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If you own an older car with lot of miles on it, it may be a challenge to keep it roadworthy and fully functional. After years of use, cars do get worn out and reliability becomes an issue. Maintaining an older vehicle could be an expensive and sometimes difficult task, but it is far from impossible. In case you hate to see your old car sent to a scrapyard or sitting in your backyard, we have compiled 10 interesting and very helpful DIY videos that will show you how to perform regular maintenance procedures and common repairs for your car. Not only will you save a lot of money on labor, you will also learn some useful skills. So, let`s go.
One of the most basic maintenance things is oil change. If you want your engine to perform as it did on the day it left the factory, change oil often and always use manufacturer-suggested brand and viscosity index lubricants as well as recommended oil filters. Changing oil is not a difficult task and it can be done in your driveway or on a parking lot using ordinary tools and equipment. This video by Chris of ChrisFix will show you how it is done with an in-depth and step-by-step approach that will help you even if you’ve never done it.
Changing the wheels
You will not believe how many people don’t know how to change a wheel and thus never did such a simple task. Modern tires are much more durable than the old ones and you can spend years driving without having to take your spare wheel out of the trunk. However, this is one of the basic things you must know and a pretty straightforward procedure. Here is a good video by Allan Stanley of Howdini which will explain how it is done.
Dirty or worn out spark plugs could be the reason why your car is having rough idle, misfires, or stalls, and changing them can restore the engine`s performance and fuel economy. This is why it is important to know how to inspect and change the spark plugs and always have a spare set in the glove box. The spark plugs are not expensive and the whole process is really simple, as this video by Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained will show. Do remember that only gasoline-powered vehicles have spark plugs, while diesel cars or trucks don`t.
Keeping your engine in top mechanical condition requires taking care of the cooling system which is very important. A neglected cooling system or loss of cooling liquid can lead to overheating and catastrophic engine failure. Especially with older used cars, cooling systems can be dirty and in desperate need of radiator flush. It’s the reason why you should watch yet another ChrisFix video since it will explain how to do radiator flush as well as how to inspect the cooling system and avoid overheating.
Replacing the brake pads
Brakes are crucial car components, so you need to make sure that they are in good working order and capable of stopping the car properly. Older cars often have poor braking due to worn disks and brake pads so replacing it is mandatory if you want to keep your car on the road. Doing it in your driveway could save you a lot of money and it isn’t hard as you might think. This video by Ben Wojdyla for Car and Driver Magazine will show you how to do it with ease and confidence.
Replacing the disc brakes
Most cars on the road have brake discs (at least on the front axle), and the car will only brake properly if the disk and brake pads are in good condition. We have already shown you how to replace the pads and now we will show you how to replace the discs. For this job, some advanced tools can be required but nothing too specific. This could also be done in your driveway and will take about a couple of hours of work. Of course, be sure to provide appropriate replacement discs either OEM or quality replacement part for best fit and performance. Let this video on the Euro Car Parts YouTube channel be your guide.
Older vehicles often develop numerous electrical problems, no turning signals, flickering headlight, rear light or even a dead dashboard. Despite the fact it sounds serious, in most cases those problems are caused by a simple blown fuse in the fuse box, often found in the engine compartment. You can change fuses fast and easy, and you don’t even have to have any tools or specific electrical knowledge. Watch Kriss Kruckenberg of Car Part Kings show you how to do it right in this video.
The serpentine or fan belt is one of the most crucial engine components. To have a dependable car, always be sure that the serpentine belt is not worn or cracked since it can cause engine failures and leave you stranded. Replacing the serpentine belt is not as complicated as you might think, but it will require some specific tools to do it fast and safe. Always buy a new replacement belt and never use an old one since it will surely snap at one point. Watch this video by Tim of BleepinJeep to see exact steps and important things to know when replacing the serpentine belt by yourself.
Fixing Dents on Bodywork
You probably didn’t know this, but you could fix small dents on the bodywork at your home without going to expensive body shops. You can even use household items as a toilet plunger and boiling water or even try to get it back into shape with a block of wood and a hammer. There are numerous ways of fixing your bodywork DIY style and here is one of the most interesting. Of course, note that for bigger dents where the paint is damaged, and the panels are bent severely, it is best to visit the professionals.
Fixing the cracked windshield
You can often find cracks on the windshield of older cars and it is perfectly expected when the car has covered a lot of miles. Road debris and small stones can hit the windshield and the rest of the car glass, making small chips which, if not repaired, can become bigger and eventually even shatter the glass. Having professional repairs or buying replacement glass can be expensive, and we think you will be glad to know that you can repair it yourself for a couple of bucks. Just buy some of the repair kits available and follow the instructions in this video by Jimmy Patton of 1Road Garage.
So there you have it. With patience, resourcefulness, and some elbow grease, you can do proper car maintenance and repair on your car on your own without having to burn holes in your pockets at the repair shop.