Easy Car Repair Tips. Cause Minor Repairs shouldn’t be scary, right? Does car repair scare you? The mere thought of it? I am a busy mom and I think I have no time to learn how to care for my car. But really that is so incredibly foolish. I was shocked after paying $85 to have an air filter replaced that it would have cost me less than $29 at my local auto store to do it! AND it was NOT complicated to replace – that means I can keep more of my tax refund for me!!
So… baby steps to easy auto repairs!
Here are 11 Easy Car Repairs You Can Do Yourself
1. Easy Car Repairs and Maintenance 101: Go to your local auto store for free help and guidance
I had no idea that there was so much generous wisdom at your local auto parts store. Because they don’t talk down to you just because you are a mom with kids in their car seats. Because they have this nifty little machine that they plug into your car and it tells them what is broken (you know, when the lights on your dash are screaming at you), and then they can tell you what steps are needed. AND… Because they are not getting paid more to sell you more.
Their goal is to just get your car fixed! You can totally fix your own car!
2. Easy Auto Repairs: Change your own wiper blades
Just tell the person at the front what the year and make of your vehicle is and they will totally help you get new wiper blades. In mere minutes you can leave with your new wipers and even replace them in the parking lot! Here is a quick video on how to replace your wiper blades. After watching it you will never need to have a mechanic replace your blades again!
3. Replace a burnt-out headlight or taillight.
Again, super easy!
- Just tell the person at the store what you are doing and they will find the correct bulbs for your car.
- You want to then turn off your car completely
- Then, use a flat screwdriver to pop off the headlight cover and possibly to unplug the light too.
- PRO TIP: grab a tissue to hold onto the bulb as you are replacing it. You don’t want oils from your hands to get on the bulbs, it will make them burn out faster.
4. Easy Car Repairs: Jump Start Your Car Battery.
A set of jumper cables is a must for every vehicle! Print up an instruction card to add along with your cables. Next time you, a pal, or even a stranger at the grocery store, need a jump in order to get their car started you are ready! I was surprised how easy it was the first time I jump-started a vehicle on my own.
5. Car Maintenance Pro Hack: Stop paying a fortune for air filters!
As long as your vehicle doesn’t hide the air filter in a weird place, replacing the air filter is usually as easy as removing a couple of bolts and screws, lifting a plate (which hides the filter from the grime of your car), and then pulling out the old filter and placing the new one into its place. In my Jeep’s case, I would have saved $15 per screw. And my air filter is conveniently placed near the top of my vehicle. It would have taken me a max of ten minutes. Never again am I paying for that at a mechanics’!
6. Remove Car Carpet Stains from the interior.
So simple! Grab a container of hydrogen peroxide, your dish soap, and lemon oil to get rid of stains. Mix a couple of drops of soap and oil into the peroxide and with a scrub brush work the solution into your carpeting and the seats you want to have cleaned. After it sets for a few minutes wipe up the excess. For very stubborn stains you might need to do a couple of treatments. Also, peroxide is a bleaching agent. If you have a dark interior you might want to consider using a dilution of the peroxide and testing in an out-of-the-way place before treating your whole car.
7. Easy Car Repairs: Pop out minor dents.
Your local auto parts store should have cans of compressed air. They are perfect for getting rid of all the dust in your air vents! As well as the linty bits that get in crevices!
AND those cans of air are perfect for getting rid of minor dents. You will also need a hairdryer. First heat the area around the dent with your hairdryer. Next, spray the canned air on the dent. The canned air comes out really cold and constricts the metal slightly. The quick change in temperature can usually fix minor dents! No big bill!
9. Car Maintenance 101: Replace burnt-out fuses.
Fuses tend to burn out after time, so if your car horn, or stereo, or even the turn signals stop working, chances are it could be as simple as a burned-out fuse! No need to take your car in and leave with a whole new radio when it is a simple fuse! Turn off your vehicle and open up the fuse box (there is one under your hood and one in your dashboard – usually). You should be able to see which fuse is broken. It will have a broken wire. Pull that part out (you might need a pair of tweezers if a plug puller isn’t included in the fuse box and take your burned-out fuse to the store with you. They can get you a replacement that you can pop in, in a few seconds. Your radio is as good as new!
10. Inflate Tires
Get a tire pressure gauge. They are only a couple of bucks and are necessary to tell you how much pressure is in your tires. Too much pressure on your car’s tires and your suspension will have problems (or you could even burst your tire). Too low pressure in your tires and your tires will wear out faster and could overheat. Once you have this gauge pop it into your glove box – You can refill the air at most gas stations for a couple of quarters.
11. Check and refill all fluid levels.
Here is a nifty list of all the levels to check in your car and a schedule of when they should be checked. You don’t need to have a mechanic check your fluids! Do it yourself! Refill and replace and fluids that are low. Also, it is a good idea to make a note of any low fluid levels. Check them again in a month. If they are low again you might want to check and see if you have a slow leak.
12. Get rid of minor scratches in the paint.
I am not the only mom with kiddos who love to ride their bikes too close to the car! Our cars have tons of scratches on them from our kids and their bikes. There is a really cool paint pen you can get that can help with scratches. All you need to do is scribble on your scratch and they are gone!
13. Rain-proof your windows.
SO easy!! And it will make driving in the rain so much better! I don’t know why I never thought to try this before!! Grab some really, really fine steel wool. lightly go over the surface of your window to remove any buggy grime and buildup. Then wipe your window off and wash it with Windex or another ammonia-based cleaner. To protect your paint, we suggest that you spray your rag first and then wipe your window.
Afterward, grab a can of Rain-Ex or another waterproofing spray. Liberally coat your window. Follow the directions on your can, let it dry, and then buff the solution until your window shines. We did two coats to make sure that the whole window was adequately coated. Visibility in the rain could not be any better!!