As much as most of us wish our vehicles would remain perfect forever, that is highly unlikely. Vehicle maintenance can be very costly, especially if you are going to a mechanic when anything goes wrong. Whether you are a frequent road traveler, or you just use your car to commute to work, it is good if you know a few basic repairs. We wrote this article for men and WOMEN. Women are often unfairly portrayed as damsels in distress at the auto body shop and very commonly overcharged for maintenance. Dealerships charge their customers thousands of dollars for minor repairs instead of the more cost-effective alternative: Do It Yourself!
1. Oil Change
It is imperative that you periodically check and change your car’s oil to ensure the smooth running of the vehicle and also to prolong the lifespan of its engine. Changing your car’s oil is one of the most fundamental DIY skills you should have for car maintenance or repair. Of course, it’s a different story if the oil filter and oil drain plug of your car are very hard to reach.
Basic steps involve draining the oil by removing the oil drain plug, unscrewing the oil filter and emptying it, putting the oil filter and drain plug back, removing the oil filler hole cap, and pouring fresh oil. Nothing you can’t learn from the tons of tutorials available online!
2. Changing a flat tire.
There’s a reason “wheels” is slang for car. It’s because the tires are one of the most important parts of your vehicle. And they can go flat on you every once in a while, but changing a flat tire does not have to be a big deal and could actually be a lifesaving skill if you learn it.
Basic steps involve loosening the lug nuts (with a wrench), using a jack stand to lift the car off the ground, removing the lug nuts (and subsequently the tire), placing the spare tire on, wrenching the lug nuts back on, lowering the car, and finally making sure the lug nuts are tight. Yes, it is that simple.
3. Car radio repair
When thinking about the basic repairs to do for your car, most people don’t think repairing a radio belongs to that category. Most dealerships and auto stereo shops replace radios with new or used ones, when in actual fact, repairing a radio can save you hundreds; sometimes thousands of dollars. The most difficult repair for your radio is repairing the touchscreen or CD/DVD mechanism which requires a few more steps. If you have any previous electronic or mechanical experience, the repair process can be very easy and some installations can take some minutes! Check out our Radio Repair videos here!
4. Removing scratches from the paint.
Scratches are the absolute worst. Even the tiniest scratches are visible from a distance and can kill the overall appearance of your metal monster. Unfortunately, it may cost you thousands to get them removed at an auto body shop, but you can save the money and the frustration with a simple DIY job.
The steps include: determining the depth of the scratch, lightly sanding the scratch, cleaning the area, applying rubbing compound, polishing the area with the rubbing compound, washing the area, and finally waxing the area to seal the repair. That’s it. You have just saved yourself a lot of money.
5. Changing a car battery.
Car batteries tend to die on us at the most inconvenient times. If you’re in the middle of nowhere, your best bet would be to find roadside assistance and/or call a tow truck. But if you’re home and your battery shows signs that it might need replacement, the DIY replacement method is quite easy.
The steps include: removing any covers from the battery, disconnecting the negative cables, moving the clamp away from the battery post, doing the same for the positive cable clamp, removing all screws, replacing the old battery with the new one, and finally reconnecting the cable clamps. It is important that you label the cables before you remove them, as putting the wrong cables on the wrong battery terminals can damage the battery.
6. Replacing a headlight or taillight.
Having a broken headlight or taillight is not only inconvenient but is actually illegal. Consequently, you need to change them as soon as they begin to fade. But why waste money on a mechanic when the DIY replacement is so easy?
Headlamp replacement process involves: removing the screws connecting the headlight frame to the bracket, disconnecting the electrical connector, removing the faulty bulb and replacing it with a new one, plugging the connector back on, and finally replacing the frame.
Sometimes only your frame might be broken, which can be just as hazardous. You can change it following the same procedure.
7. Replacing wipers.
Windshield wipers are one of the least appreciated parts of your car’s safety system. Imagine what would happen if they failed on you during a heavy downpour or snowfall, perhaps resulting in damage to your brand new vehicle. Faulty wiper blades need to replaced, and you need to be sure that your windshield wipers are always in perfect shape. This DIY is an easy fix.
The steps involve: lifting the wiper arm away from the windshield, depressing the small tab that allows the wiper blade to be pulled off, lining up the new wiper blade with the arm, and pushing it in tightly. Done! Make sure to follow tutorials while doing it.
8. Replacing air filters.
Air filters are one of the most overlooked parts of your car. They keep your engine free of dust and other contaminants. They are inexpensive and quite easy to replace, so keeping your car’s engine clean is another easy DIY.
The steps include: opening the hood, locating the air filter unit, removing the air filter cover, taking the air filter out and cleaning the air filter housing, inserting a new filter, and finally replacing the cover. You are done! For better performance, it is recommended that you ensure you change your filter once every 30,000 miles or approximately once every year.
