While vehicles need regular oil changes and professional maintenance, you can do simple checks and routine details at home. These services may seem basic, but they can make a big difference in how well your vehicle runs and in how long it ultimately lasts. For all the supplies you need, look for the best auto parts store in your area. Major tune-ups are best left to professionals, but there are three car tune-ups you can do yourself to save money.
First, though, what does a tune up consist of? Basic tune-ups include multiple checks and necessary repairs.
- Inspect fuel injectors.
- Check the fuel pump.
- Inspect the fuel filter.
- Check engine and idle timing.
- Check the condenser and points.
- Ensure the PCV, or positive crankcase ventilation, the valve is working correctly.
Unless you are a skilled mechanic, let experts do this detailed maintenance. Between these regular checks, however, you can keep your vehicle in good shape.
Check your engine’s oil level regularly. This simple act can protect your engine and prolong your vehicle’s life. Your engine should be cool before doing this.
- Remove the dipstick (located near the oil cap), wipe it with a cloth or paper towel, and reinsert it.
- Pull it out again to measure the actual oil level, referring to the markings on the dipstick.
- If the level is low, add a small amount of oil through the oil cap.
- Clean the dipstick and reinsert it. Check the level. If more oil is needed, add a little more to get the optimal level.
Checking the oil level regularly is a great place to start with do-it-yourself automobile maintenance.
Check the condition of spark plugs and spark plug wires regularly. Newer vehicles may not have spark plugs and wires. However, if your engine has a remote coil pack or a distributor, you have them. If you have the proper equipment and feel confident about doing this inspection and making repairs, here are the steps.
- Insulator noses on the spark plugs should be grey or tan.
- Using pliers, remove spark plug wires from the distributor or coil pack and the spark plugs with a gentle twisting motion.
- Free the wires from retaining clips.
- Visually check for damage then use a digital multimeter gauge to check the wire’s resistance.
- Apply a small amount of grease at both ends before reinstallation.
- Put the wires back into the clips then refasten them to the spark plugs and distributor or coil pack.
Spark plugs and wires play an essential part in your vehicle’s operation. Regular checks are important.
Windshield Wiper Blades and Washer Fluid
While these components may seem minor, they keep you on the road safely and make all the difference during storms. Replacing worn or loose windshield wiper blades are simple, and the proper model is easy to get. Check washer fluid levels regularly.
If you are not an experienced vehicle technician, you may want to leave full-scale tune-ups to those who are. However, there are many relatively simple things you can do yourself at home to keep your vehicle in good shape. A good auto parts store can provide everything you need to keep rolling for thousands of miles.