The cost of car repairs can be a huge strain on your bank account, and they are often an expense we are unable to budget for. It is estimated that the average driver will spend thousands of dollars on car repairs in their lifetime.
From minor cosmetic damage to major mechanical problems, there are many types of car repairs available. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to know whether what you need to fix is something you can repair yourself or it is something you need to pay a mechanic or a car specialist to fix for you.
To keep all types of vehicles functional and safe throughout their lifetime, they require the same level of maintenance every year. There are many types of car models, makes, and ages that need service repairs, so knowing what these are, and if you can do them yourself, is helpful.
Check them out below!
Replacing Car Parts is Expensive
There’s no denying that motorists everywhere who take their vehicle for a car service have to pay for repairs they weren’t expecting. For some of us, it may even feel like we’re getting ripped off. This is especially true if we are not familiar with car parts and maintenance.
Here is a breakdown of the most expensive car parts that need to be repaired or replaced.
- Mass airflow sensor- approximately $25 for air filter, and $400 for MAF sensor replacement.
- Transmission- approximately $1,000 to $2,000 for repair and $4,000 for replacement.
- Car cylinder- approximately $8,000 for repair.
- Electric car battery- approximately $150 per kWh for replacement.
- Engine block- approximately $1,000 to $4,000 for replacement.
- Electric car key- approximately $250 to $750 for replacement.
- Camshaft- approximately $1,500 to $3,000 for replacement.
- Air conditioning compressor- approximately $200 to $600 replacement.
- Hybrid car part- approximately $4,000 to $7,000 for replacement.
- Head gasket- approximately $1,000 to $2,000 for repair.
It doesn’t matter what make or model of the car you own, from the most reliable to old or new, a repair can be expensive. The thing we all want to know is how much it’s going to cost to fix the problem, whether it’s caused by bad driving, poor manufacturing, age, or mileage.
It’s always useful to have an idea of what to expect before heading down to the mechanics.
Considering the costs of these car part replacements, it’s a good idea to learn what can be fixed yourself if any of the above issues occur.
- Perform an Oil Change
Oil changes are one of the most common car repair services. To keep your vehicle at peak performance and preserve its lifespan, a routine oil change is crucial. The oil acts as a cooling lubricant and can be restored by refreshing the oil and cleaning or replacing the filter it passes through.
Regular oil changes are essential for every engine. The oil in your car helps keep the different components of your engine moving smoothly and efficiently while minimizing friction. To keep your engine healthy, you will need to change the oil from time to time as the oil gets dirty.
Some engines can go 7,000 miles or more between oil changes, but most modern cars recommend changing the oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.
How to change your car’s oil involves a few basic steps.
- Drain the oil by replacing the oil drain plug.
- Remove the oil filter and empty it.
- Reinstall the oil filter and drain plug.
- Pour in fresh oil.
There is nothing better than repairing common car issues, such as performing an oil change and saving money in the process.
Do you know when to have your next oil change? Mansfield specialists known as The Torque Team recommend getting frequent checkups to avoid delaying necessary oil changes. Also, do your research to know how often your manufacturer recommends you change your oil by consulting your owner’s manual.
- Maintain and Change the Tires
A flat tire can happen anywhere and at any time. The fact that you can do this yourself will make this a really appealing skill since, other than the expense of purchasing a new tire, it will not cost you anything.
The only point of contact between your vehicle and the road is its tires, so replacing or repairing them before they suffer excessive wear or damage is advisable.
It will be even more helpful if you know what to do to extend the life of your car tires.
Rotate Your Car Tires
Most tires become flat after hitting an object or being punctured, but it’s also possible that simple wear and tear is to blame.
As a general rule, rotating tires every 5,000 miles – the same time you perform an oil change will suffice. Maintain your tires properly by rotating them according to your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations.
Before you begin, you need to know what pattern you should use when rotating your tires. The rotation of tires depends on a variety of factors, one of which is whether your car has directional or non-directional tires.
Directional tires feature a directional tread pattern that’s specifically designed for either the left or right side of the vehicle. For your reference, on the sidewall of tires, there are arrows or triangles indicating which way the tire should be turned.
If you have directional tires, just swap the right front tire for the left front tire and vice versa.
Non-directional tires have a tread pattern that allows them to be mounted on wheels for any direction of rotation. When you rotate your tires, you can exchange which side is on.
Use the cross pattern if you have non-directional tires.
The front tires of rear-wheel-drive cars should be moved to the opposite sides of the rear wheels. Left-front tires should be moved to the right rear and right-front tires to the left rear. Rear tires should be moved straight ahead.
You should reverse the above procedure on front-wheel drive vehicles. The rear tires should be positioned opposite the front tires, and the front tires should be straight back.
How to Rotate Your Car Tires
- Put the car in the brake position.
- Loosen the lug nuts on the tires. Remove them once the car is elevated.
- Place a jack stand or cinder blocks underneath each wheel after lifting it up with the car jack.
- Tires should be removed and rotated according to the pattern for your type of tire as discussed above.
- Lower the car from the jack stands, and tighten the nuts back into the tires.
