When was the last time you took your vehicle in for a service? Maintenance of your car, van, truck, or bike is essential to keep it running well and prevent breakdowns. Most people opt to send the vehicle to a mechanic for service, but it’s an expensive exercise. You can save yourself hundreds of dollars every year with some DIY car repair and maintenance, all the while relying on your trusted Omaha auto repair mechanic for the bigger problems. It’s easier than you think, and you can do all the following tasks in a few hours on the weekend. But if you ever find yourself in a situation where the challenge seems too daunting or you get in over your head, don’t hesitate to give us a call! 

Car Repair and Maintenance You Can DIY

#1 Oil Changes

Let’s start with an oil change. You’ll find the sump plug underneath the engine. Lay a tray on the floor to catch the oil and use a wrench to unscrew the plug. When you pull the plug, watch that you don’t drown yourself in old engine oil.

After the oil finishes draining, replace the plug. Grab a gallon of oil, remove the oil cap on the top of the cylinder head, and pour in the oil. Ensure you’re using the right oil for your car and the right amount. If you’re unsure which to use, ask the guy behind the counter at the auto parts store when you’re buying new oil.

#2 Air Filter Replacement

To replace the cabin air filter, open the air box next to the cylinder head. It’s a plastic arrangement with clips holding it in place. Pull out the old air filter, clean the air box or dust and debris, and replace the air filter.

All parts are readily available from auto parts stores such as AutoZone. Give the attendant your model and year, and they’ll sort you out with the right parts.

#3 Change the Spark Plugs

You might need a spark plug wrench to replace spark plugs, and it’s pricy. However, it’s a tool you’ll need for further servicing, so it’s worth the investment. Unscrew the plugs and screw in the new ones.

Changing the spark plugs, air filter, and oil will already greatly improve your vehicle’s performance, and you’ve only done three easy tasks that would have cost you $300 to $500 at a mechanic shop.

#4 Swap Out the Belts

If your car is approaching 50,000 miles, it’s best to change the belts. This is a more advanced task; you’ll need a timing light and the right tools for the job.

It’s a good idea to search for an instructional video on YouTube before attempting it yourself. Once you have the right method and tools, you’ll find replacing the belts a piece of cake.

#5 Rotate the Tires

If your front tires look a bit worn, switch them with the rear tires. You don’t need to remove the tire from the rim; just change the wheels around. Put the rear left on the front right and the rear right on the front left.

This helps your tires wear evenly. If you notice the tread on the inside of the tire is overly worn compared to the outer side, you’ll need to take your car in for professional wheel alignment.

#6 Bleed the Brakes

Next up, the brakes. If the pedal feels soft when you press the brakes, you might have air or moisture in the system or need more brake fluid. Failing to bleed the brakes reduces performance and corrodes the hard lines and calipers.

You’ll only need to bleed the brakes every two years or when the pedal feels spongy. Buy a brake bleed kit and some brake fluid and replace the liquid in the system.

DIY Car Repair and Maintenance

These tasks are easy to complete, with little mechanical or technical experience. Even better, doing these tasks can save you around $150 to $300, depending on your vehicle and the required parts. DIY car repair and maintenance not only empowers you to take control of your vehicle’s performance but also offers a satisfying sense of accomplishment. From simple tasks like changing the oil to more intricate procedures like replacing filters or belts, each effort contributes to the longevity and performance of your beloved automobile. Remember, while DIY maintenance is a fantastic way to save money and learn valuable skills, there are instances where professional expertise is crucial for complex repairs. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or just starting out, keeping your vehicle in top-notch condition through regular maintenance not only ensures your safety and comfort but also nurtures a deeper connection between you and your ride. So, roll up your sleeves, grab your tools, and embark on this journey of hands-on car care – your vehicle will thank you for the extra attention and care you give it.

Dave & Rays Automotive Repair Shop in Omaha, NE

Our team has learned one thing: automotive problems are as varied and unique as the customers who bring them to us. Fortunately, our decades of experience in auto service and repair also mean that our skilled network of professionals is ready to accommodate an impressive scope of automotive issues. Contact us today.

Recent Articles