Spring is in full swing and it’s almost coming up to the summer months, which means it’s road trip time for many people and families. The following are the top 10 vehicle maintenance tasks that you can do yourself at home with minimal tools and know-how to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape.
#1. Replacing Air Filters
Air filters will build up debris overtime and should be replaced almost yearly. Changing the air filters is easy – the engine filter you’ll find under the hood and the cabin filter will often be under the dashboard area.
#2. Replacing the Battery
If your car battery is more than a few years old and you’ve either been through some cold winters or you have accidentally left a light on and had it drain, your battery may be starting to wear down. Check the model number on the battery, find a similar model and connector configuration, then you can just change the battery yourself. Always remove the negative terminal first and reconnect it last.
#3. Replacing Windshield Wipers
If your wipers aren’t working as well as they used to, replacing them is easy; you don’t even need any special tools. Your local vehicle supply store will have a guide on which size you need, or you can bring in the old set to compare.
#4. Replace Headlight and Taillight Bulbs
If any of your lights have blown, you need to replace them immediately. With the help of your manual, you should easily be able to remove any headlight or taillight enclosure to replace the bulbs. Ensure you use the same size bulb when replacing.
#5. Check and Top Up Fluids
Each fluid port should be clearly labelled, just make sure the levels are at the fill lines. Your oil will have a dipstick. Always test on level ground and pull out once, wipe off, return, and pull out again for accurate measurement. Oil changes are also relatively easy to do at home if you have the space.
#6. Inspect and Maintain Tires
Check your tires for physical damage to the side walls and for the depth of the tread. As well, check the tire pressure every month to make sure pressure levels are appropriate, as per your manual.
#7. Replace Fuses
If a component of your electrical system isn’t working anymore, consult the manual, then check the fuse panels and replace the appropriate fuse with the same amperage of fuse.
#8. Check Your Brakes
Brakes are very important; you can regularly check your brakes by just testing them and listening for a noise whenever you brake. If there's any noise, shuttering, or vibrating when braking, get them replaced.
#9. Check Belts and Hoses
When checking fluids, you should also check any belts, hoses, or chains your vehicle may have for wear and tear. Many can be replaced by yourself at home, but if you notice wear and aren’t sure, consult a service centre.
#10. Wash Your Car
A good cleaning never hurts your car and can help prevent a build up of salt and grit from the roads. An interior detailing can also be done yearly to keep away smells and dirt buildup on the inside.
With a good maintenance schedule, you can reduce the number of breakdowns and the need for visiting a service centre.