker easily and make sure it leaves as little damage to the car as possible

02

Use the lubricant to spray under the sticker as you are pulling it away

03

Continue peeling until the sticker is all the way removed

04

Use a cloth to remove the excess of lubricant from your car

16. Plasti Dipping your Car

Plasti Dipping your Car

Plasti Dipping your Car

  • Required Tools: Newspapers, plasti dip, and cloths
  • Time to Complete:  A few hours ( 3 - 4 hours)
  • Estimated Cost: Maybe $5

How to Do:

When you need to plasti deep your car, the costs are minimal and some simple steps to follow. You will need newspapers, plasti dip, and cloths. It should take a few hours to complete, but it depends on how much of your car’s surface you want to plasti dip. If it is applied correctly, plasti dip can last up to three years.

01

Wash the area that you want to plasti dip and dry it properly

02

Cover the rest of the near areas with newspapers, so you don’t spray them by mistake

03

Shake your plasti dip spray and apply and spray each section you want to cover at a time

04

Leave the plasti dip to dry for around 30 minutes

05

Add additional layers if you need to by following the same process

06

When you are done applying the plasti dip, give it up to four hours to dry completely

17. Dangling exhaust pipes

Dangling exhaust pipes

Dangling exhaust pipes

  • Required Tools: Wheel ramps, eye protection, screwdriver, pliers, a tin can
  • Time to Complete: One hour
  • Estimated Cost: $20 - $30

How to Do:

Your exhaust pipes need constant checking and sometimes replacing to maintain your exhaust system working properly. You will need around one hour to fix them and less than 30 USD if you have the right tools. You will need wheel ramps, eye protection, screwdriver, pliers, a tin can. Be careful and put your safety first as this procedure can be slightly dangerous for beginners.

01

Identify the problem with your exhaust system by listening to your car closely. Decide if the problems come from the inside or the outside of the system.

02

Jack up your car securely to have easy access to the pipes

03

Use eye protection and wheel ramps for your safety during this process since a jack is not enough

04

Remove the old pipes by using your screwdriver to unbolt them and pliers according to the type of pipes that you have

05

Screw in the new pipes and make sure you tighten them up with the bolts, so they don’t dangle

06

Check for well-functioning

If your pipes are not that damaged that they need replacement, you will just need to tighten them. It can be easily done by screwing in the pipes more and checking them until they don’t dangle.

18. Changing a Car Serpentine Belt

Changing a Car Serpentine Belt

Changing a Car Serpentine Belt

  • Required Tools: Wrenches, gloves, and new serpentine belt
  • Time to Complete: $30 minutes
  • Estimated Cost: $20 or more

How to Do:

You will need wrenches and gloves as well as a new serpentine belt. This procedure shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes, and the costs depend on the type of belt you use, from 20 USD to more expensive ones.

01

Find the routing diagram which is usually under the hood of your car

02

Release the tension on the belt by using a wrench to compress the tensioner if it is not automatic one

03

Slide the old belt out of the car slowly

04

Check the pulleys and make sure they don’t wobble

05

Place the new belt in and run the routing diagram to check the belt is running properly

06

Tighten the new belt in by compressing the tensioner back. Do this in the reverse clockwise direction.

07

Double check the functioning of your new belt to make sure it is not lose

19. Change a Car Fuse

Change a Car Fuse

Change a Car Fuse

  • Required Tools: A new car fuse
  • Time to Complete: A few minutes
  • Estimated Cost: $1 - $2

How to Do:

Changing a car fuse is essential for the maintenance of your car. And they are fairly easy to replace. You will need a new car fuse, and most fuses are only 1-2 USD. It should take you a few minutes to replace with simple steps. It is probably the easier maintenance operation to do on your car.

01

Locate the fuse on your car by checking the manual

02

Simply take the old fuse out of the car

03

Place the new fuse in

04

Make sure the car runs properly

Summary

With these easy DIY tips, you will not spend as much money as you thought at the auto service. Most of the tools that you need can probably be found in your garage. And if that is not the case, they are worth the investment. You will use them for future maintenance of your car. Make sure to put your safety first before you start any procedure of maintenance. It is important as accidents can happen easily especially when you work underneath your car. And these tips are great to teach your friends and family as well.

So share them with others to ease their job and save their budget as well!

About the Author

I am Andy and I am also a car mechanic. I've been driving for 18 years. I absolutely love it.

Leave a Reply 0 comments

Leave a Reply: