Today’s high-tech cars have microprocessors and onboard computers which make many kinds of auto repair jobs almost impossible for the untrained person. However, in the 21st Century, there are still some things the average shade tree mechanic can do to save money and get feelings of accomplishment and self-satisfaction. Here are some simple jobs most people can handle.
Your cabin filter keeps the air in your heating and cooling system clean. You should change it about every 15,000 miles or so. If not, your AC or heat may start to smell and lose its effectiveness. You can change most cabin filters from inside the glove box, and this can save you as much as $30 or $40 in labor costs.
If one of your headlights burns out, you can buy a replacement bulb at your local auto parts store. Today’s bulbs are a simple auto repair, and you can reach them from underneath the hood. If you’re not sure how to do this, check out some online “how to” videos on the subject. However, you must not touch the new bulb with bare hands. The oil from your skin can damage the bulb.
You should have new blades every year, and they are simple to replace. It costs more to replace the arm and blade, but it’s an easier auto repair task. Wiper arms can get bent or out of shape over time, and they’ll smear parts of your windshield even if the blades are new. That’s why it’s better to replace the wiper arms.
If you have a good floor jack, you can save money by rotating your own tires. Make sure to check your owner’s manual to find the proper rotation sequence. Also, spray the lug nuts and studs with a silicone lubricant to make removal easier next time.