Basic Car Checks You Can Do At Home

While some people still believe that everything about a car should be handled by a mechanic – others know that there is a lot of money to be saved by doing some things at home yourself. Watching what you spend and where you spend it will soon have you questioning how much you can do for your car without a significant cash-out. 

Here are things anyone can do. 

Spark Plugs

Most spark plugs will need to be replaced after around 30,000 miles. But you can check your owners manual to confirm that. Changing spark plugs might seem like a job for a professional, but anyone can do it. 

  • Locate your spark plugs
  • There will be between 4 and 8 plugs. 
  • Remove the wire to the first plug ONLY, never all at once. 
  • The plugs are installed in a specific order, and you will need to maintain that as you change them.
  • Use your spark plug socket and extension on your ratchet to remove the first plug
  • Instal the new spark plug by screwing it by hand first, then gently tightening it with the wrench. Snug, not over tightened. 
  • Re-attach the spark plug wire. 
  • Rinse Repeat

Air Filter

You don’t even need tools to complete this one. Your air filter will need to be replaced every year or every 12,000 miles. It will take you about ten minutes to complete. 

  • Find your filter under the hood
  • It will be in a black box with clips on the side. 
  • Open the case and make a note of which way the filter is fitted, and where it faces
  • Remove the old air filter
  • Place the new one, exactly where the old one was
  • Close the clips
  • Close the hood

Windshield Wipers

How you are going to fit these will differ from car model to car model. But in general, you can follow the steps loosely and have your wipers changed pretty quickly. 

  • Lift the old blades, like you do when you are washing your car by hand. 
  • Remove the old blades
  • Make a note of how the blades attach to the metal arms
  • There might be a tad that you’ll need to press to release the old blades
  • Attach your new blades. Be careful that you don’t bend the wiper arm or scratch your windshield while you do it. 

If you lose your place halfway through, or can’t remember which way they faced, most wiper sets have the instructions on the pack anyway. This is a great time to check for any damage to your windshield too, you can get Advanced Auto Glass to come and take care of it while you are running other maintenance on your car. 

If you think about the fact that the spark plugs can cost less than £/$10 for you to replace, or somewhere in the region of £/$60 to have done at a mechanics the maths becomes easy to do. 

Learning to take care of your car like this doesn’t have to happen overnight, you can work on it slowly, and before you know it, you’ll be able to complete most jobs yourself. 

Alicia Baker
Alicia is a Canadian writer whose enthusiasm for cultural and automotive are combined in her writing. Her background includes links to insurance, finance, and automotive safety.