Car repair and maintenance can be a very high expense for us and for our families. Since it is not something part of our everyday life, we often forget to take these costs into account when making our monthly budget. It can be very stressful on a family to all of a sudden be presented with a large bill that was not budgeted for, with so many other expenses. In most cases, when it comes to our car, we only think about the cost of gas and oil changes here and there. But we too often forget about maintenance costs that need to be done on a regular basis in order to keep your car in the best condition possible, and prevent it from decaying. That’s why learning how to do it yourself can save you a great deal of money and headache, for you and your family. There are many simple and efficient car repair processes that can be done without paying a fortune at a repair shop.
Now that car parts can be purchased online, it is becoming more and more accessible and easy for car owners to do it themselves. All you need is a little bit of knowledge and some simple tools, no need to be an expert. There are many websites with car repair parts, as well as several instructional videos online that will ensure you know what you are doing through every step.
The first thing you need to know is how to change your own brake pads. It may sound shocking and scary to think about doing this yourself and potentially creating more damage, however it is a very simple and cost efficient procedure, that would otherwise costs hundreds of dollars to be done in a repair shop.
The repair industry tries to convince us that it’s a difficult process in order to make more money off of us, but it’s really easy. All you need is some basic wrenches, pliers, a wheel lug wrench and a jack and jack stands.
A new set of brake pads will cost you only about $20-40 dollars, depending where they are from. Compared to the average industry price, it’s nothing. Remove the wheel and the hardware, take out the worn pads, push in the caliper piston and set up the new pads. Then reinstall the hardware and you’re set! It should less than an hour to do all four wheels, even for a first timer.
Another useful skill to know is how to change the battery. It is one of the easiest skills to learn and only needs to be changed every 4-6 years. Make sure you pay attention to the timespan however, because you wouldn’t want to end up having issues.
A new battery will set you back for around $80, but it really depends on the model. Dealers will charge $200 or more just to replace what you can do yourself. All you need is some wrenches, remove the negative black cable, install the new battery and then replace the negative cable last. Make sure to do it this way to avoid short circuiting.
It is also very simple to do your own oil change. To get it done in a shop can usually cost somewhere between $30-70, or even more. That’s why you should do it yourself or with your family. Ensure that you are using a good enough quality oil filter and the best oil within budget. All you’ll need is a jack, jack stands, a drain pan and an oil filter wrench. These items should anyway be in your garage for all of your home car repairs.
Changing your spark plugs is an additional car repair process that can be done at home. On most modern cards, the extended life of the spark lasts about 100,000 miles, but it’s always good to check every 30,000-40,000 miles just to be on the safe side. You’ll need a spark plug rench, and of course a new spark plug. It’s usually under $10 and will last you a lifetime. In repair shops you can often pay up to $300 for this simple change.
Replacing your headlight or taillight is also one of the easiest repairs that can be done at home. This is important to always have all of your light working for security reasons, and can also prevent you from getting a ticket. Aim to check all of your lights on a monthly basis. If they are not working, it’s time to replace them yourself. An average repair man will take about $100 for such a service, but if you do it with your own hands it will cost you only about $20 per bulb. Shops sometimes have a minimum charge, so doing it yourself can really save you tons. Just make sure to bring your old bulb with you when buying a new one in order to ensure that you are getting the exact same model.