Car repairs can be a huge drain on your bank account and are often an expense that not many of us budget for. The UK’s Top 10 Car repairs will cost the average driver over £30,000 in their lifetime!
Car repairs range from small cosmetic dents and scratches to full blown mechanical issues. The trouble is, you never know whether it’s something you can fix yourself or you need to pay a mechanic or a car specialist to do for you.
In a previous blog we wrote about the truth of what it really costs to repair your car to save you from getting ripped off. This time we want to show you how you can repair certain things on your car yourself, to save you even more money.
Here are some simple DIY car repairs that anyone can do.
7 Easy DIY Car Repairs
1. Replace the air filter
You can pay a mechanic through the nose for this but it is so simple that we really recommend doing it yourself. The only cost is a small price for a new air filter and 10 minutes of your time (if that).
● First, find your filter under the bonnet of your car. Check your car owner’s manual if you can’t see it as soon as you open the bonnet to find out exactly where it is located.
● Check and make a note of how the air filter fits and which way the filter faces.
● Remove the old air filter, and insert the new one exactly how the old one sat.
Easy as a, b, c.
2. Change a tyre
Flat tyres can happen anywhere and at any time. It’s a great skill to learn because being able to do this yourself will cost you nothing (apart from the cost of a new tyre to replace your spare!) Also, if you’re in a position where you can’t wait for a mechanic or if you’re in a rural area, it may be trickier to get help – so knowing how to replace a flat tyre can be crucial.
Just don’t forget to replace the spare tyre (as it’s just for temporary use) with a new standard one.
3. Touch up body work
It’s difficult to keep your car looking pristine all the time – it will inevitably pick up scratches and dents that irritate you. While a bodywork specialist could easily sort them out, it’s an easy job that anyone can do themselves and could save you anywhere from £50 up to hundreds (if not thousands for some more complex issues).
Pick up a touch-up kit (available for most popular models and colours) from a local supplier or car shop (such as Halfords) and follow the instructions that should be included with it to apply a covering of paint via a special pen to your scratch.
Just remember that the temperature should be at a comfortable level and the car should ideally be out of the sun and wind so that the paint adheres and dries properly.
4. Remove stains from the car interior.
This is really simple and could save you hundreds!
● Grab a container of hydrogen peroxide, soap/fairy liquid and lemon oil to get rid of stains.
● Mix a couple of drops of soap and oil into the peroxide and with a scrubbing brush work the solution into your carpeting and the seats you want to have cleaned.
● After it sets for a few minutes, wipe up the excess. For very stubborn stains you might need to do a couple of treatments.
Also, peroxide is a bleaching agent. If you have a dark interior you might want to consider using a dilution of the peroxide and testing in an out of the way place before treating your whole car.
5. Inflate your tyres
It’s easy to check your vehicle’s tyre pressure, and you can carry out the check at home free of charge in just a couple of minutes.
● The first step is finding the correct pressure rating for your vehicle. These can be found in your car’s manual.
● To test your tyre pressure, you need an accurate pressure gauge.
● Take off the dust cap on the valve, fix on the pressure gauge and take a note of the result. If your tyre needs extra air, you should inflate it using an air pump at home, or use the facilities provided in many petrol stations. If the tyre is overinflated according to the pressure chart, you can allow air to escape whilst the dust cap is off.
When your tyres are at the right pressure, take off the air pipe, make sure there’s no dirt in the valve, and reconnect the dust cap.
6. Check and refill all fluid levels.
You don’t need to have a mechanic check your fluids, Do it yourself! Refill and replace any fluids that are low.
Here are the fluids that should be checked regularly:
● Engine oil.
● Power steering fluid.
● Brake fluid.
● Windshield washer fluid.
Also, it is a good idea to make a note of any low fluid levels. Check them again in a month. If they are low again you might want to check and see if you have a slow leak.
7. Replace windscreen wiper blades
One of the easiest things you can do is replace your car’s windshield wiper blades.
The rubber begins to break down over time, be it wear from excessive scraping of ice and snow or from the heat of summer. It’s recommended to replace wiper blades once or twice per year, depending on how extreme the weather is.
They become pretty ineffective and almost scratchy when they need replacing so look out for this.
Changing wiper blades will vary from brand to brand, but they all have a simple clasp mechanism with a sliding lock or a button to press to release. Make sure to buy the correct length blades for your car – some require two different sizes or might require a rear wiper, too. Your car manual will have more information on which blades you need and how the mechanism works.
There you have it. 7 easy car repairs that you can do yourself which could end up saving you £100’s if not £1000’s on mechanic fees!
If you have any questions on the above, please ask and we can help.