Inflate Your Car Tires
Control, speed, and fuel efficiency can suffer without properly inflated tires and weather-appropriate treads. So if you run over something sharp, notice a leak, or if your tires are simply worn out, it’s always a good idea to get your tires patched quickly.
If your tire is worn out or damaged, it can blow out while you’re driving.
Change Your Car Tires
Knowing how to change a tire is a useful skill to have, especially if you find yourself stranded in an area that is not within the reach of a mechanic, or if you do not have the time to wait around for help.
- Unstick the wheel nuts.
- Use a jack stand to raise the car.
- Remove the lug nuts and the tire.
- Put the spare tire on.
- Wrench the wheel nuts back in.
- Lower the car, and ensure the wheel nuts are fixed in place.
In case of another dreaded flat tire, don’t forget to replace the spare tire with a new standard: you never know when you’ll need it again.
- Worn Brake Pads
It is imperative to maintain brakes properly and take care of any problems that might arise long before they fail because brakes naturally wear down over time. It is possible for manufacturers’ defects to lead to brake pads and rotors wearing out more quickly than they would normally do.
You should never underestimate the importance of the brakes on your vehicle for your safety while you are driving. It is one of the most important components of the vehicle. In many cases, car accidents are caused by brake failure, so you should always make sure that your car’s brakes are in perfect working order.
Fortunately, changing brake pads is not much harder than changing a flat tire.
- Loosen the lug nuts of the wheels.
- Jack up the car.
- Take off the wheels.
- The slider bolts need to be removed.
- Replace the old brake pads with new ones.
- Secure the slider bolts and the wheels.
That’s it, fresh and secure brake pads that save you time and money.
- Replace the Wipers
Among the safety system components of your car, windshield wipers get the least attention. Don’t compromise your safety or risk damage to your vehicle if they fail during heavy rain or snowfall.
Windshield wipers need to be replaced when they become damaged, and you should keep them in perfect condition at all times. This is a simple and easy fix that could save you money in the long run.
Old wiper blades leave streaks that make visibility difficult. You may even scratch your windshield with them. If possible, test your blades every month with wiper fluid to ensure they still work, even during the warmer months, and replace them at least once a year.
- To replace your windshield wipers, follow these simple steps:
- Lift the wiper arm off the windshield.
- The wiper blade can be removed by depressing the small tab.
- Align the new wiper blade with the arm and push it tightly into place.
Easy right? This simple procedure could save you potential heartache in the future.
- Changing Spark Plugs
Does everyone know what a spark plug does exactly? A spark plug ignites the gasoline in the cylinder, enabling your vehicle to run. They’re a relatively small component of your car but play a large role in its function.
Spark plugs wear out over time as they are small parts. Depending on your car, they need to be replaced every 30,000 to 80,000 miles.
A malfunctioning spark plug causes your engine to work harder, resulting in inconsistent performance. Make sure the spark plugs are regularly inspected and replaced if they’re not working anymore. If you follow these recommendations, your engine will run smoother and your vehicle will last longer.
If your spark plugs are burned out, follow these basic steps to replace them:
- Find your spark plugs.
- Remove the spark plug wire.
- Remove the defective spark plug.
- Replace the spark plug and reconnect the wire.
Be sure to consult your manufacturer’s guide and conduct the necessary research for your car model before you begin any DIY car project.
- Exterior Touch-Ups
The smallest blemishes or stone chips can ruin your car’s overall appearance, especially if you want to sell it or if it’s precious to you. Not only that but getting them removed may cost thousands of dollars.
It’s difficult to maintain the appearance of your car all the time, as it will inevitably develop cosmetic flaws that annoy you. Fortunately, it can be easily fixed by anyone and can save you a lot of money.
You can purchase a touch-up paint kit online or at your nearest car shop. A usual kit will include instructions, and paint for the most popular car colors and models.
- Gently sand the scratch.
- Clean the area.
- Apply the paint.
- Use the paint to polish the area, then wash it.
- Seal the repair by waxing the area.
- Flat Battery
A dead battery is usually caused by an old battery, charging problems, electric drains, or a loose battery connection. Car batteries normally last between three and five years if the car is regularly driven, so it’s beneficial for you to replace them within this timeline, or within 50,000 miles to save any unnecessary stress.
Our car batteries usually fail when we least expect them. In an emergency, finding roadside assistance and contacting a tow truck is usually our first choice. But wouldn’t it save so much inconvenience if you knew how to replace one yourself?
- Remove the battery’s covers.
- Before removing the cables, label them.
- Unplug the negative cables.
- Remove the clamp from the battery post.
- Remove the positive cable clamp.
- Take out all the screws.
- Install the new battery in place of the old one.
- Reconnect the cable clamps.
Save yourself money and inconvenience by remaining aware of cars needing frequent maintenance to remain safe and running effectively. Even when you stay on top of the suggested repairs, like oil and battery changes, problems inevitably arise.
If you’re still unsure of your car’s issue, it’s probably safer to take it to your nearest car shop which can diagnose any issues and give you advice.