The new year brings a new opportunity for some lasting changes. While it’s always a good idea to work on ourselves, working on our cars can also set you up to have a great year.
When you work on your car, you not only save money, but you also gain experience, learn more about your car, create confidence to do other repairs, and feel accomplished. You’ll also learn how easy some repairs are and wonder why you never tried them before.
Tackle basic repairs
There are plenty of easy repairs you can do that only take minutes. Changing windshield wiper blades, filters, spark plugs, and on some cars the headlights and tail lights, are so easy you’ll wonder why you ever paid to have them done for you to begin with.
If there’s a 1A Auto video for it, do it!
We have thousands of how-to videos to help you do your own car repairs. Unless you’re lacking certain tools (which you can always borrow) or the job seems really advanced for your skill level, why not tackle the repair if we have the video? You’ll see firsthand how easy some of the repairs on your car can be, and you’ll have a guide to help you do it.
Change your fluids
With the invention of fluids like synthetic oil, some cars can run on certain fluids longer. That being said, fluids like oil don’t last forever and need to be changed regularly. Some people like to stick by the “change your oil every 3,000 miles” rule, which isn’t bad advice, especially if you have an older car.
Other fluids, like the transmission fluid and antifreeze, will need to be changed at certain intervals and it can vary depending on the vehicle. Your owner’s manual will have recommended intervals for service dates. Changing your coolant and transmission fluid will keep your engine and transmission running smoothly, which can extend the life of your car.
Wash and clean regularly
Letting the rain clean off your car once in awhile is nice, but if you’re skipping the car wash, you’re not getting that clean coat—a protective layer on the paint that shields from outside elements, without which, your car body would develop rust much quicker.
Bigsplashcarwash.com recommends washing your car 1-2 times a month at the least. This is something you can do at home too, and you’ll have your car looking beautiful with the right protection to extend its life. Washing your car helps clean off all the dirt, pollen, mud, and road salt, and does more than just improve the aesthetics.
Of course, the same also goes for the interior too. Getting a few cleaning agents to take the dirt and grime out of the carpet and seats will create a better feeling while driving your car. If you start neglecting the small stuff, you might start to neglect your car in other ways because “it’s not that nice.”
Get abnormal sounds inspected sooner rather than later
One day you start your car and you hear sounds from the wheels or under the hood that weren’t there before. If you neglect it, you risk wearing other parts down, leading to a bigger and more expensive repair. But if you have a mechanic inspect it, you’ll have an accurate diagnosis, you’ve mitigated the issue, and you can work on fixing it.
Check your alignment every six months
On my car, for some reason it always gets misaligned after a few months. I’m mostly driving on the highway too. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but getting an alignment every six months is better than wearing down the tread faster or changing out a popped tire every six months.
Learn how to inspect your tires
Inspecting your tires for tread life and air pressure can prevent flats. You can buy a simply tool to check their pressure, and it usually costs around a dollar to pump the tires with air at the gas station.