by Emily Muelford, a British car enthusiast and friend of CarNewsCafe

These days, people spend far too much money at their local garage when their vehicle needs maintenance, and this is something I’m looking to stop. You see; while you may well need the assistance of trained mechanics for things like a new clutch or gearbox, there are plenty of jobs that you should be able to do yourself. In the past, nobody would have sought the help of an expert when they needed to change the oil or something similar, and so today I’m going to spend some time explaining how to save some cash by taking the DIY option.

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Changing A Tire

This is incredibly simple, and it’s something that all drivers should be able to complete without calling their breakdown service provider or spending any money whatsoever. All you need is a jack, something to unscrew the bolts, and your spare tire. You can find lots of guides online explaining exactly how to change a car tire if you’re still confused, but you really shouldn’t be.

Replacing The Wiper Blades

While this is often done when you take the vehicle in for a service, there’s no reason why you can’t complete the task yourself whenever you notice your blades are becoming less effective. In all truth, most good quality blades will last for more than two years, but when you do start to notice problems, opting to purchase some new ones and deal with the issue yourself will definitely save you money. Also, they will come with instructions, so don’t worry about messing up.

Swapping The Battery

These do tend to last for quite a long time if you look after them properly, but at some point, everyone will have to change their battery. According to Ashford Orbital Mazda, the latest models on the market tend to be fine for at least three or four years, and so this isn’t something that should be a constant concern. However, if you leave the interior lights or the radio on overnight, it could become drained. You need to learn how to install a new battery ahead of time so that this doesn’t become a major issue when it does finally happen.

See CarNewsCafe’s DIY auto repair guide “How to Replace a Car Battery” with a nice clear video shot by Adam Yamada-Hanff. 

Replacing Headlight Bulbs

Depending on what kind of car you own, replacing the headlight bulbs should be a simple job that can be completed in only a few minutes. In most instances, you’ll need to lift the bonnet and remove the cover from the inside. This should only involve loosening a few screws, but it’s still worth taking a look before the problem presents itself to guarantee you know how to deal with it properly. You would not believe the amount of people who buy new bulbs for less than £20, and then spend over £50 on labour for a trained mechanic to install them. This is a waste of money, and something you should avoid.

So folks, I hope, after reading through this information, you’ll be more inclined to try the DIY method in the future when performing small tasks like this. At the end of the day, if you don’t take heed, it’s only your own bank balance that will suffer.

Good luck!

Photograph via Flickr

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Emily Muelford

Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.

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