Stemming from our earlier article, here is part two of our do it yourself car maintenance that you can complete and learn in under 30 minutes. These skills will help you not only be more comfortable around your car but might even help your vehicle last a little longer!
Oil and oil filter changes
Naturally, this is one of the classics that you always hear around town, and oil changes are not that complicated. However, it should be noted that you will need to get rid of the old oil, and depending on your location, that can prove to be a little tricky. Generally, it would help if you aimed to change your vehicle’s oil every 3,000-5,000 miles, but your owners manual will provide the manufactures timelines for your make and model. As well, two things to remember, never change your car’s oil while the engine is still hot and you need to own and be able to work a jack.
- Get under your vehicle and locate the oil pan.
- Unscrew the drain plug and drain the pan into a jug or bucket.
- Once the oil is finished draining, re-screw the drain plug.
- Remove the oil filter.
- Lubricate the rubber gasket on the new filter and fill the new filter with about 2/3 of the way with fresh oil.
- Screw in the new filter
- Fill the engine with new oil utilising a funnel.
- Double-check the oil level with a dip stick, and add more oil if needed.
On a hot summer’s day, your radiator will be the only thing between your entire car overheating and a great drive. Radiators are a simple but yet crucial part of your engine, and they require occasional flushing. Generally, you should be looking to flush your radiator at least once every two years, but make sure to consult your owners manual for a specific timeline.
- Make sure the car is cool before beginning.
- Find the radiator drain plug by consulting your owners manual, unscrew the plug and let the coolant drain.
- Replace the drain plug.
- Remove the radiator cap, use a funnel to add the radiator cleaning solution and fill up the rest of the radiator with water.
- Replace the cap and start the engine. Let it run till the engine reaches average operating temperature and then turn on your heaters to full blast for ten minutes.
- Turn off the engine and wait for the engine to cool completely.
- Unscrew the radiator plug and let the cleaning solution drain.
- Re-screw the plug and fill the radiator with fresh coolant.
Fluids, especially oil and coolant, can seem difficult to change, but as you can see they are both decently comfortable jobs to complete. It will take some practice and double-checking steps, but you can quickly learn how to complete both jobs in under 30 minutes! A bonus is the money you will save as the average oil change costs you $45 and the average coolant flush around $75 these days!