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Man working on his car engine at Vistara at SanTan Village



How would you like to spend less time and money on auto maintenance? Keeping your car running efficiently is actually a lot easier – and cheaper – than you might think. Here are a few simple tips that will help you avoid another trip to your favorite mechanic.

Replace the Air Filter

You should replace your air filter every year or 12,000 miles (whichever comes first). It’s incredibly easy and only costs about $10. You’ll need to locate it under the hood – it’s a large black box with metal clips – open it, remove the old filter, vacuum out any debris, then install the new filter. Pro tip: Take a quick photo of the old filter before you remove it so you can ensure that you install the new one correctly.

Replace the Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers tend to wear out regularly, thanks to all the wear and tear they get during the year. If you find that they’re dragging across the windshield, are damaged, or no longer flush with the glass, it’s probably time to replace them – something you can do for less than $20 and in just minutes. Don’t forget to replace the rear window wiper, too!

Keep the Battery Clean

Batteries often become dusty and corroded over time and it’s important to keep them clean to prolong their life. You can easily tidy the terminals with cleaning solutions from auto stores or from a simple mixture of baking soda and water. Pro tip: You should do this as often as you get an oil change.

Clean the Engine Bay

While most people are pretty conscientious about regular visits to the car wash, many fail to pay attention to what’s under the hood. Keeping a clean engine bay is actually quite important to maintaining an efficiently-running automobile.

Replace Your Spark Plugs

This one is a little more advanced, but a great step for someone who wants to dive deeper into DIY auto maintenance. The trick here is to pay attention to following these very specific instructions – spark plugs are sensitive components and require precision during removal and replacement. Pro tip: Tackle this project when you have extra time on your hands so you can take it slowly.

For a great library on DIY auto repairs, check out Cars.com.