Get your car ready for the roads with a tune up.
Have you ever done a car tune up on your own? Even though car repairs can be a hefty expense, even if you’re a novice, there are plenty of repairs and routine maintenance tasks that don’t require expensive tools and years of experience. If you’re willing to spend some time on your vehicle to save money, here are a few things to add to your car tune up list.
Air filter replacement
Your air filter prevents debris from entering your engine, but over time it can become clogged. Replacing it will allow air to flow freely into the engine. Start by identifying the type of air filter needed – it should be in your owner’s manual. Turn off the engine, open up the hood, locate the air filter housing, and take care to replace the filter.
Fuel filter placement
Like your air filter, your fuel filter prevents debris from fouling the interior of your car’s engine. Replacing it can prevent you from experiencing a sudden loss of power while driving. Begin by relieving the pressure in your fuel lines; the easiest way to do this is to remove the fuse that controls your fuel pump while the engine is running. When the engine shuts off, most of the fuel will have been drained from the lines.
Open up the hood and locate the fuel filter. Attach your wrenches to the bolts holding the fuel lines in place; after covering the fitting with rags, twist your wrenches to loosen the bolts. Set the bolt aside and remove the fuel filter once it’s free of the lines. You may need to use a screwdriver to release the filter from its clamp. Replace the old washers with new washers, and then install your new filter, fitting the hoses into place as they were on the old filter. Reattach the bolts. Check for any leaks before starting the engine again. Remember to re-insert the fuel pump fuse into your fuse box before starting the engine.
Changing your car’s oil is the most basic and commonly performed maintenance task. Begin by identifying the type and amount of oil that you’ll need. Put on gloves and appropriate eye protection. Lift the car using your jack stands; you’ll be working underneath your car, so make sure that your stands are sturdy and reliable.
Locate the drain plug for your engine oil and position your oil pan beneath it. Using your wrench or ratchet, twist the drain plug until it comes loose. Drain the oil into the pan. Once the oil stops flowing, locate your oil filter and position the pan underneath it. Loosen the filter by hand and drain any remaining oil into the pan. Replace the drain plug and then install your new oil filter, taking care not to overtighten either part. Finally, open the oil tank valve and pour your new oil into the engine using a funnel. Replace your oil cap when you’re done.
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