When it comes to things done outside of the house, a vehicle may be one of the most crucial investments for most families. However, this reliable workhorse takes a lot of beating each year from the general elements. This natural wear and tear will start showing up without regular maintenance and can cause some headaches down the road.
As a car owner, you need to be knowledgeable about basic car care so you can keep your vehicle in tip-top shape all the time. Let’s take a look at some simple DIY repair tips below.
Replacing Wiper Blades
Knowing when is the best time to have your wiper blades replaced is very easy to do. All you need is to press down on the washer button and see if the blades are able to wipe everything clean. If they tend to streak, then you might need to change them.
Auto parts retailers sell a lot of cheap blades, but you might want to get brands such as Bosch and Trico just to be safe. Although they cost more, they have higher-quality rubber which makes wiping better. Aside from that, these brands have higher UV protection as well and will last longer.
There are instructions provided on the package which you can follow. Make sure you have sufficient grip on the wiper arm when removing the old blade as it can lash back at the windshield enough to crack it.
Checking the PCV Valve
Although this may sound complex, the actual process is not. For vehicles that have a PCV valve, owners will have to pull theirs out every other oil change. Most of the time the valve can be found on top of the engine with a vacuum hose connected to it. If you can’t find it, it’s probably not there as some older models don’t have them.
What you need to do here is to slide the vacuum hose off and unscrew the valve. Perform a little shake to test it. If a metallic clicking sound is heard, this means it’s good to go. If there’s no noise or if the sound is mushy, then you’ll need to replace it. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t judge a PCV valve based on its looks – as all valves normally look filthy.
Inspect Your Air Filter
Inspecting your engine air filter is another easy thing to do. All you need is to unclip or unscrew the air filter box retainers and then take out the old filter. To check it, you need to put a strong shop light behind the filter to know how much of the light will pass through. If more than 50% of the light is filtered, you’ll need to have it changed.
Fix any Chipped Paint
Failing to cover up chips in your car’s paint in time will cause it to rust, which will become a big problem later on. Touching the paint up is quite easy as well. You simply have to purchase the paint, get a fine tip paint applicator and wax and grease remover from your auto retail store.
You can clean the chip with the wax and grease remover and then have it dry out. Then you can dip the applicator on the paint and dab it onto the chipped area. Avoid adding too much as the paint will start to drip if you do. Have it dry out for 30 days then apply the wax onto it after.
Fixing Dents and Dings
Various sand paper grits will be required here along with a can of autobody filler, some cream paste and plastic applicators. Begin by sanding the dent to its bare metal using the grit sandpaper. You can then work on feathering the edges once you’re done with that. Use the wax and grease remover next to clean the dents and then mix in the body filler.
By then you can apply a light skim coat to fill the scratches made by the sand paper. Let the initial filler set in and then continue building up the repairs with extra layers not more than ¼ inch thickness for each one. Once it cures, you can use the sandpaper again to smooth it out. You can then apply the cream filler on the area to fill in any holes. Let it cure again and then apply the final sanding.
Once you’re done with that you can paint the area with the touch-up paint you purchased.
Fixing Leather and Vinyl Tears
You can get charged a lot from the upholstery shops to have tears in your leather and vinyl seats fixed. The good news is that you can do this yourself with just less than $20 with a repair kit from your auto parts store. You can practice around to get the right colour mix, and you may end up with a not-so-perfect match when you’re done, but that’s alright. It’s a lot better than having torn seats or getting them fixed for more than $200.
Begin by glueing the reinforcing fabric on the underside of the torn leather or vinyl. You can then start mixing in the heat-set filler that will match your fabric’s colour and then apply it. The next thing you should do is to get a textured mat that closely resembles the fabric’s colour and then put it on the liquid filler. You can heat the patching tool using a clothes iron and then have it pressed on the textured mat.
By then you can take out the patching tool but you’ll need to leave the mat in place until it cools down. When it does, you can go ahead and peel it off.
There is numerous DIY car care repair tricks that you can do on your own right now without having to break the bank. The car maintenance tips provided in this article will surely be useful to car owners who are looking to save up on their expenses while still providing their vehicles the maintenance they need to stay in shape.