If you own a car then you know that you have to spend at least a little bit of money on your car. These come in the form of repairs of niggling problems that sometimes linger around. While we do include gas prices and maybe even oil change in the monthly budget many of us often forget to include the repair costs in there.
A big part of having a healthy perfectly performing car is keeping up with regular maintenance. If you are one of those people who take their car to the repair shop for every single niggling problem that arises then this blog is for you.
While there are issues where you should most definitely take your car to the auto repair shops near you, there are plenty of instances where you can simply do the repairs yourself. The repairs we will be discussing here today can easily be done and requires little to no technical knowledge and a little bit of elbow grease.
So here are some DIY car repair techniques you can do yourself at home and save yourself some money from repair shops.
Brake pads may sound like a daunting task but trust me it isn’t that big of a deal. What really happens is that the industry wants you to think that its a hard thing to do so that repair shops near you can charge hundreds of dollars to replace them.
These are much easier to replace than the old fashioned drum brake “shoes”. What you need for this procedure are wheel lug wrench, some basic wrenches, pliers, and of course a jack and set of jack stands. Remember, never work under a car without stands. That is extremely dangerous and can turn fatal.
Just look up an auto parts shop near you to buy the brake pads. You can try out online stores like PartsCargo. The pads should cost around 20-40 dollars if you are getting aftermarket auto parts and also it depends on the material used and the car itself.
Now if you check out the repair shop near you, you will see that it costs around 250 dollars per axel minimum. Now, do you see why I said this will save you some money? So what do you? Well, first off you take the wheel off.
Then you need to remove all the hardware. After that remove the worn out pads and then push in the caliper pistons. Once you are done with that you should install the brake pads in and then re-install the hardware.
Do you see how simple this is? Even in your first try, it won’t take you any more than an hour. Remember to check the pads every 10k miles. The average lifespan of the pads should be around 30,000–50,000 miles. If you see that the thickness of the pads has fallen under 2mm–3mm then you should immediately replace the pads.
This, in my opinion, is one of the most simple replacements in the car. It is fascinating to see how many people go to repair shops for this simple procedure. Most probably the most simple of the DIY repairs you can do, to be honest. An average battery will last you about 5-6 years. Usually, there is a date inscribed on the battery itself.
Remember you should not wait for the battery to start having problems. If you end up with a dead battery it can lead to a fatal situation depending on when it died. The average price of a simple battery should be around 80 dollars depending on the brand.
However, if you check out a car repair and maintenance store you will see that they charge upwards of 200 dollars for it. So what do you need to do to change your car’s battery? Well, first of all, you need to get some basic wrenches. Then you should remove the cables in the order I will describe here.
When changing the battery you should remove the negative cable which is usually the black cable first. And when you are installing the new battery you should attach the negative cable last. This way you don’t short circuit the red cable which is the positive terminal.
Oil Change is a fast and simple replacement that many don’t do on their own. Your local dealership or repair shop usually charges anywhere between 30-100 dollars for oil or lubricant change. You should be wary of the low budget offers for an oil change as well.
I have seen plenty of cases where the correct amount of oil required for your engine was not provided or poor quality of oil was used. This is more prevalent in SUV oil changes service. Remember you need a full synthetic or even a synthetic blend of oil for the car. The low budget oil change is basically a technique called loss-leader.
This is where shady repair shops basically look under the hood and find problems that were never really there. While not all offers and repair shops are like this but you should be wary of these offers anyway. Because you don’t want your 15 dollar oil change turn into a 1500 dollar repair bill.
This is why I do my oil change myself. You can too. All you need to do is to get a good quality oil filter and the best oil you can afford. So for this, you will obviously need jack stands and a jack. Along with that, you will require an oil filter wrench and a drain pan.
It’s fairly easy to do and there are plenty of tutorials out there on the material. You can check out this blog from Edmunds for further details. While people do say that you should check out the oil every 3000 miles it is usually every 10000 miles when it should be checked.
Another easy home repair or replacement you can do is replace your car’s spark plugs. While nowadays often times your cars come with extended-life spark plugs it is still necessary to know this thing. These spark plugs last about 100k miles but you should not be complacent about checking them.
Check these every 30k to 40k miles to ensure proper service. So when replacing the spark plugs you will need all the regular tools along with a spark plug wrench. Make sure that you buy the extended-life spark plug this will give you longevity as well.
In most cases, these spark plugs come in under 10 dollars each and are around 30 dollars a set. So you may be wondering why you should do it on your own right? If you check out the repair shops in your local area using the AutopartsZ repair shop finder option then you will see it may cost you anything from 300 and upwards.
Whereas you will get it done for a fraction of the price. Here is a great instructional blog on how to change your spark plugs you can check out.
Headlight or Taillight
So I don’t need to tell you how important the headlights and taillights are for your car do I? Well, for obvious reasons of visibility and clear vision they are important, you are also a road hazard if you don’t have functioning headlights and will incur traffic tickets.
Road safety is of the utmost importance when driving so you should regularly do a walk around and check out the lights of the car. If you see that the lights aren’t working then you can easily change them yourself. Just get the lights from a local auto parts store.
I prefer to do my shopping from PartzRoot which is an online auto parts store that provides competitive pricing from what I have seen. Usually, garages have a minimum spending limit and on top of that, the average hourly rate of garages is 100 dollars so I prefer doing this on my own and you should too.
This will only cost you 20-50 dollars per bulb if you have bulbs. Now you may be wondering how you will be able to find the right bulbs right? Well, you can simply look up the headlights and tail lamps from PartzRoot using their year make model search tab.
It allows you to find tires, tail lamps, and headlights according to your car’s specific needs. An important tip to remember is that you should never touch the headlights with your bare hands. This is because your hands have grease which can easily cause the bulbs to burn out.
Going To The Repair Shop
There you go these are some of the car repairs you can easily do at home to save you a lot of money in repairs. As you can see they are easy to do and the repair shops are too overpriced to actually be even considered.
However, you should remember that they are professionals and while you may be able to do somethings there are many other things that you should not try at home. During major issues like engine and transmission troubles, you should most definitely go to an expert. Have them check the car out provide you with a cost repair estimate which you can look over.
If you need suggestions about repair cost estimates then the AutopartsZ app can help you out on that. It will be able to provide you with a list of local repair shops and their ratings along with an estimated cost of repair.
Be sure to check them out if you need that help. With that being said I will bring this to an end. Let us know in the comments below if you do any basic repair yourself or not?
And also if you have any tips for us or any suggestions regarding anything automotive let us know. We look forward to your input this allows us to tailor the content more to your liking so do send us your thoughts. Till then, I bid Adieu!