Our last installment of our do it yourself car maintenance that is easy to learn series goes into some niche jobs that you can learn how to do in under 30 minutes. These maintenance jobs could save you hundreds of dollars, and are worth learning for any car owner! However, it should be noted that these jobs are a little more advanced than parts 1 and 2, and might be best to be left to the experts.
Fuel Filter Replacement
The fuel filter is one of the more critical filters on your vehicle as it will allow your fuel to remain as pure as possible without dealing with gunk or foreign objects wrecking your engine. This is an advanced project, and should only be completed by experienced DIY’ers.
- Relieve the fuel system pressure and locate the fuel pump fuse on the fuse box. If you do not, this could end in an explosion…
- Disconnect the fuel line from the filter and look for two open-ended wrenches that will fit the fuel filter fittings. They will be two different sizes.
- With the two wrenches in place, place a rag or towel over the fitting in case there is still pressure in the system, and fuel starts to leak.
- Hold the wrench that fits the fitting and utilize the other wrench to unscrew the bolt until it comes out of its housing.
- Slide the fuel line off the bolt and set the bolt aside, but make sure not to lose it!
- Repeat the process on the other side.
- Remove the old filter and make sure to be careful as there may be some gas left in the filter!
- Change the fuel filter washers and be careful to ensure that the new ones line up correctly.
- Install the new filter, and you can do the opposite of steps 4 and 5 to complete that process.
- Return the fuel pump fuse and start the car.
Brake Pad Replacement
As with the first job in this part, this is an advanced DIY project, and should only be attempted if you are experienced or are willing to take the time to be careful. Brake pads are generally replaced every 20,000 miles, but you should take a look at your owners manual for your specific model’s replacement timing.
- Jack up the vehicle
- Break the lugs on your tires.
- Remove the wheel
- Remove the brake calliper so that the brake pads slide out through the top of the calliper. The calliper should be at the noon position just above the lug bolts. Remove the bolts on both sides of the calliper and once completed, give a tap to loosen up the calliper from the pads. Make sure to not disturb the brake line, the black hose when removing the calliper.
- Remove the old brake pads
- Replace the brake pads, securing them with retaining clips
- Compress the brake piston with a c-clamp
- Tighten the brake piston until the piston as moved far enough away that the brake calliper will fit over the new pads.
- Re-install the brake calliper and put the wheel back on.
DIY maintenance can save you hundreds if not thousands, and although these are more advanced projects, it never hurts to take the time to learn a new skill that will be able to be used the rest of your life!