Like any vehicle owner, you want to make sure your vehicle stays looking and running great for as long as possible — which means when something breaks on your car, you’re sure to get it fixed as soon as possible.
For major repairs, you typically take your vehicle to a garage so the problem is fixed correctly the first time. However, there are many small maintenance tasks you can do on your own to help ensure that your car or truck stays in the best possible shape. Here’s a few helpful tips on DIY car maintenance that you can take care of yourself, saving you both time and money!
You can tell that it’s time to get new wiper blades when your wipers leave streaks on the windshield instead of clearing the water away. Changing your wiper blades usually requires just a few clicks, and new wiper blades purchased at an auto parts store come with easy-to-follow directions printed on the package.
Although it may be tempting to get generic or economy-brand wiper blades at a lower price, it’s worth the few extra dollars to buy name brand wipers such as Bosch or ANCO. The higher quality does a better job cleaning your windshield and providing protection from the sun. Just make sure you grip the wiper arm firmly and hold it constantly away from the vehicle while removing the old blade and installing the new one. The tension of the wiper arm can cause it to snap back, and you may end up with a cracked windshield.
Taking care of your vehicle’s paint job is important for more than just aesthetic reasons. Chipped vehicle paint can quickly lead to rust that can weaken or even rot your car’s body, leaving you with potential issues.
Fortunately, you can protect your auto body with touch up paint, available at your nearest auto parts store. Simply purchase the paint, along with paint applicators, grease remover, and car wax, and you have everything you need to keep rust from eating your vehicle.
To seal chipped paint, clean the area around the chip thoroughly with grease remover and allow the area to dry. Then apply just enough paint to cover the chip, without letting the paint drip down your vehicle. Once the paint dries, wait 30 days and then apply a fresh coat of car wax.
Replacing headlights and tail lights can be complicated, but it’s fairly easy to replace your side marker, fog light, and license plate bulbs. Find and remove the retaining screws around the lens with the burned-out bulb, then pry the lens off, and remove the old bulb by pulling straight out. Be sure to use a paper towel, clean rag, or gloves to handle the new bulb and push it into the socket, to avoid deposits of skin oil that can short out delicate auto bulbs faster. Then replace the lens and screws, and you’re ready to go!