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DIY Used Car Maintenance Checklist

 

used car maintenance

used car maintenance checklist

To keep your used car running at its best, it’s important to make sure it is properly maintained. Routine car maintenance and inspections will help reduce future repair costs, maintain your car value, optimize its performance and extend its life.

Worried about the cost? The reality is you don’t have to spend much on basic car maintenance. There are several repairs that anyone can handle easily and quickly with very minimal expense.

Here are some car maintenance tips you need to keep in mind for your second-hand car.

Air filter

The air filter of your car should be replaced every 12 months. While you can have it done by a mechanic and leave your car with him for an entire day, you also have an option to do it yourself at home in just about ten minutes. Replacing your air filter should be very easy. First, you have to look for the filter under the hood of your car inside the box with metal clips or a wingnut. Open the case and take out the old filter. Insert the new one and make sure you put it the way the old one was placed. Just like that, you are done and ready to close it.

Engine

Your car’s engine is another vital component you should take good care of. Make it a habit to change your engine oil every three months or every 3,000 miles. However, changing oil is something you may have to do more often under certain circumstances like driving in dusty conditions, when you tow a trailer or when you’re always stuck in stop and go traffic.

Refer to your owners manual for the number of quarts needed. Both under filling and over filling can harm your engine. When changing the oil, wait for your engine to cool before getting started. It is also a better idea to go for a short drive to heat the car and loosen the oil to make it easier for you to drain it.

Changing your oil means you’ll have to get under your car and locate the oil pan. Drain the old oil into a oil safe container for disposal, and replace the drain plug after all the oil is drained. Remove the old oil filter in your engine.  Fill the new oil filter with new oil and screw it in. Using your funnel, fill your engine with new oil and use a dipstick to make sure you have added enough.

Changing your oil by yourself may be a dirty job, but it can be very rewarding. This way, you are saving not just money but also time because you may have to do it about four times a year. Be aware of environmentally safe disposal practices, and use them.

Battery

To maintain your car’s battery, you need to keep it clean and keep it secured so that it doesn’t vibrate. The process is very straightforward. You just have to remove the battery terminals and always start with the negative cable. Clean the posts with a professional cleaning product from an auto parts shop. Rinse the product with water and dry the posts with a cloth before replacing battery terminals.

Spark plugs

Most spark plugs need to be replaced after roughly 30,000 miles. You should also check your manual for your specific car model. Changing spark plugs is a very simple process. First, locate your spark plugs. They are usually attached to rubbery wires. Remove the wire to the first spark plug. Take note that you can’t remove all the wires at once. You may need to check the gap on the spark plug, depending on the age of your car and the type of plug installed. Install the new spark plug by screwing it with your hand and tightening it with a wrench. Make sure it’s not too tight, then re-attach the spark plug wire.

Windshield wipers

Changing your windshield wipers is also something you can do on your own. Wipers should be replaced every six months or after one year of use. Changing it should be easy but you may check your manual if there are different steps indicated. The general steps are simple. You just have to lift the blades and remove the old ones. On most cars, a tab can be found underside of the wiper. You will have to push the tab to remove the old blade. When you attach the new blades, make sure that the wiper arms are not bent. Then secure the new ones, line them up and make sure they are tight.

Maintaining your used car shouldn’t be costly and time-consuming. By following these tips, you can save a lot of time and money while making sure your car is properly maintained. If you are thinking about getting new wheels and looking for used cars for sale, please visit The Auto Warehouse.

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