Owning a car is nothing short of an investment, and the cost of maintaining the car can really add up. After the initial price of the vehicle comes years of auto insurance, refilling the gas tank, and all the maintenance it needs to keep running smoothly.
Getting an annual tune-up by a professional can save you tons of money later on. But if you happen to notice problems crop up, there are plenty of easy, inexpensive, DIY ways to fix them on your own.
Here are six simple maintenance tasks that will prevent bigger repairs later on down the road.
1. Change the filters
It’s a simple job, but changing the air, fuel, and oil filters in your car on a regular basis will keep the engine running properly. Exerts advise car owners to change the air filter every 3,000 miles or so, preferably at the same time that you change the oil.
2. Watch your tires
Checking the air pressure in your tires will help you get the most life out of them and ensure a smooth ride.
3. Replace the headlights
Having a headlight or a taillight out is an easy way to get pulled over, so as soon as you notice the bulb has shut down, make sure to replace it right away. A replacement bulb will cost anywhere between $20 to $100, depending on the car.
4. Change the spark plugs
Spark plugs only cost around $15 and it only takes about 20 minutes to replace them yourself. It’s one of those straightforward fixes that doesn’t really need to be performed by a mechanic.
5. Prevent leaking fluids
Rather than continuously having to refill the fluids in your car, stop a leak at its source. There are products made to seal leaks permanently on the market. They’re an affordable and easy way to solve a problem that could otherwise cost you a lot by having to continuously replace your car’s fluids.
6. Put in new brake pads
This requires a little more experience to accomplish at home, but having a mechanic replace them will typically cost multiples more than the $40 or $50 for the new pads.