In trying to live a more economical life, I get better at dealing with projects that I've been paying professionals to do. In addition to home improvement projects, I've learned I can save a lot by doing some auto repair and maintenance work myself.

Trust me, I am not an auto expert. I dont very mechanically. But I discovered the types of repairs that anyone can handle quickly, easily, and with the lowest costs.

I've decided to keep my car instead of selling it so by taking care of these repairs I've saved quite a bit of dough over the past several years.

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air filter
You need a new air filter for your car every 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. You can pay a mechanic and ditch your car for a day, or you can replace the air filter at home in about ten minutes.

First, find your filter under the hood. It is a black rectangular box that has metal clips on the side. Check your owner's manual if you don't see it once you open the cover.
Open the cover and check that the air filter fits inside. Make a note of the way the candidate is facing.
Remove the old air filter, and insert the new filter just as with the old one.
Remember to close the metal clips when you're done.
This is. For additional long-term savings, you can extend the life of your new air filter by hitting it with some compressed air to remove any debris.

Windshield wipers
The free install only applies if I bought the most expensive blades in the store, so I started changing them myself. You will need new wiper blades after about six months or a year of use. You might be tempted to spend a little more time before asking the mechanic to change it, but you don't have to deal with the danger of streaks while putting off an uncomfortable trip to the auto shop.

The wiper blade setting varies slightly from vehicle to vehicle so you may have to go through a few different steps according to your owner's manual. The process is basically similar to changing an air filter:

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Raise the blades as if you were washing the windshield by hand, and remove the old blades.
Pay attention to how the old blades attach to the metal arms.
On most models, you'll see a tab on the underside of the scanner. Push the tongue to remove the old blade.
Install the new blades, being careful not to bend the wiper arms or scratch the windshield. Line up everything and make sure new things are safe and secure.
If you get distracted or don't remember exactly how the new blades should fit the wiper arm, don't worry. Your new blade package should contain a general set of instructions and a helpful diagram.

Spark plugs
Most spark plugs need to be replaced after approximately 30,000 miles, but check your owner's manual to see if your vehicle is different. While changing spark plugs may seem like an intense job, it is a very simple process. You just need to dedicate some time and be patient. Do not be in a hurry, because you need to install the alternatives in a specific order.

You should be able to locate the spark plugs fairly easily, as they are connected by thick rubber wires.
You'll find either four, six, or eight plugs, depending on how many cylinders your car has.

Remove the wire to the first lighter only. Do not remove all wires at once. Spark plugs are installed in a specific order that they need to be maintained.
Use the spark plug socket and its extension on the ratchet to remove the first spark plug.
Install the new spark plug, manually tighten it at first and tighten with a wrench to fit snugly. Do not over-tighten.
Reconnect the spark plug wire.
Repeat these steps for each spark plug, one at a time. If you buy the right plugs, you won't have to worry about "gaping" the plugs, as they will come pre-defective.

Oil and oil filter
Experts say you should change your oil every 3,000 miles, but with better products and cars that run more efficiently, I think you can change your oil every 5,000 miles. Whichever standard you decide to use, you can save time and money by dealing with the change yourself. Before you begin, consider these precautions:

Never change the oil when the engine is hot. Bless, wait until it cools down, then start. Driving around the block to warm up the car and dilute the oil can lead to a more efficient drainage, which is good news, but you should let the engine cool down before going to work.
You will have to lift your vehicle, so make sure you are comfortable while handling the crane safely.
Now that you've covered security first, it's time to get rid of some of the problems.

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Get under your car and locate the car oil pan. It shouldn't be difficult to find.
Loosen the drain plug and drain all old oil into the oil pan.
Once all the oil has drained, replace the drain plug.
Go back to your engine and remove the old oil filter with the oil filter wrench. (Be careful, because the oil filter also contains some old oil.)
Lubricate the rubber gasket on the new oil filter with some new engine oil.
Fill the new oil filter about two-thirds of the way in with the new oil.
Hug