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Car Maintenance Tasks Every Vehicle Owner Should Learn to Do

While life is busy, and you may like to outsource jobs where possible, sometimes our budgets don’t allow this, and we must be more careful with funds. If so, it pays to be able to handle as many different jobs around your home and in your life as possible. One area in which you might not have practiced yet is car maintenance.

You may feel like it’s best to take your vehicle to a mechanic whenever anything big or small happens, but many tasks aren’t too complex for even a total beginner to learn and check off their to-do list for themselves. Here are some to consider learning in 2023 or beyond.

Change Windscreen Wiper Blades

One of the simplest jobs to start doing each year is changing the windscreen wiper blades on your car. This job usually needs to be done annually but sometimes sooner, around every six to eight months. It all comes down to how often you use your wipers and need to clean your windshield. If you haven’t hit the six-month or later mark yet but have started to notice that the blades on your wipers aren’t clearing moisture as effectively as they should, it’s probably time to replace them.

This job can typically be sorted out for less than $20-$30 per blade, making it one of the lower-cost tasks to check off your list. You should find the blades you buy, provided you get the right ones for your car, snap into place quickly with a plastic clip. You usually won’t need tools to do this job.

Work Out Problems with Fuses

A more complicated maintenance task to work on that usually does require special mechanics tools is diagnosing fuse problems and rectifying them. Fuses can blow when the electrical current gets too strong, when they simply are too old, or even if they’re faulty. Circuitry problems can occur, too.

Check under the fuse box car in your car, and you should see that everything is pretty well labeled and color-coded to make life easier. Locating the fuse box in the first place may be a little tougher, though, as these boxes can be situated on the side of the dash, under the dash, below the rear seat, in a panel in the trunk, or under the hood, among other places. Read your owner’s manual for tips on finding this panel, or, if you don’t have this booklet, look up your car’s make, model, and year number online for helpful details.

Sometimes you’ll find spare fuses already in the fuse box that you can use to sort out problems, or you may need to buy new ones. Ensure you also have tools on hand, such as a screwdriver and flashlight, fuse puller, voltmeter, multimeter, or automotive light, and some needle-nose pliers.

Replace Old Oil

Another key job you want to get good at to maintain your vehicle is replacing the old oil with new grease. You might get a little dirty, especially as you learn how to do this task effectively, but it is quite simple to get used to. Older vehicles need oil changes sooner than new ones, with modern vehicles designed to work more effectively in this area. As such, you’ll need to check your owner’s guide for specifics, but you’ll probably need to change the oil every 3,000 to 7,000 miles.

The oil needs changing because it breaks down gradually and can get very sludgy and dirty. You don’t want this type of oil going through your car as it can cause damage. Happily, the main cost is buying the new oil, which is usually between $30 and $50, depending on how much oil and the type you require. You’ll require tools such as a ratchet set, a container to catch and store the old oil, and jack stands or car ramps to lift your car so you can get under it and complete the job.

These are some of the most important yet easily handled car maintenance jobs. However, there are many more. For instance, learning how to swap engine and cabin air filters, test and replace coolant, and switch out old lightbulbs in your headlights or elsewhere for new ones is worth learning.

Furthermore, you could change and align the tires on your car, replace an old battery, and put on a new radio antenna if needed. You might also like to touch up small paint chips that arise over time.

The more of these tasks you can learn for yourself and get done throughout the year, the less money you’ll have to spend on getting simple things taken care of by mechanics or other specialists. You can feel great satisfaction from completing this type of work, too.