DIY Car Care

Ah, the open road.  There’s nothing quite like it… except when your car doesn’t work properly.  Fortunately, there are some steps you can take on your own, to keep your vehicle running well.  Here are some things you can do to master DIY car care.

Car Tire Pressure – making sure your tires are inflated properly may seem inconsequential, but doing so will actually help your car perform better overall.  With not enough air in the tires, your car’s engine has to work harder which will affect fuel efficiency as well as the long-term health of the mechanics.  Modern cars have built-in tire pressure sensors (some even for the spare), but if yours doesn’t you can invest in a tire pressure gauge.  Just check inside your driver’s door panel to see how much air the manufacturer recommends for each tire.

Check the Oil – lubrication is key with the moving parts of an automobile.  The dipstick was designed for you to quickly verify if your car has enough oil to function properly.  With your engine off, remove the dipstick under the hood, wipe away any oil, re-insert into the receptacle and remove again to confirm the actual oil level.  If you’re short, reference your owner’s manual to determine what weight of oil your car needs, and be sure you don’t pour the new oil into the same port as the dipstick (there’s another spot for that under the hood).

Check the Windshield Washer Fluid – seeing the road clearly is probably one of the most important aspects of driving safely.  However, if you don’t have enough washer fluid, you’ll find that turning on the wipers might make the situation worse.  The washer fluid tank is usually pretty big, so while you should be good to go with a full tank, you want to keep an eye on it, especially if you have any long-distance trips planned.

Practice How to Change a Car Tire – with the advent of roadside service, changing your tire has become a lost art.  So what happens if you get a flat and you’re out of cell range?

  • Locate and place your tire jack under the wheel in question (don’t jack it up yet though)
  • Locate and have your spare tire on standby
  • Loosen the lug nuts with a lug wrench (don’t remove them completely)
  • Jack up the car and completely unscrew the lug nuts and pull off the flat tire
  • Place the spare tire on the wheel and hand tighten the lug nuts
  • Lower the jack and proceed with fully tightening the lugs with the lug wrench

Now you can feel more confident the next time you roll out.

Ah, the open road.  There’s nothing quite like it… except when your car doesn’t work properly.  Fortunately, there are some steps you can take on your own, to keep your vehicle running well.  Here are some things you can do to master DIY car care.

Car Tire Pressure – making sure your tires are inflated properly may seem inconsequential, but doing so will actually help your car perform better overall.  With not enough air in the tires, your car’s engine has to work harder which will affect fuel efficiency as well as the long-term health of the mechanics.  Modern cars have built-in tire pressure sensors (some even for the spare), but if yours doesn’t you can invest in a tire pressure gauge.  Just check inside your driver’s door panel to see how much air the manufacturer recommends for each tire.

Check the Oil – lubrication is key with the moving parts of an automobile.  The dipstick was designed for you to quickly verify if your car has enough oil to function properly.  With your engine off, remove the dipstick under the hood, wipe away any oil, re-insert into the receptacle and remove again to confirm the actual oil level.  If you’re short, reference your owner’s manual to determine what weight of oil your car needs, and be sure you don’t pour the new oil into the same port as the dipstick (there’s another spot for that under the hood).

Check the Windshield Washer Fluid – seeing the road clearly is probably one of the most important aspects of driving safely.  However, if you don’t have enough washer fluid, you’ll find that turning on the wipers might make the situation worse.  The washer fluid tank is usually pretty big, so while you should be good to go with a full tank, you want to keep an eye on it, especially if you have any long-distance trips planned.

Practice How to Change a Car Tire – with the advent of roadside service, changing your tire has become a lost art.  So what happens if you get a flat and you’re out of cell range?

  • Locate and place your tire jack under the wheel in question (don’t jack it up yet though)
  • Locate and have your spare tire on standby
  • Loosen the lug nuts with a lug wrench (don’t remove them completely)
  • Jack up the car and completely unscrew the lug nuts and pull off the flat tire
  • Place the spare tire on the wheel and hand tighten the lug nuts
  • Lower the jack and proceed with fully tightening the lugs with the lug wrench

Now you can feel more confident the next time you roll out.