CAR REPAIRS YOU CAN DO YOURSELF
a car can sometimes be expensive. According to data collected by mechanics, the
cost of maintaining a car over the course of its ten-year life ranges between a
modest $5,500 for a Toyota to a staggering $17,800 for a BMW.
Many car owners, however, don’t realize there’s often no need to spend high
mechanic charges; there are many repairs that they can quite happily handle themselves,
avoiding high labor costs in the process.
following are some of the repair work we at Citi Auto Group
feel many of our customers are able to do themselves, without the help of a
Repair A Chipped Windshield
nothing more annoying than driving along, only to hear that characteristic
“click” noise as the vehicle in front of you chips up a stone which strikes
your windshield. A chipped windshield is a liability. That chip can soon
develop into a crack which means replacing the windshield itself, and that can
be quite costly.
Most people automatically
go to one of those windshield repair companies; you know, the ones that say that
the chip in your windscreen needs fixing right now, all paid for by your insurer.
There’s only one problem with this; once your insurance company gets charged by
the repair company, they may increase your premium, meaning that you could end
up paying more indirectly than you would have if you’d just gone to the
windshield repair company without the insurance company involved.
news is that you can buy and use your own windshield repair kit for under $15. Some kits cost under
$10, which is a lot less than you’d pay if you went to a window repair company.
The kits themselves are pretty self-explanatory. They come with a pin to dig
out any loose glass, as well as a pump which pushes resin into the crack,
forming a seamless repair. The whole process takes less than an hour, and
before you know it, your windshield is back to normal.
Replace Your Air Filter
will suggest having your air filter replacing when you have the car in for an
oil change. Drivers think that this is a complicated process, but all it
usually involves is opening up the hood, finding the filter, taking out the old
one and putting in a new one. No specialist skills required, usually all you
need is a pair of pliers.
If you do go
have a mechanic replace it, you can often pay well over $100, but if you do it
yourself, the labor is free and the parts from a retailer usually costs around $25, depending
on the manufacturer. To access the old air filter and replace it, all you need
to do is open the hood, unscrew a few bolts, take out the old filter and
replace it with the new one. The whole process is usually over in around 15
minutes, and pictures showing where the filter is located are usually in the
manual, or you can easily find them online.
Change The Spark Plugs
got a new car, it’s likely that you may never have to replace the spark plugs.
If, however, you drive an older vehicle and it’s approaching the 100,000-mile
mark, that would be a good time to replace them. If you go down the traditional
maintenance shop route, this is something which can cost hundreds of dollars.
changing the spark plugs might sound a little daunting, it’s not very hard to
do, it’s actually surprisingly easy, and pretty much anyone who can handle a
wrench can do it. To perform this repair, you’ll need a special tool called a spark plug wrench. Although this tool will last you a
lifetime, it’s also relatively inexpensive - around $10 for a basic one. Spark plugs themselves are also quite cheap; a
non-racing set shouldn’t set you back more than $30. Instructions are easy to
follow, and readily available on the internet. Just make sure you replace them
one at a time, so you don’t get the wires in the wrong sequence. So, if you replace
the plugs yourself, you can expect to save a good amount of money.
Replace The Battery
Got a dead
battery? There’s no need to call out your mechanic, and using your road service
plan is fine if all you need is to get the car Jump started. Batteries usually
last between four and six years, so there’s a good chance that at some point,
yours will stop working and you’ll need to replace it. Service centers and the
road service companies charge often charge as much as $200 to replace a
battery, but given that batteries themselves are often only cost around $100 or
so, you may be paying as much as $100, or more, for a service you could quite
easily do yourself.
You’ll need a
few tools to perform the replacement, which you probably already have. First,
you’ll need the appropriate wrenches for undoing the mounting bolts. And
secondly - and perhaps most importantly - you’ll need to be careful about the
order in which you disconnect the cables running to the battery. You must remove
the black, negative cable first when taking the battery out. And you must
replace the same cable last when installing the new battery. If you don’t, you
risk shorting out the electrics in your car.
Install New Brake Pads
brake pads have worn out, you’ll hear a whining or scraping sound every time
you depress the brake pedal. Driving with worn brake pads will eventually cause
wear to the brake rotor, something which is much more expensive to replace.
worn brake pads, you’ll need a jack, some jack stands, a wheel lug wrench, a
set of basic wrenches and some pliers. You should always replace both front or
rear pads at the same time. First, jack up the car and place jack stands
underneath it to prevent it from coming down on you. Then take one wheel off,
pull out the caliper, remove the worn pads and replace them with the new ones. Then
you replace the caliper, making sure that it’s connected to the mounting
hardware correctly. Then repeat the process for the other front or back wheel.
would usually charge around $250 or more for this job. However, new brake pads only cost around $30 - $50, meaning
that you could easily save more than $200 if you do the work yourself. Your new
pads should last about 50,000 miles, depending on how much hard braking you do.
We hope you
find this information helpful, and that you can save money maintaining your new
Auto Group car.