Doing some DIY car maintenance can not only help save money and improve performance, it could reduce the risk of an accident as well. Learn more about how to do some of the most basic types of DIY car maintenance.
Replacing Windshield Wipers
Drivers should replace their wipers once or twice a year. It’s important to ensure they’re in good condition and not leaving behind streaks or marks, as that can impede visibility and may increase risk of an accident.
Lift the metal arms up and remove the old blades (may have to push a tab). Note how they connect to the arms. Without scratching the windshield or bending the arms, attach the new blades. Make sure they line up correctly and are secure. The owner’s manual and/or packaging from new blades may give more detailed instructions.
Top off Windshield Washer Fluid
If the windows become dirty and you can’t see out of them, this increases the risk of an accident. Open the hood of your vehicle and locate the window washer fluid tank. It usually has a picture of the windshield and wipers. Unscrew (or pop open) and top it off with the appropriate amount of washer fluid.
Depending on the model and year, you should change the oil in your vehicle every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Refer to the owner’s manual for the correct type and amount of oil.
You may need to lift the vehicle to get underneath. Open the drain plug, draining the old oil into an oil pan. Replace the drain plug. Using the right wrench, remove the old filter from the engine. Dab some oil around the gasket of the new filter and fill it about two-thirds with new oil. Hand tighten it. Using a funnel, fill the engine with new oil. To check the oil level, use a dipstick.
Maintain Tire Pressure
Tire maintenance is important to avoiding accidents. An underinflated tire is a safety hazard, increasing the risk of an accident. Check your vehicle owner’s manual or the inside of your door for the appropriate tire pressure for the front and rear tires. Then using a tire pressure gauge, check your tire pressure. Add more air as necessary using an air compressor. Most gas stations have free or cheap compressed air.
Refilling Brake Fluid
Brake fluid goes down as the brakes wear. But if it’s a significant decrease, this may indicate a leak or another problem. In that case, you may need a mechanic to check the braking system. Otherwise, before refilling, wipe around the cap of the brake fluid reservoir. After cleaning around it, remove the cap and fill to the correct level. Replace cap.
How Car Maintenance Could Impact an Accident Case
It’s possible that a failure to maintain a vehicle is a contributing factor in an accident. For instance, a driver who has broken windshield wipers and can’t see through the pouring rain may be at least partially at fault for an accident. That’s why car maintenance and auto repair – whether you do some DIY car maintenance and DIY auto repair or take your vehicle to a mechanic – is so important.