Cars may seem complex to the uninitiated, but if you dedicate some time and patience to understanding how they work, then your car doesn’t have to be a complete mystery to you anymore. While the idea of DIY auto maintenance can seem overwhelming, there are many simple jobs that any responsible car owner can perform by themselves.
Considering that the average car in use today is 10.8 years old, chances are your car could use a little TLC. To be the most responsible car owner you can be, here are some basic DIY car maintenance tips that even the most novice vehicle owner should be able to handle.
Eliminate Bad Odors
Do you have a smelly car, but can’t seem to figure out why? Or perhaps you’ve noticed passengers wrinkling their nose the second the door closes shut behind them? There are a variety of reasons cars can develop bad odors over the years. Fabrics and carpets absorb smells like a sponge, but any vehicle can offend your olfactory senses after a few years of heavy use.
To eliminate bad odors from your car, follow these simple car maintenance steps:
Topping off the antifreeze
There are plenty of fluids your car relies on to run efficiently, and antifreeze (also known as coolant) is one of the most important. Antifreeze coolant liquid keeps your radiator from both overheating and freezing by altering the boiling and freezing point of water. If you’re new to DIY car maintenance, then we do not recommend attempting to replace the antifreeze on your own just yet, a complex procedure known as flush and fill service.
However, if you know what you’re doing, topping off your antifreeze is relatively straightforward, so long as you take the proper precautions. Please note that if you attempt to top off antifreeze while the engine is running — or still hot — you could seriously scald anyone in the vicinity. When in doubt, wait it out!
Check your car manual to see exactly where the radiator is located. In some cars, after you lift up the hood you should see a plastic funnel shaped container off to the side. That’s where the car antifreeze goes.
Replacing a flat tire
All car owners should know how to replace a flat tire, but of course not all car owners do. Because you don’t want to replace your first tire on the side of a busy highway, take the time to go through the motions of this process in your driveway one day (without actually removing the tire, of course).
Pro Tip: With new fuel efficiency standards, carmakers are desperate to cut weight any way they can. That means some new vehicles come without a spare tire! Do not drive anywhere without a jack, tire iron, and spare tire in the vehicle.
As you can see, there are some simple DIY car maintenance tips that will make tending to your vehicle that much easier. While you should still take your car to professionals for regular maintenance, there are many aspects of car maintenance you can perform on your own.
For more DIY car maintenance tips and step by step instructions for replacing your car fluids, visit the Peak DIY Hub.
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