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Tips for DIY Auto Maintenance


Just over half of American car owners perform routine car maintenance on their own, according to a study conducted by Honeywell. While DIYers may be able to save a few bucks by handling certain tasks by themselves, it’s essential to know what you’re doing or you could wind up causing a lot more harm than good.

Certified Master Mechanic Jay Buckley explains in a Honeywell news release: “It’s great to see some motorists taking on more themselves, however, some consumers are making poor decisions when it comes to their vehicle’s care. This can be catastrophic for a family struggling to get by.”

Avoid Costly Mistakes

Probably the biggest mistake people make with car maintenance is negligence. If you fail to perform regular checks and the manufacturer-recommended care, you can wind up seriously damaging your car.

Forgetting to change the oil, for instance, allows the metal on metal friction of various parts of your car, like the pistons, to create so much heat that they weld together. Eventually, the engine will seize and the car will not run.

DIY auto repair is just as potentially costly as maintenance. In many instances, car owners with little to no experience working on cars will wind up repairing or replacing several parts that were in good working order in an attempt to find the problem.

DIY Vehicle Maintenance Tips

According to MSN Auto’s Charles Plueddeman, there are a few things you can do on your own that may extend the life of your car and keep it in safe, working order:

  • Check air pressure regularly, and add air as necessary. Most gas stations have an air pump where you can add air for free or for minimal cost. Mechanics may add air during a routine check-up as well.
  • Check your fluids regularly, including the engine oil, brake fluid, windshield washer fluid, power steering fluid, engine coolant, and automatic transmission fluid. Your owners’ manual should provide instruction on how to check each type.
  • Regularly change the air filter. The engine air filter is usually easily accessible and easy to change.
  • Replace your windshield wipers every six months.
  • Inspect your lights regularly, and replace and burned out bulbs.

Also check out our winter maintenance tips article to get your car ready for the cold, snow, and ice of Indiana winters.

Money-Saving Tips

Although doing all car maintenance on your own isn’t advisable, Buckley does explain that there are several tasks that car owners can do to reduce their expenses:

  • Build a relationship with a good mechanic who will treat you honestly
  • Don’t avoid taking your car to the shop periodically for check-ups, even if you do a lot of the work on your own
  • Try using an all makes/all models type of extended life antifreeze/coolant so it can be used on all the cars in the household
  • Upgrade to products that require fewer changes—they will save you money over time
  • Choose a washable rather than disposable air filter

Consult our Legal Team for Liability Questions

Keeping your vehicle in good working order may prevent an accident by ensuring the car is safe for the road. But if you or a family member were in a serious accident and have questions pertaining to liability, recalls, or injuries related to negligence, call our team at Hensley Legal Group.

Contact us today to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.