Car Maintenance Everyone Can Do

Cars are expensive. No doubt about it. It’s largely because they cost money even after purchase. While some repairs are difficult to tackle on your own, car maintenance is generally pretty easy. The following article describes the various car maintenance projects you can DIY. Get prepared to save tons of money!

Oil Change

Changing oil is really simple. And after doing it a time or two, you can even save time compared to driving to your mechanic and waiting for him/her to do it.

Changing a car’s engine oil is really simple. And I’m not just saying it. This is the process:

  • Do the oil change after the car has been running for awhile.
  • Life the front of the car up with a floor jack.
  • Place two jack stands under the car just in case the jack fails.
  • Pull off the oil fill cap.
  • Take a socket wrench and unscrew the drain plug on the oil pan – catch the oil with a pan.
  • Unscrew the oil filter. It’ll be near the oil pan. An oil filter needs changed about every 3 oil changes. Oil will flow from that as well.
  • Wait about 10 minutes for all the oil to drip out.
  • Fill the new oil filter with new oil and screw it on.
  • Screw back in the drain plug.
  • Fill the engine with the proper oil.
  • Finished.

Transmission Fluid Change

This is pretty much like the oil change. Except it isn’t done very often. I think most cars can go about 140k without needing fresh fluid. For manual transmission cars, there isn’t a filter. On automatic cars, there is a filter. It’s trickier to change the fluid on an automatic transmission but still entirely possible to do in your driveway.

Anti-Freeze Change

It’s mostly a matter of draining the system and filling it back up with fresh fluid. Don’t worry about the gimicky coolant cleaning products. There are plenty of YouTube videos showing how to do this.

Fuel Filter Change

This is a smelly job but it usually isn’t too difficult.

Cleaning the Fuel System

Many shops charge hundreds to do this. In reality, it can be done for about $20 by using a high quality fuel system cleaner. All you do is pour the right amount in your fuel tank. The car does the rest.

Air Filter Change

Most air filters are the drop-in kind. It’s nearly as it easy it sounds. You simply drop-in a new air filter. But first, you need to undo the clips that hold the filter into the air box. This job only takes a few minutes. It’s definitely worth doing yourself. And plus, doing this job can really help your fuel economy.

Tire Rotation

This sounds fancy but it’s really just a matter of unbolting each wheel and swapping corners. Make an ‘x’ with the tires as you rotate them. This ensures even tread wear.

Interior and Exterior Detail

If you keep a car clean, it never takes a professional to sort out. YouTube has TONS of great videos on how to detail a car like a professional.

Paint Chip Fix

This is harder than it sounds but it’s definitely worth doing yourself. You can get touch up paint online or at a dealer. Pro tip: Get a painting brush as well. The brush supplied in the bottle is almost always too large for your job. A smaller, high-quality, brush will result in a far better result.

Spark Plugs and Wires

It only takes one wrench to undo these. On some cars, they are a nightmare. These include Subaru’s. But most cars, it’s an easy job: these include Honda’s and most other cars.

Valve Cover Gaskets

If your engine is dirty, it’s probably because of a leaking valve cover gasket. These are easy to replace. And that’s good because the gaskets are cheap as well! This makes it a very cheap job to do yourself. Pro tip: I say valve cover gasket’s’ but 4-cylinder cars only have one.

Brake Fluid Change

This project is a little more involved. It takes either a special bleeder tool or an extra person. Either way, it’ll be cheaper than taking it to a mechanic.

Brake Job

Brake jobs are actually pretty easy. It’s just a matter of replacing the brake pads and/or the rotors. Pro tip: Remember to liberally grease the brake pads wherever they touch the brake caliper! If you don’t do this, you’ll end up with squeaky brakes. Most peoples brakes squeak because grease wasn’t applied – not because they need new pads.


Join our newsletter

If you like Critical Financial, subscribe and get our latest content via email.

Powered by ConvertKit

Share this post:

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment


May the 4th Be with You: Star Wars Swag on Amazon

May the 4th Be With You: Star Wars Day Swag

It began as the punniest holiday ever but quickly grew into an earnest (if somewhat random) celebration of the long-running (and still... more →
People count the money to buy a house in future success.

Avoiding Mortgage Scams: Don’t Fall for Unreasonable Promises

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. That’s sound advice for almost all aspects of life, including the search for... more →
Eat for free for a whole month via the meal kit companies discounts for new customers.

How To Get a Month of Free Food: 9 Meal Kit Companies Offering Discounts to New Customers

Play your cards right and you might be able to line up a month’s worth of free meals if you were to try out all nine of the meal... more →
Generate extra cashflow -- here are 97 ways.

96 Awesome Ways to Generate Extra Cashflow

Who doesn’t want more money nowadays? We’ve got you covered on that front. Here comes a long list of different ideas on... more →
Valentine's Day gifts that won't destroy your budget

Valentine’s Day Crafts Are Romantic Rescue from Crazy Inflation

Fall for the hype this week and you’re out an average of $143.56 for Valentine’s Day. Crafts and other do-it-yourself tactics... more →

Ultimate Guide to Bitcoin — FREE Ebook!

Have we got something for you: a free ebook about bitcoin! more →
Get a flu vaccine.

Why You Need To Get a Flu Vaccine Right Now

Flu vaccines aren’t just for the elderly  anymore. Here are 25 reasons you should go get vaccinated. more →
Financially successful

Acquire the Trait All Financially Successful People Have

Financially successful people tend to all have a lot of self-discipline. Improving your discipline in one area of your life often spills... more →

What’s the Best Free Recipe App?

The Apple Store and Google Play together offer more digital cookbooks than you probably have room for on your mobile device. So which... more →
New tax law might slow down housing market.

What Will the New Tax Law Do to the Housing Market?

The new tax law will have a profound impact on the housing market, although in ways that go beyond the deductibility of mortgage interest... more →

4 in 5 Households Will Get a Tax Cut in 2018

Four out of five U.S. households will get a tax cut as a result of the legislation that President Donald Trump signed into law today. more →
Will bitcoin reach $100,000?

When Will Bitcoin Reach $100,000?

Bitcoin has accelerated its pace of appreciation in recent months, and if the current levels between $15,000 and $19,000 make you itch... more →
The Dow Jones topped 24,000 -- now what?

The Dow Jones Crossed the 24,000 Threshold. Now What?

Stocks appear to be increasing in volatility, yet the markets closed on Monday, December 4 with the Dow Jones Industrial Average is... more →
Peer mortgage

Should You Get a Peer-to-Peer Mortgage?

If you can’t get approved for a home loan from a bank, you might want to look into applying for a peer-to-peer mortgage. more →
Investment gifting is awesome.

4 Things To Know Before You Donate an Investment

While donations of any kind are appreciated, gifting investments benefits both the giver and the receiver. Here are four key things... more →
Are you wondering: What's the Relationship Between the Stock Market and Federal Debt?

What’s the Relationship Between the Stock Market and Federal Debt?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if gains in the stock market could actually reduce U.S. government indebtedness? If that were true,... more →

Forex Tools: Tips for Using the Chaikin Volatility Indicator

You need a new trading strategy for your forex account. The problem with a lot of them is that they tend to work for a while and then... more →