To some people, car repair might as well be rocket science. Thankfully, when it comes to your car's performance, there are a few simple things you can do to put yourself in the driver's seat, meanwhile saving you upwards of $100 annually on maintenance fees. Our experts at Caliber have fixed up a few do-it-yourself (DIY) tips you can easily tackle in your free time, meaning less time worrying about your local mechanic's hours of operation, or worse, their hourly rates.
Do Right By Your Wipers
Replacing worn wipers is about as simple as it gets when it comes to DIY maintenance. However, don't let that simplicity deceive you; about 90% of driving decisions depend on good vision, and having a streak-free windshield should clearly be a priority when inclimate weather hits. Following the winter weather is the perfect time to replace your blades, especially after enduring a few abrasive months of wiping away the ice and salt. Replacement is a snap: carefully remove the old set, paying attention to how they connect, and attaching the new set in the same way (usually by just clicking them into place). To breathe new life into your existing blades, try wiping them down first with soapy water, then wipe off the edge of the blade with rubbing alcohol.
Fresh Air, Fast
Next to wiper blades, replacing your air filter is among the most important, and simple, changes one can do. And it only takes $10 and 10 minutes of your time. The benefits of a clean air filter include increased fuel efficiency, prolonged engine life and reduced emissions, which leads to reduced fuel costs in the long run. Simply pop your hood, and consult your driver's manual on where the air filter box is. Then open it and switch the old for the new. Rather than relying on mechanics who charge anywhere from $15-40 for a replacement, do it yourself around every 12,000 miles to see the annual savings really add up.
Lead The Charge
A dead battery is among the most frustrating car problems, probably because it's so easy to avoid. When it comes to your battery's health, you can stave off getting stuck in a parking lot with just a screwdriver, wire brush and a few minutes. After popping your hood, remove your battery's terminals with the screwdriver, always making sure to remove the negative (black) cable first. From there, simply clean the posts with a wire brush and wipe down the residue with a rag, then finish up by replacing the terminals on their respective posts. If you've had the same battery for a few years, we recommend giving it a quick visual assessment each month, double checking to see if it needs a once-over.
It's All In The Details
When it comes to cars, it's definitely what's on the inside that counts. And what's in your car's cabin is almost as important as what's under the hood. Thankfully, detailing doesn't have to be a chore with the right set of tools. For instance, a toothbrush is your car's best friend. Whether it's air vents or vinyl surfaces, grabbing an old brush will put you on the fast track to cleaning those hard-to-reach dust magnets. Vaccuum dirty floor mats to get rid of large debris, then toss them in the washing machine with some old bath towels. A gentle, cold-water cycle works wonders on your mats, but only do this once every few months to avoid adding too much wear on the rubber backing.
These DIY projects can save you both time and money, meanwhile giving you more ownership of your car as you take a greater role in its upkeep. However, knowing when to do it yourself is almost as important as knowing when not to. Sometimes you need a partner, and Caliber Collision is always ready to help you handle the more hard-hitting problems, and restore the rhythm of your life. We hope these tips came in handy to our more hands-on readers, and wish you all the best of luck both in the garage and on the road.