Owning a car comes with plenty of expenses, but one of the highest is the cost of maintenance and repair. With the average annual cost of owning a vehicle coming in at just under $8,500, drivers are turning to DIY fixes. Luckily, there are a reasonable number of repairs you can do on your own. Check out these five car problems you can fix yourself to save some valuable cash.
1. A Dead Battery
Whether you left your lights on or your car was left in the freezing cold, everyone runs into a dead battery from time to time. As long as the battery isn’t completely depleted, you can always rely on a jumpstart from a fellow driver.
If you really want a DIY fix, though, invest in a jump pack. These handy-dandy devices allow you to jump start your own vehicle with an external battery pack. Most come with an included charger, too, ensuring you’re always prepared.
2. A Flat Tire
From potholes to loose nails, flat tires always seem to happen at the worst time possible. While you could choose to replace yours with a spare donut or dummy, but there’s an even easier DIY fix that will save you valuable money and time.
Instead of taking your tire to the shop, pick up a can of tire sealant. This solution covers the puncture while inflating your tire, buying you time so you can save up for the repair. Don’t drive on your sealed tire for too long or go over the recommended speed limit, though. Either can cause an accident, causing you to need an attorney familiar in personal injury claims and litigation on top of repairs.
Keep a spare pack of bulbs in your glove box and you’ll never need to head to the shop for this one. Just follow the instructions in your owner’s manual for replacement, and you can easily disassemble the headlamp. From there, just put everything back together after you change the bulb.
4. Wiper Blades
The easiest DIY fix of them all, your wiper blades detach with ease via a small clip. Lift your blades up, detach them, and slip a new pair of blades in. Just make sure you place the larger and smaller wipers in the right spots. If you want, it helps to keep a spare pack in your trunk.
5. A Leaking Hose
Radiator hoses dry out and begin to leak over time. This causes your car to overheat, potentially causing several costly repairs. When you recognize a leak, break out a hose repair kit and you’ll be back on the road in no time.
Give your engine time to cool, then cut out the damaged section of the hose with a knife, making the cut-out section as small as possible. Use the rubber cement in your kit to bridge the gap, clamping the repaired section, and allow it to seal. You still need to head to shop for a full repair, but this can give you the time you need to save up while still driving.