10 Easy DIY Car Maintenance Tips

Daniel Mwangi
10 Min Read
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Cars provide all-vital comfort and convenience to the owners. They let you conveniently plan your trips, and comfortably get to your destination. However, it may turn out to be one costly ride if the owner is not armed with easy car maintenance tips. Every car owner must be ready to shoulder the responsibilities that come with this obedient servant.

As much as you are required to take your car to a mechanic for scheduled maintenance, there are checks and repairs that you can comfortably tackle at home. This will save you quite a substantial amount in maintenance costs.

TechAuto Junction will present these easy maintenance tips to help you bond better with your car while saving on running costs. So, get your coveralls on and let us spoil our machines with the tender, love, and care they so much deserve.

10 Car Maintenance Tips

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These are the regular checks that you can comfortably do at home without necessarily engaging professional service providers. They are simple repairs and replacements that you can easily handle with just a basic tool box. This will not only save you money, but will also help you understand your car better.

1. Fluids check

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Regularly check the level of all the fluids in your car. Top them up to the specified level if the levels are low. The main car fluids are;

  • Engine oil
  • Radiator coolant
  • Brake fluid
  • Power steering fluid
  • Transmission oil
  • AC refrigerant
  • Windshield washer fluid

2. Filters check

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Filters ensure that fuel and air that is getting into the engine is not dirty. Dirty fuel or air causes unnecessary tear and wear to your engine, which can be very costly to repair. The AC system also requires clean air for a fresh interior.

Periodically, check these filters and replace when necessary;

  • Fuel filter
  • Air filter
  • AC filter/ Cabin filter

3. Tyres check

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It is a fact that rear tyres don’t wear at the same rate as the front ones, primarily because they carry different loads. Again, the front tyres bear the bluntest steering and traction for front-wheel-drive cars.

These regular checks of the tyres will ensure they give you longer service and save you money, and save you tyre-related accidents;

  • Check the tyre pressure on a regular basis and inflate them as specified by the tyre manufacturer. Do not over-inflate or under-inflate.
  • Check for unusual tread wear and replace the tyre. This may require the input of a tyre expert, as it may point to a deeper issue.
  • Check for bulges, cuts, or cracks and replace the affected tyre.
  • Practice periodic tyre rotation to ensure even tread wear, preferably after every 5000 miles ( 8000 km).
  • Confirm that the spare tyre is in good working condition.

4. Battery check

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The battery is the car’s power bank, which cranks the starter motor and keeps the electrical parts alive, so the car is up and about. Utmost care to this vital component ensures that your car does not stall midway, or your journey doesn’t start at all.

Perform these maintenance checks regularly to keep your car in optimal shape;

  • Monitor the charge and discharge levels to determine if the battery is reaching the threshold and maintain them for later use. Replace the faulty battery.
  • Clean the battery terminals to avoid corrosion and accumulation of dirt.
  • Check if the battery is properly secured and rectify if it’s loose.
  • Check the electrolyte level and top up accordingly with the correct fluid.
  • Tighten loose battery terminals and if possible confirm why they came off loose in the first place.

5. Body wash

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Washing your car not only gives it that amazing cosmetic appeal, but it is one of the overlooked car maintenance tips. It has other benefits in the long run. The dust or other debris can cause corrosion to your car, and they also carry germs or bacteria which can be a health hazard to the car’s occupants.

These simple chores will make your car aesthetically appealing and safe for you;

Thoroughly clean the exterior, including the wheels and the surrounding areas. Ensure the windshield and windows are well-rinsed for good visibility.

Body waxing protects the car’s paint from fading and peeling.

Clean the interior, including the carpets and the seats. Ensure the interiors are dry before you lock up your car.

Vacuum the interior to suck out as much dust as possible that may be lodged in and around the various components.

Give the dashboard a thorough but tender wipe-down. Apply dashboard polish.

This is the time to check on your wiper blades. Replace them if they are worn out.

6Lights check

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Lights are a vital companion for every driver. You need them when it’s dark to find your way around. The indicators and brake lights help you to communicate with fellow road users along the way. 

Dashboard lights may require that you engage an automotive technician, as they may point to an underlying mechanical or electrical problem.

Check if the following lights are working and replace them if they are faulty;

  • Headlights (low-beam and High-beam).
  • Brake lights.
  • Indicator lights (Left/Right and Front/Rear)
  • Parking lights.
  • Reversing lights
  • Dashboard lights

7. Belts and Hoses check

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Drive belts provide mechanical energy to various components that keep the car functioning as required. The alternator must receive a set number of revolutions to adequately charge the battery. The AC system, power steering fluid pump, and coolant pump need good drive belts to function properly.

The timing belt coordinates the combustion process to keep your car moving. This is best left to qualified automotive technicians to check and replace when necessary.

However, you can check the following belts and hoses and replace them if need be;

  • Serpentine belt. Check for signs of wear, cracks, or fraying and replace if such signs are visible.
  • Check for loose belts or tensioners. Adjust to the required level if there is that option in your car, or replace them. Tighten loose bolts and nuts.
  • Check leaking hoses and tighten the clamps. Cracked hoses should be replaced.
  • Check the drive-shaft boots. You may not do anything about this at home, but you can let an expert know there is something amiss for timely rectification.

8. Brake check

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A properly functioning brake system delivers safe driving conditions for you and fellow road users. Regular checks and replacements are vital in achieving this proper functionality.

Start from the dashboard to confirm if the brake warning light is working as specified. Press the brake pedal and if it goes all the down then there’s an issue with the brake system.

Brake pads are easy to change all by yourself. If the rear brakes use the drum system, then you may require the services of an expert.

  • Check worn-out pads and replace them.
  • Check for worn or cracked brake discs and alert an expert.
  • Confirm that the parking brake is working properly. Start with the dashboard warning light for the parking brake.
  • Clean out dust or debris around the brakes. A portable pressure washer will come in handy for this.

9. Security check

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  • Is the central locking system working on all doors?
  • What about the child lock?
  • Is the alarm system responding as required? Is the siren, and sensors, working?
  • Are the windows winding up/down as they should?
  • What about the horn?
  • Have you installed GPS trackers? Are they functioning?
  • Is any navigation gear installed? Working perfectly?
  • Is any dashboard camera on board? Perfectly, switching on and recording as required?

10. Scheduled maintenance

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  • Keep clear maintenance records, such as engine oil and timing belt change, and follow them faithfully.
  • Mark car insurance renewal dates and act accordingly. Phone reminders will handle this one beautifully.
  • Speed limiter updates and licence renewal dates.
  • Is your driving licence renewal due?
  • Keep track of mileage for tyre change.
  • Check for annual subscriptions for accessories such as GPS trackers, and dash cam platforms.

Final Thoughts: Car Maintenance Tips

These easy DIY car maintenance tips will not only keep your car in top form, but will also ensure a safe driving experience for you. They will also save you a significant amount of money on running expenses for your car.

 TechAuto Junction is committed to helping you get the best value for money from your car. Feel free to comment, add, or contribute. 

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