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Top 5 DIY Car Part Replacements Of 2023

You may have big dreams of rebuilding engines or installing a new 1200 hp Powerglide transmission into your ride but take a beat. While many home mechanics can perform complex tasks, it is vital first to hone your skills with smaller DIY projects. If you can handle little things like oil changes and cleaning air filters, you can graduate to minor installations. A complete engine rebuild might be in your future, but it is best to start with several straightforward DIY projects.

1. Headlights and Tail Lights

One of the easiest things a beginner home mechanic can do is upgrade their headlights and tail lights. Most installations only require unscrewing a few bolts and disconnecting a wire or two. You can typically perform such an upgrade in under an hour.

If you are not up for swapping out the housings, you can dip your toes in the DIY pool by changing the lightbulbs and cleaning the unit. Sometimes, headlights can seem dim because the casing is filthy.

2. Air Filter

Air filters are a crucial element of engines. The filter ensures clean air flows through your engine. A dirty filter can lead to poor fuel economy and cause your engine to overheat. Your vehicle also has a cabin air filter, which ensures you breathe clean air when using your HVAC system.

Replacing air filters is a straightforward process that requires minimal tools and automotive know-how. The filters typically need replacing every 30,000 to 45,000 miles. All you need to do is remove a couple of screws holding the filter housing in place, swap out the old filters for new ones, and replace the screws.

3. Spark Plugs

Before you invest in various engine rebuild tools, consider purchasing a spark plug wrench. Spark plugs are essential to the ignition process of your vehicle, and you may need to clean them occasionally. While the plugs typically last up to 100,000 miles, you may have to replace a damaged plug.

Spark plugs are relatively cheap, around $16 to $40, and somewhat easy to access. Because of their affordability, it is often best to perform maintenance and replacement yourself and save on labor costs.

4. Brake Pads

Changing your brake pads is more involved than other tasks on this list, but it is approachable for beginner home mechanics. Also, most professional garages will charge you $300 or more to replace the parts, which only cost around $30 to $150.

Before you attempt a brake pad replacement, you will need a jack and lug wrench. You need to remove the tires to access the pads. Installation of new pads is as easy as slipping the old ones out and sliding the new ones in. Be sure to use the provided packet of grease to avoid squeaking brakes.

5. Battery

Swapping out batteries is likely one of the first DIY jobs of any home mechanic. It is one of those jobs that is best performed DIY because mechanics can charge $100 or more to replace the battery, not including the cost of the battery.

While you may dream of the days of installing the Ford 400 power package in your vehicle, wait until you have enough experience under your belt. If you would like more advice about beginner-friendly projects, talk to an automotive professional.