9. Changing brake pads.
The brakes are one of the most important elements of your vehicle for ensuring your safety while driving. Many car accidents result from brake failures, so your car’s brakes always need to be in perfect condition. Thankfully, changing the brake pads can be as easy as changing a flat tire.
Basic steps involve loosening the lug nuts off the wheels, jacking the car up, removing the wheels, removing the slider bolts, removing the older brake pads and replacing them with new ones, and putting the slider bolts and the wheels back on securely. You should be particularly careful if you’re using replica wheels. This is another simple DIY that can save you some money!
10. Jumpstarting a car.
This is not so much a repair as it is a fundamental skill. Everyone should know how to jumpstart their own car. You wouldn’t want to have to call roadside assistance every time your car won’t start, and it’s really the easiest thing ever.
Just take your jumper cables out, put both vehicles in neutral and shut the ignition off. Now, attach one of the red clips to the positive terminal of your battery and the other to the positive terminal of the battery in the other car (the one that will start). Attach one of the black clips to the negative terminal of the battery in the other car. Attach the other end to an unpainted metal surface. Now try to start your vehicle. You’re done!
Sometimes you might not be able to find another car around to jump your vehicle. We recommend carrying a portable Jumper for your vehicle. Buy it Here!
We hope these tips above can help you save money that you would otherwise spend on a mechanic to handle your car’s issues. Don't be afraid to DIY!
Keywords: Vehicle maintenance, headlamp replacement, car battery
“17 Easy Car Repairs and Maintenance Projects You Can Do Yourself.” The News Wheel, The News Wheel, thenewswheel.com/easy-car-repairs-and-maintenance/.
“Basic Car Repair Everyone Should Know.” Dumb Little Man, 3 Nov. 2017, www.dumblittleman.com/basic-car-repair/.
Dellitt, Julia. “5 Car Maintenance Skills Everyone Should Know.” The Everygirl, The Everygirl, 13 Apr. 2017, theeverygirl.com/5-car-maintenance-skills-everyone-should-know/.
Ktrk. “Here Are the 10 Basic Do-It-Yourself Car Repairs You Should Know.” ABC13 Houston, 9 Nov. 2017, abc13.com/automotive/the-10-basic-car-repair-skills-you-should-know/2622755/.
“Leatherman.” Leatherman Difference, www.leatherman.com/blog/diy/6-diy-car-repairs-everyone-should-know.
Paudyal, Nabin. “10 Basic Car Repairs Everyone Should Know.” Lifehack, Lifehack, 13 Mar. 2016, www.lifehack.org/374885/10-basic-car-repairs-everyone-should-know.
Have you ever been in a car crash? If so, then you know how difficult it can be to prove whose fault it was. I mean it wasn’t yours, right? Well, how are you going to prove it? Today, it is extremely affordable to own a dash cam to record HD video of the front and rear of your car or truck while you are driving. If you are a parent and have a teenager, this gives you more reason to buy a dash cam! How do you know where your teenager is going or if it was their fault during the crash?
What if you don't live in a big city or where there’s heavy traffic? There are plenty of other reasons why you should own a dash cam! In this article, we are going to go over the importance of a dash cam and also give you some global road crash statistics!
What is a dash cam?
Basically, dash cams are cameras equipped at the front and sometimes rear of your vehicle, and they have the ability to record video continuously. Some dash cams feature multiple recording modes, as well as a built-in GPS system that show vehicle speed and location.
No matter how careful you are while driving, if other drivers are not paying attention, there is still the possibility of getting involved in an accident, and in the event of an accident you may be deemed at fault, if there is no proof to show otherwise, or the accident could be considered 50/50 by the insurance company. However, with a dash cam installed, the footage ensures that the right party is able to be assigned responsibility.
Annual Global Road Crash Statistics
According to the Association For Safe International Road Travel:
- Nearly 1.25 million people die in road crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day.
- An additional 20-50 million are injured or disabled.
- More than half of all road traffic deaths occur among young adults ages 15-44.
- Road traffic crashes rank as the 9th leading cause of death and accounts for 2.2% of all deaths globally.
- Road crashes are the leading cause of death among young people ages 15-29, and the second leading cause of death worldwide among young people ages 5-14.
- Each year nearly 400,000 people under 25 die on the world’s roads, on average over 1,000 a day.
- Over 90% of all road fatalities occur in low and middle-income countries, which have less than half of the world’s vehicles.
- Road crashes cost USD $518 billion globally, costing individual countries from 1-2% of their annual GDP.
- Road crashes cost low and middle-income countries USD $65 billion annually, exceeding the total amount received in developmental assistance.
