Taking your car in for minor repairs can be costly and time-consuming, which makes learning how to complete some of your own car maintenance projects even more valuable. While working on your own car can be intimidating, there are plenty of projects you can complete on your own time based on your car’s specific needs.
If you’re interested in being a more independent car owner, check out the list of three starter projects to help get you more comfortable with working on your car.
Replace Your Windshield Wiper Blades
Over time, your windshield wiper blades collect dirt and debris, contributing to their overall wear and tear. To see if your wiper blades are ready to be replaced, just hit your washer control. If your blades wipe your windshield clean, then you’re good to go. If they leave streaks behind, then it’s time for a change. Your local auto parts store should have a variety of popular wiper blade brands like Aero, ANCO, Bosch, and Valeo.
You’ll want to invest in a name brand over a bargain brand for longer protection and increased visibility. Pick the windshield wiper blades based on your car model and follow the installation steps on the package. Be careful with removing the old blades as they can potentially damage your windshield with enough force.
Change Your Cabin Air Filter
Changing your own cabin air filter is a worthwhile project as it can save you around $30. By replacing your cabin air filter, you are preventing damage to your car’s motor blower while also ensuring that your car’s AC runs efficiently. Cabin air filter products and installations vary by car type. Review your manufacturer’s details in your car’s service manual to find out how often you should be changing your cabin air filter.
Refer back to your car’s service manual to locate the filter. Some cars have the cabin air filters in the console area; others are in the air ducts on the opposite side of the glove compartment. Once you’ve located it, it should be pretty simple to remove the cover, then slide out and replace the old filter.
Exchange Your Brake Fluid
While you’ll need a technician’s help for a complete brake fluid flush, the second-best thing that you’ll be able to do yourself is a brake fluid exchange. There is no set time for you to change your brake fluid; however, some manufacturers suggest that you exchange your brake fluid every two years or 24,000 to 30,000 miles.
To see if it’s time for an exchange, test your brake fluid with a brake fluid test strip kit, which you can buy online or in-store. Locate your brake master fluid reservoir, then insert a test strip into the fluid, then match the color you see to your test kit’s color chart. If your level turns out to be low, simply add your brake fluid to the fill line. Go for a top-rated brake fluid such as Bosch Brake Fluid, Motul DOT4 Racing Fluid, or Lucas Oil Brake Fluid.