DIY Auto Repair: 9 Fixes You Can Do Yourself

Man Repairing Car Engine

95% of American households own a car. Unfortunately, not many of us know how to make auto repairs without heading to the dealership. 

Sometimes, you can’t wait around for help. With this guide, you can discover the nine DIY auto repair fixes you can complete on your own. Don’t wait for an appointment at the dealership or deal with hunting down a mechanic. 

Instead, show off your independence! Completing these repairs on your own can help you save move and time without having to deal with outside help. 

Keep reading to discover nine car repairs you can do yourself. Drive toward a new skill set with these repairs!

1. Brake Pads

Many people feel nervous about messing with their brakes for the first time. However, it’s a simple DIY car repair that many mechanics and specialty brake shops overcharge for. The industry wants you to think it’s difficult so they can make a bigger profit from the repair. 

For this DIY auto repair, you’ll need:

  • A wheel lug wrench
  • Basic wrenches
  • Pliers
  • A jack and set of jack stands
  • A set of new brake pads

First, take off the wheel. Remove the hardware and pull out the worn pads. Then, push in the caliper piston.

Next, install the new pads and reinstall the hardware.

You should be able to replace all four brakes in under an hour, even if this is your first time. Try to check your brakes every 10,000 miles, though they should last between 30,000 and 50,000. 

2. Battery

Battery issues are one of the top 10 technology-related problems we face each year. In fact, 44% more people reported battery failure year-over-year. Batteries are the most frequently replaced component not related to normal wear and tear.

Despite how common battery issues are, many people end up going to a repair shop to replace their batteries. 

Usually, a battery lasts between four and six years. You can check the date stamped on your battery to determine its age. However, you don’t want to wait until your battery starts having issues. 

Otherwise, you could end up in the middle of nowhere with a dead battery. 

First, grab a basic set of wrenches. Then, make sure to remove the cables in the proper order. Remove the negative (black) cable first. Once you’ve installed the new battery, replace the negative cable last.

If you fail to follow the proper order, you could short circuit the positive (red) terminal. 

3. Oil

As you learn how to complete these DIY auto repair fixes, don’t forget to look at your oil. 

When you visit a mechanic, they sometimes add additional costs to your oil change. Some mechanics don’t include the correct amount of oil for your engine or give you a low-grade oil. Plus, mechanics sometimes look at your car to change the oil and then tell you your car has other issues.

Instead of wasting time and money on a mechanic, you can do the oil change yourself. 

First, buy a good quality oil filter and the best oil you can afford. You’ll need:

  • A jack and jack stands
  • An oil filter wrench
  • A drain pan

Most vehicles can last 10,000 miles between oil changes. Make sure to find a car repair manual for your car to determine how often your car needs the oil changed.

4. Spark Plugs

Most extended-life spark plugs can last for 100,000 miles. However, it’s still a good idea to check your spark plugs every 30,000 to 40,000 miles, just in case. 

When it’s time to replace your spark plugs, make sure to have your regular set of tools ready.

You’ll also need a spark plug wrench. 

The spark plug is the part of the engine that ignites the gas. This causes combustion. When the spark plug fails, your gas mileage will drop. You might also have trouble starting your car, too. 

5. Headlight or Taillight

Make sure to complete a regular visual check of your car. You might notice obvious issues, such as your lights failing to turn on. Your lights are essential for clear vision. 

They also alert other drivers of your intentions, such as a plan to turn. Make sure to complete this visual check at least once a month. If one or more of your lights aren’t working, you can replace it yourself. 

Make sure to take your old bulb with you to the store. That way, you can make sure you have a perfect match. When replacing the light, make sure not to touch the glass with your bare hands. 

Otherwise, grease from your fingers could cause the bulb to burn out prematurely.

6. Windshield Wipers

Don’t get caught in the middle of a storm with weak or broken windshield wipers. Like many of these basic car repairs, this one is easy to do on your own. 

The instructions are usually included on the wipers you purchase. Make sure the wipers match the make and model of your car. The old wipers should slide right out, allowing you to slide the new ones in. 

7. Air Filter

As you learn these DIY auto repair fixes, don’t forget to check your air filter. For most cars, you’ll need to open the hood and turn a few screws. 

Then, open the air filter housing. There, you’ll swap the old filter for a new one. Then, replace the screws. 

Changing your air filter on your own will save you a lot of money. 

8. Chipped Windshield

Did a rock recently chip your windshield? Don’t head to one of those “fix it free” places. Those shops usually operate through your insurance company. 

Instead, purchase a windshield repair kit online. 

Then, dig out the loose glass with the pin. Clean the glass and the surrounding area thoroughly. Then, you’ll need to stick a device into the windshield to form a seal around the rock chip. 

This process will take less than an hour.

9. Tire Pressure

Don’t neglect your tires. This is one of the easiest DIY car repair fixes. First, use a tire gauge to check the tire pressure. You can determine your car’s recommended tire pressure on the inside of your driver side door frame.

Once you have a reading, fill your tires with air until they reach the right pressure level. Easy!

An Easy Fix: 9 DIY Auto Repair Fixes You Can Do Yourself

With these nine easy DIY auto repair fixes, you won’t have to visit a dealership or mechanic for every issue. Instead, you can teach yourself how to take care of your car on your own (and save money in the process).

Explore our Free Car Repair Books today for more helpful DIY fixes.