3 Car Maintenance Tasks You Can Handle On Your Own

Posted on: 21 December 2016

Some people are more comfortable around cars than others. If you don't consider yourself to be a car guy (or girl), your first instinct at any sign of trouble might be to take your vehicle to the local car repair shop. While there's nothing wrong with taking advantage of professional help, you might be able to save some cash if you were to learn how to handle some of the smaller, regular maintenance tasks that a car needs on your own. Here are 3 car maintenance tasks that just about anyone should be able to handle.

Change Your Coolant

While changing your engine oil is a well-known car maintenance task, that's not the only fluid in your vehicle that needs a regular swap. Your coolant also will start to deteriorate over time. Depending on what kind of coolant you are using, you may need to change it anywhere from every 20,000 to 100,000 miles, with extended-life coolant lasting longer. Unchanged oil can ruin your engine, but unchanged coolant could ruin anything from your radiator to your heater and water pump. You change your coolant in similar fashion to how you change engine oil -- by draining it into a pan from underneath the car.

Remove Corrosion

If the last time you looked at your car's battery was when you needed a jump start 12 months ago, chances are you might have some nasty corrosion across the surface of the battery. Corroded battery terminals make it more difficult for your alternator to do its job and can lead to an electrical problem that might mean your vehicle won't even start. Regularly clean the terminals with some baking soda and water to keep the connection going strong.

Change the Air Filter

Changing the air filter is often seen as a maintenance task that can be put off as it's not absolutely critical. But over time, a clogged filter can cost you money. A clogged filter means your vehicle has to work harder than it should , especially when the air conditioner or heating systems are turned on, reducing your fuel efficiency. Change the filter every 6 months to one year for best results.

You don't have to be a car person to handle some basic maintenance tasks. If you know how to change your engine oil, changing your vehicle's coolant is a pretty similar task. Removing battery corrosion and replacing the air filter are two additional tasks that can likely be handled without a mechanic. But if you just don't feel like you are up to the task, contact a local car repair shop like Southside Auto Repair.