Tips from Used Car Advisor

Car Advisor Tamotsu Todoroki

Hi, this is Tamotsu Todoroki. I am a car advisor of
I write an online column every week to take care of your vehicle. My column is all about something useful and practical for your vehicle. Please have a look once to keep your car in good condition.


5 Easy DIY Car Maintenance - Vol.86

Owning a car is a wonderful thing - You don't have to walk anywhere, you don't have to wait for the cab or a friend to pick you up. Yet, like everything else, it has its fair share of downfalls. Like a faithful pet or a beloved child, your car needs proper care. While it will require a few repairs every now and then, it will always be in need of constant maintenance.

Now, going to a mechanic and waiting for him to fix your car is really something no driver enjoys. What's worse is that it costs a pretty penny on each visit to the mechanic. So, why not try to do it yourself? Of course, you can't fix the whole engine yourself, but there are many small tasks you can easily spare a Sunday on.

Let us share with you 5 easy car DIY maintenance tips that will save you a trip to the auto repair shop.

Change Your Wiper Blade
Your car is needs maintenance during the climactic and seasonal changes. You need to get your wipers working before the rainy season starts.
The Process - First you have to pull the blades upright and take a look at the midpoint. You will find the blades hinged into the metal body of the wiper arm. There is a release pin right there. Use a screwdriver to pry it up. The blade will easily slide out of the crook. Insert the new blade in the same manner the old one was inserted. Push it until it gets locked. You can also fill the windshield water reservoir which is located under the hood.

Replace the Air Filter
You need to keep your air filter in good condition in order to keep your car running efficiently and economically. Air filters need to be replaced twice a year.
The Process - Get some help from the car's manual or the internet to know where the air filter lies in your car. It is normally covered with a plastic shroud which you can easily take it out by flipping the plastic clip or loosening the screw. Remove the cover, take out the old one and place the new one in the same position and you are done.

Check Brake fluid
Car fluids are to a car what blood is to the human body. This includes battery fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and coolant fluid. So, you need to keep a check on how clean and well it flows.
The Process - For the brake fluid, first you will have to locate the master brake cylinder. Remove its cover and check if it's filled up to the FULL mark. If not, use a funnel to carefully pour some brake oil. It is better to keep it a quarter inch below the mark. Avoid spilling

Replace the Battery
You simply cannot drive your car with a dead battery. So, if one day you just wake up to find out that its dead. Simply, get a new one.
The Process - Lift the hood and find the battery. It is usually conveniently located. You will see two cables attached to the battery. Black is for the ground and red is the positive pole. You will need an adjustable wrench, which is easily available at your home or neighbor's. Disconnect the black one first and then the red one. Lift the battery and keep it carefully aside. Clean the cables and the terminals, place the new battery in the same position. Now attach the red one first and the black one later. Try starting the engine once again!

Checking tire pressure
Only a few people realize that day-to-day weather changes can actually affect tire pressure. You should keep a check on it to ensure the safety of your family and yourself.
The Process - It is easy and inexpensive. All you need is an investment of hardly $15 to $20. That's enough to buy a pressure gauge. Insert the pressure gauge into the valve stem of your car's tire. Get the reading and compare it to the recommended pressure for your car. It is described in the manual and sometimes written behind the gas-tank flap. If the pressure is lower, visit the nearest gas station before setting off for work.