Those that happen to own a car for some time know that having a car is another name for subscribing to a list of chores. But even if your car is new, it still brings some responsibilities. There is always something that needs regular maintenance to make sure it operates right.
Some argue that care maintenance is something that anyone can do regardless of technical knowledge or experience. However, not every project is easy. There are some upgrades though that don’t take a lot of time or expertise to accomplish, like the following ones.
Replacing the Steering Wheel
Is it safe to do this on your own? As long as you consult the owners manual and the Australian regulations regarding steering wheels, you are good to go. You also need to have a clear understanding of how the steering system works. It is crucial to make a distinction between changing the steering wheel and tampering with the steering system. While the former can be done by anyone, the latter can disrupt the control you have over the vehicle. So, please just stick to changing the console in front of your driver seat.
It is easy to find a good deal on quality steering wheel. Before reaching for the wallet, though, make sure the steering wheel is compatible with the model you are driving. People usually go for sporty-looking steering wheels that have a smaller diameter. The reason for this is that they increase the ease of handling the car at high speed. And then, there are the ones that just want to add a vintage touch in the hands of the driver and opt for a more traditional design.
Keep in mind that changing your steering wheel might affect the control over the electronic systems in the car. And while this doesn’t apply the vital systems, you might lose the function of altering the audio settings inside the cabin. Some aftermarket steering wheels may lack an airbag, so you should be mindful of that as well.
Replace Your Battery and Alternator
So, your car doesn’t start one day. Before you jump to get a replacement battery or alternator, you need to perform some troubleshooting of the components in the system. To begin with, you can pull out a multimeter to measure if either the battery or the alternator is dead. Sometimes you will be able to jump-start the car and get to the closest mechanic or to your home.
If the alternator needs to be replaced, you should always remove it with the engine off. Just disconnect the power and ground wires. To make the task easier when you install the new alternator in place please note the way your wiring harness connector is set up. You dismantle it (drive belt, ratchet, bolts, spacers and all) and then you repeat the exact steps in reverse order.
You can prolong the life of the battery with some simple maintenance steps. You can clean the battery with baking soda, water and grease. Doing this once a year can save you from headaches down the line. If you have to replace it, then just unplug the clamps and wires. In essence, it’s very similar to what you did with the alternator.
Change the Air Filter of the Engine
To function properly, the engine requires good circulation of air. The air filter helps keep all that debris (coming from the circulation) at bay. Having a dirty air filter adversely affects engine performance in terms of power. Your fuel economy might be affected too. It is recommended to change the air filter every year and if you cover a lot of mileage even earlier than that.
This is the type of easy maintenance chore you don’t have an excuse to avoid. It includes just a couple of screws, clamps or similar, depending on the exact model you have. You should be able to notice a difference in the way your engine works almost immediately.
Getting a new air filter and replacing it by yourself will save you some money, too. A mechanic will charge you, not because the task is complex, but because instead of serving other customers he will spend time working on your air filter. It’s recommended to learn to do this on your own, not only because you’ll save money, but also because the filter gets dirty easily and needs to be replaced often.