I can’t imagine that he didn’t get it for free; I’m sure he did. It was the dumpiest van I’ve ever seen, but I was excited to have anything that I could get my hands on that would allow me some freedom.
I had it for just over two weeks before the first incident. The van struggled getting up hills.
I phoned my dad in my driveway in frustration one day, begging him to come back and take it away. I’d tried looking up the solution online and didn’t really get anywhere.
My dad told me not to throw in the towel just yet. He told me to write something down, and take the slip of paper to Lordco to get a part.
After much fighting with me, he had me on the phone, in the driveway, with the hood popped and I’m pretty sure I was bawling because he was asking me to use a wrench.
He walked me through the steps of changing a fuel filter on the phone. I was successful in doing that and have ever since looked for ways to save money on care repairs and maintenance by finding things I could do for myself. Car ownership is expensive enough without getting mechanics to do things for you that you, yourself, could do for hundreds of dollars cheaper.
There are, of course, certain things that should never be done without a professional, but there are quite a few things that you can do yourself to your car to save money. If you don’t know how to do the following things, I suggest that you Google it or watch a YouTube tutorial prior to giving it a try.
In your average car, the oil pan is not hard to access, so oil changes are fairly easy to do by yourself, as long as you have a flat driveway or garage and good lighting.
I’ve found that my oil changes were costing upward of $60 every few months, so to save money I either have my boyfriend do them, or I help him.
Air Filter Changes
Air filters are easy to change on your own. All you need is the filter, and the appropriate wrench.
Air filters aren’t typically very expensive, but I’ve seen people take their existing filter out and clean it off to instead of buying a new one. I don’t think that’s as effective as getting a new air filter, but it will work in a pinch.
Having a dirty air filter can cause fuel inefficiency and considering that a car engine runs on both air and fuel, having sufficient air flow through the air filter is pertinent to the successful running of your car’s engine.
It’s important to know how to change a tire because a flat happens to everyone at one time or another. Your car usually comes with the tools necessary to change a tire, including a spare, a jack, and a wrench.
Because flats rarely happen while you’re parked in your driveway, having a flashlight available in your car is also a good idea, should you get a flat when driving at night.
I’m always shocked when I hear people pay for tire changes if they get a flat suddenly, when it’s relatively easy to do and quicker to do it yourself rather than to get somebody else to come out and do it for you.
Usually the spare tire that comes with your car is a temporary, “donut” tire that cannot be driven on for more than a couple of days before you must put a real tire on it, but changing into your spare if disaster strikes can save you some time and some coin.
I don’t know when I learned what fuses were for and how to change them, but when I had my older car, if a light stopped working or a window wouldn’t roll down, I’d always check the fuses first.
In some cars, the fuses are labelled as to what they do, but for some vehicles you have to look in the owner’s manual for a breakdown of what fuse is responsible for which function.
Fuses are fairly inexpensive at an auto parts store, and probably some of the easiest things to replace on your vehicle.
If you don’t know where your fuse box is, read your car’s owner manual, however, they are usually in a small plastic box under the hood, close to the windshield. If a fuse is blown or not working properly, it usually looks like a burnt out light bulb, in that it’s turned black.
These are all easy tasks that you can do on your own to maintain your car. As mechanics can charge a pretty penny for their time, it’s sometimes beneficial to do the simpler tasks yourself.
Do you do any of your own car maintenance?