Car maintenance: The little jobs you could handle at home

Cars are now an essential part of our lives and most of us would be really stuck without one. Whether it is driving to work, dropping kids at school or doing the grocery shop, our cars are important to help us get through each day. With this in mind, it is important to care for your car and keep it in good condition. This will help it to work as intended and not break down. We all know how much of a pain being without transport is and this is what makes caring for your car so essential.

Many people automatically assume that this means heading to their local garage or dealership each time they spot something that needs fixing for auto body repairs. While this is true for big jobs or specialized ones, it is often not necessary for smaller jobs you could handle at home. Taking care of these sorts of tasks not only saves you money and builds up your skillset but also means you are never without your car when it is in the garage being worked on.

But what are the most common small maintenance jobs to handle at home?

Repair small scratches

Scratches to their car’s paintwork is unfortunately a very common issue for most owners. From stones bouncing up as you drive along to someone scraping the side with a shopping trolley, we all know how annoying it is. If you notice a small scratch, don’t head to the dealership right away. There is in fact every chance you could deal with this issue at home. For an easy way to repair damaged paintwork, scratch repair products are now available to buy. These products are quick, safe and easy to use – you just apply one coat out of the bottle to the affected area and gently rub it in. When done, the paintwork looks brand new and showroom ready.

Fit new headlamps

As all drivers know, properly working headlamps are essential to all cars. They must be working correctly to legally drive your car on the highway when their use is required. The goods news is that this is an easy job to do at home if you spot that one of the bulbs is blown. Once you have purchased a new bulb (check the owner’s manual if you are not sure which model you need), find the bulb holder under your hood for the lamp that is out and replace the bulb. Test all the lights afterwards to ensure that all are working as they should.

Replacing wipers

Another important element in any car is the windshield wipers. These allow you to clear your windshield when driving and also to drive safely in the rain or snow. Over time though, they will degrade so if you notice yours are not working properly then you need to replace them. A new set is not that expensive and this is one job that anyone can complete at home. It is as simple as taking the old wiper off the arm and then fitting the new one in its place. Just remember to note which way the old wiper was fitted before you take it out so you can put the new one in the same way.

Oil and filter

Changing your oil and filter when needed is important to keep your engine running smoothly and to stop it getting blocked with sludge. To find out when this is recommended for your model of car, look at your owner’s manual. This is certainly a job you could carry out at home but just make sure you do it when the oil is cold. You will need to jack your car up so make sure you can do this safely and on a level surface.

Once the car is jacked up, locate the oil pan underneath and take out the plug to drain the old oil into a container. Be sure to put the drain plug back in correctly but do not overtighten it. Remove the old oil filter and then fill the new one to about two thirds of its capacity with fresh oil before fitting it in place. All that is left to do is to put the required amount of new oil into your engine via the oil filler cap under your hood and you are good to go.

Save time and money

As the above shows, there are in fact lots of small jobs you could do at home on your car. All are pretty easy to carry out and do not cost lots of money to do yourself. It will certainly be cheaper than taking it to the dealer. By keeping on top of these small jobs as they come up, you will also be helping to ensure your car stays in the best roadworthy condition. Finally, don’t forget to check the tire pressures regularly! Happy motoring.

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