It’s that time of year again: when the seasons can’t seem to make up their minds and your car is stuck having to play catch up. And constantly changing lanes between hot, cold, rainy and sunny can have your four-wheeled friend feeling a little under the weather. Well, not to worry: we have a few tips for keeping your whip in tip-top shape. And the best part of all: you can actually do all of these from home. So, grab a wrench and let’s get crankin’.

First things first: even though we at Caliber fancy ourselves car experts, we’ll be the first to admit when we need a little guidance. So, if you feel unsure performing any of these tasks, feel free to go to your local auto parts shop. We wouldn’t want you attempting anything you aren’t comfortable with.

Now, let’s drive in.

AIR FILTER

Replacing your air filter is one of the quickest, cleanest and easiest things you do for your car. They cost a small penny and make a big difference when you’re driving because dirty air filters decrease airflow and can even cause a decrease in gas mileage.

1.) Open your car manual.

2.) Pop the hood, and using your manual, locate the filter.

3.) Remove the case lid and inspect the filter for dark, dirty buildup.

4.) Remove the old filter and replace with the new one.

5.) Be sure to reattach the case lid and ensure it’s firmly in place.

WINDSHIELD WIPERS

Changing the wipers is one of those tasks that we often forget to do. Then you’re getting your oil changed, the shop offers to do it for you and before you know it, you paid to have something done you could easily do yourself.

1.) Drive on down to your local auto parts store and ask an attendant to help you locate the wipers specific to your vehicle’s make and model.

2.) Once you have your new wipers, you can literally change them in the parking lot – it’s that easy.

3.) Simply unclip your old wipers and slide them off, pulling away from the windshield.

4.) Attach the new wipers by sliding them back in, until they clip into place.

5.) Voila!

SPARK PLUGS

Now, spark plugs may seem a little daunting, but we assure you it’s easy! It can take anywhere from 20-30 minutes, depending on how many plugs you have. And it only costs around $20, which is just the price of the replacement plugs.

1.) Locate the spark plugs by following the thick, rubbery wires under the hood and attached to the engine. Depending on your car, usually you’ll find four, six, or eight wires.

2.) Start at the end of the row and pull the rubber wire off the plug. You may have to wiggle it a little bit, but it should pop right off. Also, be sure to only remove one wire at a time as to not mix them up.

3.) Attach a spark plug socket and extension to your ratchet, and slide that over the plug until it reaches the base.

4.) Loosen the old plug and remove it.

5.) Install the new plug by screwing it in with your hand at first, and then tightening it all the way with the ratchet.

6.) Reattach the spark plug wire, and repeat these steps for the remaining plugs.

CLEANING HEADLIGHTS

It’s interesting that cleaning your headlights is one of the most overlooked tasks in all of car maintenance. Mostly because clean headlights are crucial to a clear line of light on the road. Follow these steps to make your headlights look good as new.

1.) Clean the outside of your headlights to remove any surface dirt.

2.) Mask off the area around your headlight to protect your paint from any polish or materials that could be damaging.

3.) Using a soaked piece of 1000-grit wet/dry sandpaper, gently sand the lens with long strokes. Use your hand to match the curve of the headlight.

4.) Clean the headlight and allow it to dry.

5.) Repeat Steps 3 and 4 using 1500-, 2000-, 2500- and 3000-grit wet/dry sandpaper.

6.) Perform the final clean up and wash the headlights.

7.) Using a fine polish, buff out the sandpaper scratches and smooth the surface of your headlight.

8.) Apply a UV sealant, which you can purchase at any auto body store. This will help protect the lens driving forward.

9.) Remove the masking tape, and hit the road!

There you have it: some simple steps to step up your vehicle and prepare for the road ahead. We hope you’ve found these tips helpful and remember, if you get in an accident and need some bigger maintenance done, we at Caliber would be happy to help restore the rhythm of your life.