Over the years, as we have become busier and more ‘connected’ people, many of us have lost touch with the basics, particularly when it comes to our motors. Indeed, DIY car maintenance is seen by many drivers (particularly younger drivers) as a completely alien concept.
There is a genuine financial and emotional benefit to getting your hands dirty, though. The amount you’ll spend on labour at an average mechanic could be over £100 per hour when many of the jobs they will be doing could be achieved for a fraction of the cost at home and will take you only a few minutes to accomplish once you know what you’re doing.
So, to get you started, here are five incredibly simple car repair jobs that anyone can do themselves.
1. Swapping out the windscreen wipers –
Starting with perhaps the most basic of all repairs, all you’ll need to replace worn-out wipers with brand new ones is the wipers themselves and a screwdriver.
2. Change the tyres –
A pretty fundamental repair, you might think, but 75% of millennials are unable to change a car tyre. Of course, you should always have the right equipment (spare tyre and a jack, as well as a basic toolkit) stored in the boot and/or glove compartment in the event of a flat tyre. However, if your car is particularly large and heavy, you might need to find a garage with a hydraulic jack to take the extra weight.
3. Bulb replacement –
If your headlights or taillights have burnt out, you shouldn’t need to head to a garage to have them replaced as long as the lights themselves are not sealed. You will, however, need to ensure that the bulbs are compatible.
4. New spark plugs –
This is perhaps one of the most simple and cost-effective ways of improving your vehicle’s fuel consumption, not to mention how well it drives. Spark plugs are cheap and very simple to replace as long as you know what you’re doing. Indeed, head to YouTube and you’ll know how to replace a spark plug within minutes.
5. Changing the oil –
As long as you take the necessary precautions then changing your oil doesn’t have to be a daunting task. First, ensure that you are working at least two hours after your car was last operational, as otherwise, it can be incredibly hot and quite dangerous. All you’ll need (besides the oil itself) is a decent quality oil filter, a drain pan and an oil filter wrench. There are hundreds of videos online walking you through the process and you’ll probably be amazed by how straightforward it is.
This is only scratching the surface, of course. These might be the most simple of DIY car repairs, but they could represent a gateway towards more elaborate work – from replacing car batteries to flushing the radiator. You’ll not only be saving a small fortune but will get to more intimately know and appreciate your car as a result. And that’s a feeling money can’t buy.