Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Don't doubt your own ability; you really can do these car maintenance tasks yourself

Getting your car repaired is a great way to drain your bank account and generally ruin the Christmas holiday season. Mechanic’s time is expensive, and so too are replacement parts. That’s why more and more car owners are looking to themselves to sort out their car woes. Of course, most people think that they aren’t equipped to repair their cars themselves and that they only thing that they can do reliably is performing an oil change. But there’s a lot more that you can do besides that, all with relative ease. Check out these auto repair jobs you can do, despite your apparent lack of skills.

Replace the air filter

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When you take your car to get its annual service, one of the first things that the mechanic will do without thinking is replace the air filter. The air filter is what stops dirt and dust from the air from contaminating the engine, and it is essential for keeping your vehicle is good working operation. If you don’t regularly replace the air filter it can lead to damage to the engine as well as reducing your gas mileage.

It’s easy to replace. All you have to do is unscrew the plastic lid on the side of your engine, take out the old filter and put in the new one. It’s really simple once you know how to do it, and it can save you £15 in labour time off your next car servicing bill.

Replace your brake pads
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It’s important to regularly replace brake pads for a couple of reasons. One is from a safety point of view, and the other is from the point of view of not damaging your car’s brake rotor or caliper. Over time, brake pads wear down. Eventually, the soft material on the pads is completely scraped away by friction between the pad and the rotor. One the material has gone, it’s just metal on metal, and this can impede braking performance, as well as cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to the brake rotors and the calipers.

If you begin to notice your brakes squealing as you come to a halt, it’s a sure sign that the brake pads need to be changed. To replace a brake pad, you’ll need a jack to lift up the car. The best high lift jacks come in a couple of varieties: hydraulic and mechanical. Once the car is in the air, take off the wheel and remove the old pads from the brake caliper. Different makes and models of cars have slightly different pad removal systems, depending on the braking system they are using.
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It’s worth noting that if you hear a scraping sound, rather than a squeal, it’s a sign that your rotors might be out of alignment. This is one of those situations where you’re probably better off going to a garage to get the problem sorted out.

Replace spark plugs

The spark plugs are usually one of the first things that you see when you open your bonnet. Sites like, Lifehacker, have more info on how to replace these.


** This is a collaborative post

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