Win a $250 Gas Gift Card! [Enter Contest Here]

Don't pay the dealership to do these 5 easy DIY car maintenance items

Just because your car needs a repair doesn’t mean that you have to take it to the dealership. Often, dealership repairs are synonymous with being over-priced, and that’s not usually a good thing for your wallet or bottom line. While it’s true that some issues will need to be addressed by outside help, many of the smaller repairs can be done at home. Here are a few maintenance items that you can probably fix without help.

Replacing the engine air filter

You may not think of the air filter as a simple part to replace, but it can be. As with any repair, make sure that the car is off and sitting in a secure, safe position before beginning. Sometimes you may need a couple of tools to make these fixes, and sometimes all you’ll need is your hands. In the case of the air filter, you’ll need to access the air filter housing.

“Remove the old air filter and any debris. Note how the old air filter is installed. You’ll want to replicate this when installing the new air filter,” explains Auto Zone. “Install the new air filter. Match the direction and placement of the old housing. Close the air filter housing and secure it the way it was before.”

Getting a new antenna

It can be easy for a beautifully straight antenna to become a bent, unsightly mess. Or, if you unscrew your antenna for whatever reason and then misplace it, then that antenna will need to be replaced.

“Replacing a fender mount antenna mast is easy,” says Family Handyman. “Just unscrew the remaining portion of the mast and buy a replacement mast at any auto parts store. Replacing a pillar mount antenna is a bit more involved but is still a DIY fix. Disconnect the antenna cable from your radio and connect heavy string to the end. Then unscrew the antenna mount from the pillar and pull the old antenna and the string straight out. Attach the new antenna cable to the string, pull the cable back into the vehicle and connect it to your radio. Then secure the new antenna to the pillar using the screws provided.”

Making an extra car key

Depending on the size of the paint chip, this is a great option for the motivated do-it-yourselfer. Research the type of paint and primer you need, and take care to match the color of the paint perfectly. Also, you’ll need to clean the area properly before attempting to fix it.

“Put a small amount of paint over the primer coat,” suggests Reader’s Digest. “Always test the colour on a piece of paper to make sure it matches. The test will also give you a feel for how much paint to load onto the applicator brush. Apply a second coat about one hour later. Let the paint cure for several days and rub it out again gently with polishing compound to feather the edges of the repair.”

Touching-up chipped auto paint

Depending on the size of the paint chip, this is a great option for the motivated do-it-yourselfer. Research the type of paint and primer you need, and take care to match the color of the paint perfectly. Also, you’ll need to clean the area properly before attempting to fix it.

“Put a small amount of paint over the primer coat,” suggests Reader’s Digest. “Always test the colour on a piece of paper to make sure it matches. The test will also give you a feel for how much paint to load onto the applicator brush. Apply a second coat about one hour later. Let the paint cure for several days and rub it out again gently with polishing compound to feather the edges of the repair.”

Replacing the wiper blades

It’s important to know that when you replace the windshield wipers, most likely you’re just replacing the blades. Otherwise, you’ll need more extensive repairs.

“First confirm that the new blade uses the same hooks as the old, then attach to the arm. You should hear a clicking sound as the new blade locks in place. Gently lower the arm back to the windshield with the new blade before repeating the process on the other one,” explains Car Hop. “Don’t wait until a downpour to see if you did this right. Turn the wipers on and off to make sure they work effectively and don’t come loose. Now is also a good idea to check your windshield washer fluid level and add more to your vehicle if it needs it.”

Order a simple, do-it-yourself key programming kit today. For any additional help, or to ask a question, email help@tomskey.com, or text 801-877-5752.
Sale

Unavailable

Sold Out