College is expensive, and the bills that accumulate between class fees and books can add up fast. As such, car maintenance is an unwelcome added stress. Mechanic fees can be expensive, and they don’t always fit into the budget. For any substantial issues with your car, you’ll definitely want to see a professional. However, some simpler tasks are possible to do on your own, so long as you’re careful. We’ve listed some of them below, as well as links to more detailed instructions.
1. Windshield Wipers
Cost: $15-$40 per set of two
Though we’ll oftentimes have a mechanic replace them for us when getting an oil change, wiper blades are incredibly easy to replace on your own. As long as you know the type that’s recommended for your car model, you can pick up a pair at most big box stores.
2. Brake Pads
Cost: $40+ per set of four
This task is a bit more labor intensive, as well as a touch messier. However, if you do thorough research, you may find the ability to replace brake pads a handy, as well as rewarding, one.
Cost: $130-$400 per wheel
This is another heavy-duty task, and if it seems too daunting, you can certainly see a mechanic. If you’re up to the challenge, however, it’s a feasible DIY repair job. You’ll need to locate your part number before ordering your rims so that you can be sure you’re ordering the right model.
4. Air Filter
This one is so easy that there’s almost no reason to not do it yourself. While both important and simple, car owners oftentimes overlook this task. Replacing your air filter only takes minutes, and it will make a huge difference in your engine’s performance.
Cost: $30 or less
While changing your oil is an achievable DIY project, make sure to follow the proper safety measures. Do not go underneath your vehicle if it’s supported only by a jack and be sure to wear safety glasses. So long as you’re following the proper safety practices, changing your own oil is a breeze.
We’ve all experienced it—you get into your car one day only to realize that you left your light on and drained your battery. You can usually jumpstart your car when this happens, but there will always come a point that your battery has reached its end. Luckily, it isn’t that difficult to replace, so you won’t have to worry about towing a dead car to the mechanic just to get a new battery.
If you use your car’s manual and wear eye protection, changing a car battery is simple. While you’re at it, learn how to jump start your car and buy jumper cables and/or a jump box to keep in your trunk, in case of an emergency.