How to Repair, Maintain, and Care for Your Car


Our cars are valuable assets in our lives, so we need to take excellent care of them. Not to mention the hefty price tags that come with repairing and maintaining them. If you don’t maintain and take care of your cars, they could break down, and you may have to purchase new ones more frequently.

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Repairing Your Car

If you don’t know how to repair your car, you shouldn’t do it yourself. Always make sure to have someone who knows how to repair vehicles beside you in case you make a drastic mistake. The mistakes you make could potentially damage your car even more, which will cost you more money to fix. While keeping this in mind, here’s how to repair your car:

  1. Grab a toolkit designed for repairing cars. It’s no surprise that you’ll need a wide variety of tools, which you may not have at home. So, grab yourself a fully equipped toolkit that has all the essentials. Depending on your repair, you may need to look for additional tools.
  2. Follow an automobile guide. Since there’s so much to know about repairing cars, you’ll want to keep an automobile guide handy–make sure it’s designed for your car. It should provide all the basic to advanced information you need to make various repairs on your vehicle. To get a guide, you can visit the dealership you bought your car from, an auto parts store, or order one online. Feel free to take pictures of the parts you’re working with, so you know how to reassemble them back later.
  3. Use additional sources if needed. If you couldn’t find everything you needed to know from the automobile guide, you can look to other sources for more help. Simply search for the repair you’re looking to make, and you should be able to find plenty of resources. You should be able to find everything from video guides, step-by-step written instructions, infographics, discussion forums, and more.
  4. File and keep a maintenance record. Filing and maintaining your own maintenance record is a great way to track the repairs done on your car. The record should include descriptions of what was done, the materials used, and when. Make sure to write everything down after a single repair so that you don’t forget anything later.
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Maintaining and Caring for Your Car

Maintaining and taking good care of your car is usually a lot easier than doing any repair. Here are several components you should check up on periodically (refer to your owner’s manual to see when you should do an inspection):

  1.  Engine oil. Use the dipstick or the electronic gauge for newer car models to see what the oil looks like. If it’s dark or muddy, you need to get an oil change.
  2. Fluids. You can usually check the fluids in your car manually, typically with their dipsticks or gauges. See how much washer fluid, engine coolant, transmission fluid, antifreeze, and steering fluid you have left.
  3. Windshield wipers. These are especially important to take care of! Your windshields wipers need to be in top condition at all times to ensure you can drive safely. If it’s rainy, snowy, or icy out, you’ll need your wipers to be able to defrost and make your windshield clear. You should also fill your wipers with sufficient wiper fluid that will help keep your windshield clear during cold and potentially dangerous weather conditions.
  4. Battery. You should replace most car batteries after four years. Be sure to check the acid level every six months, top off the water levels, keep it clean from debris, and ensure it’s warm (especially in cold weather). You can also take your battery to a mechanic to do a battery load test. It’s best to keep your car battery charged as you don’t want to get stuck somewhere with a dead battery. Consider leaving an emergency kit in the trunk of your car to jump-start your vehicle. 
  5. Air and cabin filters. These filters protect your car’s engine and ensure the air quality is clean in the HVAC system. Check your owner’s manual to see when these filters need to be changed. You can also check them manually. If either filter is clogged, musty, or releases an unpleasant odor, replace it!
  6. Heater. Of course, your heater is essential to keep you warm during the cold months. It also helps to heat your engine during the winter and defrosts your windows. So, before winter hits, check if your heater is working correctly. Always start your car several minutes before driving it on the road during cold days.
  7. Tires. Keeping your tire pressure high enough is essential for safe driving. Keep a tire pressure gauge in your car or inspect by walking around and evaluating how your tires feel. It’s always good to do an inspection when you drive over something that could potentially damage or pop your tires. Also, make sure to switch over to winter tires during the snowy and icy months!
  8. Spark plugs. Spark plugs help keep your engine running efficiently, but they need to be replaced once in a while. If your vehicle has difficulty accelerating or starting the engine, you may need to replace the spark plugs sooner. Hearing popping sounds when you try starting the engine is another indicator that you should replace your plugs.
  9. Radiator. You need to keep your radiator filled with enough antifreeze so that the liquid doesn’t freeze or build up. These could lead to leaks or even cause your transmission to fail. Check your radiator once in a while, primarily before winter, to ensure everything looks good.
  10. Washing and cleaning. Taking good care of your car means giving it a nice car wash when it’s dirty. You should also keep the interior clean and remove any stains and garbage to prevent odors from building up. To prevent rust during the winter, wash your car to get rid of salt, sand, and ice that may damage your vehicle and tires.