Americans are a people that love their cars. Ever since that first Ford Mustang came peeling off the production line, we have been obsessed with pushing the limits of what “automobile” means. That’s why there are more than 150 million cars on American roads today.
Of course, owning a car isn’t just sunny days with the windows down, listening to your favorite tunes or opening it up on the back roads when you know nobody is watching. No, owning a car is a huge investment. According to USA Today, the average American will spend $9,000 a year on cars they own. The biggest cost? Repairs. From replacing your chassis parts to upgrading your exhaust systems, owning a car equals big money. However, many of those costs can be avoided by learning how to do common maintenance for yourself at home.
Three Regular Repair and Tune-up Jobs You Can Do at Home
- Improve Air Quality by Changing Your Air Filter
- Replace Your Brake Pads
- Change out Your Oil and Filter
Replacing your air filter is one of the cheapest, simplest little fixes you can do at home. As U.S. News and World Report writes, a new air filter will cost you only $15, and by opening your hood and popping open the air filter container, it’s truly as simple as pulling the old one out and putting the new one in. That’s it. No labor costs.
Changing your brake pads at home can seem like a daunting task, but by finding discount auto body parts online and reading this guide, you can make it both cheap and easy. After removing your hub cap and tire from your wheels, unscrew your caliper. After removing the older brake pad, wiggle your new one into place. Simply replace the caliper, pump your brakes to build up pressure, and replace the hub cap and tire, as Lifehacker details. At $25 per brake pad, this is a cheap fix you can do at home, especially if you buy discount auto body parts.
For $30, you can replace your oil and the oil filter. Drive your car for a few miles to warm the oil in the pan. Next, jack your car up enough so that you can fit under it and let the vehicle come to rest on jack stands that are rated for your car’s weight. Never go under your vehicle when it is just on a jack. Unscrew the oil filter and remove the bolt from the oil pan, allowing it to drain fully into a basin. Once it is drained, install the new filter and add the recommended amount of oil to your car through the engine compartment.
Between learning these techniques and looking for discount auto body parts with a reputable supplier of auto parts online, you can drastically reduce the amount you’re spending each year on your vehicle. That’s extra money you can put into the tank, and a few extra places you can go to in your favorite vehicle.