- Unless action is taken, road traffic injuries are predicted to become the fifth leading cause of death by 2030.
Annual United States Road Statistics
According to the Association For Safe International Road Travel:
- Over 37,000 people die in road crashes each year
- An additional 2.35 million are injured or disabled
- Over 1,600 children under 15 years of age die each year
- Nearly 8,000 people are killed in crashes involving drivers ages 16-20
- Road crashes cost the U.S. $230.6 billion per year or an average of $820 per person
- Road crashes are the single greatest annual cause of death of healthy U.S. citizens traveling abroad
Why should you get a dash cam?
1. You Have First-Hand Evidence Of A Car Accident
- Provides irrefutable video evidence and acts as a silent witness in the event of an accident
- Provides protection from hit-and-run and theft
- Provides GPS tracking with vehicle speed (if equipped)
- Reduces the time to settle a claim by the court or by the insurance company
- Has been proven to improve a driver's driving behavior
- Provides employers with security that employees are following company rules when driving fleet vehicles
2. Dash Cams Promote Safe Driving
Accidents happen, no matter how careful a driver may be. In the event of an accident you may be deemed at fault without proof to show otherwise, and as mentioned earlier, the accident could be considered 50/50 by the insurance company. However, with a dash cam installed, the footage ensures that the right party is able to be assigned responsibility.
3. Dash Cams Protects You 24/7
Leaving your vehicle parked in unknown areas in a city can be unsettling. With a hard wiring kit such as the Power Magic Pro, parking mode can be activated, allowing your dash cam to record video when the car is parked, and can also turn it off when movement is detected, with the aid of its motion detectors.
Cases such as hit-and-runs, vandalism, and theft tend to happen when the vehicle is left unattended. With a dash cam recording the entire incident, you will have irrefutable proof of the event.
4. Dash Cams Can Reduce Your Insurance Premiums
When equipped with a dash cam, details including speed, driving behavior, and even GPS location are captured. This can be used by insurance companies to for proper investigations into the cause of some accidents, thereby reducing or eliminating your liability in the event of an accident. Some insurance companies even offer discounts to drivers willing to install monitoring devices, which can ultimately lower your insurance premium.
5. The Dash Cam Is Perfect For Driving Instructors And Worried Parents
Are you worried that your child may take your car for a ride, even though you have repeatedly forbidden him/her to do so? Do you own a taxi company and you suspect that your drivers may use several extra miles in personal interest, or perhaps you have a company of any kind and you want to limit the fuel consumption, yet extra miles keep adding up without any apparent reason? If that is the case, then the dashboard camera is certainly the best solution for you.
On the other hand, buying a dash cam is also perfect if you constantly lend your car to your friends or relatives, or you want to see what happens whenever you drop your vehicle off at the local mechanic. Your car may be one of your most valuable assets, and it is perfectly normal to be concerned about it and its integrity.
Most of the modern dash cameras come with GPS devices that are embedded in them, therefore in addition to recording every single detail that takes place both inside the car and outside of it, the dash cam will also record the driving speed as well as the different street routes.
What to do if you get into a minor accident?
- Move to a safe area (if you can) ...
- Stop your vehicle and get out. ...
- Check on others involved. ...
- Call the police to the scene. ...
- Gather info. ...
- Document the scene. ... (DASH CAM)
- File your insurance claim.
Where to get Dash Cams?
Monitoring your vehicle throughout the day is a pretty important task, and you shouldn't leave it to just any product... Here are our recommendations for the best dash cams, both single- and dual-camera dash cams!
Here are our favorite dash cams! Just click below to shop the best dash cams:
To Sum It Up
As you can see, a dashboard camera is a great investment, especially since it is very cost-effective and has a very straightforward design that typically consists of a microphone and a fixed-lens digital camera. These simple cameras can be installed on the dashboard or the windshield of your car within seconds, thanks to their suction cup or double-sided adhesive.
There are a wide array of dash cameras to choose from, from the low-end ones that only cost several tens of dollars to high-end, state of the art cameras that come with a color display, time and date stamps, two lenses as well as a color display. The choice is entirely yours, depending on your budget, needs, and preferences!
"One radio at a time"
Keywords: Dash cam, best dash cam
“8 Strong Reasons Why You Should Consider Buying A Dash Cam.” SecurityBros, securitybros.com/8-strong-reasons-why-should-you-consider-buying-a-dash-cam/.
“Road Safety Facts.” ASIRT, www.asirt.org/safe-travel/road-safety-facts/.
“What Is a Dash Cam? Why Get One?” BlackboxMyCar, BlackboxMyCar, www.blackboxmycar.com/pages/what-is-a-dash-cam.