Skip to main content

Sponsored Content

5 DIY Car Care Projects

Dec 07, 2015 04:57AM, Published by Family Features, Categories: Family Features, Family Features Lifestyle




It’s no secret that regular maintenance helps prolong the life and performance of your vehicle, but you may be surprised by how many routine maintenance tasks you can complete by yourself at home. Get in the garage this winter and tackle that cabin fever with these DIY car care projects that can be done all at once and not only save money by helping prevent repair costs in the long run, but also help you save big on service fees.

1. Air Filters
Not only do you want fresh air while you drive, so does your engine. If your air filter gets too dirty or clogged, your engine won’t be able to suck enough air into the combustion chambers. Engine performance will be reduced, especially when you are passing or merging onto a freeway. If an air filter becomes sufficiently dirty and damaged, it could also allow harmful, abrasive contaminants into the combustion chamber, accelerating engine wear.

Changing an air filter requires no more skill than hanging pictures around the house and is one of the easiest DIY car care projects, regularly taking less than 10 minutes to complete. Changing your air filter every 12,000 miles or 12 months, whichever comes first, will provide better engine protection, but give careful attention to seasonal concerns such as fall leaves, debris hidden in dirty snow and road salt which can clog air filters. Designed and constructed with advanced features to capture and hold more dirt to keep engines cleaner in extreme driving conditions, FRAM Tough Guard air filters are ideal for strenuous driving conditions such as idling in heavy traffic, driving on dirty, dusty roads and towing heavy loads, all of which can put heavy strain on the engine. Learn more at FRAM.com and refer to the vehicle owner’s manual for air filter location and specific instructions.

2. Oil
Oil is one of the most vital components of your engine’s overall health. It allows the engine parts to operate smoothly together, removes heat and prevents accumulation of things like carbon and varnish in the engine. Your owner’s manual will guide you to the right oil for your vehicle, but you may need to do some comparison shopping to find the right performance blend for your specific driving conditions and needs. Today, many auto manufacturers tout intervals of 5,000 miles and longer. However, those change intervals are based on using the correct oil and a quality oil filter, which should also be changed when changing the oil. A qualified repair technician can help you determine the best schedule for your vehicle and driving habits.

3. Transmission Fluid
The transmission fluid is another liquid vital to your engine’s proper operation. Gear shifting, cooling the transmission and lubrication are all critical roles that transmission fluid plays, and all that work causes the fluid to deteriorate over time, particularly with harsh driving conditions. Your owner’s manual is a good starting point; it will tell you the change interval and the specifications for transmission fluid. Transmission fluid is highly specialized now and requires a fluid that meets the original equipment manufacturers’ specifications.

4. Cabin Air Filter
A cabin air filter cleans and circulates the air that enters through your car’s ventilation system. Contaminants can enter your vehicle with outside air and become concentrated, exposing passengers to higher levels of dust, dirt and allergens while also potentially limiting the effectiveness of your car’s air conditioner and defrost system, making it important to keep the cabin filter unrestricted. In general, a cabin air filter should be changed every 15,000 miles or once a year, but can vary depending on driving habits. Your owner’s manual may list the recommended service interval for your vehicle, but replacing all of your air filters at the same time is good practice and winter is the optimal season to make a change after catching fall debris and allergens.

5. Spark Plugs
Although many spark plugs are designed to last as long as 100,000 miles, certain conditions can damage the plugs, resulting in engine misfires, poor fuel economy and other malfunctions that affect overall engine performance. These performance issues indicate that at least checking, if not replacing, your spark plugs is in order. In addition, used car buyers should check the condition of spark plugs if no service history is available.

Replacing spark plugs is a quick job requiring few tools, but it’s important to change one at a time so you do not mix up the plug wires. Take note of the condition of the spark plugs you remove: they should be slightly dirty, but a white or oily appearance may indicate other problems. Choosing the right plugs for your vehicle is as simple as talking with the staff at your local auto parts store; they’ll be able to point you to the right plugs for your vehicle. Always replace spark plug wires or boots that are worn, cracked or oil-soaked and reference your owner’s manual for more information.

