Do it Yourself Car Maintenance
Many people think it’s difficult to service their car themselves but simple things like changing air and cabin filters, oil & windshield wipers are super easy, and you can easily find instructions and videos online to help you with your particular car model.
By doing the work yourself, you are saving a bunch of money on labor and parts. Some things like batteries and windshield wipers can be done for you free with purchase at your local auto parts store as you will see later in this post.
One item that is easily replaceable is the air filter. You may have been at the service department getting an oil change in the past, and the service technician says you also need a new air filter as well, and they want to charge you parts & labor fees for something that takes a few minutes to replace.
I would check your cars manual and see how often it recommends changing the air filter or simply take a look at it. If you can’t tell by looking, but it’s been more than three years or 30,000 miles, you probably should get a new one (especially if you can save money by doing it yourself).
CHANGING YOUR AIR FILTER
For my 2011 Nissan Altima Hybrid, I, with the help of my boyfriend since I had to be the photographer, just had to remove two clips to open and remove the old dirty air filter.
It was pretty easy to remove the old air filter, and it only took a couple of minutes.
As you can see by the photo below, my air filter was pretty disgusting and needed replacing.
You can also choose to get a washable and reusable, high-performance air filter, they cost more at first but will not need to be replaced, so you save in the long run.
Auto part stores are always running deals so be sure to check out their website. Often there will be a coupon code and also a rebate or gift card deal going on.
I like to shop online and do in-store pickup to save me time. Most auto part store websites let you input the make and model of your car, and they will show parts that are made for your car.
CHANGING THE CABIN AIR FILTER
Next, we changed the cabin air filter. My cabin air filter is behind my glove compartment. I found a video on Youtube on how to change it for my particular model and was able to complete the steps. It was a little more work than the engine air filter, but we were able to get it done.
Then was the oil change!
CHANGING YOUR OIL
The oil change was a little more work, so my boyfriend did that all himself, remember I had to take photos :-).
What is needed to change your oil:
1.Oil & Oil Filter– Check your car’s manual to see what oil is recommended for your make & model car.
2. Oil Drain Pan– You will need to drain the old oil into a pan so it can be recycled later and not stain your driveway!
3. Oil Filter Wrench– This wrench makes it easy to remove the old oil filter which can be tight.
4. Car Jack -You may already have one under the rug in your trunk, if not you can borrow one or buy one.
5. Funnel– A simple, cheap funnel is needed to add the new oil after you have drained the old oil out and changed the old filter.
For the oil change, my car manual recommends a full synthetic oil, so I purchased that as well along with an oil filter and an oil filter wrench to remove the oil filter which was super tight. I already had a car jack, oil pan, and funnel, so I did not need to purchase those.
Other DIY Maintenence/Service
Here is a quick list of some of those services you can expect to find.
Loaner Tool Programs
Battery, starter, and electrical system checks
Battery replacements and charging
Air conditioner system checks
Windshield wiper replacement
Light bulb replacement
Oil and battery recycling
Check out their websites for more information and be sure to sign up for any free reward programs they may offer.
Let me end by saying I am in no way a car expert so always check your car manual before attempting any service. This post is just to help you save money and show you that you can do it yourself :-).
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