DIY has never been cooler. This year, stores have seen a major spike in do-it-yourself purchases, both in the realm of home improvement and car care. Not only does it save cash and help increase your car’s value before selling, but it also teaches you to be more self-sustainable. In today’s age, I think that’s something we can all get behind.
If you want to DIY in your own driveway, try these car care remedies for yourself. Take it slow, follow the instructions step by step and have your trusted mechanic on speed dial — just in case.
The big oil change
If there’s any car care project that you can definitely DIY, it’s changing your oil. Doing so on a regular basis helps you boost mileage, improve performance, and maximize the life of your engine.
Gather these supplies to get started:
- 4-5 quarts of oil (reference your car manual to see what type of oil you should use)
- Oil filter
- Socket & filter wrench
- Catch basin
- Rubber gloves
- Microfiber towel
Here’s an easy DIY oil change tutorial:
Brand spankin’ new wiper blades
This DIY car care project is easy as pie. Experts recommend changing your wiper blades at least once a year (my dad always gets me a fresh pair for the holidays — it’s very dad-like of him). Doing so can keep your view crystal clear and prevent any unsavory (and expensive) windshield scratches.
You can also extend the life of your blades slightly by cleaning them regularly with rubbing alcohol, but don’t take this as a way out of necessary replacement.
PRO TIP: When buying replacements, go for the whole kit instead of just the rubber strips. They’re easier to replace and they last longer, too.
Headlight bulb replacement
Do you have a headlight out but don’t want to go to the mechanic? Replace the bulb yourself! Be sure to purchase your headlight from a reputable aftermarket source, because visibility is everything when driving at night or in inclement weather.
Turns out all you need for a DIY headlight replacement is just a new headlight bulb and a Phillips head screwdriver.
PRO TIP: Don’t touch the glass part of the bulb with bare hands. Wear a clean pair of gloves instead. Dirt and natural oils can cause early burnout.
Car care through a fresh air filter
Do you frequent the back roads? If so, you may need to replace your air filter more often than the recommended interval of 15,000-30,000 miles. Either way, this car care project is an easy one to DIY.
If your air filter is dirty, replace it. If it’s not, don’t shake it off — you’ll just embed those fine particles even further into the filter.
Check out this video on how to locate and change your cabin air filter (note that it’s only about 3 minutes long, proving how simple it is to do):
A word on brake pads: should you or shouldn’t you DIY?
Brake pad failure is no joke. Poorly installed brake pads are just as bad as old, worn-down ones. And when they’re installed wrong, you may not get that gratuitous screech you’re used to.
Despite this, experts say brake pads are super easy to install. You don’t need specialized tools, either.
Your front disc brakes are more likely to wear out than your rear disc or drum brakes. This means you’ll need to change them more often. The whole process should only take about an hour. Here’s what you’ll need:
- New brake pads
- Model-compatible brake fluid
- Lug wrench & c-clamp
- Turkey baster (for brake fluid)
- Bungee cord
Watch this video for the rundown on how to change your brake pads on your own:
If you can follow the instructions to the tee, there’s no reason why you can’t replace your brake pads yourself. Get ready for your role as the neighborhood DIY car care expert!