Install an Air Filter Like a Pro
Replacing your own air filter is an easy way to save the time and expense of a trip to the repair shop. Follow these simple steps from the experts at FRAM to be on your way to cleaner air in your vehicle in just a few minutes:

1. Use proper protective gear.
2. Loosen wing nut or other fasteners to remove filter cover.
3. Remove old air filter.
4. Clean filter cover and housing using a shop vacuum.
5. Install new air filter. Be sure it is sealed around the perimeter.
6. Replace cover and fasten.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images (family loading car and man installing air filter)

Sponsored by FRAM



Family Features Family Features Lifestyle


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Rhythms on the River

    03/30/2017
    05:30PM — 08:30PM

    River Ranch Town Square, 1100 Camellia Blvd., Lafayette. Thursdays, weather permitting.


  • Downtown Alive!

    03/31/2017
    05:30PM — 08:30AM

    Everyone’s favorite Friday night party is back with an all-local lineup! Now you don’t have to ...


  • Festival des Fleurs

    04/01/2017
    08:00AM — 05:00PM

    Gardeners will delight in the wide selection of plants available for sale, including native plant...


  • Preparing for the Citizenship Test

    03/27/2017
    04:30PM — 06:30AM

    VITA (Volunteer Instructors Teaching Adults) presents a free set of classes for anyone who wishes...


  • Preparing for the Citizenship Test

    03/29/2017
    04:30PM — 06:30AM

    VITA (Volunteer Instructors Teaching Adults) presents a free set of classes for anyone who wishes...


  • Rhythms on the River

    03/30/2017
    05:30PM — 08:30PM

    River Ranch Town Square, 1100 Camellia Blvd., Lafayette. Thursdays, weather permitting.


  • Downtown Alive!

    03/31/2017
    05:30PM — 08:30AM

    Everyone’s favorite Friday night party is back with an all-local lineup! Now you don’t have to ...


  • Festival des Fleurs

    04/01/2017
    08:00AM — 05:00PM

    Gardeners will delight in the wide selection of plants available for sale, including native plant...


  • Spiritual Wisdom on Conquering Fear

    04/02/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    "What if the antidote to fear - any fear - lay within easy distance? Would you reach for it o...


  • Preparing for the Citizenship Test

    04/03/2017
    04:30PM — 06:30AM

    VITA (Volunteer Instructors Teaching Adults) presents a free set of classes for anyone who wishes...


  • Preparing for the Citizenship Test

    04/05/2017
    04:30PM — 06:30AM

    VITA (Volunteer Instructors Teaching Adults) presents a free set of classes for anyone who wishes...


  • Great Acadiana Running of the Ducks

    04/05/2017
    05:30PM — 07:30PM

    The 2017 Great Acadiana Running of the Ducks will be held Wednesday; April 5, 2017 from 5:30 pm t...


  • Rhythms on the River

    04/06/2017
    05:30PM — 08:30PM

    River Ranch Town Square, 1100 Camellia Blvd., Lafayette. Thursdays, weather permitting.


  • Downtown Alive!

    04/07/2017
    05:30PM — 08:30AM

    Everyone’s favorite Friday night party is back with an all-local lineup! Now you don’t have to ...


  • Walk For Hope and Family Fun Day

    04/08/2017
    07:30AM — 12:00PM

    Walk For Hope is an annual family oriented event which aims to increase autism awareness while ra...


  • Relay For Life of St. Landry Parish

    04/08/2017
    04:00PM — 10:00PM

    We are Two Steppin Out Cancer at the St. Landry Parish Courthouse Square for Relay For Life. Fea...


  • Preparing for the Citizenship Test

    04/10/2017
    04:30PM — 06:30AM

    VITA (Volunteer Instructors Teaching Adults) presents a free set of classes for anyone who wishes...


  • 2017 Minority Health Awareness Summit

    04/12/2017
    09:30AM — 03:00PM

    Are you an area professional passionate about improving the lives of others? Are you a concerned ...


  • Rhythms on the River

    04/13/2017
    05:30PM — 08:30PM

    River Ranch Town Square, 1100 Camellia Blvd., Lafayette. Thursdays, weather permitting.


  • Journey to the Cross

    04/14/2017
    01:00PM — 08:00PM

    Journey to the Cross: The Prophesy of the King will take place on Good Friday, April 14 from 1pm-...


  • Downtown Alive!

    04/14/2017
    05:30PM — 08:30AM

    Everyone’s favorite Friday night party is back with an all-local lineup! Now you don’t have to ...


 

 

Current Issue