How to service your car at home?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Servicing your car at home can save you big cash in the long run. The process of servicing a car is quite simple and every driver should be able to know how to get dirty. The step-by-step guide provided should get you ready to bring the tools out of the garage.

A vehicle’s service usually includes the following: Oil Filter, Oil, Air Filter, Fuel Filter (if your car has one), and cabin filter. This type of service is considered more of maintenance that should be done every 10,000 to 15,000 miles (16,000 to 24,000 km)

By doing it yourself, you will know the correct grade of oil that has been used for your car and the correct brand.

What tools?

  • Socket set
  • Oil filter tool
  • Funnel
  • Axle stands
  • Oil Drain Tray
  • Spark plug socket

Warm up the car.

Firstly, it is important to get the car warmed up so the oil it’s less viscous. By doing this the oil will flow out much better leaving less residue in the oil pan. Let the car idle for a few minutes before draining the oil.

After the engine has warmed up, you can get your car jacked up and some axles stand to support the weight of the car.

Never use just the jack alone, as this is dangerous, and the car might fall while you are under the vehicle. Car ramps will also do the trick, there is less effort involved in using them.

Additionally, cardboard under the car will be necessary to stop any oil from getting on the driveway.

Drain the Oil/ Remove Oil Filter

The oil draining tray should be placed under the sump plug ready to empty all the oil.

Check for the correct bolt size and undo the sump plug.

As the oil is draining, the oil filter can be removed with the oil filter tool, so a vacuum is created by the passing air, helping with the draining process.

Removing Air Filter

Air Filters are simple to replace, all you need to know is where the airbox is located under the hood of the vehicle.

All there is to it are some bolts holding the cover in order to remove the air filter. On some vehicles, the airbox is usually put together with clips that can be easily undone.

That is, it!

Replacing the Spark plugs

This part is often overlooked when servicing a car, but it is as important as changing the oil.

Spark plugs are found on a patrol car and should be changed according to the manufacturer specification. Deciding not to change the spark plugs will cause the vehicle to misfire and as a result, this will put stress on the engine and the catalytic converter.

On a diesel engine, the glow plugs should also be changed according to the manufacturer specification. This will allow for better cold starts and reduce battery usage.

The first step in changing the spark plugs is to remove the ignition coils which are located at the top of the engine above each cylinder. On some engines, they are hidden under the plastic engine cover which needs to be removed.

Disconnect the ignition coil by pulling up or depressing. They should pull up easily.

Clean the surface from any debris or dust before removing the spark plug to prevent any dirt from falling into the cylinders.

With a spark plug tool, insert it into the engine and unscrew the spark plug. It is important to use a spark plug tool from a regular socket as it has a rubber inside which will prevent the spark plug from falling back once unscrewed.

Once removed, just replace the spark plug with new ones and connect everything together.

Don’t forget to add the oil!

The correct oil grade and capacity are found in the user manual of the vehicle. Do not use a different grade of oil even if your mechanic suggests doing so. If you can’t find the correct oil grade and capacity is best to call the local manufacturer car dealer.

Read more: What can break down more often on a car?

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