There are a lot of repairs that are simply too complex for a layman mechanic. We’re talking about things like windshield repairs, engine diagnostics, fuel pump replacement and any work involving breaks. On the other hand, just because you have to take your car to a specialist for a complex repair, this doesn’t mean that there’s nothing you can do when it comes to the maintenance of your own vehicle. With that in mind and without further ado, here are several simple auto repairs that you can do in your own garage.
1. Replacing a headlight
The first thing you need to keep in mind is that replacing a broken headlight isn’t that much harder than replacing a light bulb in your home. Is this something that you would need the assistance of a professional electrician for? Absolutely not. Also, keep in mind that it’s not just inconvenient to drive around with a broken headlight – it’s also illegal, which is why making this replacement needs to become your top priority. To do so, simply remove the screws from the frame, disconnect the electrical connector and replace the faulty bulb with the new one. Then, reattach the connector and replace the frame. It really is that simple.
2. Replacing air filters
Air filters are a criminally underrepresented car part that definitely deserves your attention. It’s the thing that keeps your engine free of dust, which means that it’s an essential part of its maintenance. Just remember that they are inexpensive and incredibly easy to replace on your own. The harder part is actually locating the air filter unit and removing the cover. Once you have this out of the way, you need to clean the housing and insert a new filter. This is, more or less, it. As for how often you should do this, the general suggestion is that you need to perform this maintenance task once per year. For those who travel a lot, every 30,000 miles might be better guidance.
3. Jumpstarting a car
It’s up for a debate whether jumpstarting a car is a repair, to begin with, seeing as how there is a lot of those who see it as a fundamental skill (and for a good reason). Not knowing how to jumpstart a car means exposing yourself to the risk of getting stranded for no reason. All you need for this is a set of jumper cables and a compliant fellow driver. If your car is in a garage (which is something that the topic of this article already set up), you can ask a friendly neighbor to help you out. You need to start with the ignition off (on both vehicles) and attach one of the red clips to the positive terminal of your battery and other to the positive terminal of the other car. Now, do the same with the black clips and try to start your car. That’s it. No need to call roadside assistance.
4. Changing spark plugs
Spark plugs are a simple, cheap and easy-to-overlook part of your car that is in charge of igniting the gasoline in order to power your vehicle. Still, due to the stressful nature of their work, they wear out every 10,000 miles. Fortunately, it’s quite easy to fix them. For starters, what you have to do is locate them. Next, remove the wire and remove the faulty spark plug. Then, you have to put the new one and put the wire back. There is a number of great tutorials online, some of which even provide you with guidance on how to do so without a torque wrench.
5. Removing scratches from paint
One of the worst, most stressful events in the life of every car driver is discovering a new scratch on the paint of their car. This can completely ruin the impression that your vehicle makes on others, completely ruin its resale value and make you uncomfortable with the issue, as a whole. There are a lot of shops that will ask you for thousands of dollars to fix this, however, you also have the option of handling this in a DIY manner. There are a lot of platforms selling car accessories where you can find quality spray guns, paint and coatings and more. Still, the efficiency of your efforts may depend on the depth of the scratch.
6. Replace wipers
Replacing wipers is one of the simplest repairs there are. Moreover, it’s an incredibly inexpensive maintenance project that can determine your on-road visibility in extreme weather conditions. Unfortunately, a lot of people put up with faulty or worn-out wipers just because they can’t be bothered to take the car to the repair shop. All you have to do is lift the wiper arm away from the windshield and de-press the tab that’s designed for pulling off the wiper blade. Once again, if you’re unsure or have trouble with this issue, you may want to look for a tutorial to help you out with this.
7. Rotating your tires
One thing that a lot of people fail to understand is the fact that not all your tires receive the same amount of traction. By rotating your tires every 5,000 to 7,500 miles, you can ensure that they wear out equally, thus, drastically prolonging the useful life of these tires and ensuring your on-road safety. Worn-out tires are not just an aesthetic minus for your vehicle. They’re an actual hazard for the safety of everyone in the vehicle.
8. Replacing brake pads
The very last thing worth keeping in mind is that even though we’ve mentioned that you shouldn’t mess with the breaks yourself, replacing brake pads is a completely different (simpler) thing. This task is so simple, that there are those who compare it to knowing how to replace a tire. All you need to do is jack the car up, remove the wheels and the slider bolts, then remove old brake pads and replace them with new ones. This is it!
In the end, you need to keep in mind that just because you can do all of this on your own, this doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from having a great mechanic in your contacts. The key to great car maintenance lies in your ability to tell apart things that you can fix and those that you cannot. This way, you’ll save yourself from a world of trouble.