Vehicle owners know that auto maintenance plays a significant role in preventing costly, unexpected breakdowns. However, many people delay having their cars checked by a mechanic because they want to save on costs. Keep your vehicle running smoothly before your next car inspection with these DIY car maintenance tips.
4 Parts to Check During At-Home Car Maintenance
One way to keep your car running is to have a functional battery. Check for any looseness in its connections and pay attention to any white buildup on its posts. If you see any buildup, disconnect the terminals to prevent electrocution, then scrub the top clean with a wire brush, baking soda, and water. Rinse with water then dry the posts; once dry, reattach the terminals, connecting the positive one first.
2. Wipers & Headlights
Since they’re responsible for your visibility on the road, windshield wipers and headlights must be in good working condition to ensure your safety. Check for any signs of damage and replace them as needed. Invest in a quality pair of wipers and follow the owner’s manual to change the blades without damaging them. When replacing headlights, look for the bulb holder where you should put the new ones. Follow the same process in changing your brake lights as well. If you’re having trouble, be sure to have them changed by a mechanic, as they are essential for your safety on the road.
3. Air Filter
Your engine needs new air filters at least every year, or 15,000 miles, for better ventilation and unobstructed airflow. Fortunately, you can replace them in as little as 10 minutes without having a mechanic do it. Locate the filter inside a black plastic casing with metal clips, open it up, swap in the new one, and pop the clips to close.
4. Oil & Oil Filter
Changing your oil regularly is the most effective way to keep your engine at peak performance. Most cars need their oil changed every 3,000 miles, although that can vary — check your owner’s manual for your car’s specifications. Check its condition using a dipstick; when it looks blackish or smells burnt, it’s degraded enough to be replaced. If you want to change the oil yourself, you’ll have to jack up the car, unscrew the drain plug, remove the filter, and replace the filter and oil.
Follow the checklist above if you want to do your own car maintenance, but for a more comprehensive inspection, head over to Puma's Auto Care in Brooklyn, NY. Their team of certified mechanics has provided top-notch auto repair and maintenance, including brake service, oil changes, and car tune-ups, for almost two decades. Call (718) 272-6306 to set an appointment with a mechanic or reach out via their website.