Car Maintenance Tips to Fix Your Car Yourself

Whether it’s from a lack of time or budget, we’ve all been tempted to skip car maintenance tasks. However, a little maintenance now can save you a lot more time and money down the road. Plus, many do-it-yourself auto repairs are relatively quick and easy. Find out what tasks you can complete by yourself and what you need for your DIY mechanic’s tool kit.

Benefits of DIY Auto Maintenance

Taking your vehicle to the local mechanic can be costly. Even basic maintenance tasks can have hefty repair bills. In some cases, mechanics can charge over $100 per hour for labor. DIY auto maintenance is a popular approach to saving a few bucks. For that reason, many people are doing their own auto maintenance to avoid taking their vehicles to a mechanic. Another benefit of DIY car maintenance is that you can work on the vehicle at your convenience. There is no need to schedule appointments with an auto repair shop. Typically, professional mechanics may take days or even weeks to complete a repair. When you take charge of these jobs by yourself, you can do it whenever you have free time. Working on cars can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience for some individuals. Maintaining a vehicle allows you to work with your hands, develop new skills, and boost self-confidence. For many people, that is another big benefit of a DIY project.

What Does a Basic Car Tool Kit Look Like?

When you have the appropriate tools to perform basic DIY car repairs and maintenance, it can be a cost-effective and time-saving option for you. A basic automotive tool kit typically includes wrenches, sockets, screwdrivers, pliers, a tire pressure gauge, a funnel, and other essential items needed for routine auto work.

What Are the Most Common Auto Issues I Can Fix at Home?

Most of these problems can be resolved with simple tools you likely already have at home. Here are the top six typical breakdown issues and how you can repair them yourself:

  • Dead Battery: It’s easy to leave your headlights on while running daytime errands. Keep a jump pack or jumper cables in your trunk so you can get going again in just a few minutes.
  • Flat Tire: A flat tire is never convenient. If you don’t have a spare tire, keep a can of tire sealant in your car. You can use it to inflate the tire enough to get to the tire shop. Just be sure to get the tire repaired or replaced immediately.
  • Headlight Bulb: If you keep a spare pack of bulbs in your glove box, changing a headlight bulb is a quick and easy fix.
  • Wiper Blades: Windshield wipers are easy enough to replace. You just look up the year, make, and model of your vehicle to select the ones that fit your vehicle.
  • Hose Leak: If you have a hose repair kit, you can quickly fix a leaking radiator hose and get back on the road.
  • Blown Fuse: If something electrical in your car stops working suddenly, it could be due to a blown fuse. Your owner’s manual tells you where the fuse box is. It should also have a diagram to show which fuse will power which components. When you need to replace a fuse, use one with the same amperage rating to avoid further damage.

Safety Tips for DIY Auto Maintenance

When working on your car, you need to wear the proper equipment, such as a dust mask, eye protection, and gloves. Before starting any repairs, make sure to check the manufacturer’s manual. This book is a valuable tool to help you make your repairs properly and keep you safe. While you may want to work alone, having a spotter to help is also important. This person can help if you need assistance or have an emergency. Finally, if you need to jack up your vehicle, always use the right equipment and know the jacking points of your car.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do you want to start working on your vehicle? Take a look at these questions to help you build your DIY car kit.

What Is a DIY Car Maintenance Kit?

A DIY car maintenance kit is a collection of tools and supplies. These items can be used for performing basic automotive maintenance and repairs at home. You can purchase them preassembled or assemble your own kit based on your specific needs and your car’s make and model.

Why Is It Important to Have a DIY Car Maintenance Kit?

Whether working on the car’s body, wheels, or engine, you need the appropriate tools to help with those maintenance tasks. For those who are new to basic automotive maintenance, having the right tools is beneficial. You always want to handle those maintenance tasks by using the correct tools for the job.

What Are the Essential Items to Include in a DIY Car Maintenance Kit?

Here is a list of tools that should be part of any car owner’s toolkit. When you have these tools on hand, you can save both time and money by being able to do basic repairs yourself. Basic tools to keep at home include:

  • Breaker bar
  • Impact wrench
  • Socket set
  • Screwdrivers
  • Torque wrench
  • Pliers and wire cutters
  • Rubber mallet
  • Lubricants and cleaners
  • Multimeter
  • Ramps and a floor jack

If you would like to change your oil, here are the additional tools you need:

  • Oil drain pan
  • Container for used oil
  • Gear wrench
  • Oil funnel

Items that are helpful to keep in your car include:

  • Portable car charger
  • Latex gloves and grease remover
  • Jack stands
  • Factory service manual
  • Work light
  • Zip ties

These tools give you a good starting point to complete a DIY car maintenance job. You may want to add more items to your kit when you become more familiar with your vehicle. However, these tools will help you easily finish those simple maintenance tasks.

Can I Create a DIY Car Maintenance Kit on a Budget?

Yes, you don’t have to spend a fortune to create your own DIY kit for your vehicle. Most of the tools can be found at your local hardware store. Whether you need socket wrenches or oil pans, we carry these products at an affordable price that can help anyone build their DIY kit.

Where Can I Buy the Items for My DIY Car Maintenance Kit?

True Value offers a large selection of the tools and supplies that you need for all DIY repairs.

How Often Should I Check and Replenish My DIY Car Maintenance Kit?

After every job, you will want to check and replenish your car maintenance kit. Sometimes, forgetting that you may have used up the last oil filter or pair of gloves can be easy. The last thing you want is to open your kit and discover that you are missing a crucial item necessary to complete the task.

Now that you know some of the basics of a DIY car maintenance project, you are ready to tackle these jobs on your own. Find a store near you to gather all the tools and supplies you need to start working on your vehicle.