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Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

The Most Common Repairs You Can Easily Do Yourself

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | Aug 15, 2017 11:25 PM

Is your car running into costly repairs? Sometimes it's best to avoid a mechanic that is going to run you a high bill and buy the equipment and do the repairs yourself to save money. Below, are the most common repairs you can do yourself without breaking the bank.

1. Oil Change 

As easy as an oil change can be, you should use caution. Especially after using your car, changing oil can be a dangerous repair since the oil can still burn you. In fact, you should wait at least a few hours before changing your car's oil after driving it. You will also need an oil filter, ratchet, funnel, oil, and wrench to change over your car's oil.

2. Brake Pads 

It's important that you always keep your brake pads in peak condition to prevent injury to yourself and your car. After all, the brake pads are instrumental to your car's braking system. Tools you will need to change your brake pads include a lug wrench, Allen wrench, hammer, jack, c-clamp, and brake pads.

3. Tire Replacement 

Changing over your tires are among the most common DIY repairs a car owner can do. A damaged wheel can easily be replaced with a spare using a jack and other tire changing tools that most online retailers carry. However, a mechanic should be consulted to balance your tires to avoid any damage to your car.

4. Car Batteries 

Without your car's batteries, you aren't going anywhere. To keep your batteries in peak condition, you should be replacing them every few year. When replacing them, make sure that you have proper eye and hand protection to avoid damage from battery acid. However, you can check your battery's life with a voltmeter to see if it is still functional. If it is lower than 9.7 volts, you should change it with a new battery. 

5. Headlight Bulbs 

The best way to see if your headlight bulbs need to be replaced is to turn them on and see if they are dimmer than usual. Plus, repairing them is as simple as removing the cover and removing the bulbs and replacing them with new ones. 

6. Blown Fuse 

If you notice that your car's headlights aren't working, you may have a blown fuse. Check over the fuse box in your car to tell if it needs to be replaced. If it does, take note that there are three main types of fuses that you should buy, which are ceramic, glass, and blade. Consult your car owner's manual to tell what type of fuse you need. 

7. Air Filter Replacement 

If you have clogged air filters, your car's overall performance can weaken. Changing over the air filter can increase both its gas mileage and power. Not to mention, replacing your car's air filters are one of the easiest repairs you can do on your own. 

8. Car Radiator Flush 

You should be regularly cleaning your car's radiators and cooling systems to help keep your engine cools, especially if you do a lot of driving. Your radiators can get clogged from constant driving. Doing radiator flushes can keep them in optimal condition for a longer shelf-life. To do this, take off the radiator cap, flush it out, and repeat until your engine is cool. 

9. Windshield Wipers 

If your windshield wipers look worn out or are not functioning properly, it may be time to replace them with new ones. All you need is a handy screwdriver and the new wipers to change them over. 

10. Seat Belts and Seat Belt Retractors 

Legally, your car must have working seat belts. Both seat belts and seat belt retractors can be replaced simply by removing the covers, taking out the old ones, and putting in the new ones. 

11. Hanging Exhaust Pipes 

If you can hear unusual noises coming from the back of your car, it could be a dangling exhaust pipe. Check under your car to look for any broken hangers in your exhaust pipe, then replace them. 

12. Plug a Tire 

Plugging a tire is only a short term solution for any tire damage. However, it can be important to know how to complete on your own. Most tires can be repaired using a tire plug, which can cost as little as $5. 

When you own a car, regular maintenance should be a top priority for you. By learning how to perform these simple maintenance tasks on your own, you can save a lot of money. You will also gain the satisfaction of knowing that you are capable of maintaining your car on your own. These are just a few of the repairs that you can handle on your own without extensive mechanical knowledge. However, if you feel you are unable to complete a job, be sure to visit a mechanic. The job being completed safely and correctly is more important than saving a few dollars.

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