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Car tips & advice | 05.05.2014 - 18:00

Five of the Easiest Do it Yourself Car Repairs

There are some repairs that take a lot of time and money, while others are so simple you can get them done yourself.

Car repairs can quickly add up over time. The cost of simple repairs usually include a hefty labor charge in addition to parts. Doing your own car repairs can save you hundreds of dollars as well as give an advantage over putting in the parts that you want. Here are a few of the easiest repairs that have the largest returns over time.


Windshield Wiper Blade Replacement

Windshield wipers are notorious for failing when least expected. They should be replaced annually for safety and windshield protection. The wiper blades are removed by extending the arms outward and carefully flipping the middle metal tab in the middle of the arm to remove the blade. The new blade is simply installed in the same position with the arm propped up. The tab will click into position to hold the blade.


Oil Changes

An oil change is one of the easiest damage preventable repairs you can make to the engine. It also allows the flexibility to use high end engine oil without the high-end labor costs. An oil change is done by replacing the oil filter as well. An oil suction vacuum can suck 90% of the old oil out of the car in an upright position without the need for a huge oil pan. The drain plug is removed to drain the oil into the pan. A new filter is screwed in after draining the oil, and new oil is added into the engine via a funnel. Engine oil should be replaced approximately every 3,000 miles. Before you start make sure you have an oil filter wrench, drain pan, funnel, car jack, and if you have one, an oil suction device


Replacing Brake Pads

Brake pads will usually signal the end of their cycle by a noise in the pad as it brushes past the rotors. Brake pads should be replaced roughly ever 40,000 miles. They should be inspected annually as well to make sure there are no problems with the calipers holding them in. You can replace them yourself with the right tools. Just be sure you have everything you need before starting.


Coolant System Flush

A coolant flush can be very expensive in a shop. It is usually a quick job with a high labor rate. A proper annual coolant flush will protect radiator hoses and the engine. You simply need to drain the coolant from the radiator according to the instructions to the vehicle model. According to Engrenage Kustom Inc. the coolant should run clear after flushing the system.


Spark Plugs

Spark plugs control the ignition of the cylinders in the engine and control combustion for a smooth running vehicle. They are connected to an ignition coil to generate the spark needed to run. This repair may look daunting, but it can be accomplished very easily with the right tools. You'll need a ratchet socket drive wrench with an extension, a spark plug socket, and a spark gap gauge. Spark plugs should be replaced when the engine is cool and testing accurately with a gap tester. spark plugs should be replaced approximately every 12,000 miles.


Maintaining car repair yourself gives a long-lasting appreciation for your vehicle, as well as added cost benefits. Keeping a set of car tools and parts like a reduction gearbox handy will keep you prepared for the worst. Researching high performing equipment and types of oil will benefit your car in outperforming the competition if done properly.

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"Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan."
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